Netflix is Taking Us Inside the Notorious Cecil Hotel and Please, Hold Me

TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains references to murder and suicide.

In 2013, 21-year-old Canadian tourist Elisa Lam checked into the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

Two weeks later, her body was discovered in one of the water tanks on the hotel’s roof.

Elevator footage from the hotel’s CCTV is believed to show Lam’s final living moments and they are chilling, to say the least. 

In the footage, Lam can be seen standing in the corner of the elevator as though trying to hide from someone. Later, she appears to be talking or arguing with someone who doesn’t seem to be there. 

Elisa Lam
CCTV footage of Elisa Lam in the elevator at the Cecil Hotel

So what exactly happened to Elisa Lam and how did she meet her end? 

It’s a question Netflix’s Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel hopes to shed light on, with the latest true crime offering from the streamer exploring the latest chapter in a dark history for the hotel. 

The series will feature interviews with hotel employees and guests, in addition to people involved with investigating the Elisa Lam case.

Sadly, Lam was not the only person to lose her life while in residence at the LA accommodation. 

The hotel, which opened in 1927, has been the site of 16 murders and mysterious deaths and has also provided lodging for some of the world’s most notorious serial killers, including “The Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez who reportedly stayed at the Cecil for a few weeks.

Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger also stayed at the Cecil in 1991, murdering at least three sex workers while he was there.

In fact, Cecil’s history is so checkered that it became the inspiration for Ryan Murphy’s Hotel chapter in his American Horror Story anthology. 

In addition to the murders, and a slew of suicides, the Cecil Hotel was also reportedly linked to the famous Black Dahlia case, which has never been solved. The Black Dahlia, whose real name was Elizabeth Short, was allegedly seen at the hotel’s bar in the days before she was found, severed in two, in Leimert Park, Los Angeles. 

Black Dahlia
Elizabeth Short aka The Black Dahlia

So is the Cecil Hotel, which has since rebranded as ‘Stay on Main’ haunted, cursed or just the site of a multitude of misfortune? You’ll have to watch to draw your own conclusion.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel premieres on Netflix on February 10. 

Read more stories from The Latch and follow us on Facebook.