My Hostel Horror Story: When My Roommate Shit in Our Dorm Room

look of horror and shockOver the years, I’ve had some bad hostel roommates. They’ve been rude, messy, dirty, smelly, drunk, loud, and everything in between. Two girls in New Zealand were so bad they inspired me to write a post on hostel etiquette. But through it all, I’ve kept staying at hostels. I love hostels because of their gregarious social atmosphere. Hotels seem too sterile when compared with the energy and camaraderie of hostels. As I’ve gotten older, more set in my ways, and have become a lighter sleeper, I’ve often thought to myself, “Why do I stay in dorm rooms? I’m so over them.” But then I book one more night because I don’t want to pay extra for a private room. (Though I do get out of hostels and into hotels when I need a work break).

But that feeling changed when I had the shittiest roommate of all time. Hostel dorm rooms and I are now on an indefinite break.

Let me explain why (and warn you now that I wouldn’t be eating while reading this):

It all began on a lovely Barcelona Monday morning in September. I was enjoying a nice sleep, dreaming one of my typical surreal dreams—dreams that have me being Batman one moment and escaping aliens on ancient clipper ships in another. Awoken by a loud banging from using my superpowers to fight bad guys, I looked at my phone: 7:30 am. The banging from the door continued. Groggy from sleep, I woke up, wished someone else had heard the noise instead of me, got out of bed, and opened the door. My Brazilian dorm mate standing in his towel said, “Sorry,” and rushed into the room.

This was the latest event on a long list of weekend rudeness. I was traveling with my friend Kiersten, and we had been staying four nights in a dorm with this Brazilian and his friend. They snored, turned the lights on at night, came home drunk, talked loudly, proposed marriage to Kiersten, and were very messy. We were happy to be checking out of the room that day.

After letting the Brazilian in, I went back to my bed, and just as I was about to lie down, I caught an odious whiff of something. “What is that smell? Why does it smell like shit?” I said to myself. I looked everywhere and couldn’t place it. I hadn’t pooped myself in my sleep. Being half asleep only added to my confusion.

“What is going on?”

I was perplexed.

Then I smelled my hand.

“Why does my hand smell like shit?” I thought.

I was now even more confused. I got back up and turned on the lights to the dorm.

And that’s when I noticed it. I had shit on my hand.

Because there was shit on the door handle.

And a poop trail back to the large Brazilian’s bed.

I stared in shock at my hand and turned to him. Catching my gaze, he looked at me and said, “I just got in, dude. I just got in!!!” He was playing dumb.

Now I understood why he was showering so early in the morning—he had shit himself, touched the doorknob on the way to the bathroom (in what I can only hope was a drunken accident because who would do that on purpose!?), and locked himself out of the room, leaving me as the unfortunate roommate to open the door. One can only imagine the reaction (eardrum-shattering shrieks) if one of the girls in the dorm had been the unfortunate one.

“I just got in, dude,” was all he kept saying to me, trying to pretend that he wasn’t clearly the cause of this mess.

“You shit yourself in bed and then grabbed the door handle! That is fucking disgusting! And just rude!” I swore, horrified and disgusted by this whole event.

I ran to the bathroom and sanitized the crap out of my hand (pun intended). I scrubbed to what felt like the bone. Grabbing a roll of toilet paper, I walked back to the room, noticed a dirty mattress outside the room, and opened the door.

The trail of shit to the bed was gone, but the inner door knob was not clean. “It wasn’t me,” the Brazilian guy said, trying to prove his innocence despite being caught in the act of cleaning the scene of his crime. Disgusted, I cleaned the doorknob myself, using all my remaining hand sanitizer and toilet paper.

I went back and washed my hands again, and then again, and then once more for good measure.

As I went back to the room, I looked into the dorm next door, as the door was wide open. Not a bed was missing. Inside my dorm, the Brazilian had fallen into a drunken sleep on a mattress. To this day, I still don’t know where that mattress in the hall came from. My roommate had managed to find a clean mattress somehow.

Back in my newly cleaned room, I lay back down on my bed and tried to sleep a little more.

Kiersten, who was in the dorm above me, didn’t believe me when I told her this story later in the morning, but upon seeing a missed poop stain on the floor and a brown hand print on my dorm curtain (which I innocently grabbed before I knew what was on my hand and ripped off my bed after I knew), she freaked out and exclaimed, “Thank god we are checking out today.”

As we left the hostel that day, I hailed a cab.

