What was meant to be an enjoyable girl’s trip for a 50th high school reunion quickly turned into a nightmare.
In a new lawsuit filed in Michigan, a group of elderly women are alleging their Airbnb rental — a home in Alpena, Michigan called The Historic Castle House, an 1890s-style Victorian home that can sleep 10 guests and boasts a 4.81 stars rating — was infested with bats.
On the fourth night of their trip, on July 26, two of the women said they came face to face with a screeching bat flying around a bedroom. Just when they shut it out of the door and thought they were safe, more bats then began to flood the hallway.
The bats then attacked the women, according to the lawsuit. Some guests were bit, others had bats entangled in their hair. The women attempted to hide from the animals but it was no use, they said, as the bats terrorized them until the sun came up.
All of the women were given rabies vaccinations following the incident.
“This is every renter’s worst nightmare. What was supposed to be a fun vacation turned into a house of horror for my clients. No one expects to be attacked by a horde of bats,” said attorney Jon Marko, who is representing the women, in a press release. “This played out like a scene from a Halloween horror movie.”
One of the women on the trip, Patty, documented the experience in a review of the property.
“Bats emerged through the walls from the attic in every bedroom and in the hallway. The bats were flying throughout the upstairs and in the stairwells, so we could not get out of the house,” she wrote. “The host did not respond to our eleven calls during our terrifying night with the bats, beginning at 12:08 a.m. The co-host answered my call but could not offer any help.”
The host, who is just listed as “Thomas”, responded to Patty’s review on Airbnb and explained that the event was “incredibly random and unfortunate” but that when a bat control and removal expert came to inspect the house, they were only able to find one bat.
The host also said that the women were fully refunded for their stay and were also offered payment for new lodging and dinner.
Airbnb is being accused of “negligently allowing the bat-infested home to be advertised on the platform,” per the lawsuit.
Airbnb did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur‘s request for comment.