The Mysterious Case of Elisa Lam


There are mysteries that are so eerie and strange that they boggle the mind for days on end. The case of Elisa Lam is one of them. In February 2013, this 21-year-old student from Vancouver, Canada, was found dead inside the Cecil Hotel’s rooftop water tank in Los Angeles. The L.A. County Department of Coroner ruled the death “accidental due to drowning” and said no traces of drugs or alcohol were found during the autopsy. However, there is much more to the story than what is implied by police reports. The first piece of evidence that needs to be considered is an elevator surveillance tape that recorded Elisa’s behavior only a few moments before she lost her life.

The four-minute video posted on YouTube shows Elisa pressing all of the elevator buttons and waiting for it to move. Seeing that the elevator doors are not closing, starts behaving extremely bizarrely. Here’s the video.

At first, Elisa enters the elevator and apparently presses all of its buttons. She then waits for something to happen but, for some reason, the elevator door doesn’t shut. She starts to look around, as if she is expecting (or hiding from) someone. At 1:57, her arms and hands start moving in a very strange matter (almost not human) as she appears to be talking to someone, something … or nothing at all. She then walks away. The elevator door then shuts and appears to start working again.

Right after the events of the video, Elisa apparently gained access to the rooftop of the hotel, climbed to its water tank and, somehow, ended up drowning in it. Her body was found two weeks after her death, after hotel guests complained about the water’s taste and color. Incredible.

Seeing the surveillance footage, most people would conclude that she was under the influence of drugs. However, Elisa did not have a history of drug use and her autopsy concluded that no drugs were involved. When one looks at the context and the circumstances of this death, things become even more mysterious.

Cecil Hotel’s Dark History

Built in the 1920s to cater to “businessmen to come into town and spend a night or two”, Cecil Hotel was quickly upstaged by more glamorous hotels. Located near the infamous Skid Row area, the hotel began renting rooms on a long-term basis for cheap prices, a policy that attracted a shiftier crowd. The hotel’s reputation quickly went from “shifty” to “morbid” when it became notorious for numerous suicides and murders, as well as lodging famous serial killers.

“Part of its sordid history, involves two serial killers,  Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger.

Now on death row, Ramirez, labeled “the Nightstalker”, was living at the Cecil Hotel in 1985, in a top floor room.  He was charged 14 dollars a night.  In a building filled with transients, he remained unnoticed as he stalked and killed his 13 female victims. Richard Schave, said “He was dumping his bloody clothes in the Dumpster, at the end of his evening and returned via the back entrance.”

Jack Unterweger, was a journalist covering crime in Los Angeles for an Austrian magazine in 1991.  “We believe he was living at the Cecil Hotel in homage to Ramirez,” Schave said.

He is blamed with killing three prostitutes in Los Angeles, while being a guest at the Cecil.

In the 50’s and 60’s the Cecil was known as a place that people would go to jump out of one of the hotel’s windows to commit suicide.

Helen Gurnee, in her 50s, leaped from a seventh floor window, landing on the Cecil Hotel marquee, on October 22, 1954.

Julia Moore jumped from her eighth floor room window, on February 11, 1962.

Pauline Otton, 27, jumped from a ninth floor window after an argument with her estranged husband, on October 12, 1962.  Otton landed on George Gianinni, 65, who was walking on the side walk, 90 feet below. Both were killed instantly.

There was also a murder of one of the residents.  “Pigeon Goldie” Osgood, a retired telephone operator, known for protecting and feeding pigeons in a nearby park, was found dead in his ransacked room on June 4, 1964.  He had been stabbed, strangled, and raped.  The crime still remains unsolved.”

– Las Vegas Guardian Express, Elisa Lam, Morbid History Of Two Serial Killers Unfolds At “Cecil Hotel”

Elisa Lam’s case is yet another sordid addition to the hotel’s history and can lead us to ask: “What the hell is wrong with that place”?

The Movie “Dark Water”


The story of Elisa Lam is eerily similar to the 2005 horror movie Dark Water. Dahlia, the main protagonist of the movie moves into an apartment building with her young daughter Cecilia. Both of these names are relevant. Black Dahlia is the nickname given to Elizabeth Short, a woman who was the victim of a gruesome murder in 1947 – one that appeared to be particularly ritualistic. The case was never solved. According to LA Observed, it is rumored that Black Dahlia was at Cecil Hotel right before she lost her life.