“The W Hotel,” I said.

As I stepped into the cab, I couldn’t have been happier to move from a hostel to a hotel. A shit-free future awaited me.

P.S. – I’m not naming the hostel because it’s a really good one, and I had a great time there. This could have happened to anyone in any dorm in the world.

P.P.S – There were curtains on the bunk beds so people wouldn’t wake up, and light was already coming into the room from the poorly shaded window, so I wasn’t worried about waking anyone up.

  1. My friends and I once witnessed a girl shit in the hostel common room, but even this surpasses that! If I had been you I would have seriously done more than shout at the guy! Euuurrgghhhhh!

  2. But overall I’m just glad you didn’t receive a horrific dose of conjunctivitis. I wouldn’t want to see a future blog post titled, “How to get pinkeye from a Brazilian”

  3. Wow. I’ve been to nursing school and never even got shit on my hands. That’s pretty terrible. Luckily all the dorm mates I’ve ever had have made it to the toilet (as far as I know). Sorry that happened to you!

  4. sharon

    That’s grossss! Good thing you move on to a hotel next.
    Have you posted this somewhere before? I thought I read this account somewhere.

  5. Ryan Brown

    Wow Matt, what a shitty experience! I’m sure you are tired of all the poo jokes but I guess it is the only way to cope with something like that after the fact.

    I remember one of my first ever hostel experiences where I woke up, went to book another night, came back and found a naked Frenchman in my bed. He had pissed on everyone’s luggage and somehow managed to snuggle up
    In my bed in the time it took me to book another night.

    You are right, things like this can happen to anyone, but sometimes there is a breaking point where you can’t take the obnoxious drunks, loud people, snoring, travelers, naked guys, and shit anymore.

  6. Oh man, I love a good poo story!

    When I moved to Korea to teach English, I had to attend a 10-day orientation course before I started my job. As all of us were really excited to be in a new country, we’d regularly go out at night, socialize, and drink soju (we had to get into the culture right?). Well a friend of mine told me this story at the end of orientation about his roommate. One night his roommate had gone out and got wasted on soju. The next morning, he woke up to the smell of shit tin the room, his roommates’ bed stripped down and the sheets piled in a corner, and his roommate in the shower. When he asked how long he’d be in the shower for, his roommate simply replied “um…it’s gonna be a while man, sorry”. Turned out the roommate had shit himself while sleeping and had rolled around in it all night long. Ew.

    Moral of the story; if you’re in Korea and end up drinking lots of soju, make sure you’ve got yourself a pair of depends on hand!

  7. What a story! I’ve heard quite a few hostel horror stories but this one takes the price! Thank you for sharing, and sorry for laughing, I doubt it was very funny while you were trying to scrub off all that poo…

  8. Grim. My worst story is similar but with vomit rather than shit. Fortunately I didn’t get it all over me though. Some people really do spoil it for everyone else.

    Happy halloween!

  9. That has got to be one of the most disgusting hostel stories I have ever heard! I am so glad that it isn’t one of mine! While I am sure I will still stay in a hostel or two in the future, I hope to never experience that one!

  10. Sam

    Ugh, you know I didn’t laugh at all during this? I actually feel a little bit sick. I would not have been able to deal with that. I think I would have chucked him out with all his shit, and his other shit too and barricaded the door til the morning.


    Thanks for sharing, though it looks like brazilians are known for doing things like this?!

  11. You let a little shit ruin your day? Geez you’re really uppity

    All kidding aside, I would have FREAKED the hell out, and he would have gotten a lot more of an earful from me than what you gave him.

    Or actually, I’m such a heavy sleeper, I wouldn’t have gotten up to let him in.

  12. Melissa - The Mellyboo Project

    Oh my goodness. That is absolutely vile. And I thought it was bad when I had a dorm-mate puke off the top bunk onto the middle of the floor. But shit?! Ew. I can’t believe he didn’t even have the decency to clean the door handle after you had touched it! Dickhead.

  13. oh Matt, you ARE a nice guy. not only did you not cause him bodily harm, but you also cleaned up after his drunken faux-poo. if only there were more kind, hostel heroes like you in the world. Not that we need to perpetuate the cycle of shitpants…

  14. MAN! There is nothing worse than shit. I probably would have barfed on the guy. This has to be the worst hostel story I’ve ever heard. I agree with Brandy, good job on keeping your cool.

