There’s no place like home, they say. They’re right, and Reddit has all the proof you need. We turned to the community to find the most horrific things people have encountered during a visit to another person’s home, and what we found has pretty much turned us into hermits.

Whether you’re spending the holidays with an in-law, crashing on a friend’s couch, or trying out a night at your new sweetheart’s place, things can hit the basement in a hurry. But before you let these stories get you too smug about your own living space, just remember: Everyone’s home is someone else’s potential nightmare. Yes, there’s no place like home—but homes are relative. These stories might be eerily familiar for guest and host alike.  

The quotes below have been lightly edited for grammar and readability, just so you know.

You might not be the only guest…and the other guests might be bugs.

“Oh yeah, did we mention we’ve got bedbugs? You should be okay, though.”

“My GF’s mom [said] this to us last year [at] Christmas,” wrote aiu_killer_tofu. “We had plans for three days worth of celebrations with various family and friends. We knew going in that they had bed bugs, as in past tense, but they didn’t bother to mention that it was still an issue until we had arrived. I was livid.”

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The Reddit user did everything possible to keep the uninvited guests from following them home. As far as we can tell, the scorched-earth policy has worked…for now.

“It wasn’t as bad as it could have been because our sleeping arrangements were elsewhere due to my cat allergy, but I was still worried about bringing them home with us, or even transferring them to the hotel,” aiu_killer_tofu continued. “After they told us, I bought trash bags. Everything we wore, all our gifts, everything went into a trash bag to bring it home.”

“Once we got [home], we put what we could in a high heat cycle in the dryer and I inspected everything else on our tile bathroom floor with a flashlight. I was nervous for days afterward, thinking I’d missed one and we’d have issues at our place, too.”

And you thought your in-laws were bad. Things really could have been worse, though.

See, instead of bedbugs, the house could have been infested with stinging scorpions.

“I made the horrendous mistake of spending the night at my ex’s parents’ house,” wrote Lee_of_the_Stone. “I woke up to the feeling of something crawling on me. I soon realized there were three somethings. I flipped on the light and discovered…scorpions. There are no scorpions native to our area.”

“I freak out, swat them off and then run to the bathroom to strip and check for more, and when I turn on the light, several scorpions on the wall scattered like roaches. I wake up the ex because, seriously, wtf?”

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“Apparently when he was younger, he thought ant farms were boring and decided to order scorpions on the internet and make a scorpion farm instead. The survivors of his arachnid Mad Max setup escaped into the house where a few turned into an insane amount. The very wealthy parents chose to live with the scorpions rather than call an exterminator.”

“I never went back.”

Odds are, though, the bugs are gonna be roaches.

There’s more to worry about in the homes of strangers than bed bugs and scorpions. Of all the pests that love our homes as much as we do, roaches reign supreme. It’s no surprise, then, that more than one Reddit user has a horror story about face-to-face encounters with the little monsters during a visit.  

“I once went to a party at someone’s house in Florida at night,” wrote midgetT-rex.

Not to interrupt, but we feel like the operative word here is “Florida.” Anyway, on with the story.

“We were all hanging out in the backyard, so the house looked okay from the outside,” the Reddit user continued. “I asked the host if I could use his bathroom, and I noticed the wallpaper looked kinda fuzzy…”

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“It wasn’t until he flicked the light switch on that the fuzzy wallpaper [revealed itself as] a huge roach infestation. [The roaches] scattered everywhere, and even more ran away from us when he put the toilet seat down for me and left.”

“I was too scared to move, let alone sit and pee, so I just speed-walked right out of the whole house. [I] held my pee in till I got home. I have no idea how they were okay living in that house with a trillion roach roomies.”

Unfortunately, this story is far from unique. Another Reddit user can identify.

“That reminds me of [one] time [when I was] growing up, wrote thetruth4423. “[I] spent the night at my cousin’s house. They gave us no blankets or beds, so we slept on the floor. Halfway through the night, I woke up to hundreds of tiny roaches crawling across the floor where we slept.”

At least those roaches were tiny. We’re willing to bet this story didn’t take place in Florida.

How well do you really know the person you’re going to visit?