“The Black Dahlia, Elizabeth Short, is alleged in at least one book to have hung out at the Cecil and drank at the bar next door before she disappeared in 1947, though cultural historians Kim Cooper and Richard Schave of Esotouric say that’s just rumor.”
– LA Observed, Serial Killer Central

In the movie, the daughter’s name, Cecilia, is, obviously, quite similar to the name Cecil Hotel.

After moving into her apartment, Dahlia notices dark water leaking from the ceiling in her bathroom. She ultimately discovers that a young girl named Natasha Rimsky drowned in the building’s rooftop water tank, which caused the water to turn black. The owner of the apartment building knew about this fact but refused to take action. Elisa Lam’s body was  in the water tank for over two weeks, causing hotel guests to complain about foul tasting “black water”.

The ending of the movie is also eerily relevant: The apartment buildings elevator malfunctions and the ghost of Cecilia’s mother braids her hair. Is Elisa Lam’s death one of those ritualistic murders that are synchronistically mirrored in a Hollywood movie?

Another Strange Coincidence

Shortly after the discovery of Elisa Lam’s body, a deadly outbreak of tuberculosis occurred in Skid Row, near Cecil Hotel. You probably won’t believe the name of the test kit used in these kinds of situations: LAM-ELISA. That is hardcore synchronicity.

No Foul Play?

LA authorities ruled in June 2013 that Elisa Lam’s death was accidental and that she was “probably bi-polar”. That being said, some questions remain unanswered. How did Elisa, who was obviously not in her right mind, end up in the hotel’s water tank, an area that is difficult to access? Here’s a news report describing the water tank area.

As the reporter states in the video, the rooftop area is protected by an alarm system and the water tank is difficult to reach. How did Elisa reach that area? Also, how did she close the water tank lid?

As is usually the case for strange deaths, authorities have been incredibly secretive and non-transparent during this investigation. What truly happened here? Why are there so many strange coincidences? Why was Elisa Lam acting so strange in the elevator? Was there a ritualistic aspect to this death? Why is the Cecil Hotel a hotbed for these kinds of stories? Is there some paranormal stuff going on there involving dark entities? The mystery appears to be whole and authorities do not seem to be wanting to probe further. Maybe I should cite here the slogan that appears on Dark Water movie posters : “Some mysteries are not meant to be solved”.


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2191 Comments on "The Mysterious Case of Elisa Lam"

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This was a very unsettling clip. I believe she was either suffering from a mental break of some sort, or drugged. It looks as if when she's talking, there easily could have been a fellow resident or hotel worker out there and the bizarre gesturing is somehow related to her attempting to explain the elevator issue. I cannot explain her off behavior (hiding in corner, pressing every button, so on) within the elevator., which leads me to the mental break or drugged theory. I want to know if there's a camera in the hallway-they bother to install an elevator cam, so there should be hallway & stairwell cams, also-especially in a hotel with the history this one has. I DO NOT believe this was accidental or a suicide. It was entirely too difficult to get in the place she was found, and, traditionally…women do not like to cause a big… Read more »

too bad you aren’t the main P.I. on this case, then it might get solved!

word is there is no other camera anywhere in the entire hotel.

This is so simple…she was being stalked by an employee, or spooked, and the employee had shut the elevator to not work, or rigged it so it wouldn't (they have stop buttons). There is no other reason for the doors not working, physically, and it not responding. Her movements are typical of someone who is creeped the heck out by something already, and when the elevator doesn't work, she is clearly distressed. Since there's no sound, we have no idea if she was being taunted. The only way for anyone to have access to the roof was to be an employee. The cops did their usual no-show job on this.

This is a “Satanic Ritualistic killing” It has the making of a Satanic Organzation . I mean its a known fact that the Illuminati run the whole Hollywood area. They worship Satan and demons. For sure they used Elisa Lam as a Satanic offering to usher in some type of testing to see if they can easily spread Tuberculosis or some other virus thru the water systems. I mean why would a goverment agency use a name like Lam Elisa to test for tubercurlosis that spread quickly in that area of LA down in Skid Row. Why? its the same Satanic bastards doing their bidding for the Wicked one. How come you people dont undestand this

Sounds like this is an accursed place. Needs torn down. If enough murders/suicides and God knows what happens, it will become an evil place. Read “The Demon of Brownsville rd’ by bob Cranmer,

Strangely enough, almost a year later an aspiring actress Carmen Noriega was found in a similar manner in a water tank and was discovered only after complaints from residents. Do we have a serial killer? Or coincidence. These are not accidents as the new reports.

