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Dead Body in Hotel's Water Tank Caused Water to Run Black & That's Not Even the Scary Part

by Sasha Brown-Worsham on February 22, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Hotel CecilFor three weeks, the body of 21-year-old Canadian student Elisa Lam sat in the water tank of the Hotel Cecil in Los Angeles. Guests complained of funny tasting water and faucets that "ran black", and yet no one ever thought a discovery as gruesome as this would happen.

There are so many creepy and horrifying aspects to this story, it's worse than any Japanese horror film with a bad American remake (Dark Water). Let's start with the video that has been widely circulated of a seemingly terrified Lam trying to press elevator buttons and failing, gesturing wildly to some unseen "person" or thing off-camera. What. The. Hell. And then there is the hotel itself.

The Hotel Cecil is a budget hotel in downtown Los Angeles where some people live. Always a bad sign in a hotel. But even worse, its history chills the bones.

In 1962, a woman jumped to her death from the top of the building and landed on a pedestrian passing by who she also killed. Rumor has it that the Black Dahlia -- the most famous unsolved murder in LA's history -- hung out there before her grisly murder. "Night Stalker" serial killer Richard Ramirez used to stay there.

Terrifyingly, Ramirez isn't the only serial killer to call the hotel "home" briefly. Johann "Jack" Unterweger, an Austrian serial killer, stayed at the Cecil Hotel for five weeks in 1991 while murdering prostitutes. He then killed himself just a few blocks away as the police closed in on him. Yes. Seriously.

The Lam death is scary, mysterious, and as yet unsolved. Was she murdered? Did she have a psychotic break and climb into the water tank on her own? Was she trying to hide from someone?

We don't know anything so far. The only thing I know is that I won't be staying at the Hotel Cecil the next time I am in Los Angeles. I am not sure if I believe in ghosts exactly, but I do believe in energy and the importance of it. A hotel with this many tragedies can't possibly have good energy. And if I did believe in ghosts, I would have to believe that some are in the Hotel Cecil.

Of course, none of this solves whatever happened to this poor girl. Whatever happened, her death is a horrible tragedy and I hope her family is able to get some kind of answer soon.

Would you stay in the Hotel Cecil?

 

Image via ericrichardson/Flickr

Filed Under: crime, death

Comments

27
  • bills...
    --

    billsfan1104

    February 22, 2013 at 8:29 AM
    Hell the fuck no, I would never stay there. They have to replace all those pipes in that hotel. I wonder who stuffed her in there.
  • Serio...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Seriously?

    February 22, 2013 at 8:46 AM
    Obviously this isn't anyone's first choice of places to stay. Probably not anyone's first choices of lifestyle, either. You wind up in a place like that because at some point in your personal history, you took a very wrong turn, either on your own or as a victim of circumstance. So no, I don't think anyone is going to go to this place for their next family vacation.
  • PRIMA487
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    PRIMA487

    February 22, 2013 at 8:49 AM
    I know its just me most likely,but couldn't you come up with another comparison other than a Japanese horror flick given that Lam is Asian? Kinda insensitive. As for staying there; if you're "messed up" checking in ,then chances are you're going to be "messed up" when you "checkout",however you "checkout". This ain't "Hotel California".
  • tina
    -- Nonmember comment from

    tina

    February 22, 2013 at 8:57 AM
    Who stuffed her in there? Nice choice of words...-eyeroll-. I feel for this girl and her family. Whatever happened she didn't deserve it and the people who drank that water!
  • DebaLa
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    DebaLa

    February 22, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    I touched on its horrifying reputation and limited roof access, and inside knowledge of layout and camera/security system in another post. 'Seedy' and suspect doesn't cover it. The coroner just reported no conclusive cause of death [stabbing, drowning, etc] or manner [homocide vs accident, etc]. Definitely a hotel staff member did it.

    LA Times: "The only ways to get to the roof are via a locked door that only employees have access to and a fire escape. The door is equipped with an alarm system that notifies hotel personnel if someone is on the roof, Los Angeles police Sgt. Rudy Lopez said."


  • blh
    -- Nonmember comment from

    blh

    February 22, 2013 at 9:10 AM
    Uggghhh I about threw up....they drank water with a dead body in it....
  • DebaLa
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    DebaLa

    February 22, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    ...and the police are treating this as a supicious death, not confirming whether or not there was trauma, so there's an ongoing investigation. The 'do not drink' order is in place until the tanks and pipes are cleared water retested.

    This poor girl. She was gesturing in fear and confusion, probably talking to her killer, an employee, who she thought would help her. A water tank is a perfect place to hide a dead rape victim to wash away any DNA and trace evidence. :(


  • BiBi...
    -- Facebook comment from

    BiBi Frederick Waltslady

    February 22, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    I would- only cuz Im into creepy ghostly shit like that!!!  So to nonmember Seriously no that is not the only reason people end up there- There are people in the world who LOVE HISTORY! Dumb Comment!


  • Irela...
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    Ireland69

    February 22, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Poor girl May she RIP!!!  this could be your sister,daughter or niece so sad!


  • Serio...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Seriously?

    February 22, 2013 at 10:03 AM
    There is a difference between loving history and seeking out a hotel in a notoriously seedy, crime filled neighborhood. So, no, BiBi, mine was not a dumb comment, because the majority of people try to avoid heartache and negative energy. I love history, too. I don't love places that could be featured in an article advertising the best places to rape and dismember young women.
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