Bookstore Offered Sleepovers After Accidentally Locking a Tourist in for the Night

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getty images / getty images

While we've all fantasized about recreating the events of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler as kids, being locked anywhere unintentionally can be a little stress-inducing. So when tourist David Willis found himself locked in a bookstore in Trafalgar Square, London, he did what anyone of this decade would do—he tweeted for help. Willis was perusing the book section upstairs in the store Waterstones late on a Thursday night last year. When he arrived downstairs, he found the doors locked and the lights turned off. Calls to security and police could not save him, but luckily Twitter was his eventual savior when he tweeted at the bookstore, "Hi Waterstones, I've been locked inside of your Trafalgar Square bookstore for two hours now. Please let me out." After two hours of captivity, police arrived to release the imprisoned patron. 

This was not a pleasant experience for Willis, who later told ITV's Good Morning Britain, "I'm very tired, I did not sleep much last night but it feels good to be free." Still, the ordeal gave Waterstones an idea. The English bookstore partnered with Airbnb and created a competition for Londoners to spend a night in the store. Unlike Willis, fans of the store were more than thrilled to spend the night surrounded by books. Last October, 10 lucky contest winners got the chance to recreate Willis' after-hours experience. Judging by the tweets, it seems like the winners had a much more pleasant time than the originator. 

[h/t: Lost at E Minor]