Cecil Hotel

There are a few hotels or motels that stand out to us that can be cause for alarm; Bates Motel, Overlook Hotel, and the Cecil Hotel. The season of American Horror Story: Hotel, is based on this location.

Built in 1924 as a destination for business travelers and tourists, the property called The Cecil boasted a marble lobby, stained glass windows, potted palms, and alabaster statuary. The hotel flourished until the 1940’s but after that the hotel slid into decline as the nearby area of Skid Row became popular with transients.

In 2007 a portion of the hotel was refurbished after new owners took over, and in 2011 the hotel was rebranded as “Stay On Main” partly to distance itself from its dark past. Still undergoing a massive renovation, the hotel is planned to reopen in 2021.

  • Now, the dark history.
    • The first suicide occurred in 1927 when Percy Cook, shot himself in the head while in his hotel room.
    • 1931, Guest WK Norton died in his room after taking poison capsules.
    • During the 1940’s and 1950’s more and more suicides occurred. In 2008, two long term residents nicknamed the hotel “The Suicide” and the moniker stuck. There have been at least 13 suicides at the hotel.
  • In addition to suicides, the hotel has seen other violence and disturbing happenings. It was a rendezvous spot for adulterous couples, drug activity, and a location for sex workers.
  • A false report claims that the Black Dahlia, Elizabeth Short, was seen at the Cecil Hotel bar a few days before her unsolved death. This claim is false as no records of her being there exist.
  • 1964, a retired telemarketer, “Pigeon Goldie” Osgood was found dead in her room. She had been raped, stabbed, beaten, and her room ransacked. Her murder remains unsolved.
  • One of the most infamous residents of the hotel was serial killer Richard Ramirez, The Night Stalker. He stayed at the hotel for several weeks and may have engaged in his killing spree while staying there. On August 30, 1985 residents stopped him from escaping until police arrived to arrest him.
  • 1991, serial killer from Austria Jack Unterweger, stayed at the Cecil, possibly to mimic Ramirez’s crimes, he strangled and killed three sex workers, for which he was convicted in Austria.
  • In 2013 The Cecil, by then known as the Stay On Main, was again in the news when a young Canadian student, Elisa Lam, was found naked in the hotel water cistern on the roof of the hotel. Her death had been ruled death by accidental drowning, with her extreme bipolar disorder being a significant factor.

Is the hotel haunted with all this violent history and death in its walls? Some people who believe in the paranormal will say it is. Some will say it isn’t. It’s for you to decide. You now know some of it’s dark past, so if you do decide to investigate and explore, please contact the property and gain permission first.

You are your own best investment

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