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The Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles has a dark and mysterious history that includes reports of multiple deaths and suicides.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: At least 16 confirmed deaths have occurred at the Cecil since it opened in 1924, plus at least two reported suicides. This macabre reputation has earned the hotel the nickname ‘The Suicide Hotel’.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most tragic and suspicious cases associated with the Cecil Hotel over its nearly 100 year history, examining how its location in LA’s Skid Row neighborhood contributed to its infamy as a site of reported violence and death.

Overview of Deaths at the Cecil Hotel

The Cecil Hotel, located in downtown Los Angeles, has gained notoriety over the years due to the number of deaths that have occurred on its premises. The hotel, which was built in 1924, has a dark history that has captured the attention of true crime enthusiasts and paranormal enthusiasts alike.

Cecil Hotel

Confirmed/Official Deaths

There have been several confirmed deaths at the Cecil Hotel throughout its history.

One of the most well-known cases is that of Elisa Lam, a Canadian student who was found dead in a water tank on the hotel’s roof in 2013. Her mysterious death sparked widespread speculation and conspiracy theories.

Another notable case is that of “The Black Dahlia” Elizabeth Short, who was reportedly seen at the Cecil Hotel in the days leading up to her murder in 1947. While her death did not occur at the hotel itself, its connection to such a high-profile case has only added to its dark reputation.

In addition to these cases, there have been other suicides, overdoses, and violent deaths at the Cecil Hotel over the years. The hotel’s location in an area known for its high crime rate and transient population has contributed to the unfortunate incidents that have taken place within its walls.

Alleged/Unconfirmed Deaths

There are also numerous alleged deaths that have been associated with the Cecil Hotel, although they have not been officially confirmed. These include reports of suicides, murders, and even the presence of serial killers.

One infamous story is that of Richard Ramirez, also known as the “Night Stalker,” who stayed at the Cecil Hotel during his crime spree in the 1980s. While Ramirez was not implicated in any deaths at the hotel, his connection to the establishment has added to its dark and sinister reputation.

It is important to note that some of the alleged deaths and stories surrounding the Cecil Hotel may be based on urban legends or misinformation. However, the hotel’s history and the confirmed deaths that have occurred there cannot be denied.

Most Notorious Cecil Hotel Deaths

The Cecil Hotel, located in downtown Los Angeles, has gained notoriety over the years due to a number of mysterious deaths and other disturbing incidents. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most infamous deaths that have occurred within its walls.

Elisa Lam

One of the most widely known and eerie cases associated with the Cecil Hotel is the death of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old Canadian student. In 2013, Elisa went missing during her stay at the hotel, and her disappearance sparked a massive search effort.

After weeks of searching, her body was tragically discovered in one of the hotel’s water tanks on the roof. The circumstances surrounding her death remain shrouded in mystery, with security footage showing her exhibiting strange behavior in the hotel elevator shortly before her disappearance. This case garnered significant media attention and sparked numerous theories and speculations.

Pigeon Goldie Osgood

Another perplexing death associated with the Cecil Hotel is that of Pigeon Goldie Osgood, a retired telephone operator known for feeding pigeons in the nearby Pershing Square.

In 1964, Osgood was found dead in her room at the Cecil Hotel. She had been sexually assaulted, stabbed, and strangled. The case remains unsolved, and despite the efforts of law enforcement, no one has ever been charged with her murder.

Helen Gurnee

Helen Gurnee’s death at the Cecil Hotel is a tragic example of the dark history associated with the establishment.

In 1954, Helen checked into the hotel and was found dead just a few days later. She had ingested poison and left a note behind, indicating her intentions to end her life. The circumstances leading up to her death remain a mystery, and her tragic story adds to the haunting reputation of the Cecil Hotel.

The Cecil Hotel’s history is filled with tales of death, crime, and the unexplained. These notorious deaths, including those of Elisa Lam, Pigeon Goldie Osgood, and Helen Gurnee, continue to captivate the public’s imagination and contribute to the hotel’s dark legacy.

found dead

Suicides and Attempted Suicides

The Cecil Hotel has a dark history when it comes to suicides and attempted suicides. Over the years, several tragic incidents have occurred within its walls, leaving many wondering what could have contributed to such a disturbing trend. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most notable cases.

Suicides in the 1930s-1950s

During the 1930s to 1950s, the Cecil Hotel witnessed a series of suicides that sent shockwaves through the community.

The Great Depression had taken a toll on many individuals, and some found themselves in desperate situations. The Cecil Hotel became a magnet for those struggling with personal demons, leading to a number of tragic endings.

While exact statistics are hard to come by, it is believed that several suicides occurred within this timeframe. The exact reasons behind these acts may never be fully understood, but it serves as a reminder of the struggles many faced during this period of history.