  15. Hah! That’s a really gross one, Matt 😛 You sure do hear some shockers, I’ve stayed in a fair few hostels though and have luckily not experienced that 😀

    Imagine if it was your first time in a hostel ever and that happened to you? Oh man!

  16. Christine

    How can the man be standing there denying it wasn’t him….just admit you shit the bed, clean up and move on….nasty.

  17. Tess

    Reminds me of my worst hostel experience in los Angeles where a girl in my room who drank too much rushes up to get to the toilet but falls on the way and vomit all over my backpack. Not a very good start of a 3 weeks holiday in USA. At least it couldn’t possibly get any worse.. 😉

  18. mary

    Holy Crap!! You should have whipped out the video camera and made a shizer video. That’s just the craziest thing I have ever heard!!! Don’t you wish you had a taser to bring him back to his senses?…lol

  19. I don’t know Matt I think I would have been angry enough to wipe the shit on my hand all over his face. What a dirty thing to do in ….. well anywhere really. :)

  20. Greg

    Wow. Funny that I know exactly where this happened…I was at that hostel at the same time… we checked into the W the night after you guys. I’m surprised we didn’t catch wind of this story the next day. I agree with you, fun hostel, good times…. was so glad to see the inside of that W hotel room after 4 nights.

  21. Oh My God. That’s is definitely one of the most horrific hostel stories I have ever heard. I don’t think I’ve been to enough to have had really bad experiences yet, plus I’ve been pretty lucky, but jeez. Not sure I’m too keen at staying in a hostel again. Though that is a lie as I am far too poor to stay in hotels. Shitty door knobs it is.

  22. mindy

    The last time I stayed in a hostel (in Brugge)- a drunk came home in the middle of the night and screamed that there were no beds left and then proceeded to pee in the corner of our carpeted room. That’s when I realized that I was too old for hostels.

  23. Ben

    You know, thats pretty gross but I kind of feel sorry for the guy. I seriously doubt he crapped himself on purpose. I can only imagine how massively humiliating that was for him.

    As someone with an intestinal illness I have zero desire to ever stay in communal rooms, ever (for my roommates sake as much as my own). For the unfortunate people like me stuck with this crap (hah, lol) one of our priorities in a room is that it have a clean, private, bathroom. Unfortunately that can be pretty limiting. For example big cities can be a pain (most places in thick urban areas do not have freely available bathrooms and those that do are usually amazingly nasty), and 3rd world countries are scratched right off the list. Add to that a laundry list of medications we have to carry (often narcotic meds which can limit the countries we can visit) and making sure we have proper medical insurance coverage and that the country has excellent medical services it can be a real nuisance to try and travel with an illness.

    Any suggestions? I’ve found what works best is to simply stay in the USA (or Hawaii) and just find discounts on hotels and/or use miles/points. Backcountry trips are also good, as long as you can carry proper emergency medical supplies to cover you condition and worst case you travel with people who can assist you getting back to proper medical facilities.

    BTW, don’t think I’m judging you for your reaction that morning. Trust me, had I woke up with crap on my hands I can’t imagine my response but I doubt it would have been as mild as telling him he was “rude”. lol

  24. Amer

    That is really gross..Thank god I’ve never experienced anything like that staying in hostels. I’d freaked out too. There are some weird people out there 😉

  25. hahaha sorry but I can’t stop laughing. Some people are just weird, once a friend of mine woke up to a warm welcome, a fellow backpacker came to the room drunk, sleepwalked started peeing on the bed right on my friend’s back. People do weird shit haha.
    Wear Positive, Feel Positive.

    • David

      Lol givi that sounds like the story I just posted. You meet the WEIRDEST people doing this. Oh surely I have met many wonderful folks, but to keep it real and be truly honest, we’re oddballs. They say the Appalachian trail is an institution 50m wide and 2100 miles long. Its the same breed wherever. I’ve enjoyed this blog too. Its nice to hear from people who tell the truth about their experiences. If you go on the adventure of a lifdtime its like people expect you to tell them wonderful stories that justify your expense and risk. They prefer to hear a lonely planet glass half full story that reaffirms their dreams. Many travelers feed on this and will actually leave comments dismissing negative experiences as anomalies.

