The scariest AirBnb experience I’ve ever had… by far…

There was screaming. Terrible, deathly screaming. Then there was silence. Someone was dead. It was obvious.

If you read our recent post detailing our exact AirBnb earnings from 2020, you saw that our short-term rental business stayed strong. But, man, was it a weird, and sometimes terrifying, year…

From drunken kleptomaniacs… to vocal lovers turned vocal haters over night… to really bad crackhead wannabe thieves… there weren’t that many dull moments.

Then there was that moment one morning at 6:30AM when my wife and I woke up to absolutely terrifying and violent screaming coming from our basement…

Thursday Morning

My phone sounds — the AirBnb message tone. The Pavlov dog in me has grown to love that tone. It means earnings.

Someone wants to book a room all weekend. Perfect.

I look at the message in the request to book: “We’re super excited to be staying there this weekend. Thanks so much!!”

Great, they seem nice enough.

I check the profile. No reviews…

That’s okay, we have lots of newbies to AirBnb.

I look at the AirBnb profile of the person to see where they’re from. It’s a city just down the road…

Interesting. Why do you need a place to stay if you’re from down the road?

Eh, whatever. I accept the booking.

This now allows me to see the full name and photo of the person. Time for a little Facebook stalking.

Interesting, this guy has two facebook profiles. One hasn’t been used since 2017. Oh well, he must have just stopped using that one.

I flip through his profile pictures in the more active account. Lots of mirror photos… in tank tops… pulling up his shirt… flexing his abs… Whatever — you pay for my room and you can flex your abs in the mirror all you want.

Wait, is that a swastika tattoo on his ribs?

Eh, again, whatever. We’ve had people show up with ankle bracelets that were totally fine. Who am I to judge? Come on over buddy!

Thursday Evening

The kid and his lady friend arrive. My wife and I are in our family room, directly above their bedroom in the basement.

Drama pretty much immediately starts.

Who knows what they were arguing about, but she’s crying, they’re shouting, and we’re upstairs trying to be patient… couples fight, it happens.

But it goes on long enough, so they get a message from me asking them to please keep it down. It’s late, after hours, and they are disturbing others.

I get a message back — an hour later — apologizing profusely. We don’t hear a peep from them afterwards.

Friday

Silent. Nothing. No issues whatsoever.

I see the guy out front for a second and say hello. He’s really nice, respectful. No issues at all.

Saturday Morning, 6:30 AM

“AHHHHH!”

My wife and I are startled awake.

We are on the other side of the house from where the couple’s room is but we can clearly hear screaming bloody murder. Both male and female voices. Something terrible is happening.

I jump up, grab my bathrobe, race out of the room, unlock the door that separates our floor from the basement, and go around the corner to go down the stairs that lead into the basement…

Right when I get to the top of the stairs, the basement barn door at the bottom of the stairs flies open, and the kid, 100% NAKED, looking SCARED TO DEATH comes running up the stairs.

“Help, help. Please. Help me please.”

He starts breaking down. He is super distraught.

I have a million thoughts going through my head, the least of which is that the dude in front of me is totally naked and either completely unaware or so terrified that his public nudity is the least of his worries.

But I have no idea what is going on. What just happened down there? It is eerily silent in the basement.

Oh my goodness. Did he just kill his girlfriend?

My wife comes around the corner and sees our naked guest. She leaves.

I ask him, “What’s going on buddy?”

He’s breathing heavily.

“There’s… something… down there.”

“What?”

“I don’t know man…” He starts crying again. “There is something down there. It’s in my room. I was there in my room and then I saw it… It was eating my insides.”

Yup, he definitely killed his girlfriend. We figured this would happen eventually…

I put my hand on his shoulder, “Have you been doing any drugs recently?”

“Well, no, not recently,” he sheepishly replies. I kind of believe him. He doesn’t look crazy or anything. He makes eye contact and everything. He’s just totally naked and terrified (okay, I guess that is kind of crazy).

But me, Mr. Ignorant when it comes to drugs, immediately starts playing out scenarios in my head. Did he do drugs this morning? Who does drugs at 6:30 AM? Did he do them last night? Wouldn’t they have worn off by now? Was he super high or something and thought his girlfriend was a monster eating him alive. Wait, we heard her screaming and now we hear nothing.

Yup, she’s definitely dead.

I tell him, “Let’s go check it out, we’ll go together.”

We walk down the stairs, through the barn door and around the corner. Their bedroom is down a long hall at the very end, but it is visible from where we are standing. I motion for him to follow me.

