Spooky Stories: Welcome to LA’s most Haunted Hotel!


Sunny Los Angeles, California is home of the Cecil Hotel where tragic endings are what it’s known for. Unlike hotels like the Ritz, where service and hospitality is what keeps the hotel running, the Cecil Hotel’s horrifying tragedies keeps their business alive.

Cecil has been cursed with unfortunate and mysterious circumstances that give it its reputation. According to, allthat’sinteresting.com,  at least 16 different murders, suicides, and unexplained paranormal events have taken place at the hotel. Some of America’s most notorious series killers have called Cecil their temporary home.

In 1924, William Banks Hanner spent $1 million to build the 700 – room hotel. Hanner intended Cecil to be a destination hotel for international businessmen and social elites. Cecil was complete with a marble lobby, stained-glass windows, palm trees, and the final touch, an opulent staircase. 

Regret soon followed. Just two years after the Cecil Hotel opened, the Great Depression knocked on everyone’s doors. The surrounding area of the hotel would be dubbed “Skid Row” and become home to thousands of homeless people. The once beautiful, lavish hotel gained a reputation as a meeting place for runaways and criminals, and now most famously, a reputation for violence and death. 

One of the most fascinating stories surrounding Cecil took place in September of 1944. Dorothy Jean Purcell, who was 19 at the time, awoke in the middle of the night with stomach pains. She went to the bathroom and to her complete shock she had given birth to a baby boy. This came as an earth-shattering surprise to her due to the fact she had no prior knowledge of being pregnant. She was then admitted to a hospital for psychiatric treatment for the murder of her newborn son who she mistakenly thought was dead. During her trial she was found not guilty of murder but instead, by reason of insanity. 

Even though the last body was found in the Cecil Hotel in 2015, rumors and ghost stories still circle today. The hotel’s past was so intriguing that even the hit television show, American Horror Story, based a season off of its chilling history.

Cecil attempted to shake off its history in 2011 by rebranding itself as the Stay On Main Hotel and Hostel, a $75-per-night budget hotel for daring tourists. Many years later, New York developers signed a 99-year lease, and began gutting and renovating the building to try to help “rebrand” the hotel and its reputation. 

With these renovations and rebranding, hopefully the Cecil Hotel can finally shake its reputation and become an attraction for better reasons.