A lot of others are pointing out the coinciding (not coincidental) numbers from the other cases mentioned like the dates adding up to 22, etc. I'll just point out in addition that this was LA (L+A=13) & her name was LAM. M=13 as well. Also Aleister Crowley was in contact with an interdimensional (enter-demons-n-hell) entity called LAM. In addition to all these other things you can't say there was "no foul play". LAM-ELISA? You kidding me? These movies & news stories are magic rituals, to say "life imitates art" is an understatement.

Check out the Elisa Lam Cemetery Synchronicity on Youtube. Mind-blowing!

After reading this article, it seems like there is a killer out on the loose, and he works at the Cecil Hotel. He would have access to the rooftop and water tank. At minute 2:28 in the elevator video, you can see another foot leave seconds after Elisa left. Just my 2 cents.

Yup I noticed that too

Definitely strange….but as always Hollywood or should I say HELLywood trying to hide evidence right in front of our eyes…definitely something occult…these types of cases always get forgotten as if they are trying to hide something but then again Hollywood is a satanic cult anyway…they are above our laws and get away with anything especially P********A !!!! We definitely live in a fallen world!!

Poor girl being called mental after she's dead and not here to defend herself. It was obviously someone with a gun! Assume the positon, robbery then r**e then murder. You should be calling the killer insane, mental and crazy. God Bless

I have one question, that was unanswered, and I wonder. She was fully clothed in the video, but they say they found her NAKED in the water tank deceased. Where are her clothes? Did they find those? It seems if they can find, and test those, they may get answers to how she got in there. Dust, or rust could show paths unknown… 2013 forensic study was allowed then, they could try to identify substances on her clothing to try and trace her path, paint particals, dust ect….

Her clothes were found floating in the water around her. What’s not mentioned here, but, was in the original broadcasts, not only was the only access door to the roof locked and alarmed, there was no ladder leading to the top of the tall water tank. Also, the opening in the tank was too small f I r anyone to enter to retrieve her body. They had to cut a bigger hole into the tank to retrieve her. So, no ladder, small access……how did she get herself into this tank???

Guests were complaining about the waters colour and taste. My question is how many people turn on a tap, see black water and drink it anyway?

There is a piece of evidence that hasn’t been common knowledge because I haven’t heard others discuss it. Her body was void of blood when the medical examiners were going to gather blood for toxicology there wasn’t any blood to gather this fact makes the case even more bizarre. How can this case be ruled accidental? Dogs dont smell her on roof when searched. I dont think she was in the tank yet. One doesn’t accidently end up in a water tank on a roof of a hotel when the door is alarmed even if she got there via the fire escape she would have had to use a latter, lift a very heavy lid ,jump in then close lid. Does that make sense? Hell no! She ended up there at a later time. Someone or something put her in that tank. The medical examiner just grabbed. something out of… Read more »

I believed this video has been manipulated and been edited by someone. Just pay more attention on the time stamp, don't anyone noticed it's too slow for a CCTV Video. Who did the editing? It was truly a ritual sacrifice.

why has the time been slowed down a fraction? and why is there missing footage? and why has the timecode been blurred?

To hide the edits on the video and also to justify blurring the face – it looks like she smiles in a frame, its possibly not really her, etc.

I've been thinking about this mystery for the past few days and I might have something new to bring into conversation. Not to get too spooky, but maybe this will connect some dots. As some may know, the 2005 movie Dark Water has similar events. If you watch the movie, you'll notice that they repeatedly mentioned the word "early", atleast 3-5 times. They would say how someone arrived early, or how someone would be there early, etc. This was said a few times in the movie, but it had no real purpose in the movie. Being "early" did not actually lead to anything in the movie, except for a useless movie line said a few times. So it got me thinking about the word "early". I then turned it into a name, "Earl Lee". Here's where I'm going …: If you go on spokeo and search an Earl Lee in… Read more »

extremely common name

Hey. Amigos Can-you zooming and slow motion at:2:24 to 2:29 , it appear that she made her first step with her right-leg to start walking -away and disappear, in that moment the camera recorded that all her mass of her body was on her right leg. when her right-leg is in the air, you are able to see the front of a masculine shoe appears to approaching to the range of the camera's angle, when she continue to her next step , you are able to see that the right-masculine shoe start pulling-away and disappear . possible scenario : the suspect right arm was perpendicular to her left elbow.("L"). in 2:24 the suspect was behind her, pushing the bottom to holding the elevator-door. possible scenario: something or somebody was with-her (in her back). Can you mention something about: The graffity written :"FECTO-CUNT-HER-SUMA." found at one of the water tank in… Read more »

Ok this is creepy, and i read more about it and is getting more scary…

Why cant anyone track her phone? it was a smart phone right?

