Claire Scheulin, who rented the Airbnb unit, posted an exploration of her findings on her TikTok channel.
She and a friend delved into the abandoned retail space, which she called "a little creepy." Her videos have been viewed more than 7 million times.
In the footage, Ms Scheulin captures an empty promenade area that appeared to be long abandoned. However, one video showed that at least one mall amenity – a cafe in the centre of the facility – appeared to still draw guests.
She said she would not share a link to the Airbnb where she was staying until after she and her friend had left.
Users figured out that the mall was likely in Florida, and that the building apparently had a number of apartments built above it that were still active.
They suggested the mall was the since closed Oceanwalk Mall in Hollywood Beach, Florida.
The Airbnb listing for the apartments built above it do not mention that there is access to the mall in the basement, but the account does show a photo of the entrance.
Another user who stayed at the condos confirmed that he had also found the mall, and called it "run down" and "sketchy."
Many social media commenters said the story reminded them of an internet urban legend called "The Backrooms," about an office worker who is unintentionally transported to an empty, inescapable maze of offices that exist just beyond our reality.
The abandoned mall isn't the first time a TikTok user has discovered something unusual while staying at an Airbnb.
Another user claimed he found a secret room behind an airvent in an Airbnb where he was staying.
In a video posted to TikTok the user showed that hidden behind an airvent was a dark, hidden room. He said he felt like he'd been watched, though he could provide no evidence to prove his suspicions.
He did not reveal specifically where the Airbnb was located, but he used a hashtag for Richmond, Virginia in his posts.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies