If “American Horror Story” makes you afraid of things that go bump in the night, then you might not want to plan a trip to the Stay on Main Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The new season of the FX miniseries is based on that hotel, which was previously called the Cecil.
That’s right, fans of “American Horror Story” can step inside the Season 5 plot by lodging at the Stay on Main. Although the new installment has not premiered yet, TMZ is reporting that “hordes of fans” are already trying to book a room at the hotel. But not just any room – the room that 21-year-old Canadian student Elisa Lam was in when she stayed at the Cecil Hotel in February 2013.
For those unfamiliar with the Elisa Lam story, she was reported missing at the beginning of the month after checking into the hotel. The Los Angeles Police Department released a video at the time of Lam’s last appearance – security footage from the hotel’s elevator. She appeared alone in the elevator, but something was off. Although she pushed several buttons, the elevator would not go down. Some say she appeared paranoid and scared, while others believe that she was motioning at someone – or something – outside of the view of the camera. She eventually exited the elevator and was never seen alive again. Lam’s body was later discovered in the hotel’s water tank. An employee discovered her after guests complained about the taste of the water and discolored water from the shower.
“American Horror Story” co-creator Ryan Murphy revealed at the 2015 Television Critics Association summer press tour that Season 5 was inspired by Lam’s death.
“There was a surveillance video that went around two years ago that showed a girl getting into an elevator in a hotel that was said to be haunted … and she was never seen again,” Murphy explained.
But Lam’s grisly story isn’t the only one linked to the Los Angeles hotel. According to CNN, serial killers Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger both lived there. Ramirez is accused of murdering 13 women in the 1980s, while Unterweger is accused of killing three prostitutes while a guest at the hotel in 1991. Ramirez was convicted of 13 counts of murder, five attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries on Sept. 20, 1989. He was sentenced to die in California’s gas chamber, but ultimately died on June 7, 2013 due to complications from B-cell lymphoma. Unterweger was charged with 11 homicides in Austria and committed suicide in his cell on June 29, 1994.
TMZ reports that Stay on Main is not letting guests stay in Lam’s room. Security at the hotel is also allegedly “on alert for people daring to conduct paranormal investigations.”
Stay on Main is not where filming for “American Horror Story: Hotel” took place. A six-story hotel was built on the Fox lot in Los Angeles. Fans can dive right into the story when Season 5 premieres Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 10 p.m. ET. The first episode will introduce the Hotel Cortez, a building with a mysterious past that is potentially linked to a “chain of gruesome murders” in town.