When the door opens the last time, why is the hallway suddenly a vivid red?

Different floor. She had pushed all the buttons.

It is extremely weird that the floor with the vivid red color can also mean something else in satanic terminology…

this has to be one of the most unnerving stories i have ever read. it is obvious that this is not just a damn suicide! the police had to cut a hole in the water tank with a saw just to get her out, so how the hell is she supposed to get in there herself? it is completely obvious that the police are hiding something, something that would most likely throw the residents of Los Angeles into an uproar.

I'd love to see a real investigative piece on this sad story. I'm thinking Elisa's family and friends might possibly be able to shed some light on her strange behavior.

a elavator door will not close if someone is holding the up or down button so someone was there and murderd her come on ppl

To me it doesn’t look as if she’s stressed or running away from something when she gets into the elevator. She walked in, and immediately pressed the buttons but one at a time. No rush. And her actions seem to me like a child. Tip toeing out of the elevator and trying to spook whatever she thinks is holding the elevator down. Then once she sees no one is there, she hides. Like its a game, not like she thinks she’s in danger. So the only questions I have is 1) If there’s an alarm on the door, there obviously should be a camera as well right? And 2) Was she there with anyone, or was this just another case of supernatural murder?

Hey. Amigos Can-you zooming and slow motion at:2:26 to 2:29 , it appear that she made her first step with her right-leg to start walking and desappear in that moment the camera recorded that all her mass of her body was on her right leg. when her right-leg is in the air, you are able to see that the front of a masculine shoe appears to approaching to the range of the camera's angle, when she continue to her next step , you are able to see that the right-masculine shoe start to desappearing . possible scenario : the suspect was perpendicular to her left elbow. There are tall-buildings in front of the rooftop of "Cecil-Hotel. We can assume a potential-witness,or suspect. we can assume that the body of crime was carried at night. You can request a "GPS" for all the occupants of that hotel at that time. and… Read more »

i just noticed the foot. its a black foot. you can see the front of it….then it backs off. its clearly there.

Weird… but what she does with his arms can it be sign language ? (sorry for my english i'm french)

Something similar like this happened in my country. Police are puzzled how the deceased got into a tank which was locked..

Thanks, Mario, for scaring the poop out of me with your fantastic story. Now I'm gonna have nightmares for a week. Did you know about the book called "Titan" about a ship that was sunk by an iceberg? The book was written about 20-30 years before the sinking of the Titanic (really the Olympic, but they switched ships at the ship yard due to an insurance fraud job). I guess satan likes to prove his presence just like our YHWY. He's a copy cat, ya know.

Has anyone noticed that this same "girl's dead body found in a water tank" is also featured in "How to Get Away with Murder"?

wait, they also found her NAKED? Where did her clothes go?
Ugh this is just creepy.

She's being maced and fighting with someone, she flails like she's blinded.

Perhaps she was trying to hide from someone or something and climbed into the tank as a hiding place?

There is definitely a face on the video when the door closes the two times that it does

It seems clear to me that Elisa was simply confused about why the door wouldn't shut and was trying different things to try to get it to shut. This includes pushing more buttons, trying to hide from an electronic eye by standing in the corner, checking to see if someone were outside pushing the button, stepping out of the elevator and then back in again, and waving her hands in the air to try to activate the electronic eye to shut the door. At the end she may have been talking to someone in the hall and listing on her fingers all the things she had done to try to get the door to shut. Eventually she gave up and took the stairs, and that's where she probably met her killer.

Actually, that Hollywood movie is a remake of the Japanese movie Dark water in 2002 so it dates further than that.

This may be a spolier or not, but the case is being turned into a movie due to come out sometime in 2015 or 2016. The screenplay has already been written, but it needs some serious revisions

Paranoid Schizophrenia? I'm trying to solve this with science. Elevator doors are weird…whatever. But how was the water tank seal closed!!?? That's what I can't explain.