At some point in your life, new friends or, worse, friends-of-friends, are going to invite you over. Think carefully before you respond. The following few stories illustrate why accepting every invitation can be a very bad idea.  

“I got invited to my sister in law’s friend’s house for a party because she got a new job,” wrote Sundaydinobot1. “I was promised a facial.”

“Turns out it was a Mary Kay party. The girl’s job was to be a Mary Kay consultant. I had to give myself the facial, and I spent more money than I wanted because I can never say no to people. She contacted me several times for a follow-up, but I was always ‘busy.’”

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That’s a sound response. Hopefully the protagonist in this next story made a similar decision. Warning: This one is legitimately alarming, but it all turned out alright…for the storyteller, at least.

“I was the new kid in the sixth grade and quickly made friends with this one girl,” wrote ProNeerDoWell. “She was really nice to me, but also kind of really strange …like, she’d growl at people and she’d draw wolves on every single surface from the classroom to her bedroom.”

“Went to her house once—never went back. When we entered the home it smelled heavily of dog urine…but there wasn’t a dog. When I asked if she had a dog, her response ‘no, not since the accident,’ then there was an uncomfortable silence, and she just started laughing uncontrollably. RED FLAG.”

“When my mother [came] to pick me up and I was about to exit the house, the girl’s mom literally ran after me and grabbed me and brought me back upstairs. She shook my shoulders screaming [that] I couldn’t leave right now…My mom calls the house and is also freaking out, the girls mom wouldn’t let her talk to me and she also just watched me get dragged back by this woman. So she calls the police.”

Here’s where the scene turned into “like a mini hostage kind of situation,” the Reddit user wrote. With police surrounding the house, and a strange man lurking at the doorway, the friend’s mom gave the Reddit user a suspicious package to hand off to the stranger on her way out the door.

“I didn’t know what else to do, so I took the bag and started to leave the house,” ProNeerDoWell wrote. “When I made it to the exit I straight up yeeted the bag and ran to my mother. I have no clue where the guy was. I think at that point he was already apprehended by the police.”

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[The] whole time this was happening, the girl who I was there to hang out with was sitting on the table in her kitchen, eating cereal like a dog, not at all phased by the series of events happening in front her.”

Needless to say, that was the end of the friendship.

Not everyone shares the same standards of cleanliness. Let’s just leave it at that.

“I had an almost-rich friend,” wrote junket89. “‘Almost’ meaning that his parents were well-to-do (they just up and gave him a house) and his grandma was in the oil business (and would leave six-figure dividend checks uncashed on her tables, because who cares).”

“So [the almost-rich friend] moves into his detached garage, halfway turns it into an apartment, and rents out the house to another friend. I didn’t go over there often, but I knew that he hadn’t sprung for improvements to the apartment—like a toilet or running water. Understandable. I guessed he would just go in the house to use the bathroom.”

“I visited one day. His ‘apartment’ was trashed. Used pizza boxes were everywhere, dirty dishes, dirty clothes, etc. All of that I could understand; this was his house, his living space. Who was I to judge?”

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“I was about to comment on him storing Gatorade all along the shelf near his computer, and how keeping it cold would be better…until I realized that these [Gatorade bottles] were already used. The bottles were full of what I was sure wasn’t Gatorade.”

“But he was almost rich, so he was better than me, according to him.”

We don’t know about you, but we’ll never drink Gatorade again. Sorry. Anyway, the tale of the slovenly friend doesn’t end with the abuse of drink receptacles. There are lots of ways to be filthy, as our next few storytellers illustrate.

“[At a friend’s house, I noticed a] pile of dishes in the sink with spiderwebs on it,” wrote whornacia. “Upon being asked what the deal was, [the friend] told me that a couple of years ago, her mom decided she wasn’t doing the dishes anymore, [the parents] got divorced, and the rest of the family swapped to paper plates.”

“No one will do them out of spite, so they’ve been there for more than two or three years by the time I saw it. It’s been five years since, and I doubt they’ve been touched.”

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That’s gross, but it makes a certain kind of vengeful sense. One Reddit user can’t say the same about this experience, which took place during an early visit to a friend’s house.  

