Pop Culture

The Cecil Hotel, Which Inspired ‘American Horror Story’ and Two Netflix Docuseries, is for Sale

Since its construction in 1924, downtown Los Angeles rooming house, the Cecil Hotel was a hot topic: first, as an opulent getaway with an iconic lobby, and later as the site of a score of deaths and the home of at least two serial killers. And now the 15-story building, which was fictionally replicated in the fifth season of FX series American Horror Story, can be yours—at least, for the next 91 years.

If you’ve watched the 2021 Netflix docuseries Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, you likely know the troubled history of the building at  640 S. Main St. Intended as luxury lodging, the Beaux Arts business fell on troubled times as the downtown area of LA began to lose its luster in the 1960s. High-profile homicides, as well as on-site deaths by misadventure or suicide, didn’t help its reputation.

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The Hotel Cecil is located in downtown Los Angeles.

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

By the 1980s, its long-term residents included Richard Ramirez, known better as the Night Stalker killer; his time there was also commemorated in a Netflix docuseries, Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer. Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger also lived there in the early 1990s, allegedly committing at least three homicides during his stay at the hotel. 

It was the disappearance of Elisa Lam in 2013 that took the Cecil from a locally notorious spot to a source of national fear. Lam, a Canadian tourist traveling alone, was caught on a surveillance camera inside one of the hotel’s elevators demonstrating bizarre, fearful behavior. The video was dissected, frame-by-frame, by internet sleuths after her body was discovered in one of the hotel’s rooftop water tanks. Her death was ruled an accident by local officials, who cited her mental health as a factor. 

A few years later, we saw a similar scene set in the fictional Hotel Cortez of American Horror Story: Hotel, Ryan Murphy’s long-running FX series on the supernatural and unexplained. “I was always very obsessed with the Hotel Cecil,” Murphy told Collider in 2015 when asked about the real-life influence on that season. “That place has had its share of bad publicity over the years, but that was one” inspiration, he said.

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Rev. Dylan Littlefield places ashes on Cecil Hotel resident Jaime Franco on Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2024 

MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Originally Published Here.

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