The Real Hotel of Horrors That Inspired the New Season of ‘American Horror Story’

Popular television series American Horror Story provides riveting, twisted entertainment with every fresh new season. Every year it seems like the TV show finds a way to up the ante in new and more horrifying ways. It’s no secret that in past seasons the show has turned to real-life historical horrors for inspiration—such as the true story of the Socialite Serial Killer who inspired American Horror Story: Coven—and this season’s creepy hotel is no different.

American Horror Story: Hotel is based on the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, that has been a home to killers, mobsters, addicts and more. The halls have seen many twisted murders and suicides.

Its bad reputation for misfortune, murder and deaths have led many to believe that it is haunted by paranormal forces. There is no denying that much evil has befallen this hotel.

Built in 1924, the original Cecil Hotel offered 600 guest rooms—although it was originally built for 700 rooms—and marketed for business travelers on a budget.

During its years of operation, the Cecil Hotel has been a place where some of the most morally corrupt characters of society could be found. These shady connections led the hotel to be the backdrop to many mysterious deaths, and some murders that have never been solved.

Notorious serial killers Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker, and Jack Unterweger were reported long-term residence of the hotel in 1985 and 1991 respectively.

Ramirez, a self-proclaimed Satanist, was convicted of 13 counts of murder and multiple counts of attempted murder and sexual assault. He would kill viciously using a variety of weapons, from handguns to knives and machetes, and remained remorseless over his evil deeds.

While he stayed at the Cecil Hotel, he allegedly performed ritual sacrifices with his victims in the room to glorify his Master.

Unterweger was an Austrian serial killer who terrorized and murdered prostitutes around the world. He was convicted in the mid-70s but was released several years later claiming to have been rehabilitated. It wasn’t long before he caved to his lust for murder once again.

When he was initially released, he was hired to live in Los Angeles and write about crime. However during that time he checked into the Cecil Hotel where he repeatedly beat, assaulted and strangled women.

The hotel has also been a hot spot for horrific suicides.

In more recent years, the shocking discovery of 21-year-old Elisa Lam’s body was made in one of the water supply tanks on the hotel’s roof.

Her body was found by a maintenance worker after guests of the hotel complained about water pressure and a funny taste to their tap water.

She was found nude, and authorities ruled her death as an accidental drowning.

Eerily, some of her last moments were caught on surveillance video. Footage shows her on her last night seen alive acting strangely, hiding in the elevator, taking the elevator to multiple random floors, and waving her arms erratically.

It could have been a mental disorder, but many speculate that the mysterious and tortured history of the hotel itself may have driven her out of her mind. Or perhaps were paranormal forces behind her gruesome death.

Whatever drove her to die remains an ongoing mystery.

The Cecil Hotel was sold in 2007, refurbished, and in 2011 it was re-branded as the Stay on Main. However the twisted history of the hotel has made it infamous as a hotbed for paranormal activity, and now it has become inspiration for creepy hotel lore.

Is it coincidence that so many of these terrible tragedies have befallen this one hotel, or is something more sinister at play?