The Cecil Hotel is one of LA’s most famous hotels, especially thanks to its dark history. Home to murderers, maniacs, and ghosts, some say the hotel is cursed.
The Cecil Hotel is a hotel located in downtown Los Angeles and was built in 1924 by William Banks Hanner. This hotel had been created primarily for tourists and business people who obviously needed a place to stay. The original design of the hotel had to contain 700 rooms, which, however, were reduced to 600.
Here, since 1950, began to happen unusual events of death and on some cases even the police failed to find a culprit and above all a logic solution. In 2007, after the property and the building were abandoned, the new owners renovated most of the rooms and in 2011, the hotel definitively changed its name to Stay on Main, but the owners sold the property in 2014.
In Cecil Hotel it all began in 1947 when a girl, Elizabeth Ann Short, book a room in the hotel. She arrived in America to try to enter the world of Hollywood show. In reality the only films of which she was the protagonist were pornographic ones, which were illegal in the United States. Elizabeth was last seen at the Cecil Hotel and was found dead on January 15, 1947 at Leimert Park. Her body was found by Mrs. Betty Bersinger, who was walking with her 3-year-old daughter. At first she thought it was a mannequin, but then she realized that it was a body and called the police.
Elizabeth’s body was found completely naked, torn in two parts, full of signs and mutilations due to torture. Her hair had been painted red, her body cleaned thoroughly from all her blood and a cut from ear to ear was made on her face, creating the “Glasgow Smile” effect. The case is still unresolved because no evidence or a probable suspect has been found.
In Cecil Hotel there were many murders and suicides that made it a place of death. In October 1954, Ms. Helen Gurnee booked a room in the hotel on the seventh floor and a week later she threw herself out of the window crashing into the sign. Only later it was discovered that she had registered with the false name of Margaret Brown and her gesture remains a mystery.
Julia Moore in 1962 rushes out of the eighth floor window and dies before breaking a skylight, and so ending up on the ground.
In the same year the twenty-seven year old Pauline Otton jumped from her ninth-floor room after a fight with her husband, killing also the passerby George Gianinni. In 1985 the Cecil was home to not only infamous serial killer Richard Ramirez, but fellow killer Jack Unterweger as well.
The unsolved murder of Goldie Osgood, aka the Pigeon woman, that was found robbed, strangled, raped, and stabbed inside her seventh floor room, happened long before Richard Ramirez stayed at the hotel.
Ramirez, also know as The Night Stalker, became infamous when he terrorized LA from 1984-85, killing 13 women, all of which he did while staying in the top floor of the Cecil hotel! According to the story he would dump his bloody clothes in the dumpsters out back after a night of killing.
In 2013, 21-year-old Elisa Lam’s body was found in February, two weeks after her death, when the hotel patrons and staff began complaining that the water had begun to taste and look strange. Her body had been unknowingly decomposing inside the rooftop water tanks, and an investigation led police to a very strange hotel security video. The video shows Elisa entering the elevator alone, stopping to press the buttons on the panel. After several failed attempts at pushing the buttons, she exits the elevator and appears to have a conversation with someone who isn’t there. She then walks away, and moments later the elevator doors shut. Authorities believe that after this video was recorded, Elisa gained access to the water tank and drowned. However, the rooftop area of the hotel was protected by an alarm and considerably difficult for someone to gain access to, let alone climb inside and close the lid. And the autopsy on Elisa’s body found no drugs or alcohol in her at all……