Take a deteriorating building, a skid row neighborhood, proximity to a clinic for sex offenders, and serial killers as long-term guests, and you come close to describing the magic of the Cecil Hotel in the 1980s.
Can a building be “cursed?” Consider the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Constructed in 1924 as an opulent overnight resting place for worldly travelers, the hotel fell out of fashion, its clientele lured away by swankier hotels in better parts of town. Rates dropped, and the Cecil began to cater to transients. People staying there were desperate, down on their luck. Not surprising that so many of them would choose to leap to their deaths from one of its upper floor windows. The abnormally high percentage of folks who’ve killed themselves at the Cecil can be explained away, then. But its haunted history doesn’t end there.
Not one but TWO serial killers lived at the Cecil while committing their crimes, “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger. The “Black Dahlia” Elizabeth Short was staying there around the time of her murder and dismemberment. Then there is the equally mysterious, unsolved murder of “The Pigeon Lady” Goldie Osgood. And explanations are still lacking as to how a young woman’s body got into one of the hotel’s rooftop water cisterns, on the OTHER side of a locked door, in 2013. Don’t think a place can be cursed? The owners felt differently; at least the hotel suffered from the curse of bad publicity. They, not surprisingly, have changed the name. Time will tell if the “curse” continues.