Cecil Hotel’s Past Is Filled With Murder and Serial Killers — Would You Stay There?

Shannon Raphael - Author

Feb. 15 2021, Updated 10:49 a.m. ET

The Cecil Hotel
Source: Netflix

Long before Netflix dropped Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, people had been talking about the strange goings-on at the infamous Los Angeles building. 

The Cecil Hotel, which is located on Main Street in Downtown Los Angeles, has a rich history and a decades-long reputation of being the site of some gruesome crimes. 

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While most people have no interest in being within a thousand feet of the establishment, there are some who are interested in staying at the Cecil Hotel — either to potentially encounter spirits, to see the place where many met their ends, or to be part of a piece of infamous Los Angeles history.

The Cecil Hotel has gone through a rebrand in recent years, but can you stay there? Keep reading to find out.

Source: Netflix
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Can you stay at the Cecil Hotel?

Considering the hotel's reputation for being haunted and for being a site of violent crime, it's not surprising that there have been many changes to the Cecil Hotel to help rebrand the facility.

The Cecil Hotel was renamed "Stay on Main" in 2011 (so it wasn't actually called the Cecil when Elisa Lam died). In 2014, hotel mogul Richard Born purchased the 19-floor building for around $30 million, and he embarked on a major renovation there in 2017. 

The hotel has yet to officially reopen, but there are reports that the work is expected to be finished in 2021. It's unclear if the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the construction, but the popularity of the Netflix docuseries will likely encourage a reopening in the near future.

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The Cecil Hotel has been the site of many crimes since it opened in 1927.

While many hotels in major cities have been built in recent years to accommodate tourism, the Cecil Hotel has been a Los Angeles mainstay since the '20s. It's not so surprising then that some incidents have occurred there in nearly 100 years, but it's the amount of creepy crimes that have transfixed the public. 

Source: Netflix
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In the '40s and '50s, many people completed suicide in the various rooms around the hotel. Elizabeth Short aka the Black Dahlia was spotted having cocktails at the Cecil shortly before her murder. It remains unsolved.

Another victim, "Pigeon Goldie" Osgood, was killed at the hotel, and no one has ever been convicted of her murder. 

As if that wasn't enough to spook even the most ardent true crime fans, serial killer Richard Ramirez (the Night Stalker) spent time at the Cecil for a few weeks. He was convicted of 13 counts of murder in 1989.

Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger also stayed there, and he killed women in several different countries, including the United States.

But, one of the more recent killings at the Cecil has continued to captivate the public.

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The four-part Netflix docuseries Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel covers the mysterious death of Elisa Lam. The 21-year-old Canadian student was found dead in a water tank on the hotel's roof in 2013. 

Elevator surveillance footage showed Lam acting somewhat erratically shortly before she died, and many internet sleuths have viewed the video in the hopes of finding some key to explain what happened to her.

But, her death was ruled to be an accident.  

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel is available to stream on Netflix now.

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