Sure, art is a way of expression. A medium to make reality approachable and more appealing to those who understand what the artist want to say. However, over the last years, art has entered everybody’s home creating an impact to the masses. How? Through television, of course!
“American Horror Story” is a TV show that has gained all the attention a program wants, and horror lovers are not the only fans who made it popular. The true crime stories behind the five seasons’ fiction make the show more interesting and, since you enjoyed our post about the real monsters behind AHS’ characters, we believe it is time we created another story about a new star of the show’s new season: The Hotel itself.
So, long story short, the American Horror Story Hotel is based on the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles where a number of killers used to live in, while many murders and suicides have taken place. The accommodation is also said to be haunted and there are many who believe that each hotel room is cursed in its own strange, mysterious way. As you may imagine, the place is currently full of American Horror Story fans who want to live the experience of checking in a hotel with a bad reputation. However, Cecil Hotel has changed its name to “Stay on Main” and the owners now market it as “one of the city’s hippest boutique hotels and hostels.”
But what has happened there? Well, sit back because this building’s story dates back to the 60s, forty years after its evil walls started building up.
A Suicide Hotspot
Back in the late 50s, Cecil was one of the most popular places people who wanted to commit suicide visited. They checked in one of the 600 rooms, they always preferred spending their nights in a room several stories above ground, and after a night to a week of staying in it, they usually jumped out of the window, killing themselves.
It is not clear how many suicides have taken place in the Cecil Hotel, but one of the most infamous is the case of Pauline Otton, the woman who, in 1962, threw herself to her death from a ninth-floor window after a fight she had with her husband. Otton landed on a pedestrian, George Giannini, and they both ended up dead.
It is said that Cecil was one of the places where the mob, drug addicts and gangs enjoyed spending time at. As a result, a number of mysterious and unsolved murders were committed and, practically, in all these years, no one has ever been found to throw some light on the cases. An infamous Cecil story is the murder of the “Pigeon Goldie.”
The “Pigeon Goldie” was a famed in the city of Los Angeles and she was known as the feeder of the birds in Pershing Square. On June 4, 1964, “Pigeon Goldie” was found dead in her room with her famous Dodgers cap she always wore and a sack of birdseed. The person who raped, stabbed and strangled her was never found.
How Did Elisa Lam Die?
However, the case that inspired Ryan Murphy to create the Hotel Cortez’s story for the fifth season of “American Horror Story” was the one that, in 2013, drew all the attention to the Cecil Hotel: The case of Elisa Lam.
Canadian tourist Elisa Lam was found dead in the Cecil Hotel’s water tank following the guests’ complaints about a weird smell emanating from the black water coming out of the taps. Elisa’s decomposed body was floating inside the water that residents had been using to drink, shower and brush their teeth for 19 days.
On January 26, 2013, the 21-year-old student checked into the Cecil and after 4 days she went missing leaving no trace behind her but a security elevator footage. As you can tell watching it is, she must have been really confused.
Elisa Lam pressed all the buttons, she talked to people that didn’t look like they even existed, she kept acting like she was hiding from someone and, after she waved to someone, she vanished. Two weeks later, her body was discovered in the tank which is located at the secured and alarmed Cecil rooftop.
Nobody knows what happened.
A Killers Hub
Some people say that a place is intrinsically connected with its regular visitors’ energy. If this is true, Cecil Hotel is definitely a dark place since it was one of the most famous places where criminals and killers used to hang out. If this is true, Cecil Hotel may have inherited its darkness from its guests.
Richard Ramirez (also known as “The Night Stalker”) was one of the most regular guests. As an American serial killer, rapist and staunch supporter of Satanism, the Night Stalker practically lived in the Cecil Hotel’s top floor renting a $14-a-night room, in which he allegedly sacrificed some of his victims in the name of his Master. He was convicted of more than 12 murders.
In 1989, Richard Ramirez was sentenced to death. His reaction: “Big deal! Death always went with the territory. See you in Disneyland!”
The case of The Night Stalker revived two years later, when Jack Unterweger, a Ramirez copycat, was released from a prison in Austria as an example of rehabilitation. Days after his release, an Austrian magazine hired him as a crime writer in Los Angeles and he chose to check into the Cecil Hotel where he stayed for five weeks. Unterweger beat, sexually assaulted and then strangled three women with their own bra straps. All in his hotel room.
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Cecil Hotel and enjoy your stay! You are kindly requested to survive.