Lessons Learned: My Creepiest AirBnB Experience
It was dusk and raining when we finally found the right driveway for our vacation rental house, having missed the open gate a couple of times in the twilight. As we bumped and skidded our way up the steep dirt track it became a scene out of The Blair Witch Project with eerie trails of fog and skeleton trees with heavy loads of moss.
We reached the top and the dark house, to see a pickup truck parked next to the door. Concerned that maybe we were at the wrong location, I cautiously approached the front door. We must be in the wrong place — there was a children’s bike thrown down on the front porch as if they’d just run in for dinner and would be back out.
But the place was dark and empty and the key was where we’d been told.
Once the lights were on inside we brightened up. After I’d made the booking several months prior, negative reviews had popped up saying the place hadn’t been cleaned, but everything looked fine. Except the nook under the stairs looked like a kid had been hanging out in there.
Making our way upstairs, we were a little taken aback by sunglasses set down on a bookcase and a book left face down in the master bedroom as if someone was coming right back.
Were we in the wrong place?? Had it been double booked?
Everything looked like the photos, except not all the rooms had been photographed. My bedroom had plumbing pipes coming out of the wall at the foot of the bed. Fortunately I wasn’t in one of the rooms accessible from the viewing platform.
That’s right! One of the rooms had an crawlspace/passageway between two rooms (complete with light switches), one of them a bedroom, which would enable someone to stare down at sleeping occupants, even if the doors had been locked.That passageway also had a window into the master bedroom which had been mostly blocked by a stereo speaker.
Tired and worn out from a full day of traveling cross-country and then driving hours in heavy rain we were a little overwrought and spooked. The next day in the sunlight things were much better and we could laugh at ourselves. Still very strange, but not alarming.
And that’s the major tip I’d like to share from this humorous tale: if a rental does not show pictures of all the rooms and bedrooms, be prepared for anything!
Our rental was as described, the problem is they just hadn’t described or depicted enough.
- It did have 2 bathrooms. However, on the sleeping floor, the only bathroom was the Master bathroom, which only had a bathtub and no shower.The only shower was downstairs in the bathroom off the kitchen. And since the ground floor had a completely open floor plan, anyone taking a morning shower had to pass by everyone else drinking coffee.
- The place had been cleaned, but not straightened. Hence all the weird things we’d find — if someone had set something down it would have been cleaned underneath but not moved.
- As mentioned before, my room had pipes for plumbing fixtures coming out of the wall. Not a big deal, but not expected either.
- In addition to the viewing balcony, the third bedroom had double doors opening onto the landing area as well as a hall door.
- None of the windows had coverings except for the Master bedroom. Not a problem since the house was secluded on a hill with no near neighbors. Oh, except for when a bus full of children pulled up only minutes after I’d been changing for Thanksgiving dinner, secure in the fact my friends were nowhere they could see in. Apparently they were coming to tour the adjacent barn.
- It was a weird mix of luxurious and rough. It did have the high end appliances and travertine floors as promised. It also had random furniture and unfinished construction.
My other AirBnB stays have been much more normal, and in the end this wound up being a great stay. At $125 a night, far cheaper and more comfortable than getting multiple rooms at any hotels in the area and getting to cook our own Thanksgiving dinner was nice. We have a hilarious story to share, though not sure it was the best way to introduce my friends to AirBnB.
By the way, you’re new to AirBnB and also have a sense of adventure, you can get $40 towards your first stay via my link.
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