Is Real Life MOTEL HELL More Horrifying Than Fiction?

Nigerian establishment shut down for serving “Illegal meat”?

Residents in the small town became suspicious about the hotel & eatery near the marketplace; while the food was excellent, strange, shifty characters constantly coming and going gave the establishment a secretive and sinister vibe. Then there were rumors about travelers checking in—never to be seen again. A local priest who ate at the restaurant was shocked to receive a bill equivalent to three-days’ pay for the average townsperson. When he asked why his meal was so expensive, he was told he’d been served the house “specialty”: Human flesh.

When police finally raided the restaurant, the found a house of horrors on par with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There were severed heads that were so fresh, they were still bleeding; the blood was being collected in a plastic bag. Along with the “illegal meat”, authorities also discovered a cache of automatic weapons, hand grenades, cell phones and stacks of cash. One can only imagine what the establishment’s sick proprietors intended to do with this alarming arsenal.

What you have just read is not an outline for a remake of Motel Hell—it’s real. The town is Anambra, in Nigeria, and authorities have arrested 10 people in connection with this and many other grisly crimes.

In 1980’s Motel Hell, directed by Kevin Connor, Farmer Vincent (Roy Calhoun) and his sister Ida (Nancy Parsons) run the Motel Hello, which also operates as a roadside meat stand. What folks don’t know is that the seemingly amiable duo actually kidnaps unsuspecting travelers, burying them neck-deep in a “garden” behind their barn, before “harvesting” them for their meat. Their motto: “It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent’s fritters!”

While gruesome, Motel Hell is a horror comedy and a parody of slasher films of the 1970’s. The story of the restaurant in Anambra, on the other hand, is infinitely more chilling because it’s true—or is it?

When I come across stories like the one above, my first instinct is to call “bullshit”. I heard about the establishment in Anambra in an article in Eater that that ran under the headline: Nigerian Restaurant Shut Down for Serving Human Flesh. While Eater is a reputable source for drink and restaurant reviews, it’s hardly a website where folks go for news. But what’s this? A link to a source from the BBC?

A link in the article takes readers to a BBC-affiliate story published on May 13, 2015 under the headline: Mgahawa wauza nyama ya binaadamu Nigeria. Anyone speak Swahili? This story runs in a foreign language edition of that doesn’t include an English translation.

So there you have it, folks. Unless we have a Blood Shed reader fluent in Swahili, it’s difficult to verify anything quoted or paraphrased in the Eater article. Still, that fact that it connects to a BBC affiliate certainly adds validity to the claims. Either way, the idea of a heavily armed clan of cannibals serving human meat as part of a special, secret menu is certainly the stuff of nightmares. I predict a movie sometime in the coming months when a filmmaker decides to pull source material from the news. And, of course, we’ll see that infamous tagline: Based on Real Events.

Cannibalistic Nigerian Warlord from DISTRICT 9

Cannibalistic Nigerian Warlord from DISTRICT 9

What’s this? As I’m plugging hyperlinks into this article I see an UPDATE on Eater:

Update 5/15; 11:24 p.m. EST: Though the BBC reported this story locally on Wednesday, 5/13, upon further review, we learned the story is over a year old and from a disputed source. We apologize for the error.

What should we make of this story now? Proof that food sites should stay away from news reporting? More reason to distrust the country that spawned the “Nigerian Prince” Internet scam?

Verified reports of cannibalism endure on a global level. Last year, Australian chef Marcus Volke murdered and cooked his girlfriend before committing suicide (Brisbane Times). In Brazil, also last year, a man and two women were arrested for murdering potential nanny candidates and cooking their flesh into empanadas (da fuck!). And of course, exploits of the likes of Jeffrey Dahmer and Ed Gein have been exhaustively documented.



Cannibalism is the ultimate taboo; as much as it disgusts us, there’s some dark attraction to stories of those who commit this offense. From Swaney Bean, to the Donner Party, to the Uruguayan airplane that crashed in the Andes, there can be no doubt that the human psyche is oddly fascinated by the concept of cannibalism.

I’ve even written a Top 10 List of Horror Movies about Cannibalism.

Personally, I’m torn. Until someone is able to translate the original Swahili article for me, I’ll always be curious; many “tall tales” are actually grown from seeds of truth. The mere possibility that the restaurant in Anambra exists (or existed) is enough to produce a palpable sense of dread, as my mind imagines a variety of grisly scenarios. In a very sick sense, I want to believe…

Hell, maybe I’ll make the damn movie!



What do you think about think about the restaurant in Anambra, or, even better—do you speak Swahili? Sound off in the Comments Section!

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3 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply



  • Connie Weller
    17 May 2015 at 3:11 am - Reply

    Totally disgusting! And go ahead & make the movie! I’d surely be at the premier!

    • Josh Millican
      17 May 2015 at 3:36 am - Reply

      Haha, thanks Connie. Who knows, I might!

  • Jarod
    18 May 2015 at 6:52 am - Reply

    Article translation.

    One restaurant in Nigeria in the state of Anambra locked authorities following the country’s leaders to realize that one of the restaurant’s food is sold human meat.
    Police were called to the restaurant when they saw two heads of mortals New to kuchuruza blood when they were seized ten men and one from the restaurant there, including the owner of the restaurant, were also arrested six women and men wane, after wishers to provide such information to amazing!
    Blood had zikivuja on heads of men, were tied into the pockets of Rambo.
    Police also have arrested rifle AK-47 and other weapons, a grenade and a set of several calls of all kinds when they seized them.
    Every time I was going to the market, and a major factor especially the hotel is located close to the market, I have witnessed the movement of strange people to and from the hotel there, people unclean and debris they body is the mysterious, so I surprised police discovered the illegal trade earlier this week , says a resident of the area.
    One pastor he was in shock after discovering that he had eaten the flesh of a man, he decided to go to the police to send her complaint.
    He told them that he was going to the restaurant of the hotel early in the morning, after getting breakfast, was told that the clot was mealeat its cost is naira 700 equivalent to pounds two half was amazed mno.sikufahamu had been sold beef mortal I except that it was very expensive.
    People in Nigeria reports of people eating meat have long mreefu is speculation, but this is the first time the restaurant decided to sell the meat of mere mortals.