Investigation Discovery Channel’s new series Horror at the Cecil Hotel is showcasing one of Los Angeles’ most haunted buildings. The hotel has been the home of not only serial killers, but also the scene of some unsolved crime mysteries over the years.
The grand hotel first opened its doors in 1927. No expense had been spared, and it was built as a destination for the socially elite and international business travelers. The marble lobby, the alabaster statuary, elegant palm trees, and detailed stained glass completed the Art Deco styling of the building. Then the depression came and changed the face of Los Angeles. The area around the Cecil Hotel became known as Skid Row, reducing the building to a home for junkies, prostitutes, and criminals.
In 1931, a resident of the Cecil Hotel, W.K. Norton, committed suicide by taking poisonous capsules. That was only the beginning of a long list of suicides inside the grand hotel. So many suicides, in fact, that some of the residents began referring to it as “The Suicide.”
There were many unexplained murders in the walls of the Cecil Hotel as well. For example, in 1964, Pigeon Goldie Osgood was a well-liked resident of the hotel. She was found raped and brutally murdered in her room. No one was ever convicted of the crime.
There are rumors that Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia, frequented the hotel bar in 1947, just before being murdered. The reputation of the grand hotel drew other notorious criminals in as well. In the 80s, while Richard Ramirez was terrifying LA as the Night Stalker, it is rumored that he stayed at the Cecil Hotel for a few weeks. He was able to shed his bloodied clothes and walk into the hotel partially clothed, unnoticed by the criminal element that called the hotel home.
Jack Unterweger checked into the Cecil Hotel in 1991, following in the steps of Ramirez. The Australian-born criminal killed three prostitutes while living in the hotel.
Investigation Discovery is profiling various cases and events that happened in the Cecil Hotel. The series is one to check out if you enjoy strange and bizarre crimes. They recently told the story of a missing Canadian student, Elisa Lam, who was found floating in the water cistern on the roof of the hotel, after residents complained of a strange taste to the water supply.
Have you heard of the Cecil Hotel before? What do you think of the strange history of crimes and paranormal activity that has been documented there? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Staff/Getty Images]