Is This The Inspiration For “American Horror Story: Hotel”?

Is Hotel Cortez a thinly veiled version of LA's Cecil Hotel?

As we draw closer to October, speculation about the next season of American Horror Story is reaching an all-time high. While announcements about Lady Gaga’s character (a bisexual murderer, fun!) have titillated some, others are more interested in the real-life inspiration for the titular hotel.

Related: Lady Gaga Playing “Wealthy Social Doyenne Consumed With Art And Fashion” On “AHS: Hotel”

Ryan Murphy described his AHS: Hotel inspiration to EW. “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.”

The pop-culture super-sleuths over at Jezebel have suggested that a fictional version of the notorious Cecil Hotel could be serving as the setting for the new season.

A taxi driver (R) waits as married British tourists Mike and Sabina Baugh, both 27, put their bags in a taxi as they leave the Cecil Hotel to relocate to a different hotel, in Los Angeles California February 20, 2013. The body of 21-year-old Canadian tourist Elisa Lam was found in a water tank on the roof of the hotel three weeks after she went missing, police said. The corpse was found February 19 after hotel guests complained of low water pressure.  AFP PHOTO/Robyn BECK        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

From Jezebel:

Murphy may have been alluding to the story of the Elisa Lam, the 21-year-old Canadian woman whose dead body was found in a water tank at downtown L.A.’s Cecil Hotel in 2013.

During the investigation, a hotel surveillance video was released of Lam acting erratically in an elevator. The disturbingly spooky clip raised a lot of questions about what happened to Lam, though her death was later ruled accidental.

The Cecil was also the residence of two serial killers, Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger. Ramirez, also known as the Nightstalker, lived at the Cecil during his killing spree of 13 women in 1984-1985. Unterweger, a journalist and copycat of Ramirez, murdered three prostitutes during his stay at the Cecil in 1991.

AHS mena suvari black dahlia

Now renamed Stay on Main, the hotel was the site of several suicides and was also rumored to be one of the last places Elizabeth Short, a.k.a. The Black Dahlia, was seen before her murder in 1947. (AHS devotees will remember Mena Survari appeared as the Black Dahlia in the Season One episode “Spooky Little Girl.”)

If you’re in the mood to be spooked, watch the video of Lama at the Cecil, below:

Oh man, fall can’t come soon enough. American Horror Story: Hotel debuts October 7 on FX.

freelance pop-culture blogger (NNN, MTV Iggy, Oxygen) / recovering academic / wannabe club kid / satanic hipster / talentless DJ.