Pauline Otton Suicide

One of the most well-known cases of suicide at the Cecil Hotel is that of Pauline Otton. In 1962, she tragically ended her life by jumping out of a ninth-floor window. However, her fall took an unexpected turn when she landed on a passerby, George Gianinni, who was walking on the sidewalk below. Both individuals lost their lives in this horrifying incident.

The circumstances surrounding Pauline Otton’s suicide have sparked much debate and speculation over the years. Some believe that the Cecil Hotel’s eerie atmosphere and reputation played a role in her decision, while others point to personal struggles she may have been facing. Regardless, this incident remains one of the most haunting stories associated with the hotel.

Other Reported Suicides

Aside from the infamous Pauline Otton case, there have been other reported suicides at the Cecil Hotel. While it is difficult to determine the exact number, it is clear that the hotel has seen its fair share of tragic endings.

Some individuals have chosen to end their lives by jumping from the building, while others have used more unconventional methods.

It is important to approach these stories with sensitivity and empathy, as they represent the struggles and pain experienced by those who felt they had no other way out. The Cecil Hotel’s history serves as a reminder of the importance of mental health awareness and the need for support systems in times of crisis.

For those seeking further information on the Cecil Hotel’s dark history of suicides and attempted suicides, there are numerous websites and sources available.

The Cecil Hotel’s Infamous Location and Reputation

Located in Skid Row

The Cecil Hotel, situated in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, has gained notoriety due to its location in the Skid Row neighborhood.

Skid Row is known for its high concentration of homelessness and poverty, making it a challenging area plagued by social issues. The hotel’s proximity to this troubled neighborhood has contributed to its dark and eerie reputation.

Skid Row is home to a large transient population, attracting individuals who are struggling with addiction, mental health issues, and homelessness. This environment has created a unique atmosphere around the Cecil Hotel, with a constant influx of different people seeking shelter, making it a witness to various incidents over the years.

Skid Row neighborhood

Reputation for Crime and Violence

The Cecil Hotel has gained a reputation for being associated with crime and violence. Over the years, it has been the site of numerous criminal activities, including murders, suicides, and mysterious disappearances. These incidents have contributed to the hotel’s dark history and have captivated the public’s fascination.

It is important to note that while the Cecil Hotel has had its fair share of disturbing incidents, it is also a place where many people have stayed without encountering any issues. However, its reputation for crime and violence has undoubtedly left a lasting impression on both locals and visitors alike.

For more information on the Cecil Hotel’s history and the incidents that have occurred there, you can visit here

The Cecil in Pop Culture

The Cecil Hotel, located in downtown Los Angeles, has gained notoriety over the years for its dark history and mysterious occurrences. It has become a prominent fixture in pop culture, being featured in various forms of media such as TV shows, films, and books.

Featured in TV, Films and Books

The Cecil Hotel’s eerie reputation has captured the attention of filmmakers, writers, and producers, resulting in its inclusion in several notable works.

One of the most well-known mentions of the hotel is in the fifth season of the popular TV series “American Horror Story: Hotel.”

The show’s creators drew inspiration from the Cecil’s haunted past, creating a fictionalized version of the hotel with a dark and sinister atmosphere.

In addition to television, the Cecil Hotel has also been referenced in films. For example, the 2015 horror movie “The Night Stalker” takes inspiration from the hotel’s notorious history. The film delves into the dark secrets and supernatural occurrences associated with the Cecil, further perpetuating its eerie reputation.

Furthermore, the Cecil Hotel has also been the subject of various books and true crime stories. Writers have explored the hotel’s dark past, delving into the unsolved mysteries and the tragic events that have taken place within its walls. These books provide readers with a chilling glimpse into the hotel’s history and the stories that continue to haunt it.

The Cecil Hotel Documentary

In 2017, a documentary titled “The Cecil Hotel” was released, further shedding light on the hotel’s dark history. The documentary explores the infamous case of Elisa Lam, a young woman who mysteriously disappeared while staying at the Cecil in 2013. Her body was later found in a water tank on the hotel’s roof, sparking worldwide attention and speculation.

The documentary delves into the circumstances surrounding Lam’s disappearance and death, as well as the history of the Cecil Hotel itself. It interviews former guests, residents, and employees, providing a comprehensive look into the hotel’s troubled past and the impact it has had on those who have encountered it.


The Cecil Hotel’s tragic history of reported deaths, suicides, and crimes has cemented its reputation as one of the most infamous hotels in Los Angeles.

While an exact number is unclear, estimates suggest at least 16 confirmed deaths, over two reported suicides, and many more violent incidents have occurred there since 1924.

Its location in the midst of poverty and crime in the Skid Row area contributed to its dark past. While the Cecil continues to fascinate and horrify those interested in its history to this day, many hope its renovation will help revive its image.

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