Horrifying Crimes And Events From Hostels Around The World

Anyone who has backpacked across a country has stayed in at least one hostel and has probably heard hundreds of hostel horror stories. But you'd never think that something truly awful is going to happen to you. The travelers who experienced the scary hostel stories that are collected here (mostly) lived through some of the most frightening situations that anyone will ever face – from women being dragged out of their hostels and gang raped to cannibal roommates eating a victim after a night spent clubbing. These true stories about hostels might keep you at home for the rest of your life.

There’s a certain freedom that comes with living out of your backpack. You don’t have to be anywhere, and you can experience the world however you want. But if you’re trying to save money while being a backpacker, you do have to stay in a hostel – those inexpensive shared room motels that we’ve all been warned against. Scary things that happened in hostels aren’t like what happens in the best Eli Roth-produced horror movies. There are no evil businessmen twirling their mustaches, but there are a regular amount of suicides and so many alleged rapes that you’ll want to start staying at the Marriott when you travel.

  • Teen Sets Herself On Fire

    Teen Sets Herself On Fire
    Video: YouTube

    On the afternoon of October 18, 2016, a 16-year-old student of Sri Chaitanya College in Hyderabad, India, set herself on fire in her hostel room after calling her mother and begging to be allowed to leave. There was no suicide note. Only her final phone call home provides any clues as to what might've been going though her head. 

  • Paramedic Attacked Outside Hostel

    Paramedic Attacked Outside Hostel
    Photo: japanomad / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    While treating a 21-year-old male French tourist outside of a hostel in Queensland, Australia, in September 2016, a female paramedic was punched in the face by the patient, who appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When she retreated to her ambulance, he dragged her out of the vehicle and continued to beat her until he could be subdued. 

  • Peeping Tom Caught In NTU Hostel

    Peeping Tom Caught In NTU Hostel
    Photo: Sustainable sanitation / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    On the morning of October 13, 2016, a resident of Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) student hostel in Singapore was caught taking videos of male students while they showered. After apprehending the man, authorities claimed that they found close to 66 videos of young men showering on the suspect's mobile phone. The suspect allegedly tried to delete all of the videos from his phone before he was apprehended. 

  • Woman Stabbed To Death Outside Of Australian Hostel

    Woman Stabbed To Death Outside Of Australian Hostel
    Video: YouTube

    What's happening with Australian hostels? It seems like it's more dangerous to be outside of them than it is to be inside. In August 2016, a Frenchman shouted "Allahu Akbar" before stabbing a a British woman to death and attacking two more people in a Sydney hostel. One of the men that was attacked later died from his injuries. Despite initial thoughts that this was the work of a lone wolf extremist, police later discovered that the attacker was infatuated with the woman he murdered. 

  • Hostel Warden Rapes 14 Girls

    Hostel Warden Rapes 14 Girls
    Video: YouTube

    At a hostel in Likabai, India, 14 girls, all of whom were minors, were allegedly raped by the hostel's warden over the course of three years. The assaults were allowed to go on for so long because not only did the warden threaten the girls with worse violence if they told on him, but their school's principal also helped cover up the entire thing in order to make the school seem like a charming place to visit. 

  • Hardline Islamists Storm Hostel To Stop Women from Dancing

    Hardline Islamists Storm Hostel To Stop Women from Dancing
    Photo: Magharebia / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    In April 2013, a group of hardline Islamists threw stones and bottles at young women who were dancing and listening to music in preparation for a performance at a student hostel in Tunis. After the attack, one of the students told Reuters, "[they] smashed windows on our building and threw stones and bottles at the students, stopping the performance." The attack lasted for nearly an hour before the assailants fled.