The Cecil Hotel, the name itself brings about images of mystery, murder, and a not so nice of an area in Los Angeles. The hotel consists of low-income residential rooms as well as rooms for the traveling public. My interest in this story was sparked when the popular paranormal group Ghost Adventures announced that it was having a special investigation.
Now, I'm just as much a fan of the crew as the next person, but I also know they tend to favor demons, poltergeists, and just everything evil must be what's haunting their locations. I take that information with a grain of salt and wanted to know more about the hotel before watching their experiences. Cue Netflix.
Netflix came out with a three-part series of the Cecil Hotel that includes talking with a former manager as well as some of the workers and investigators that took part in the hotel's disturbing existence. For those who aren't aware the hotel is located on Skid Row which is full of homeless people as well as those who are addicted to drugs. It even housed the notorious serial killer Richard Ramirez also known as the Night Stalker.
I also realized, while watching this, that this hotel must have given inspiration to the TV Series American Horror Story: Hotel. Which features Lady Gaga, Michelle Pfieffer, and Lady Gaga. Which, truly, after watching that series I'll take a pass at staying at the Cecil Hotel.
It was the story of the missing girl named Elisa Lam and the found footage of her on the elevator that really got my attention. Elisa Lam's story made publicity overnight in 2013 with her disappearance, a college student from Canada, decided to travel across the country and made the mistake of booking a room at the Cecil Hotel. It came on her radar because she was looking for an inexpensive place to stay and a few days later went missing.
The mystery starts with her, at first, sharing a room with a few other people but her mood changes. She becomes erratic and moody and is asked to change rooms. Her strange behavior continues until she turns up missing. A look at her room only strengthens the mystery because all of her things are there. Her passport, money, laptop, she was keeping a regular blog of her visits. Making it seem like she got up to get something and decided to not come back.
A look at the video shows her going in and out of the elevator several times. Itchy, nervous, almost scared, as the elevator doors open and close at every floor. Giving the impression that someone is pushing the buttons on the floor. But when she steps out and looks around, there is no one there. There are even images of her standing up against the corner of the elevator as the doors come open again, as if, trying not to be seen by whoever, or whatever, is on the other side of the doors.
Cue paranormal believers. The video images were put up on social media platforms for viewers to try and figure out what happened to Elisa Lam. I watched it myself, and yes it is interesting that on every floor the doors open and there is no one there. To have this happen over and over again is enough to make anyone get the shivers. Is this just faulty equipment? Is there someone messing with my head? Or am I dealing with a ghost who has a very sick sense of humor?
There is no secret that a lot of death has happened at this hotel and people acting strange, almost "possessed" as some like to say. Which of course leads to devil worshiping and the sign of the pentacle. As a practicing pagan to see this symbol automatically be referred to as "devil worshiping" is enough to piss me off. Only when the sign is UPSIDE DOWN it means"devil work" was or is being done. Otherwise, the symbol represents the elements of the Earth and together combine to create balance and harmony.
The images continue to show her stepping off on one floor, going off to the side, and doing weird gestures with her hands. Her fingers are stretched out and the tips bent slightly. Instantly, the thought is she is performing some sort of a ritual. Then she's gone. As if someone or something had taken her with no sign of how or where. The three-part series did an excellent job of talking about the theories even if they were beyond common sense as well as the sorted past that the hotel had.
Eventually, Elisa Lam is found on the roof in a water tank 19 days later. In the end, the findings were that Elisa was on four different psychiatric medications and as she continued to stay at the Cecil Hotel she started taking them less and less. With this finding, it is believed that she was having delusions about what was really going on causing her to hit every single button on the elevator, which is why the doors were opening on every floor. As well as the behavior outside of the elevator.
It is believed that she thought she was being followed and took herself up to the roof of the building and hid in the water tank hoping to hide from whoever she thought was after her. But the lid was too heavy for her to push off and eventually she died. As the Netflix special comes to an end there are still a few questions that aren't answered and the paranormal investigators in us will continue to believe in the unseen.