There are many haunted places in the world. Some are easy to distinguish on sight, and others defy convention with their bland exteriors that hide disturbing, evil insides.

All these places have something in common. They were not built to be considered dwellings of spirits or vortexes of despair.

Many of these hot spots of harrowing history are just everyday places with standard facilities where darkness tends to overwhelm those within and drives its occupants into dangerous places from time to time.

No building in LA is more haunted than the Cecil Hotel. Now known as the Stay On Main, in an attempt to rid itself of its spotty and disturbing past, the hotel is known as a place where many strange and awful things have happened since it was created.

Despite that dark past, it continues to function as a regular hotel, luring in unsuspecting travelers to add to the horrible history of the 15-floor fear factory.

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10 /10 By Any Other Name

The Cecil was built in 1924 when Los Angeles was still a growing, burgeoning city. It hosted tourists and business people as the primary clientele.

It was built up as a lavish project with marble floors and stained glass windows in the lobby.

Three hoteliers, entrepreneurs in the business of nightly rental room space, spent a combined 4$ million in 1920s money just shortly before the Great Depression made the area around the hotel an unfortunate hangout for local homeless.

9 /10 Sad For Business

Early on, The Cecil ended up attracting a certain kind of clientele.

Perhaps it was the distance from the well-established and popular East Coast cities or the distractions afforded by the burgeoning West Coast culture, but men who came into the hotel for a night would often not wake up the following day.

Suicide was a frequent check-out cause for the passing folks that checked into the hotel, with several gruesome incidents occurring within the first few years of its grand opening.

8 /10 Loud Neighbors

The first person to die in The Cecil was Percy Cook. He was a fallen-out father who was out of the house after a fight with his wife.

He failed to reconcile with his family and was alone once again. In the evening of January 22, 1927, he shot himself in the head.

He was rushed to the hospital but was later pronounced dead before arrival, making him the first of many future suicides.

The next one, a man from Manhattan Beach nearby, checked in under an assumed name and killed himself via poison capsules.


7 /10 Last Stop To Peace

Throughout the 30s, many unfortunate ends were met by members of the armed forces. One was Sgt. Louis D. Borden, who slit his throat with a razor and left a note blaming his building illnesses and ill state of health for his early departure.

US Marine Corps firemanRoy Thompson chose to jump from the top floor onto the skylight of a nearby building after staying for several weeks.

Navy officer Erwin C. Neblett died of poison. These all happened to start from 1934 up to 1939. There were never more than three years without death at the hotel within the decade after it opened.

6 /10 Shocking Death

The streets below were no place for litter, yet the temptations became too great for certain borders. Grace E. Margo was found wrapped in telephone wires after a fall from her ninth-story window.

While the cables broke her fall, the electricity coursing through them finished her off.

It was unknown if it was a mere accident or an intentional plummet that sent her to her death, but the hotel’s reputation was built up such that people assumed the latter was true.

Andrea Raffin /

5 /10 From Cradle To Grave

The Cecil Hotel was a spot for shared living as well, and not always peacefully. Dorothy Purcell was the first murderer of the hotel. She lived with her boyfriend Ben Levine and was pregnant – unbeknownst to her husband.

One night, she went into labor and, not wanting to wake him up for a drive to the clinic, quietly gave birth in her bathroom.

She thought her baby was dead and threw it out the window. That made her unnamed child the first human born in the hotel and the youngest to die.

4 /10 One-Stop Elevator

Many people chose or were chosen to die by falling. They all had their reasons; some were left unknown. Some are still unidentified today. The most recent falling death happened in June of 2015.

Without their final words, suicide is just as easy to assume as an accident or outright murder. Some are so reckless to get to the bottom they don’t look out below.

Such was the case of Pauline Otton, who jumped onto and killed George Gianinni when leaping for death from the ninth floor after having an out with her husband. Gianinni was not even a guest at the hotel and still suffered its curse.

3 /10 Den Of Evil

Murder was infrequent, but not rare, at The Hotel. The first major prominent case was the murder of “Pigeon Goldie,” an old woman of the local Perishing Square who fed birds for her retirement.

She was found stabbed to death and raped as if she was getting ready to head outside. One suspect was apprehended being seen near her room hours beforehand but was acquitted for lack of evidence.

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2 /10 Serial Slink

In the 1980s, the “Night Stalker” serial killer Richard Ramirez lived at the Cecil Hotel, either between or during his infamous killing spree.

An international killer also stayed years later, as if drawn by the same energy Ramirez left in his wake.

There were even rumors far back in the 40s that Elizabeth Short, the Black Dhalia herself, was there for drinks just nights before her murder shocked the West Coast.


1 /10 Murder Or Mystery

The most famous case of violence to ever happen was the vanishing of Elisa Lam, a Canadian student, who was found in one of the building’s water tanks.

The security footage was released to the public via the Internet, showing her last panic-filled moments as she struggled to leave an elevator and was never seen again.

Some have called murder, others to suicide. But all those fingers end up pointing at the historical sign on the Stay On Main, its proper name, The Cecil Hotel, aka “The Suicide.”

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