Talk about coincidence. The girl was figuring out why the eleveator didnt work. Even after pressing all buttons. Then she figured maybe something is standing in the sensor to keep the elevator doors from closing. Trying other spots, and trying not to move and standng in a corner. She also checks if somebody is out there that may keep the doors open but sees nothing. She's acting like they are sliding doors, and checking where the sensor area is that keeps the door open. Then she figures nothing is there to keep the doors open and tries pressing all the elevator buttons again. Walks out again and waving her hands like a child would do to not look stupid. and trying to activate the sensor area, (keeping them low and actually looking stupid). Then she gives up walking away. The elevator starts working, and starts going to the pressed floor… Read more »

She most likely had some OCD issues. I've done crazy stuff like dancing weird or pretending I'm hiding in an elevator, especially after pressing so many buttons out of embarrassment. OCD sometimes makes you do stupid or 'forbidden' things…like hiding in an off limits water tank. Doing this kind of forbidden act can internally soothe an OCD person who 'feels' something bad will happen if they don't do it. It's sorta like tourettes in that way. In this case she couldn't get out of the water tank after she got in and simply drowned. She probably figured she could climb back out but it was higher than she thought.

I will not jump to say she was demon possessed, that would be irresponsible. First, the elevator, she pressed all buttons meaning also the hold to keep the door from closing for awhile. That's a no brainer. The assumption she was bipolar is foohardy at best. Bipolar disorders (I'm mixed) do not cause such behaviors, they cause lows and highs, meaning extremes of happiness and depression but not what you see from this girl. She could be schizoaffective. Hallucinations both visual and auditory are very common with schizoaffective disorder. Another problem that can cause such actions and hallucinations is PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder. As for the "haze" or "demon" people say they saw in the elevator, the camera matrixed and pixelated its surroundings, you cannot really rely on this to find demons or haze as the camera is not a high quality full spectrum camera. As for her… Read more »

This is such a sad story. I have been reading some of Elisa's blogs and she was a very troubled young woman. The video is creepy, but I think she was having some kind of mental break down. Very sad that it ended the way it did. The part that really creep me out was knowing that people were drinking and bathing in that water!

Hi if you don't believe there is a devil Satan once known as Lucifer and demons fallen angels that rebelled against our true creator then I strongly suggest that you look at all the evil around the world.

Why is everyone missing the fact that this "Elisa Lam" died/was killed in 2013 and the movie Dark Water was made in 2002 and remade in 2005! Clearly not a coincidence… blah blah blah. Details people…

why did the police edit the video? why didn't the police continue investigating when clearly there was another person involved, as shown from 2:25 to 2:30? Find this scary because of how well this incident is coverup -ed.

I'm wondering, as some may have and as it may have already been mentioned here….was the water tank's lid on? How did it get closed if so? Was it latched and closed when they discovered her body??

Notice that when she is motioning with her hands, she appears to be hallucinating, almost like she is petting something. Also, it almost appears that she is using her hands much like a music conductor would, conducting an orchestra that we cannot hear (maybe music in her head?). Watch the video again and see if you agree with me that it looks like she is petting an invisible dog or other creature or that she looks like she is conducting an orchestra. What about a hallway camera? That would have been a great angle to see if she was talking to someone. Good questions raised that have not been addressed by police, suggesting a cover up. Where were her clothes? In her room or did she climb the tower naked? Did she shed her clothes on the roof top? With no history of mental illness, why would she be acting… Read more »
I have no mental disorders, don't do drugs, drink no alcohol. What has happened to her in the elevator looks like what happened to me. I live in a small town in Canada, Ontario. I woke up one night at 3am. Something, things were talking to me, via mind. There was about 6 of them. Two good ones guiding me, and 4 bad, evil ones. Long story short, they were trying to control me, trying to scare me, told me evil things that they would do to me, my roommate woke up that night, from my screaming, begging for someone to wake up and come downstairs and get me, they were there. "They " told me, to turn on my cellphone, why? They said "so they can find you, when there done with you" meaning, the cell phone tracker, trace. They wanted me, not sure why, and who they were… Read more »

My understanding from earlier reports was that the water tank lid was locked.

How come the videosare missing now? Please fix?

There are many spirits present in that elevator they were watching her, MANY faces and eyes

How can you tell?

I could be wrong but her actions seem to suggest she may have gotten her hands on some hallucination drugs.The autopsy didn’t show any trace of anything like that but for the time she was floating in the water would they still have been in her system? i just think this could very well be something that we all think is supernatural but in reality it could be a lot simpler then it would appear