As the tragedies began to pile up, the hotel's sinister reputation landed it with the title of "The Suicide".
Cover Image Source: Image Source: Wikimedia Commons/Jim Winstead/ CC BY 2.0
Horror fans are no strangers to the amazing anthology that is American Horror Story. Season 5 of the show took inspiration from the dark and spooky Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, where many in real life witnessed their own share of supernatural phenomena. Since the season aired, it has gone on to become a fan favorite. Season 5 is called American Horror Story: Hotel after revolves around the Hotel Cortez which is based on the Cecil Hotel.
This is your typical den of doom as spirits of past guests who have died in the hotel (mostly by suicide) come to haunt those who aren't the living dead. Once an unsuspecting victim's soul is trapped at the hotel forever, some of them turn into ghosts, while others can even become vampires. The hotel is run by a small staff who takes care of the building and the spirits residing within, too.
Screenrant reports that this fictional Hotel Cortez is based on the real-life Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, which comes with its own dark history of murder and suicide. Through its long tenure, the Cecil Hotel has witnessed numerous deaths of all sorts. Originally built in 1924, the hotel was meant to serve business travelers and tourists but the Great Depression hit and it became a part of Los Angeles' infamous Skid Row. As a result, drugs, and prostitution began to thrive at the hotel. It later transformed into a "Beaux Arts-style hotel with 700 rooms, a marble lobby, palm trees, stained-glass windows, and an opulent staircase."
However, this hotel soon turned from a haven for vice to a house of horrors when a string of mysterious deaths and murders took place on the premises. There have been at least 16 different suicides, murders, and other mysterious paranormal events recorded on site. The icing on the devil's cake was that it then became home to some of America's most notorious serial killers, including Richard Ramirez who was known as the "Night Stalker" in the 1980s and Jack Unterweger who had a reputation for murdering prostitutes.
The Cecil Hotel's first recorded suicide came in 1931 when a guest, W.K. Norton, allegedly drank poison in his room. Why he did so remains a mystery to this day. There have been others who have shot themselves, slit their own throats, and even jumped out of their bedroom windows. As these tragedies began to pile up, the hotel's sinister reputation landed it with the title of "The Suicide".
In another insane detail, back in September 1944, a woman Dorothy Jean Purcell reportedly woke up in the middle of the night with stomach pains. She wasn't aware that she was pregnant but went to the bathroom and gave birth to a baby boy. She threw the child out of the window thinking the baby was dead... that's creepy! Thus with these numerous instances, it's no surprise that the Cecil Hotel was called the most haunted hotel in LA.