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Airbnb sued over ‘horror movie’ vacation rental with bat infestation

A group of women has filed suit against Airbnb, claiming their Michigan vacation rental was infested with bats that attacked them.

The claimants rented “The Castle,” a Victorian-style house in Alpena for their 50th high school reunion in late July, according to the lawsuit, which was filed by Detroit-based Marko Law.

“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,” attorney Jon Marko said in the press release. “This played out like a scene from a Halloween horror movie.”

On July 26, 2023 — the fourth night of their stay — two of the women staying in the house’s large turret room were awakened by screeching and dark shapes crawling around the walls, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The pair ran out of the room, shut the door and tried to seal the door frame with blankets, but the bats broke free.

The women “ran to the stairwell but found it consumed with bats” before trying to hide under bed covers in another bedroom.

“More and more bats began entering the living quarters. The bats were coming down the old lathe walls and entering through the gaps in the baseboards. The night was littered with screams that could be heard from one room, then the next, then the next,” the statement said.

Some of the women ended up being bitten over the next several hours, which one of the women wrote about in the listing’s review section.

An exterminator called to the property then found a bat colony in the attic along with evidence they’d been present for years.

Airbnb “negligently allowed the bat infested home to be advertised on its platform,” the lawsuit states. The women are also suing the owners and maintenance workers who “had a responsibility to ensure that the home was safe when renting it.”

The women were advised to get vaccinated for rabies as a precaution.

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