Haunted Cecil Hotel?

The Story

Continued claims that the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles is haunted has had another tragedy to add to it’s truly bizarre history. The mysterious death of Elisa Lam in the water tower of the Cecil Hotel is one of the strangest unexplained modern day mysteries many believe is paranormal related. If you’re planning a trip to California, this hotel is a must see on your paranormal road trip. I would bet that it most definitely is included in the local Haunted Tours.

The water tank on the roof of the Cecil Hotel where Elisa Lam was found.

Water Tank Cecil Hotel

Elisa had been missing since January 31, 2013 and her naked body was finally discovered on February 19, 2013 in a rooftop water tank of the Cecil Hotel. She was 21 years old. Hotel guests had been complaining about low water pressure and a “funny” taste to the water.

It should be stressed that although is appears that Elisa might have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol based on her strange behavior in the elevator, nothing unusual was discovered in her system. This was the final determination of the coroner who ruled her death an accident. It shoudl be noted that she did have a history of Bi-Polar Disorder.


Elisa Lam Photo: HO/AFP/Getty Images)


 There have been many questions and comments about this unsolved case:

  • How did Elisa manage to get inside of the tank?
  • What is the shadow in the elevator that many claim is proof of the paranormal?
  • Why didn’t the elevator door close after she hit the buttons several times?
  • Even police were stumped as to how Elisa Lam came to be in a water tank that is difficult to access. The possibility of foul play was investigated but was ruled out.
  • LAPD spokesperson Officer Sara Faden said The circumstances of Lam’s death are highly unusual and investigators are now trying to determine whether Lam was murdered or if “a very, very strange accident” occurred.

 The Cecil Hotel

  • It’s pretty much a dump at this point in time hosting transients for less that $500 per month. Perhaps it’s one of the places that should just be shut down. Consider it’s history:
  • Constructed in 1927-Record number of suicides and murders and was known as the suicide hotspot.
  • Site of several mysterious disappearances.
  • Home to (Room #14) convicted serial killer, Richard Ramirez who savagely murdered 13 innocent people (He got to die of natural causes!)
  • Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger lived at the hotel in 1991 for five weeks and murdered three prostitutes.
  • Without a doubt, haunted!
  • In 1962 Pauline Otton, 27, had an argument with her husband and threw herself out the window landing on and killing a pedestrian below.
  • In an unsolved murder in 1964, Goldie Osgood, who enjoyed feeding the birds in a nearby square, was found dead in her room. She had been stabbed, strangled and raped.

Paranormal Investigation with Updates

This photo was taken by resident Koston Alderete, showing a mysterious figure hanging outside a fourth-floor window of the hotel.

The disturbing, gruesome past of 'gh...

KABC-TV/DT Source: Supplied


 What’s your theory? Give me some feedback by leaving me a comment below. Thanks for stopping by!

Haunted U.S. Roads





  1. Kenia

    People do believe she was playing the Elevator Game (https://theghostinmymachine.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/the-most-dangerous-games-elevator-to-another-world/) *if you want to read about it, here you go.* Though it may not explain her death (which I do find very odd but intriguing) it could probably explain her odd behavior in the elevator and the mysterious paranormal figure seen. (please don’t hate, it’s just a though).

  2. Michael F

    ( I am basing this on the theory that she might have been under the influence of a drug or other type of hallucinogenic) I will first and foremost say that I am by no means a forensic expert or a toxicologist of any kind, but I have been educated in the matter while studying forensics in college. The reports from Elisa’s autopsy stated she had no kind of drugs in her system; Correct? Ok, Giving she drowned in a water tank and was floating in there so long that she started to decay to the point where she ( trying to not be so graphic) was basically dissolving into the water supply. Wouldn’t any if all drugs that she could have been on have been so diluted that it would have been merely untraceable? Most drugs stay in your system 72 hours or so if you ingest them and dont take it on a regular basis ( depends on what it is) No telling how long it had been since she had taken anything, plus depending on how long she was in the tank before her death, i would say there was some panic which would have increased her blood flow which would have caused whatever to spread throughout her system faster and her metabolism would have started the breakdown of the drug to the point of where it would have just dissolved away into nothingness. Also, if it was something she recently had taken, and she was in the tank, and drowning, she would have more or less been swallowing water, caughing it up and possibly vomiting whatever out, IDK, i think i made myself less intelligent thinking about all of this while typing..LOL… Please dont hate me too much this is all just a theory i have been thinking about for some time.

    1. Donna L (Post author)

      Your theory makes a great deal of sense and I felt that determinations were made very quickly in her case by the officials involved. I certainly appreciate your taking the time to express your thoughts and ideas. Well done and thank you.

    2. James Gray

      Her internal organs were intact, and contained undiluted blood that wasn’t affected by the water she was found in. This is the blood that was tested for drugs. I have done almost every sort of drug there is and I have never been tempted to drown myself in a water tank. Also the door to get on to the roof was locked and alarmed! Also the tanks have no ladders attached to them. They are nearly ten feet tall. How did she get on top of the tanks? Try climbing a ten foot tall wall with no ladder. You can’t! It isn’t possible.

  3. JamesGarcia

    Cecil Hotel : My Haunted Diary part 2 Episode is out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvqbnEO9N3k

    1. Donna L (Post author)

      OK James I will check it out.

  4. JamesGarcia

    Check out latest video on The Cecil Hotel from My Haunted Diary during my time at the Cecil Hotel, part 1 dealing with the paranormal:

    1. Donna L (Post author)

      I checked out your video and it’s very well done. I’ve added it to my article so people can learn about your other investigations. Thanks for stopping by my website.

      1. JamesGarcia

        Great. Thanks!

  5. Antoine

    Her clothes are found in the watertank where Elisa was found.
    You can find the autopsy report on the internet (PDF-file)

  6. Dean


    I think something else happened to that girl because getting into a water tower that size is not an easy job. did they find her clothes? Man, that place is full of negative energy. Great story.

    1. Donna

      I agree there is more to her story. The poor girl! Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment.

    2. Missy

      Yes they did, according to the police I think, they found her clothes and personal belongings, floating in the water next to her. And yes, her body was found naked. Which weird, because why should she undress herself when planning to drown? All in all, I seriously have no idea what to think about this case.

      1. Donna

        Yes, this is a very strange case to say the least. Thanks for your feedback.

      2. Chris

        I don’t know how this may or may not play into why she was found naked, but I remember in HS a teacher once told us that when you’re drowning, you’re natural impulse is to remove all your clothes… Maybe it has to do with them feeling restrictive, and anything to lessen the restriction you’re already feeling while drowning, I guess.

        1. Donna L (Post author)

          That’s an interesting comment Chris and definitely information to think about. I never knew that! Thank you for sharing your feedback.


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