“[There was] filth just everywhere,” wrote ImmaMCUGirl. “And just weird stuff—like, in the garage, there was a dirty spatula on the seat of the brand new Harley. I saw one of the kids open a door on the coffee table and I saw a bowl full of what I’m guessing was either really old milk from cereal or yellowed cottage cheese.”

Steel your stomach. The story continues.

“Right inside the front door was a huge pile of shoes,” the Reddit user wrote. “Like a pile of shoes. Five people lived in that house, and I think each person had 10 pairs of shoes in that pile. I’m pretty sure everyone had some sort of foot fungus, because the whole pile smelled like garbage and Fritos.”

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“We keep getting offers to stay with them when we’re in town…but no…hard pass.”

If it’s not the home that ruins a visit, it’s the people.

People are weirdos. What can we say? This next batch of stories features folks who have lived to regret a childhood friendship, or at least the friend’s family. We’ll start with a spooky tale of the undead. Sort of. Not really.   

“In middle school, I knew a girl [who] thought she was a vampire,” wrote kidcool97. “I knew she wasn’t actually a vampire, obviously, but I was into vampire stuff at the time and befriended her.”

“I got offered to stay the night, and it was normal sleepover stuff until bedtime.”

“She gave me a whole speech about how if I wake up and she not there that means she’s out ‘hunting.’”

“Apparently she only falls asleep if she watches The Muppet Movie. About 15 minutes in, she’s out cold, and I’m left in the dark of her living room watching a stupid movie.”

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For the record The Muppet Movie (1979) is not stupid, but we’ll lay that aside for now. The Reddit user’s story continues.  

“The main menu pops up with its stupid music [Not stupid. – Ed.] and I can’t figure out how to turn off the TV without waking [the friend]. So I sat all night listening to the menu music.”

The story doesn’t end there, folks. Nope, there’s a chilling epilogue, and it goes a little something like this:

“Stupidly, I hung out with her at my house a few weeks after, and she bit me. I noped out of that friendship.”

And even when the friend you’re actually visiting is an okay sort, there’s always the friend’s family to contend with. Vindictive parents and obnoxious siblings are the norm, if these Reddit users make up a representative sample.

“I went to a friend’s house for a sleepover in fifth grade,” wrote elpajaroquemamais. “I wasn’t a hard-to-please kid, so I have fun doing just about anything. He had an old Atari and some Sim City-like computer games.”

“We had dinner (me, him, his dad, his mom, and his little brother, who we’ll call John). His mom told John to do something, and my friend echoed, “Yeah, John,” in a sarcastic tone. I repeated the same thing.”

Here’s where the story goes off the rails. You might want to skip the next paragraph if you have traumatic memories involving dairy products.

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“Dad threw his milk on me over the table and told me not to talk back to his wife. I still spent the night, and everything seemed normal the next day when he went to take me home. I told my Dad about it, and he almost drove over there, but didn’t, and just told me I wasn’t ever going back over there again. His mom ran into me a year or two later and asked why I hadn’t ever come back over, and I told her the truth.”

“I just vaguely remember the conversation, and I was 12 or so,” they continued, “but I seem to remember a sense of understanding and disappointment at the same time.”

Finally, we’ll leave you with the tale of an unkind mom. Remember this if you’re ever invited to a family’s house.

“I was staying at a friend’s apartment for about a week,” wrote EfficientReflection8. “Her mom had guests coming over, and she politely asked me to leave, and told me she would call when she was done.”

No big deal, right? Just wait.

“[The mom] had me bake a cake [and] clean up afterwards. [Then,] when I went down to the lobby to hang out while her guests were there, she said ‘No. They can’t see you. Please leave.’”

“I wandered around the city from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. She never called. I just had enough and went back myself. The guests apparently left around 2 p.m. She did this twice.”

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“She also threw a huge fit if I wanted to leave the house on any other day, and they were so stingy with their food and made me feel like such a burden that I started buying food and groceries for myself. I would come back to eat leftovers for lunch only to find that the mother had fed it all to her youngest son.”

So there it is, folks: Draw the shades, lock the doors, and hunker down. Only your own home is safe.