The Real-Life Horrors at the Inspiration for American Horror Story: Hotel

Image credit: Jim Winstead

The fifth season of the TV show American Horror Story, called American Horror Story: Hotel, is partially inspired by the Cecil Hotel at 640 S. Main Street in Los Angeles, which has been renamed Stay on Main. The history of The Cecil has been notorious for many bloody and creepy events that took place in its spaces. During its almost 90-year history, there have been numerous murders, suicides and mysteries associated with The Cecil so it's fatal to influence the series plot this year. Let's cite some of the sinister cases connected to the building.

The case of the Canadian tourist Elisa Lam is one of the most recent, when in 2013, the 21-year-old was found dead naked in a water tank on the roof of the Cecil after being missing for five weeks. The mystery of her death was never solved and this triggered both supernatural and logical theories. The case of Elisa Lam inspired American Horror Story showrunner Ryan Murphy in this season's plot.

Richard Ramirez, a serial killer best known as the Night Stalker was one of the most evil serial killers of the 80s. While he didn't kill his victims at the hotel, he lived on the top floor during the course of the killings from the spring of 1984 to the summer of 1985. His practises were extremely brutal as his victims were physically, sexually, and psychologically tortured and he often invoked Satan and forces of evil in his attacks. When some of his victims survived, he was captured and died in prison in 2013.

One of the most famous cases associated with The Cecil is Elizabeth Short otherwise known as the Black Dahlia. Elizabeth was a frequent guest at the hotel. It's possible that the Cecil Hotel was one of the last places she was seen alive, if the rumors are true. Her murder was never solved, but it remains one of the most mysterious cases in the history of L.A. Police. So, it's very possible to see her character in the series, this year.

This is a small collection of incidents that happened to The Cecil Hotel during its operation. There are also plenty cases of suicides and murders connected with it. With that kind of history, we are expecting a very hair-raising season.
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