Public Toilet Horror Stories

Heroin, Mexican gangsters, the usual stuff.

I'll bet you have your one public toilet horror story that you wheel out to prospective friends, or (if you lack subtlety and anything resembling charm) would-be apples of your eye, right? Prepare to feel that story cower in inferiority with this set of gross toilet tales. 

Illustrations by Sam Taylor. Follow him on Twitter @sptsam or visit his website at samtaylorillustrator.com.


Back at school, before I could drive, my daily routine after a long day of learning would include killing time in the shopping centre that's connected to Northampton bus station – a bus station that's been voted one of the worst buildings in the country. Its public toilets do nothing to help its argument against that status.

One day, a 13-year-old me walked into my favourite cubicle to drain the main vein (there is no way you'd use a urinal in there, trust me) and as soon as I started to flow, I heard a weird, gurgling sound that reminded me of the noise a dying animal might make.

While still pissing and trying to not breathe through my nose, something poked under the cubicle wall and snuggled up against my left foot. I jumped, obviously, sending my urine stream everywhere, presumably onto whatever had just appeared under the wall. I looked down to see an old man staring at my dick, convulsing and making noises that scared me to death. Of course, I assumed that he was getting himself off at the sight of my tender, young member, so I murmured an unconvincing "fuck off" in my pre-puberty baby-voice, kicked the man in the head and scurried out of there to the safety of the bus stop.

In retrospect, I honestly hope the guy was having a wank, because otherwise I just pissed all over an old man while he was desperately asking for help, then kicked him in the head and ran away. I guess I'll never know.

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I used to manage a nightclub, the kind of nightclub that stays open until 10AM on a Sunday morning, blasting a relentless barrage of drum 'n' bass and donked-out techno at pillheads who don't know the meaning of the word "morning".   

One morning, I was doing some glass collecting in the guys' toilets, when I heard a clearly blind-drunk girl slur something about not being able to open the door from inside one of the cubicles. As a bar manager, this is one of the moments you fear every time you walk through the club's doors. I instantly imagined opening the door to find an underage girl, slumped out in a puddle of her own vomit, blue-lipped and on the verge of death.

I looked under the door and she was sprawled out on the floor, alive, of legal age and thankfully not drowning in her own puke. The door really was stuck, so I had to kick it in, which made me feel a bit like John McClane bursting in on a room full of mercenaries, ready to fuck shit up.

The girl was lying on the floor with one shoe in her hand, an elegant, girly high-heel that probably cost more than a night out in Mayfair. Nestled in the stiletto was a giant turd, staring me right in the face, and as if I hadn't noticed, she looked up at me and quite eloquently said, "Someone's done a shit in my shoe."  

She stood up to reveal a waterfall of shit running down her leg and covering her flowery dress, before running off into the crisp Sunday morning street, never to be seen again. I was pretty annoyed that my toilets were all coated in poop, but at least I got to kick a door in.

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I used to skate this shitty, metal skatepark all the time in my tiny rural hometown, and it was the kind of place that attracted every breed of weirdo. Cranky old homeless dudes, young people who were soon to be cranky old homeless dudes, chavvy boys on those mini-motorbikes, grungers, people with face tattoos, etc, etc. We all had three things in common: we were all killing time, all drinking cheap booze and all pissing in the public toilets.

There were some particularly grim loos that hid out in the corner of the park that nobody ever used. I hate public bogs as it is, not that I'm a toilet snob or anything, but I'd just much rather piss in a bush – there's something affirming about connecting with nature while you urinate. One day, disaster struck. I needed more than just a wee. Armed with a load of McDonald's napkins and some make-up wipes, I marched towards the gents. Instantly, all of my worst fears were confirmed. In my chosen Porta Potty, there was a rake-thin guy shooting up. With real heroin. I mean, I know it happens, but I'd never seen it before and at that age was naive enough to think it didn't happen in my little hometown. I'd rather walk two miles and beg to use a Greggs staff toilet than drop a load while my new mate shoves a syringe of brown rat poison into his arm. 

About 45 minutes later, the dude stumbled out and walked across the park with his trousers round his ankles. He looked pretty happy, so I couldn't hold a grudge too long. 

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I was 15 and visiting the Niagara Falls with my mum, cousin and little sister. It was a beautiful September afternoon and everything was going swell, until I had to use the visitor toilet facilities.

I walked into the bathroom and was met by a beautiful Indian woman dressed in radiant, full-colour robes. She was glowing. I walked into my cubicle and saw her enter hers, holding her child. I heard her place her child on the toilet seat, then watched through the two-foot spacer between the floor and the stall as she crouched down and pooped all over the fucking floor. Everything about her seemed 100 percent sane and she knew full-well that I was sat in the cubicle right next to her, so I was a tad shocked. 

Actually, you know that bit in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, when Jim Carrey finds out that Lois Einhorn is a man, then starts puking and violently cleaning himself? That’s how I felt.

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We were on a lads-on-tour holiday in New York a couple of years ago, and because we never normally do that sort of thing, we were making the most of it. That meant doing as much tourist-y stuff as possible during the day, and getting fucked up in sleazy bars every night. About a week in, we were playing pool in a proper, Americana-drenced place in Soho – they were playing The Boss and we were drinking light beers (lol, America) – and made up about 70 percent of the 15 people in there.

As we were leaving, my mate Charlie needed to drain some of that light beer, so headed to the bathroom. As he entered, he was met by the glares of four thugged-out Mexican guys, corn-rowed and covered in tattoos, doing a Scarface amount of cocaine off the counter. He kept his head down, did his business, zipped up and started to leave. As he approached the exit, he heard a weird, slurping noise to his right, so looked over to find one of the Mexican dudes sat on a toilet being sucked off by one of the other Mexican dudes. Looking Charlie square in the eye, the guy on the receiving end said, "My friend just died, I'm grieving," to which Charlie replied, "Do you, man," and walked out unscathed.

Illustrations by Sam Taylor. Follow him on Twitter @sptsam or visit his website at samtaylorillustrator.com.

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