For whatever reason, some places seem to attract the morose and bizarre. The Cecil Hotel is indisputably one of those places. It’s the Cecil’s history of violence that have led some couch detectives to propose one of the wildest theories about Elisa Lam’s death: that she died due to a haunting.
Though Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, covers this theory, there is no way it’s valid in any way. So why do so many people blame ghosts for this tragic death? As truly insane as this theory is, its roots are connected to the Cecil’s history.
Is the Cecil Hotel Haunted?
Let’s get this out of the way. No one has ever been able to prove that ghosts are real. So by that logic, no. The Cecil Hotel is not haunted because ghosts don’t exist.
That being said, people who believe in ghosts typically believe they manifest after someone either dies violently, before their time, or both. On that front, yes. The Cecil Hotel has been the location for a long list of complicated and depressing deaths.
Have People Died at the Cecil Hotel?
Yes, they certainly have. The Cecil Hotel was even the center of one of the most discussed murders in Los Angeles history, that of Elizabeth Short, also known as “The Black Dahlia.” The last time Short was seen alive was at the Cecil’s bar. Also, in 1964 “Pigeon Goldie” Osgood was discovered murdered in her room. The hotel has housed serial killers as well. Both Richard Ramirez, better known as The Night Stalker, and Jack Unterweger stayed there for a period.
Eighteen other people have died on the grounds of the Cecil. Most of those deaths were a result of suicide or were believed to be linked to suicide. Percy Ormond Cook, W. K. Norton, Benjamin Dodich, Sgt. Louis D. Borden, Roy Thompson, Erwin C. Neblett, Dorothy Seger, Robert Smith, Helen Gurnee, Julia Frances Moore, Pauline Otton, and unidentified woman known only as “Alison Lowell” have all seemingly died by suicide on the grounds of the Cecil. Odd accidents have also happened on the hotel’s grounds. Elisa Lam is an example of this as are George Gianinni, a man who likely died when Pauline Otton fell on him during her suicide attempt, and Dorothy Jean Purcell’s abandoned baby. Then there are the deaths too complicated to rule as either a suicide or an accident. Grace E. Magro, an unknown man who was found in 1992, and another unknown man who was found in 2015 all fall into this category.
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