This is a story that has captured the imagination, and a little bit of paranoia, around the world. Elisa Lan was a pretty regular girl. She could’ve been me, or you.
Elisa was a young student, studying at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She was pretty, had a great personality, popular, a regular free-spirited 21 year old.
Like many young people, Elisa had some issues. She struggled with anxiety and depression and was under the care of a doctor. Many people struggle with mental illness, this is not an unusual phenomena at all. But when things began to get really odd, people began to question. Was this mental illness. Or was something out of the ordinary happening to Elisa?
Elisa left British Columbia and traveled around the USA, making her way to Los Angeles. She did what young travelers did – had fun, explored, partied and blogged. She had quite a reputation as a young fashion blogger. Nothing unusual here.
Until – Elisa went missing. Elisa would call her parents daily on her travels and the day they didn’t get a phone call, her parents knew something was wrong. They tried all avenues to find her but there was no sign of Elisa. Her mom and dad engaged the help of the police and everyone they could. Perhaps they had a premonition that this was no ordinary disappearance.
Elisa had been staying at The Cecil Hotel. And if this doesn’t put a shiver down your spine, nothing will. The Cecil Hotel had a reputation for mystery disappearances and deaths. People have committed suicide here, serial killers have stayed here, and several odd sightings and odd behaviors have been seen here.
It was the day that Elisa checked out of The Cecil Hotel that she went missing. A week after she disappeared her parents flew in to Los Angels. Something was desperately wrong.
Elisa’s parents headed to The Cecil Hotel and watched while the staff went through all their camera footage. Elisa could be seen, on video, in an elevator. This would be fine if Elisa was behaving normally. This would be fine if Elisa was behaving strangely, in the way someone depressed, behaves.
But Elisa could be seen in the elevator doing the most bizarre things.
It was like she was not alone in the elevator at all. Someone, or something paranormal, was in there with her.
Her parents watching the video footage were distraught. It was clear that their daughter was in a very bad way. She was stepping in and out of the elevator, looking at something that nobody else could see, clearly terrified of this thing, talking, not talking, gesturing and all the time and looking absolutely terrified.
This could be that Elisa was having a psychotic episode. Doctor’s had used the words ‘Bi-Polar’ and it is totally possible that Elisa was having an episode. The footage was disturbing to say the least, and if you watch it now, it indeed looks like Elisa is seeing something and very frightened by what she is seeing.
And then, five days later, Elisa’s body was found. It was found because guests in the hotel noticed that their water was smelling and tasting pretty disgusting. Finally, the hotel and the police checked every single corner of the hotel. And Elisa’s body was found, floating in a water tanker on top of the room, face down, naked and decomposed.
The guests had been drinking and using the water that Elisa’s dead body had been in.
But – how had she died? The Coroner found nothing suspicious. Elisa’s death was ruled accidental. Except – how had she got into the tank? The doors to the roof were all locked. The doors to the stairwell were all locked. The fire escape stairways even had alarms on them. Elisa could have used the fire escape to get to the roof, but – the alarms would have gone off.
There was NO WAY Elisa could make it to the roof on her own.
Which means, perhaps she was never alone.
Let’s go back to the video footage. Bizarre is not the right word. If you are able to watch it, and it was shared on Youtube hundreds of thousands of times, it is clear that Elisa is in a terrible way. It is not the kind of fear though that goes with depression, anxiety or even Bi-Polar This was fear way beyond anything that anyone has ever seen.
And let’s also go back to The Cecil Hotel. How many deaths can happen in one hotel. Why did serial killers choose to hide out here? The fact that a ‘Night-Stalker’ spent many nights in the hotel after raping and murdering women is enough to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Why have there been so many suicides in this hotel? And not just suicides. One person who jumped out the window landed on a passer-by, killing him too.
If you believe that there could be evil in a place, this would be at the hotel. It seems to be that Elisa Lan became possessed. And yes you can argue that a psychotic episode is like a possession. But – watch her really bizarre behaviour. It is creepy. But it also seems – she is not alone. There was something, something strange, something out of this world, in that elevator with her.
Elisa Lan was a young girl. She had mental illness. But she also had a good team around her, a family that loved her, support and she did live her life well. Whatever happened in Los Angeles was odd. Mysterious. A mystery that will perhaps never been sold.
The Cecil Hotel is no longer The Cecil Hotel. Nobody could stay there after the events. Will we ever find out what happened?
Probably not. But we do know that mysterious events still happen. All the time.