The Cecil Hotel Jumping into day 2 of our 7 days of “Ghost Stories” I’ve decided to look into a case that has stayed with me since the day I first heard about it, and after the popular Netflix documentary series “The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel” I thought now would be a fantastic time to give my thoughts and opinion of the hotel and if the stories of dark presence drawing people into the hotel could be true! We star our story by looking at the infamous history of the hotel, The Cecil was built in 1924 the hotel flourished as a fashionable destination throughout the 1940s the decades beyond saw the hotel decline, as the nearby area known as Skid Row became increasingly populated with transients. As many as 10,000 homeless people lived within a four-mile radius. By the 1950s, the hotel had gained a reputation as a residence for “Shady characters” ranging from murders, raspiest, all the way to common thief’s freshly out of jail, wishing to remain under the authorities radar. In 2007, a portion of the hotel was refurbished after new owners took over. And then In 2011, part the Cecil Hotel was rebranded as “Stay on Main”,with separate reception areas during the day, but with shared facilities. Everything sounds normal and like a budget hotel in the heart of LA. But it’s what happened within the halls and in the rooms of the Cecil that have a much, much darker story that have peaked the interest of the public and paranormal fanatics. Let’s take a look at the dark side of LA and the criminal activity that occurred. The first documented suicide at the Cecil occurred on the evening of January 22, 1927, when Percy Ormond Cook, 52, shot himself in the head while inside his hotel room after failing to reconcile with his wife and child. The LA Times reported that he was rushed to The Receiving Hospital with a slim chance of survival; death records reveal that he died that same evening.The next reported death occurred in 1931, when a guest, W. K. Norton, died in his room after taking poison capsules. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, more suicides at the Cecil occurred. In 2008, two long-time residents referred to the Cecil as “The Suicide”, and it became a popular nickname in social media years later. In addition to suicides, the Cecil’s history includes other kinds of violence and disturbing happenings. It also became a notorious rendezvous spot for adulterous couples, drug activity, and a common ground for sex workers. In 1947, Elizabeth Short, dubbed by the media as the “Black Delilah” was rumored to have been spotted drinking at the Cecil’s bar in the days before her notorious, and to date unsolved murders. Perhaps most infamously, in the 1980s the hotel may have been the residence of serial killer Richard Ramirez nicknamed the “Night Stalker”. Ramirez had been a regular presence on the skid row area of Los Angeles, and according to a hotel clerk who claims to have spoken to him, Ramirez is rumored to have stayed at the Cecil for a few weeks. Ramirez may have engaged in part of his killing spree while staying there. Another serial killer, Austrian Jack Unterweger stayed at the Cecil in 1991, possibly because he sought to copy Ramirez’s crimes. While there, he strangled and killed at least three sex workers, for which he was convicted in Austria. He hanged himself shortly after his conviction.
Pretty spooky stuff, right? Numerous cases were reported to have happened at the Cecil hotel and the horrors that occurred their showed no sign of slowing down, even though the hotel had a bad reputation. The Cecil didn’t receive world wide recollection until the most famous case occurred in 2013 known as the “Elisa Lam case” so let’s take a look at one of the world renowned conspiracy cases ever documented!
The Cecil hotel became the focus of renewed attention when surveillance footage of a young Canadian student, Elisa Lam behaving erratically in the hotel’s elevator, went viral. The video depicts Lam repeatedly pressing the elevator’s buttons, walking in and out of the elevator, and possibly attempting to hide from someone. It was recorded shortly before her disappearance; her naked body was subsequently discovered in a water supply tank on the hotel roof, following complaints from residents of odd-tasting water and low pressure. How she got into the cistern remains a mystery. The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled her death accidental due to drowning, with bipolar disorder being a “significant” factor. Original video of Elisa’s strange behaviour can be found online https://youtu.be/_rfLSVIA0L0 Whilst the case has been officially closed many people too this day preach the conspiracy of murder and some even believe a paranormal aspect played a part in her death, which leads us to the paranormal activity that occurred within the hotel! In Stephen kings “The Shinning” the Overlook Hotel is an expansive structure with a dark past, located in the remote Rocky Mountains. Despite its opulent beginnings, the hotel becomes a place where brutal murders occur, madness sets in, ghosts lurk, and evil itself is a permanent occupant. Relocate King’s Overlook to Downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row, and you have its closest real-world equivalent: the Cecil Hotel. The hotel’s checkered history, and lore involving curses and ghosts, has made it a dark tourism landmark situated at the crossroads of true crime and paranormal fascination. Many reports have been filled from guests and employees of the hotel such as scratches, disembodied voices, light anomalies, a faucet seemingly turned on by an invisible force.
Whilst the Cecil hotel seems to be a lure for dark energy, numerous people have stated they believe satanic worship had taken place within the hotel, for example Ramirez used to leave a pentagram at the scene of his crimes, and he also decorated his hotel room with similar imagery. If you wish to form your own opinion on the infamous hotel you can watch the documentary on Netflix, https://youtu.be/UkoboFsY9_g (Trailer)
whilst any paranormal team would love to investigate the hotel, “Ghost adventures” were lucky enough to be granted access, the following is a quote from Zak Bagan’s referring to the investigation. “It doesn’t get bigger and more sinister than this,” said Zak Bagans, lead paranormal investigator. “We’ve been trying to get inside these rooms for more than a decade, so this is really a big deal – the first-ever paranormal investigation in the Cecil Hotel. It has a dark history and reputation and it’s one of the heaviest places we’ve ever been in. This is not your average hotel. With its connection to serial killer Richard Ramirez and the disturbing death of Elisa Lam, it’s undeniable that there are spirits inside this building. But the question is who, or what, are they.” The Cecil Hotel has a history of seedy activity and housing transients, drug dealers and even serial killers. Richard Ramirez, the “Night Stalker,” was a self-proclaimed devil worshipper rumored to have carried out some of his murder spree while living in the hotel during the 1980s. Riddled with stories of paranormal activity, the historic building is the epitome of creepy – an inspiration for books, films and even a season of the “American Horror Story” series. In 2013, it was the site of one of the most chilling mysteries of the 21st century, when the body of college student Elisa Lam was found in one of the hotel’s rooftop water tanks. The only clue was disturbing security camera footage of Lam exhibiting odd behavior inside the hotel elevator right before her untimely disappearance and death. The incident remains a mystery and questions linger about how Lam got in the tank – and whether it was a person, or a darker force, that drew her there.
Even though countless claims of paranormal activity has been reported at the hotel, regarding the “Elisa Lam” case my opinion is that NO paranormal activity came into play with her death, I believe it was a tragic tale of how dangerous and serious mental health can become without the correct supervision. Elisa Lam was a very intelligent 21 year old with a bright future. Unfortunately being in the heart of LA, alone and suffering with bipolar disorder and not taking her medication correctly ultimately caused a psychotic episode which lead to her accidental drowning. BUT I do believe their is a strong possibility that a dark energy could haunt the halls and rooms of the Cecil/stay on main hotel. And to this day reminds a terrifying story of death, torture, and pure horror. This leaves no doubt in my mind the “Cecil Hotel” is worthy of a place on this list!
AFTER DARK PARANORMAL UK
Ghost Stories Day 2