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Discover the chilling stories of notorious serial killers who have stayed at the infamous Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles.

If you’re curious about the dark past of this hotel, then you’re in for a spine-tingling ride.

If you’re short on time, here’s the key takeaway: The Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles has a long and unfortunate history intertwined with some of the most notorious serial killers of the past century. Several high-profile individuals linked to heinous crimes have called this troubled establishment home, adding to its dark and macabre lore. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most notorious serial killers who have stayed at Cecil Hotel and the gruesome crimes they committed.

The Haunting History of Cecil Hotel

The Cecil Hotel, located in Downtown Los Angeles, has a haunting history that has fascinated people for decades. It was built in 1924 and was initially designed as a luxurious hotel for business travelers and tourists. However, over the years, it gained a reputation for violence and crime.

It is worth mentioning that the hotel’s location in a high-crime area contributed to its negative reputation. The neighborhood surrounding the Cecil Hotel was known for its poverty, crime, and drug use. Unfortunately, the hotel became a hotspot for illegal activity.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the hotel’s history is the mysterious deaths and murders that occurred within its walls.

The Cecil Hotel was the site of numerous suicides, including that of a 65-year-old woman who jumped from her room window in 1962. The most famous case, however, is that of Elisa Lam, a Canadian student who was found dead in a water tank on the hotel’s roof in 2013.

It is worth noting that some notorious serial killers have also stayed at the Cecil Hotel.

For instance, Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker, stayed at the hotel during his killing spree in the mid-1980s. Another serial killer, Jack Unterweger, a journalist who killed prostitutes in Austria and the United States, also stayed at the hotel in 1991.

Keep in mind that despite its dark reputation, the hotel has also been a popular location for filmmakers and TV producers.

It has been featured in several movies, including “American Horror Story” and “Se7en.” On the other hand, the hotel’s sordid past has also made it a popular destination for true crime enthusiasts and ghost hunters.

Despite its checkered past, the hotel remains open to guests today, now rebranded as Stay on Main. However, visitors should be aware of the hotel’s history and the potential for paranormal activity that some believe still lingers within its walls.

Cecil Hotel

Richard Ramirez – The Night Stalker

Richard Ramirez, also known as “The Night Stalker,” was a notorious serial killer who terrorized Los Angeles during the mid-1980s. Ramirez stayed at the Cecil Hotel in 1985, during the height of his killing spree.

The stay at the Cecil Hotel was only one of many stops on Ramirez’s violent rampage. He was known for breaking into homes and attacking his victims in their sleep, often using a variety of weapons including guns, knives, and hammers.

It is worth mentioning that Ramirez’s stay at the Cecil Hotel coincided with several brutal murders in the Los Angeles area. Unfortunately, the hotel’s reputation for attracting transient individuals and those with criminal backgrounds made it an easy target for someone like Ramirez.

During his time at the Cecil Hotel, Ramirez was reportedly staying on the 14th floor. It was from this room that he would go on to commit some of his most heinous crimes, leaving a trail of death and destruction in his wake.

Despite the hotel’s association with Ramirez, it is important to note that the Cecil Hotel management was not aware of his crimes at the time of his stay. It was only after he was caught and convicted that the connection was made.

Jack Unterweger – The Writer Turned Killer

One of the most infamous serial killers who stayed at Cecil Hotel was Jack Unterweger. Unterweger was an Austrian journalist, author, and playwright who was convicted of murdering eleven prostitutes and other women during the 1990s.

Unterweger stayed at Cecil Hotel in 1991, where he is believed to have continued his twisted killing spree. His stay at the hotel was brief, but it was during this time that he committed one of his most heinous crimes.

Unterweger’s mind was twisted, and he had a deep hatred for women. He was known to strangle his victims with their own bras, and it is believed that he chose prostitutes as his victims because he saw them as easy targets.

Unterweger’s killing spree was not limited to Austria. He traveled extensively, and it is believed that he murdered women in several countries, including the United States. He was eventually caught in Miami, Florida, and extradited to Austria, where he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

It is worth mentioning that Unterweger’s story has been the subject of several books, documentaries, and even an opera. He has been the subject of intense media coverage, and his story continues to fascinate people around the world.

Austrian journalist

The Elisa Lam Mystery

One of the most infamous stories associated with the Cecil Hotel is the mysterious disappearance of Elisa Lam. In February 2013, Lam, a 21-year-old Canadian student, checked into the hotel. However, she never checked out.

A few weeks after her disappearance, a video surfaced showing Lam behaving erratically in one of the hotel’s elevators. The footage quickly went viral, and many people were disturbed by her strange behavior. Lam can be seen pressing multiple buttons, peeking out of the elevator, and making frantic hand gestures.

Unfortunately, Lam’s body was discovered weeks later in one of the hotel’s water tanks on the roof. The discovery of her body only added to the mystery surrounding her disappearance. How did she get into the water tank? Was she murdered or did she accidentally fall in?

Other Notable Guests

Aside from the infamous Richard Ramirez, who stayed at the Cecil Hotel during his killing spree, there were other notable guests with dark backgrounds.

  • The Hillside Stranglers, a serial killer duo consisting of cousins Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi, stayed at the hotel in the 1980s. They were responsible for the murders of at least ten young women in the Los Angeles area.
  • Another notorious guest was Josef Fritzl, an Austrian serial killer who imprisoned and raped his daughter for 24 years. He stayed at the Cecil Hotel in the mid-1980s.
  • The Skid Row Slasher, an unidentified serial killer who was active in the 1990s, also stayed at the hotel. He was responsible for the deaths of several homeless men in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles.

It is worth mentioning that the Cecil Hotel has a long history of attracting guests with criminal backgrounds. Unfortunately, this has contributed to the hotel’s dark reputation and association with serial killers.


Cecil Hotel has earned a reputation as one of the most haunted and ominous buildings in Los Angeles.

The hotel’s dark history and association with notorious serial killers have made it a popular destination for those who are fascinated by true crime.

While the hotel has gone through several changes in ownership and undergone renovations, its ominous past continues to fascinate and terrify us to this day.

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