Discover the disturbing history of the Cecil Hotel and whether it is still open

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The Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles is now under the spotlight as part of the new Netflix series Crime Scene: The Vanishing at The Cecil Hotel.

The docu-series aims to shed light on the mysterious death of Elisa Lam, who went missing at the hotel, and whose body was eventually discovered in a water tank on the roof.

The venue, dubbed "Hotel Death", has a long history of sick and twisted crimes that have taken place on the site. It was also home to several serial killers at one time, including Richard Ramirez.

Ramirez would reportedly stroll into the reception of the Cecil Hotel "covered in blood and no one would bat an eyelid".

But where is Cecil Hotel? Is it still open – and can you stay there? Here is everything you need to know.

What is Crime Scene about?

The heinous crimes of the "Night Stalker" are just one chapter of the hotel’s sordid history. In 2013, Canadian college student Elisa Lam was found dead in the water supply of the hotel after other guests complained of inconsistent water pressure while some reports suggested customers even bemoaned "funny tasting water".

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Lam’s story is one of the most well-documented mysteries on the internet, with footage of her acting visibly distressed having been analysed by thousands of people online, all boasting their own theories as to what was going on.

Some have even suggested she was trying to summon spirits by focusing on her hand movements.

Is the hotel still open? Can you still stay there?

Situated in a deprived part of Los Angeles, the hotel was originally opened in 1924 by three businessmen named William Banks Hanner, Charles L. Dix and Robert H. Schops.

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Unfortunately for them, just five years after the grand unveiling, the US was ravaged financially by the Great Depression. This marked the beginning of the hotel’s demise.

Decades later, the hotel attempted to rebrand itself in a bid to shake off their cursed reputation, and christened the venue with a new name – "Stay on Main Street".

It was sold for $30million to hotelier and businessman Richard Born in 2014, just a year after the Elisa Lam incident. It closed in 2017 for renovation and is yet to reopen its doors.

  • Netflix
  • Crime
  • Cecil Hotel

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