The Cecil Hotel is a 19-story building located in downtown Los Angeles, California. It was built in 1924 as a luxury hotel for business travelers and tourists, but it soon fell into decline as the Great Depression and the rise of Skid Row transformed the neighborhood into a haven for crime and poverty.
The hotel has been the site of numerous murders, suicides, disappearances, and paranormal events, earning it a reputation as one of the most haunted and cursed places in America. Some of the most notorious cases that occurred at the Cecil Hotel include the deaths of Elisa Lam, Elizabeth Short, and Pigeon Goldie, as well as the residence of serial killers Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger. Let’s explore how the Cecil Hotel became a hotspot for horror and what factors contributed to its dark legacy.
Address: The Cecil Hotel’s address is 640 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014. It is situated near the corner of Seventh and Main Streets, in the heart of downtown LA.
The Great Depression and Skid Row: The Cecil Hotel
The Cecil Hotel became a refuge for transients, drug addicts, prostitutes, and criminals, who often engaged in violence, theft, and drug abuse. The hotel also witnessed many suicides, as some guests chose to end their lives by jumping from the windows or balconies.
For example, in 1931, W.K. Norton was found dead in his room after ingesting poison capsules. In 1962, Pauline Otton jumped from a ninth-floor window after an argument with her husband and landed on George Gianinni, who was walking on the sidewalk below. These are just some of the many suicides that occurred at the Cecil Hotel over the years, adding to its grim history.
Serial Killers: The Cecil Hotel
The hotel was also associated with infamous serial killers, such as Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger.
Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker, was a serial killer who terrorized Los Angeles in 1984 and 1985. He killed at least 13 people and raped and tortured many more in a series of home invasions. He used the Cecil Hotel as a base for his murderous activities and often disposed of his bloody clothes in the hotel’s dumpster before entering his room. Richard Ramirez was eventually captured in 1985 after his fingerprints were identified by the police.
Jack Unterweger was another serial killer who stayed at the Cecil Hotel in 1991. He was an Austrian writer who had been convicted of murdering a prostitute in 1974 but was released in 1990 after being pardoned by the president. He moved to Los Angeles as a journalist and claimed to be researching crime and prostitution for his articles. However, he was killing prostitutes in LA and other cities by strangling them with their bras. He chose to stay at the Cecil Hotel because he was inspired by Ramirez’s crimes and wanted to follow in his footsteps. Jack Unterweger killed at least three women while staying at the hotel before returning to Europe, where he continued his killing spree. He was arrested in 1992 after his DNA matched the evidence from the crime scenes.
These two serial killers are among the most notorious criminals who used the Cecil Hotel as their hideout and hunting ground, adding to its sinister reputation.
Elisa Lam: The Cecil Hotel
Elisa Lam was a Canadian student who stayed at the Cecil Hotel in 2013 and was found dead in a water tank on the roof. Her death was ruled as an accidental drowning, but many questions and theories remain about how she got there and what happened to her. A video of her acting strangely in the hotel’s elevator before she disappeared went viral and sparked a lot of interest and speculation. Her case has inspired many works of fiction and non-fiction that explore the hotel’s history and reputation.
If you want to know more about Elisa Lam or want to see the hotel elevator CCTV footage, then visit [Buzzfeed Unsolved Network, Denise Romero] YouTube channels.
This Halloween Month, go there and book a room. Wait for the night and start investigating in there for a spooky adventure.