A woman named Elisa Lam disappeared on January 31, 2013. She remained missing for several weeks after she failed to check out of the Hotel Cecil in Los Angeles. 19 days later her body was found in one of four large water tanks on the roof of the Hotel.
Where this gets strange:
On 14 February 2013, unsettling surveillance video from the Hotel was released by police. The footage is bizarre, to say the least. In the video, her behavior is odd and erratic, she is seen frantically pressing elevator buttons that don’t respond and the doors don’t shut. She also seems agitated, as if someone is following her. She is seen peeking outside of the elevator door several times and hiding in the corner.
Body Contortions: In the elevator footage you can see moments when her body is moving in unnatural ways. Her feet bend to painful angles and her fingers curl up in uncomfortable ways. She seems to be unaware of any pain.
At one point she begins to playfully hop in a bizarre creepy way. She then steps almost out of sight around the corner and covers her ears before stepping back into the elevator and frantically pushing more buttons. She begins to talk as if someone is there and make very strange gestures, twisting her hands in arcane movements. Lam walks to the left (off camera), and is never seen alive again.
Where this gets even stranger:
- State of the Body: She was found completely nude, covered in a sand-like substance, with her clothes and belongings bobbing about in the murky water beside her.
- The Water Tank: Access to the tank was restricted with various barricades. There were also alarm systems that had not been tripped. The water tank lid was also extremely heavy, being difficult for even one grown man to budge, let alone a tiny young woman like Lam. The water tank was so difficult to access that authorities ended up cutting it open to reach the body.
On top of all that:
- The Dark Hotel History:
- Suicides at the Hotel Cecil:
- There is a long history of numerous suicides at the hotel during the 50s and 60s. People could often be seen jumping from the windows of the upper floors.
- In one famous case, Pauline Otton, 27, hurled herself out of a 9th-floor window and landed on a passerby, George Gianinni, 65, killing both instantly.
- Serial Killers at the Hotel Cecil:
- Richard Ramirez, (the “Night Stalker”), stayed in a room on the top floor of the hotel in 1985, claiming 13 victims during his stay there. After his grim work, allegedly Ramirez would come back to the hotel to dump his bloodied clothes in the hotel dumpster.
- Unterweger was an Austrian serial killer who went on a murderous rampage across several countries killing prostitutes, and he also stayed at the Cecil Hotel in 1991, during which time he killed three prostitutes in the Los Angeles area. He beat, sexually assaulted, and strangled them with their own bras.
- Murder at the Hotel Cecil: On June 4, 1964, “Pigeon Goldie” Osgood, was found dead in his hotel room after having been beaten, raped, stabbed, and strangled. No perpetrator was ever found and his murder remains unsolved to this day.
- Suicides at the Hotel Cecil:
Then there’s the Extra Strangeness:
- A Chilling display of startling synchronicity:
- The Tuberculosis Connection: A depressed area nearby called “Skid Row’ was currently fighting a full-blown tuberculosis outbreak. The field screening kit used by medical personnel was named, “LAM-ELISA”.
- The Movie Connection: The circumstances of Lam’s death have been compared to the 2005 horror film Dark Water. In that film a mother and daughter move into a rundown apartment building, which is soon revealed to be haunted. A dysfunctional elevator and discolored water gushing from the building’s faucets eventually lead them to the building’s rooftop water tank, where they discover the body of a young girl who had been reported missing from the building. The actress playing the mother in the film is wearing an almost identical outfit as Elisa Lam in the elevator footage.
One of the last places Elisa Lam was seen alive was a place called “The last bookstore“, which uses a registrant privacy company for their website based in Burnaby, the suburb of Vancouver where Elisa was from.
The postal/zip code which is displayed for the address shows up as inside Forest Lawn Cemetery where Elisa’s remains reside.