American Horror Story: Hotel is shaping up to become one of the best seasons yet with all that has been hinted with casting, plot lines and settings. Also how one of LA’s most chilling locations, The Cecil Hotel and its horrific history are going to tie into the new season of AHS “Hotel”.
Inspiration for AHS Hotel:
Back during the 2015 Televisions Critics Association summer press tour, “American Horror Story” co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk dished out some terrifyingly great details about the new season 5 of the FX horror series. According to the showrunners, the upcoming season, titled “Hotel,” was inspired by a true American horror story that involved the mysterious death of a young woman.
“There was a surveillance video that went around two years ago that showed a girl getting into an elevator in a hotel that was said to be haunted… and she was never seen again,” Murphy told the audience during the anticipated “AHS” panel. Even without giving too many specified clues of the exact event he was referring to, based on the disturbing clues he gave to the crowd, it is only safe to assume he is referring to the chilling death of Elisa Lam. On Feb 21, 2013. We’ll get to more on that at the very end….I like to save the very best for last.
The Cecil Hotel and How its Horrific History Ties Into AHS “Hotel”:
In a report from CNN: The allegedly haunted Cecil Hotel has a very unnerving past. “It’s the place where serial killers stay,” tour guide Richard Schave told CNN in Feb. 2013. Two of the hotel’s most notorious guests were Richard Ramirez, who was known as the “Nighstalker,” and Jack Unterweger, a journalist and copycat killer to Ramirez who hung himself in June of 1994 after being convicted for several murders. The new season of American Horror Story will include one of Americas most notorious killers to go on trial, Aileen Wuornos.
So, how else does Lam’s disappearing death connect to the previous seasons of “American Horror Story”? Well, the hotel where Lam was found dead is also the same hotel Elizabeth Short of the infamous “Black Dahlia Case” was rumored to have been last seen before the 22-year-old was found mutilated in Leimert Park in Los Angeles, Calif., on Jan. 15, 1947.
If fans recall in Season 1 of “American Horror Story,” which was titled “Murder House,” Mena Suvari played a similar role of the dark-haired beauty, Elizabeth Short (later known as the Black Dahlia) In AHS an aspiring actress “Elizabeth” with an aching rotten tooth, was new to L.A. and low on cash. Which is when she explained to the dentist that her girlfriend had told her he’s known to make “special arrangements” with girls “who are a little short”. The tooth doc agrees to fix Elizabeth’s smile for a fee. But after the payment is made and the tooth was fixed, the doctor ended up killing the wishful starlet with anesthesia. With the help of the home’s residential ghost, the dentist and his ghoulish housemate end up sawing the young girl in pieces before sprinkling her limbs and head, featuring the “Dahlia’s” Glasgow smile, throughout Leimert Park. So back again to the 2015 TCA panel, Murphy confirmed that former characters from the “AHS” series would return in the new season. SO putting the pieces together is not so hard since Season 5 is being inspired by a rumored location where the Black Dahlia was last seen. Now it would be really sweet if Suvari could reprise her character once again.
So back to the disappearance of Lam in the elevator in 2013. Even after corner’s officer reported that Lam’s death was an accidental drowning, the video released by hotel security had people baffled as to her actions before disappearing. That is where the “Hotel” creators are going to play on the aspects of evil ghosts, haunting a hotel and how it will make people do things unwillingly
Chilling things you need to know about the Cecil Hotel:
“It’s the place where serial killers stay,” said tour guide Richard Schave.
Schave and his wife, Kim Cooper, conduct a “true crime and oddities” tour they call “Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice.”
The new mystery surrounding Elisa Lam’s death will be added to Cooper’s spiel during the tour stops at the Cecil Hotel, she said.
Cooper and Schave have made it their job to compile details on those who have killed or been killed while staying at the Cecil.
The most famous on their list are serial killers Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger.
Ramirez, known as the “Nightstalker,” now resides on California’s death row, but in 1985 he was living on the Cecil’s top floor in a $14 a night room, Cooper said. The Cecil, filled then with hundreds of transients living in the cheap rooms, was a good place for Ramirez to go unnoticed as he killed 13 women, Schave said. He was “just dumping his bloody clothes in the Dumpster at the end of his evening and going in the back entrance.”
Jack Unterweger worked as a journalist covering Los Angeles crime for an Austrian magazine in 1991 when he moved into the Cecil.
He is blamed with killing three prostitutes in Los Angeles while a guest at the Cecil.
During the 1950s and 1960s, the Cecil had a reputation as a place where people would kill themselves by jumping out upper-floor windows, Cooper said. “It’s just what people do when they are at the end of their rope,” she said.
Helen Gurnee, in her 50s, leaped from a seventh floor window, landing on the Cecil Hotel marquee on October 22, 1954, Cooper said.
Julia Moore jumped from her eighth floor room window on February 11, 1962, she said. Moore left behind a bus ticket from St Louis, 59 cents and an Illinois bank account book showing a balance of $1,800.
Pauline Otton, 27, jumped from a ninth floor window after an argument with her estranged husband on October 12, 1962, Cooper said. Otton landed on George Gianinni, 65, who was walking on the sidewalk 90 feet below. Both were killed instantly.
Not everyone on Cooper’s list committed suicide.
“Pigeon Goldie” Osgood, a retired telephone operator, was found dead in her ransacked room on June 4, 1964, Cooper said. Osgood, known for protecting and feeding the pigeons at nearby Pershing Square, was stabbed, strangled and raped. The crime has not been solved.
The perplexing case of Elisa Lam’s death:
The Cecil Hotel’s dark past earned it a spot on Los Angeles tours long before a woman’s body was found inside its rooftop water tank.
That is the very same water Lam’s body was later found decaying in for 19 days after her disappearance.
“The water did have a funny taste,” Sabrina Baugh, a tourist from Britain, told CNN following the horrendous event. “We never thought anything of it. We thought it was just the way it was here.” However, Baugh did notice something alarming during her showers. “The shower was awful. When you turned the tap on, the water was coming black first for the two seconds and then it was going back to normal,” she explained.
But the story of Lam’s death only got more complex and disturbing when police released footage from an elevator security camera of the hotel that showed Lam acting very peculiar. The tape captured Lam (A known bi-polar with mental issues) looking as she suspiciously peered out the elevator door over and over again. Going to the controls pushing several different buttons and looking very perplexed. When the doors didn’t close, she stood outside the elevator, motioning with her hands, before walking away. That was the last time Lam was seen alive……..
News of the discovery:
“American Horror Story: Hotel” will premiere on Wednesday, Oct. 7, on FX.