This lodging should be called Scare-bnb.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has opened up about the weirdest complaint a user has ever made, and it involves a debatably friendly ghost named Stanley.
“One day a customer calls us and says they want a full refund,” Chesky said last week at New York Times DealBook conference. “We say, ‘Why do you want a full refund?’ They said, ‘Because the house is haunted and there’s a ghost in the house.’”
Chesky’s team needed to verify the claim and rang the host, assuming they would deny that their property was haunted and, lacking any supernatural photographic evidence, it would be case-closed.
“Well, unfortunately, the host confirms the ghost, says that it’s a friendly ghost named Stanley, and that the ghost Stanley is in the listing description,” Chesky says. “We read the listing — Stanley is mentioned.”
When Airbnb pointed this out to the spooked guest, they clarified that their issue was not with Stanley’s presence, but that he was not friendly.
"‘Yes, we knew about Stanley, that’s why we booked it,’” Chesky says the guest retorted. "'But Stanley has been harassing us all night.’”
Chesky was at a loss.
“How do you adjudicate that?” he asked. “There is no playbook for this stuff.”
Stanley, the ghost of questionable amicability, tops Chesky’s list of strange Air-boo-nb issues, but he says the company gets millions of customer calls daily, and many are bizarre.
Once, Chesky booked a woman’s home that had a parrot in the listing. “I thought that was really cool until I got to the listing and I realized it was a studio apartment, that she would be in the space with me, with the parrot, and that she slept on the couch, I slept in the bed, and the parrot joined me in the bed,” he says.
While it hadn’t been what he was looking for, he accepted his fate.
“It wasn’t really wanted, but, you know, I didn’t fight it,” he says.
Here are some other haunted Airbnb listings where ghosts are ready for your judgment.
- Of The Haunted House in Ontario, Canada, Airbnb writes, “Guests swear they have seen the apparition of a man in a suit standing in front of a mirror and a figure of an angry woman wearing a dark blouse and skirt.” The 1885 Victorian home goes for $94/night.
- The Cisco Post Office closed in the 1990s but has been renovated into a tiny guest house without running water. It offers an “authentic ghost town experience” and boasts a fire pit, A/C, wi-fi and scenic views for $60/night. The bitty Pace Bros. Shack also still stands in the ghost town and can be yours for $65/night.
- In Oberlin, Ohio, guests at the $145/night Inspiration House have commented that they can hear someone slowly pacing the upper level in heavy work boots and scratching on the hardwood. The host herself is a psychic and occult researcher.
- A Confederate soldier is suspected of haunting the Gettysburg Historic Lookout House in Aspers, Pa. Guests have reported seeing a man in a uniform, arms crossed, standing in a corner — but add that he and the other spirits that haunt the house are friendly. A private room in the home goes for $128/night.
- In northern Germany’s Rensow Manor Retreat, the home’s foundation is 1,200 years old and guests believe the ghosts of Slavic gods continue to haunt the space, which costs $110/night.
- Upstate New York’s Enslin Mansion ($99/night) is haunted from its basement to its attic, according to its host. The lively spirits are tricksters — be sure to keep your keys close, as they reportedly love to hide them.
- In the early 1900s, a woman named Rosalia Fihn died of typhoid fever at Manor Master Chamber in Saint Paul, Minn. Her spirit reportedly never left the grounds. ($76/night).
- Wake Forest, N.C.’s, Stroud House is rented by its original owner’s great-grandson. Among other haunted happenings, a music box reportedly turns itself on and plays nursery songs, and dime-sized orbs sometimes float in the dining room. Guests continue to shell out $60 nightly for the space, despite the spook factor.