A group of women spent hours hiding under bedsheets after a hidden bat infestation suddenly awakened, turning their Airbnb into a biting, screeching “house of horror,” according to their attorney.
A lawsuit filed Monday, Oct. 30 in Alpena County, Michigan, claims Airbnb and others are responsible for the traumatic night the women suffered through.
The group of seven friends gathered at the Michigan rental for a vacation celebrating their 50th high school reunion, according to a news release from Marko Law, the firm representing the women.
Their stay at “Castle House,” a Victorian style home in Alpena, had been going fine for several days, until the night of July 26 when two of the women noticed something flitting around their room in the dark, the release said.
They ran out into the hall and slammed the door behind them, but another figure came flapping and screeching down the hallway, followed by another, and another, according to the attorney’s office.
The women decided to leave the house but when they reached the stairwell, they saw it was “consumed with bats,” the release said.
“They scrambled for any bed that was close by and blocked doors with window sashes, towels, and pillows,” the attorney’s office said. “They cowered underneath their covers” as more bats continued pouring out, down from the walls and through openings in the baseboards.
“The night was littered with screams that could be heard from one room, then the next, then the next,” the attorney’s office said. “The women felt trapped. Some were bit and others were struck by flying bats.”
It wasn’t until the sun came up that the bats finally left the living areas of the house, disappearing back to wherever they had come from, the release said.
According to the lawsuit, an exterminator was called to the home and discovered the home was infested with bats — a roost in the attic, the floor covered in guano piled several inches high.
Among the list of damages, including pain and suffering, and mental and emotional anguish, the women had to undergo rabies treatment, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit names Airbnb and two individuals — the owner of the property and the person who rented it out on Airbnb — as defendants.
McClatchy News reached out to Airbnb for comment, but the company said it is “not able to comment on active litigation.”
McClatchy was unable to contact the two individuals listed in the suit, and no attorney information was currently listed for them.
It was negligence on the part of the defendants — either being unaware of the bat problem or choosing not to address it — that led to the group’s traumatic night, the lawsuit said.
“This is every renter’s worst nightmare. What was supposed to be a fun vacation turned into a house of horror for my clients,” attorney Jon Marko said in the release. “No one expects to be attacked by a horde of bats. This played out like a scene from a Halloween horror movie”
Alpena is roughly 180 miles north of Detroit.