compiled & written by RICK CASTRO~ antebellum blog.

a lot has been written about the HOTEL CECIL and the death of ELISA LAM back in 2013.
as you all know i am obsessed with this case and would like to add some info i've been collecting for the last few weeks. this may add  a little fuel to the fire....
on january 26th, 2013~ elisa lam~ 21yr old student from vancouver, canada traveled to los angeles and checked into the hotel cecil~ downtown.  
during this time hotel residents started to complain about the low water pressure, the foul tasting water and the color which some described as dark water, almost black.
on february 19th a maintenance worker was sent up to check it out and found the decomposed body of elisa lam in the water tower. she had been there for 2 weeks.
immediately elevator surveillance footage was discovered which turned out the be the last moments of elisa's life. the footage is eerie and haunting. she seems to be disoriented, interacting with someone or something. towards the end she is moving her arms unusually. to me it looks like her arms are being moved. 

many questions have been raised and to this day unanswered...
* elisa knew nobody in los angeles. why did she travel here and specifically the hotel cecil?
* how did she get to the rooftop? the door was supposed to be locked and had an alarm.
* how was she able to get into the water tower? this was also supposed to be locked
 and heavy to open. 
*she would also have needed to bring up a ladder. there were no built in ladders.
* there were no traces of drugs or alcohol found in the autopsy report. she was on no medications
* some say elisa was bi-polar, but her family denies this and there is no record of evidence she was.
* after her death a candle was placed in front of the restaurant her family owned called pauls on hasting st, vancouver. 
*with all the publicity the story got this is the extent of remembrance for her? even minor celebrities on the walk of fame receive more flowers.
* i was able to even trace on of the flowers was sent by someone on an online thread.

soon after this hideous incident the hotel changed it's name to STAY ON MAIN, but not the marquee. it's historic and would probably be too expensive to alter. the management "advised" all residents to move out and did a test of the water. the official conclusion was~ "with all the chlorine used in the water it was not considered harmful to drink." even though it was almost black and foul tasting. the hotel guests were horrified to find out they had been bathing in and drinking "corpse water."

at the same time an outbreak of TB occurred in the same area of hotel cecil~ skid-row. volunteers walked the area conducting TB tests to the homeless. the test was called LAM-ELISA.
 now what are the chances that would be the name chosen?

to make the story even more bizarre there was a  japanese horror story called Floating Water, written by Koji Suzuki. The plot follows a divorced mother who moves into a rundown apartment with her daughter, only to experience supernatural occurrences and a mysterious water leak from the floor above which is eventually traced back to the former tenants.  this became a film by director by Hideo Nakata, who also directed the ring. released in Japan in January 2002, the film went on to premiere at festivals in Europe and the United States.

the film had an american remake in 2005 under the same title, directed by Walter Salles , starring Jennifer Connelly. both films are called DARK WATER.  in the stories the building has a water tower. they are complaints of "dark water" black water. at one point long black hair comes out of the faucet. the little girl is obsessed with a playmate who has a red purse. she also wears a red coat. the mother is worried that her daughter is possessed with the unknown playmate.. this girl supposedly has been missing and her purse was found on the rooftop. in the films the daughter fumbles with the elevator buttons which have been discolored with black smote. the girl seems possessed and interacting with someone or something. her movements are bizarre. the scene is shot from the surveillance camera POV. she also is wearing a red coat. 
now check out this real  surveillance footage of elisa lam moments before her death
coincidences?? what are the odds life imitates art?
* the films emphasis  an eerie building, the rooftop water tower,  elevator surveillance footage, possessed girl in red coat. then a  dead girl found  in the water tower.
*all of this played out at the hotel cecil during jan & feb~2013
in the story the mother is desperately looking for her possessed daughter. frantically entering the elevator she fumbles with the buttons, ending up on the roof top. she sees a red purse just below the ladder of water tower. slowly she climbs the ladder and lifts the top off the water tower.. guess what she finds?



HOTEL CECIL has quite the history.  built in the 1920s to cater to “businessmen to come into town and spend a night or two”, Cecil was quickly upstaged by more glamorous hotels. Located near the infamous Skid Row area, the hotel began renting rooms on a long-term basis for cheap prices, a policy that attracted a shiftier crowd. 
there are rumors that the BLACK DAHLIA stayed at the hotel cecil and this was the last place she was seen alive. i can confirm she did stay there, but the last place she was seen alive was the BILTMORE HOTEL~ january, 1947.

Helen Gurney, in her 50s, leaped from a seventh floor window, landing on the Hotel marquee, on October 22, 1954.
Julia Moore jumped from her eighth floor room window, on February 11, 1962.
Pauline Otton, 27, jumped from a ninth floor window after an argument with her estranged husband, on October 12, 1962.  Otton landed on George Gianinni, 65, who was walking on the side walk, 90 feet below. Both were killed instantly.
There was also a murder of one of the residents.  “Pigeon Goldie” Osgood, a retired telephone operator, known for protecting and feeding pigeons in a nearby park, was found dead in her ransacked room on June 4, 1964.  she had been stabbed, strangled, and raped.  The crime still remains unsolved.”
during 1985 RICHARD RAMIREZ aka the NIGHT STALKER was living at the hotel cecil, paying a mere $14 a night. during this time he murdered 13 women. ramirez would dump his bloody clothing in the cecil dumpster and enter via the back entrance.
 in 1991, JACK UNTERWEGER was an austrian journalist covering crime in los angeles. he specifically chose hotel cecil because of the richard ramirez connection. during jack's stay he murdered 3 prostitutes. 
now elisa lam is a permanent resident of the hotel cecil.
 visitors claim the place is haunted by her and various other entities.  
 the stairway leading up to the rooftop of the hotel cecil

  • the griffin looking over the hotel cecil
  • photos by rick castro & ricardo carranza

  • and of course no surprise the incident will now become a hollywood movie~
  •  In competitive bidding, Sony Pictures and Matt Tolmach Productions PhillipBrandonMurphyhas acquired The Bringing, a horror spec script written by Brandonand Phillip Murphyand based on an actual place and series of events. The spec’s basis is on a woman, Elisa Lam, who was found dead in the water tanks on the roof of the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles.

the yelp reviews of hotel cecil are not helping. check a few out here-
  • 1.0 star rating
     DON'T ever come close to this hotel.

    I'm telling you guys, if you see the warnings on Yelp and still decide to make a reservation here, it is totally your own fault.

    I testify that everything about the negative reviews are true

  • 2.0 star rating

    Everybody needs to have a Cecil Hotel experience once in their life, when they're so broke that they'll stay at a place so bad that a woman died in the water tank and nobody noticed for weeks (nbclosangeles.com/news/l…).
  • Tony T.
    • Tony T.
    • Lower Garden District, New Orleans, LA
    • 6 friends
    • 5 reviews
    1.0 star rating
     If for some reason I happened to be a time traveller from 1920, wearing a pin stripe suit, some wing tip shoes and a fedora, I would be amazed at the amenities here. There's a color television!
    And there's this thing called an "elevator" which moves you from floor to floor without stairs. Spectacular! I mean for some reason the fourth floor doesn't get a button because it apparently fell out. And the floor I'm on you can't press the down button, it doesn't seem to work. You have to press the up button and hope things work out.

    All in all I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone.  I'd have to seriously dislike them to send them to this hell hole. 

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