Over the decades, the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles has had its share of strange occurrences and stranger residents. The Cecil Hotel was the site of several suicides and three murders. It was the onetime residence of serial killers Richard Ramirez in 1985 and Jack Unterweger in 1991. The Cecil Hotel was also rumored to be one of the last places Elizabeth Short (nicknamed “The Black Dahlia”) was seen before her murder in 1947.
Possibly the strangest occurrence at the Cecil Hotel, however, was in February of 2013.
The body of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old student from Canada, was found naked inside a locked water tank on the hotel’s roof. Elisa Lam — a resident at the Cecil Hotel — was reported missing on January 31, 2012. Her decomposing body was found in the locked water tank by a maintenance worker investigating “low water pressure” and water that “tasted funny” reported by Cecil Hotel residents.
Authorities later ruled that her death was an “accidental drowning.”
Security video later surfaced on the internet from the Cecil Hotel showing Elisa Lam acting very strange in one of the Cecil Hotel’s elevators. In the video, Lam is seen apparently speaking to someone who isn’t there, pressing multiple floor buttons on the elevator panel, bending over to stare or “speak” to someone at the panel and repeatedly checking the hallway outside of the elevator as if she’s terrified of someone — or something — before hiding around the corner inside the elevator.
Here’s the video of Elisa Lam in the elevator at the Cecil Hotel:
Los Angeles police later reported that Lam suffered from bipolar disorder, which may have contributed to her behavior in the elevator and her subsequent death.
However, there are still many questions that remain about the death of Elisa Lam at the Cecil Hotel. According to The Guardian, to access the water tanks on top of the Cecil Hotel, someone would have to go to the top floor of the hotel, access a stairwell, go through a locked door onto the roof and deactivate an emergency alarm that prevents roof access. As the tanks are located ten feet above the roof, another ladder would have to be carried up for someone to climb the side of the tanks in order to get inside.
It’s those very questions filmmakers plan to address in a new feature film, according to Deadline.
Sony Pictures is currently negotiating with Jeremy Lovering to direct the film called The Bringing. The film is reportedly based on the death of Elisa Lam at the Cecil Hotel and involves a man investigating the death and the “nightmare he stumbles into.”
Lovering previously directed In Fear, an Irish psychological film that debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
[Image via Wikigag and The Guardian]