  26. David

    That tops mine. Hiked the AT years ago and shared a cheap dorm in Vermont with another hiker I’d met from Tennessee. As soon as he’d cleaned up he headed to town and returned with a case of Budweiser. There was no fridge so he “would just have to finish them before they get warm!” Id been on the trail for 8 days and turned in early. Later I awoke to the sound of him stumbling about the room in the dark. He came over to my side of the room and around my bed. I suddenly thought he was going to assault me. I’m not small and most wouldn’t try it unless they had a weapon. But he was a big guy too, so my mind was racing. I thought about where by Gerber was lying and how I was going toroll, kick up, pull the knife, and somehow get this dude off of me. He unzipped his pants and pissed. He stood there chin high, swaying in the dim moonlight coming through the curtains and pissing on the carpet beside my bed. I feigned sleep through it all, stunned that anyone would do that. It was so much beer that it was watered down I guess because it didnt smell to bad to keep me from sleeping once he found his bed. The next morning I was gone at daybreak, even declining a breakfast offer to avoid management.

  27. I once overheard a girl at breakfast ask another girl if she peed the bed the night before, because she woke up to some “liquid” dripping down on her from the top bunk. All I can say is I’m glad my friend and I opted for a private that night.

  28. I had a bad experience in a hostel in Basel, Switzerland. Not as shitty & sticky as yours but was pretty funny :)))…
    I went inside the girls dorms as i booked, but the intensity of snoring made me hesitate for a second that i entered the males dorms by mistake, i stared at the creatures who were snoring for several times to make sure that they are females. It was a horrible, sleepless night!

  29. Omgggg! I’m a germ-freak that would have bugged me out. Who the hell shits their bed, how drunk do you have to be?! hahaha. Its amazing how people can be so inconsiderate and yet continue to get dorm rooms. I don’t get it.

  30. Wow what a story! I had a similar experience in my college dorm over 10 years ago. Thank goodness I did not come into direct contact with any poop like you did (that is so gross by the way, I am so sorry that happened to you!), but there was a poop trail through the hallway, to the bathroom stall, then from the stall to the showers with a poop hand-print on the white shower curtain which was the icing on the cake (no pun intended!). Needless to say, the bathroom was put on lock-down for almost 24 hours while the mess was cleaned up. The culprit was never identified!

  31. Bruno Argenton

    That’s gross!

    I’m Brazilian and I always read your blog.

    You haven’t told us the name of the hostel, but told us the nationalities giving a negative feedback about mine. Well, we speak loud because our language is loud, we do have a great time when we travel because we always have great times in our country and some of us drink a lot… but it’s not normal for us (and I belive for anyone) to shit sleeping.

    I’m not offended at all with your story and I understand that you are relating a specific situation.

    Just as an example I spent some nights in hostels during my trips to europe and already cought american roomates in Russia opening my backpack while I was in the shower, disgusting czech girls in France bringing up some random african guys inside the room at 4am, and bizarre spanish people waking up in the middle of the night and fighting each other in Ireland, but I also had a lot of fun with american, african, czech and spanish friends in other situations..

    Ok, nobody ever shit the room I was sleeping.. so maybe you’re right if you got a little bit scary with us, but you’re gonna be welcome in brazil and the hostels here are very nice!

  32. trent

    man, maybe it’s Barcelona – known to be a party city. When I shared a dorm in Barcelona, I thought that is the last time ever… Yet London a few years before that was magic.

  33. Wanderlost

    Ouch that’s rough. I just found this story because I was trying to figure out what to do in my situation.

    My dormmate came in tonight wasted, fell asleep and just sleep walked over and peed on top of my backpack! A massive long Austin Powers pee! Right onto the clothes for the morning sitting on my bag! So glad my bag was closed and waterproof but the sponge in the straps and the other steps absorbed a lot of it. We are literally hundreds of miles from somewhere he can by me a new one and we part ways after this destination.

    Rinsed it off and shampooed it really good but damn it could stink when it dries! Also trying to figure out how to handle the morning as he was genuinely sleep walking when it happened… Tricky.

    Back to sleep for now.

  34. LB

    Amazing… Really. I have my own unfortunate shit story that is burned into my mind and will likely never dissipate – I’m baffled by people who get so drunk that they don’t know how not to shit themselves (or in my case, how not to shit in our kitchen rubbish bin – I feel for you that you had the bad luck to have to touch it, somehow my guest managed to get all her poop in a garbage can without getting it all over hells half acre, much to my retrospective dismay). In fact, my shit story happened about a month and a half after yours – maybe some strange cosmic coincidence?
    Enjoying your blog – seems to have lots of nice, valuable information in it, and I think it will be helpful for my first real trip abroad!

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