He starts whimpering, “No, no, no, please. Don’t make me go there. It isn’t safe. There is something in there.”

Okay, this dude has lost it. My hypothesis is there is no demon in the room, he’s high as a kite (though he didn’t look it) and who knows what condition his lady friend is in.

I ask him, “Where’s your girl?”

He responds, wide-eyed, confused, “I don’t know. Not here.”

Yup, dead.

My wife comes down and gives him a towel to cover himself. I want to go check the bedroom but he won’t come with me, and I’m not leaving him alone with my wife, towel or not!

We all go back upstairs and one of us (I don’t remember who) suggests we call the cops. He readily agrees. I dial the police, he talks to them and asks for an officer to come by.

My wife goes outside to wait for the police while I wait inside with the guy. I look him over a bit. He has a little bruise on his head and a few scratches and red marks on his body but nothing major. I start asking him more questions to see what he remembers.

He can’t remember anything. He doesn’t know what he did last night. He doesn’t know where his girlfriend is. He doesn’t remember sleeping. Nothing.

We look outside the front door and his lady friend’s car is there. He says, “Wait a second, that’s her car.”

Moments later 4 police cars show up. They talk outside to my wife. Almost immediately, a jeep pulls up. He tells me that’s his girlfriend’s dad.

I see my wife walk around the side of the house and down to the basement entrance with the officers. They enter. About a minute later they come up the basement stairs and chat with the guy I’m still chaperoning.

Here it comes, what did they find? What happened to the girl?

Nothing. She’s fine.

We go downstairs, the cops find a little drug paraphernalia in their room that was left out (who knows what they stashed away), and basically we evict them (they were supposed to check out the next day anyway).

But the story continues…

Saturday Afternoon

I get a message on the AirBnb app from the couple: “Hey, did you find any money in the room. We had a bunch with us and now we can’t find it.”

We had already cleaned the room and there was nothing in there and I tell him that.

A little later, I’m cleaning the house, chuckling a bit about the morning’s experience, but also realizing it could have been much worse. I walk outside to take the trash out, open the dumpster, and see two bags in there.

My first thought, “Maybe Mr. High-as-a-Kite left money in the bag they threw out.”

I pull out the first bag. It’s actually really nice. I go through the bag, pocket by pocket, and there is nothing in there.

I pull out the next bag. It is a backpack totally full. I start going through it, the smallest pockets first.

Nothing.

I get to a medium size pocket.

I think to myself, I probably should be wearing gloves.

Eh, what the deck. I keep digging

I find a syringe.

Figures.

Then I get to the main pocket. It is completely full with papers. I look at the papers, much of it is mail. I look at the address. It is all mail to the same couple in a neighboring town/city about 15 minutes away.

I, admittedly, put on my Mr. Judgemental hat. I think, “Wow, I bet these jokers broke into cars or houses or something and ditched all the junk they didn’t want here.”

So, I decide to put my Facebook stalking skills to the test again. The name on the mail wasn’t that common. I search the guy’s name first. Nothing. Then I search the lady’s name. Bingo, found her.

She’s older, doesn’t look super active on Facebook. I send her a message. She doesn’t respond — or even see it — within one minute so I lose my patience.

I view her list of friends and find people with the same last name. There are two of them. They look like they could be children and they are the right age where I know they will check their phone every 30 seconds.

I message one, “Hey random question. Is your dad named [person on mail’s name]… and did he happen to have anything stolen recently?”

I get a response back within a minute, “Oh my gosh, yes. His car was broken into on Thursday night.”

Long story short, we exchange numbers, her dad comes by our house with the detective from his town/city and they go through our dumpster and it is all his stuff.

I’m ready to have fun with this so I say, “Detective. I have a great idea. They messaged me and said they left money here. I can respond, tell them we found it, and have them come back. You hide around the corner and BAM, we get em!”

(I played rugby in college — best college team in the country, national championship winner — and I’ve always wanted to tackle a fleeing criminal…)

But alas, the detective said, “Nah, I’m good. These guys are easy to find.”

He was probably right. Earlier in the day, when the four officers arrived during the morning’s chaos, the guy’s girlfriend said to one of the officers, “I don’t know you, are you new?”

Wow.

Moral of the story: Don’t do drugs folks.

Second moral of the story: Don’t AirBnb your properties unless you have pepper spray, or a gun, or something next to your bed and also know financially why you want to be like other property investors and deal with all that drama.

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(Apologies if you don’t like our series of posts that have a bit of levity. If you want pure real estate investing tips, feel free to check out our blog where we have multiple articles on how to maximize the returns on all your real estate investments.)

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