An unassuming hotel situated on Los Angeles busy streets, the Cecil Hotel is famed as one of Los Angeles’ most haunted buildings and an abode for some of America’s most vicious murderers. With multiple records of mysterious deaths and disappearances, gruesome suicides, and grisly murders, the Cecil Hotel has drawn the attention of both paranormal investigators and thrill seekers.
Since it was established by William Banks Hanner in the early 1920’s, the hotel was originally intended to be an elegant hotel destination for the social elite and tourists alike. But after hosting various mysteries over the centuries, it has worked up an infamous reputation.
A few years after it began operating, the Cecil Hotel gradually began gaining a negative reputation as an aftermath of the Great Depression. Not only was it a destination for society dregs, mysterious happenings especially unexplained deaths or murders at the hotel raised speculations that it was haunted. Though it was rebranded in 2011 as the Stay On Main Hotel, it continues to maintain its creepy reputation as one of the most infamous buildings in horror history.
Besides the freaky events, including ghost sightings which have occurred at the Cecil Hotel, it is also famed for hosting some of the world’s most notorious villains. Below are just some out of the multiple incidents which have been reported throughout the hotel’s existence. Whether they are deaths from unnatural causes, accidents, murders, or suicides, most of these events remain unsolved mysteries to date.
Popularly known as the Night Stalker, Ramirez was a guest at the Cecil Hotel in the year 1985. The hotel’s top floor hosted the notorious criminal during his mortifying murder spree which included assaulting, raping, robbing, and burgling homes within the area. Though he may not have carried out any of his murders in the hotel, he always returned there with evidence that would normally be suspicious but given the hotel’s reputation, he conspicuously lived there for little over a year undisturbed.
Sometime in 1991, the famed hotel was also home to the Austrian journalist cum serial killer, Jack Unterweger. He was responsible for the death of several women including three LA sex workers whom he murdered while living at the Cecil.
Cecil Hotel Paranormal Deaths
Willy’s death was the foremost unexplained deaths on the Cecil premises. He was found dead in his suite on November 19, 1931, after ingesting poisonous capsules.
Doditch’s body was discovered by a maid after he inflicted gunshot wounds to his head.
Sargent Louis D. Borden
Borden who allegedly killed himself on the hotel premises with a razor left suicide notes explaining reasons for his action.
Grace E. Margo
Margo killed herself in March 1937, by plunging off the window of her room which was on Cecil’s ninth floor. She landed on the telephone poles entangling herself on the wires. Till date, her death has neither been classified as an accident nor a suicide. Margo’s death is just one of at least three unresolved mysteries of people who all jumped from Cecil Hotel’s upper-level windows.
Dorothy Jean Purcell
In September 1944, the teenage Purcell had allegedly claimed she was unaware of her pregnancy and unexpectedly birthed a baby while lodged in one of the rooms in Cecil Hotel. In a confused and panicky state, Purcell who was later diagnosed with insanity threw her newborn out the window and it landed on another roof in the neighborhood.
Another unresolved murder is that of Goldie which occurred in June 1964. The woman was found assaulted and stabbed to death in her suite.
Elizabeth Short, popularly known as the Black Dahlia, was a young woman in her twenties, traveling alone from L.A. to San Diego. She reportedly lodged in the Cecil Hotel before she was gruesomely murdered.
Lam’s death is one of the most recent and mysterious crimes that has ever occurred on the hotel premises. The Canadian college tourist who was staying at the hotel went missing in January 2013. But after about three weeks, maintenance workers found her body floating in the hotel’s water tank on the building’s roof. But for earlier complaints from hotel guests about low water pressure, color, smell and even taste, the young woman’s remains may never have been discovered.
Investigators later released a video from the hotel’s surveillance camera which showed Lam acting strangely in an elevator. Though Lam was being treated for bipolar disorder and depression prior to her death, the video further prompted many to believe that the hotel was truly haunted. Nonetheless, authorities later ruled Lam’s death as an accidental drowning.
Unusual occurrences at the Cecil Hotel have dramatically reduced since 2008, with the last record of any death being in 2015. Nonetheless, the reputation and speculations surrounding the hotel is still on the minds of many, especially horror aficionados. In recent years, the creepy hotel has also inspired some horror documentaries and movies.