Airbnb guests call out rental's 'scary' crawl spaces. It backfires

@tierrasaurusrex/TikTok sdx15/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘As if this isn’t normal for older homes’: Airbnb guests call out rental’s ‘scary’ crawl spaces. Viewers aren’t having it

'Little doors are normal in most old homes but that many?? With LOCKS ON THE OUTSIDE???'


Eric Webb


Posted on Jun 26, 2023   Updated on Jun 27, 2023, 12:25 pm CDT

If you saw the horror movie “Barbarian” and you’re still triggered by scary doors and hidden crawl spaces in Airbnb rentals, maybe skip this one.

TikTok creator Tierra (@tierrasaurusrex) recently posted a video about an unsettling experience with an Airbnb property that she and a traveling companion rented in Portland, Oregon.

The video has almost 100,000 likes and more than 660,000 views, with tens of thousands more on subsequent videos about the experience.

@tierrasaurusrex Quirks and Charm @C @airbnb #scaryairbnb ♬ original sound – Tierra

In the clip, Tierra walked viewers through her rental and pointed out a litany of odd details that made her feel unsafe. For example, the women weren’t allowed to enter the Airbnb through the front door but were told to go through a backdoor via the bedroom. The guests also didn’t receive the right address at first and claimed that they found a “hidden” key to the house, in a hole by the backdoor.

Then, things got even weirder. Tierra and her companion found a hole cut through a cabinet that peered into a bedroom and upstairs, the TikToker said many of the doors didn’t close properly. Some of the doors even had signs that suggested they used to have locks on the outside.

The Airbnb guests also found scary dark holes and crawl spaces inside closets that led to other rooms. “We’re not going in there,” the TikToker said. “We never will.”

In the basement, most of the lights didn’t work. Most troublingly, the women found another door with a lock on the outside, an open vent above the door frame, and a “man-sized tunnel.” 

Tierra claimed to have paid more than $3,500 for a week-and-a-half stay at the scary Airbnb horror house. She added that the person who rented out the house told her it was “a recently renovated old Portland home,” and that they wanted “to keep its charm and quirks.”

“You mean the murder room in the basement, ma’am?” Tierra’s friend interjects.

Viewers picked up on a lot of the scary details about the Airbnb and shared their thoughts in the comments.

One person wrote, “Giving me Barbarian vibes. All of the dark holes gave me anxiety so bad.”

“Little doors are normal in most old homes but that many?? With LOCKS ON THE OUTSIDE???” another viewer asked.

A third comment read, “I’m mostly concerned about the extra key outside and the room that has a peephole to the bedroom???”

But quite a few viewers didn’t think that anything at the Airbnb was that scary or out of place, especially for an older house in Portland.

“A lot of old (homes) have crawl spaces in the walls used for storage,” someone wrote.

“POV: you just discovered crawl spaces and access areas,” another added.

“Not a peep hole it’s for a wiring,” one comment read, regarding the hole in the cabinet.

“Honestly this seems like a normal old house haha I’m guessing most of the holes used to be used for things but aren’t any more,” another agreed.

“Tell me you never grew up in an old home without telling me you’ve never grown up in an old home,” one person said.

When reached for comment by email, Airbnb told the Daily Dot that while it was not able to locate information about the incident, a review of Tierra’s subsequent posts indicated that she received a refund and rebooking support. The company also mentioned that its free “AirCover” protection policy is intended for guests who experience issues with their bookings.

“If a guest ever feels unsafe during a stay, they have access to our in-app 24 Hour Safety Line, which connects them directly to our specialized Safety team for support,” Airbnb told the Daily Dot.

The TikToker also shared her own updates in subsequent videos that included how the women found the second key, and their interaction with Airbnb support about their scary experience. The creator also posted a @tierrasaurusrex Replying to @Erin🌞 ♬ original sound – Tierra “>response to viewers reassuring her that the crawl spaces were normal for older houses.

In the end, the TikToker and her traveling companion got a full refund and found a new rental

“We are still alive,” she said.

Tierra also posted a video reflecting on her viral moment. “It’s stupidly on brand that I would go viral on TikTok not for anything I actually enjoy. … I just landed myself in some unsettling situation, to say the least, and everybody watched me go through it,” she said.

Update June 27, 12:30pm CT: Tierra told the Daily Dot via Instagram direct message:

I honestly only posted the video hoping to place more pressure on AirB&B for my refund. But it seems people were really invested in our experience after all. As for the response from the public, comments have been as benign as to explain away some of the home’s quirks, to as extreme as to bring the police into the home and report the AirB&B. Just to recap we haven’t done that we simply got our refund and left. But what really surprised me were the people who thought there was nothing whatsoever to worry about and that we were silly little women with no idea what we were talking about. I’ve already responded to this publicly but I also want to say that if a woman feels unsafe, and there could be a real threat of danger, why are we always so quick to write them off? Anyways both AirB&B and the host agreed that the situation was unsafe and accepted our decision to leave the home. Because with an extra key which even the host couldn’t explain. Who knows what could have been lurking in any one of those spaces?

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*First Published: Jun 26, 2023, 2:06 pm CDT