|Lobby Cecil Hotel|
On February 21, 2013, a maintenance worker discovered a decomposing body at the bottom of the hotel water tank. For 19 days hotel guests had bathed, brushed their teeth and drank the water despite its “funny, sweet, disgusting taste.” The body was identified as Elisa Lam, a 21 year old Canadian undergrad and tourist on her way to Santa Cruz.
After combing through hotel surveillance tapes, police uncovered an extremely disturbing video of Elisa taken from the night she died. At first, Elisa enters the elevator and presses all of its buttons. The elevator door doesn’t shut and she looks around, as if waiting or hiding from someone. She then appears to be talking to someone and moving in a strange manner. At 2:47 in the video, Lam leaves the elevator. From 2:47 to 3:59, the door to the elevator opens and closes several times for no apparent reason.
Right after the events of the video, Elisa apparently gained access to the rooftop of the hotel, climbed into its water tank and drowned. Hotel employees said doors to the roof were locked and had alarms. It is unclear how Lam gained access to the roof. High school classmates called Lam's death shocking. Elisa did not have a history of drug use and her autopsy concluded that no drugs were involved. The death has been ruled as an accidental drowning. Take a look at the video.
The Cecil Hotel has had it's share of tragedies. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Cecil had a reputation as being a place where people would commit suicide. In 1954, Helen Gurnee leaped from a seventh floor window and landed on the Cecil Hotel marquee. In 1962, Julia Moore jumped from her eighth floor room window. Moore left behind a bus ticket from St Louis, 59 cents and an Illinois bank account book showing a balance of $1,800. In another 1962 suicide, 27 year-old Pauline Otten jumped from her window and landed on a pedestrian, killing both of them.
But not every death at the Cecil was by suicide. It's widely rumored that Elizabeth Short, aka the Black Dahlia, was seen at the hotel shortly before her notorious disappearance in 1947. In 1964, Goldie Osgood, known by some as the Pershing Square Pigeon Lady, was found raped and strangled at the Cecil. The crime has never been solved.
It Cecil Hotel has also served as temporary home for two serial killers. In 1985, Richard Ramirez, avowed Satanist and dubbed the "Night Stalker," lived at the Cecil unnoticed while he murdered 13 women. In 1974, an Austrian serial killer by the name of Jack Unterweger, murdered several prostitutes while staying at the Cecil.
Bad luck? Negative energy? Or is the hotel haunted and waiting to possess it's unwitting victims? For about $73 a night, you can judge for yourself.