Cecil Hotel #letsLEARNfriday

*trigger warning: Mentions of suicide and murder in this post

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Oooooooooookaaaaayyyyyy. Who requested this one? I just wrote it down and don’t remember who sent this request in to learn more about. Literally, I read ‘Cecil Hotel,’ and thought it was going to be some fancy hotel in New York that had a really cool history or something. Well I mean, the Cecil Hotel definitely has a history… But it by no means is a fancy hotel! Its also not in New York. Learning about this place was a whole trip. Holy cow. So strap in while I do my best to cover this crazy place.

The Cecil Hotel

The Cecil Hotel, now called, Stay on Main, is located in downtown Los Angelas, California. It opened in 1927 with the hopes of being a “polished spot,” for traveling businessmen and tourists. Two years after opening, the Great Depression struck, and some say with it, brought the Cecil Hotel its bad luck.

Now, if you were like me and didn’t know anything about this hotel, it has a long list of crimes, death and murder/murderers. In 1931, just four years after opening, the hotel saw its first tragedy when a man committed suicide in November. It didn’t take long for the hotel that was designed to be a nice, comfortable place for people to stay in, to become a place where people stayed who were down on their luck.

There were several suicides that happened inside the rooms. Several guests fell or jumped from the building. Some guests ingested poison. A teenage mother killed her newborn. A woman was found raped, stabbed and beaten and this case remains unsolved.

In the mid 80’s, Richard Ramirez, who is also known as The Night Stalker, was known to have been fond of staying at the Cecil Hotel in the height of his killing spree. Ramirez was eventually convicted of 13 counts of murder, 5 attempted murders and 11 sexual assaults. In 1991, another serial killer from Austria named, Jack Unterwager, who was eventually convicted of 9 murders, also was known to have frequented the hotel.

In 2011, the hotel was renamed Stay at Main.

What the Cecil Hotel is possibly most known for, is the suspicious death of Elisa Lam in 2013. Five days after she checked into the hotel, she was reported missing. There have been security videos released of Elisa in the elevator in the hotel acting very strangely (I watched these videos and they gave me really uneasy, freaky vibes – I’m baffled by this whole situation). Three weeks later, guests at the hotel began to complain that their water was tasting bad and that their water pressure was low. This was investigated, and Elisa’s body ended up being found floating inside of one of the water tanks that was all closed up. This was eventually ruled an accidental drowning, but its left many people – myself included – skeptical. How did she get into a water tank and close it behind her? It was also on the roof and there were supposedly alarms she would have set off going up there? Like, what happened?! Crazy. If you have some time to spare and you want to get yourself all worked up and confused, I recommend looking into this whole story.

In 2017, LA made The Cecil Motel a landmark. As of now, its currently being renovated, due to reopen in late 2021, unless the pandemic has somehow halted the progress.

Did anyone else not know about this place?! Would you go stay in this hotel after the large renovation is done? I’ll be honest. I wouldn’t. No thanks. This is a very quick version of the hotels deep, creepy history, but researching this was just fascinating. And a little unsettling. The hotel, no surprise, has been deemed as a haunted place. Ghost Adventures, a tv show where ghost hunters investigate haunted location apparently has a really neat episode at the hotel. I haven’t watched it – but I am a little intrigued.

Like I said earlier, learning about the Cecil Hotel was a wild ride! What did you think? I wonder what other hotels are out there with similar histories.


Good Housekeeping

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