A Brief History
On February 19, 2013, management and guests at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles finally found out why their water had been getting worse and worse over the past month.
Digging deeper, we find guests complaining of low water pressure, slimy water, foul tasting water, and discolored water.
It was no big surprise then when a dead body was found in the hotel’s water tank that was located on the roof of the hotel! It was that of 21-year-old Elisa Lam. She had been missing for about a month and presumably was in the water tank the whole time! YUCK!!
Authorities say the young Canadian’s death was accidental, but no one knows how she managed to end up in the water supply. Adding to the mystery is the final video footage ever taken of Lam. The images come from a hotel elevator camera and show her acting in a peculiar way, giving rise to speculation that she had succumbed to something paranormal (according to the coroner, drugs were apparently NOT a factor and according to her family, nor was mental illness).
The video is frightening enough, but knowing her ultimate fate just adds to the horror of what we are witnessing in those few minutes of seeming terror. Was someone or something after her, or did she merely think something was out to get her? One is left wondering what ultimately occurred between that video and her drowning in the water tank on the building’s roof.
Sadly, the weirdness just keeps coming at the Cecil Hotel!
A scroungy budget hotel that is largely a home for transients, the Cecil Hotel was built in 1927. Interesting things have happened there since then, such as three murders and several suicides! This Hotel Hell was also the home of two serial killers, Richard Ramirez (1985) and Jack Underwater (1991).
In 2007, the horror film 1408, starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, was released about a hotel with a haunted, evil room (number 1408). In the movie, the room is said have had 56 people die in it over its 95-year existence. Although not directly tied to the Cecil Hotel, it does make you wonder if the hotel had any influence on Stephen King when he wrote the short story the book is based on. In any case, at the Cecil Hotel, you have the real-life horror story!
Question for students (and subscribers): So, do you think Lam’s death was an accidental result of mental illness? Or was it murder or something supernatural? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For the film mentioned above, please see…
Håfström, Mikael, dir. 1408 (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition). Weinstein Company, 2007. DVD.