By Chris Helvajian

During my college-going years, I had many friends at other colleges who were tour guides and I was a veteran tour guide myself. From the hundreds of tours we led, I began curating the best Tour Guide Horror Stories. I revisit these stories in this blog and submit them both for your amusement, and as cautionary tales. Real names and locations have been changed, but the lessons learned and laughs remain.

I have two Tour Guide Horror Stories to share with you today. Two friends who were tour guides at another institution shared these with me.

Under Construction
“My freshman year as a tour guide was tough. Campus was under construction and heavy equipment was scattered around our tour ‘path’. Like most tour guides I walked backwards while talking about campus. Normally, an attentive tour group would warn me of anything in my path. That day, my group was about 20 middle schoolers… I knocked myself clean out when I tripped over a concrete barrier and hit my head on the construction equipment next to it. Now I walk forwards no matter what.”

Lesson: Never trust your own physical safety to a group of middle schoolers.

Movie Night
“As a junior I lived on campus in our apartment-style halls. These rooms always showed really well with families because they were a bit bigger than normal freshman rooms and they had some nicer amenities. My roommates knew I was going to leave on a tour and asked when I’d be back in the room with the group. I thought this was strange because normally they didn’t care.

I left, started my tour and made my way to the room. I saw my roommates just outside the building talking and saw them glance my way and then look away quickly. Again, I thought it was a little strange but shrugged it off.

As I walked into my dorm with a full 30-person tour, I made my way to the far end of the room and only when I turned around did I notice that my roommates had put on the most obscene adult film I’d ever witnessed. It was muted and the TV faced the away from the front door so I didn’t even see it until half the tour had filed in and I was clear on the other side of the room.

I leapt, managed to fall and knock a glass of water over on myself, hopped up, and turned off the TV. I stammered out the remainder of my room spiel and the rest of the tour while my face was beet red. The moms on the tour were embarrassed for me, the dads laughed and the students must have thought I was a creep.”

Lesson: Trust your gut. If your roommates seem like they’re up to something, they’re probably up to something.