Was the Cecil Hotel used in American Horror Story? Was it filmed there? Let’s highlight the filming location of AHS: Hotel and explain the connection.

The latest Netflix obsession has certainly arrived…

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel premiered on the streaming service on Monday, February 10th 2021 and explores the history of the infamous downtown Los Angeles hotel.

Across four episodes, we’re invited to consider the case of Elisa Lam, the 21-year-old student who went missing during her stay in 2013.

Curiosity surrounding her disappearance was stoked after footage of her behaving strangely in the hotel’s elevator was released online. Sadly, she was found dead inside of a water tank located on the roof, just under a month after she vanished.

Many theories have emerged since the footage was unveiled and the recent documentary has encouraged AHS fans to ask something too. Was the Cecil Hotel Hotel used in American Horror Story?

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still from ‘Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel’ trailer, Netflix. YouTube

Was the Cecil Hotel used in American Horror Story?

  • American Horror Story: Hotel was not filmed at the Cecil Hotel. However, the hotel and its tragic history did inspire the season.

The fifth season of American Horror Story takes place in the fictional Hotel Cortez, although it is located in a skid row location much like the Cecil Hotel.

The exterior shots of the Hotel Cortez were filmed at the James Oviatt Building, in downtown Los Angeles. On the other hand, the interior was actually shot on a purpose-built soundstage.

PopBuzz addresses that the Hotel Cortez was initially based on an actual Chicago hotel built by H. H. Holmes, which would become later known as ‘Murder Castle’. This was because it was built as somewhere for Holmes to bring and conceal his victims. As you may be able to contrast, this is akin to the actions of Evan Peters’ character, James March.

However, the Cecil Hotel proved an important influence and inspiration on the season too.

Firstly, a number of the tragedies which befell guests of the Hotel Cortez mirror the real-life tragedies of the Cecil, including overdoses, drug addiction, suicide and so forth.

AHS: Hotel Cecil connection explored

ScreenRant confirms that the Cecil Hotel and the Elisa Lam case inspired Ryan Murphy in sculpting a narrative about a hotel plagued with horror.

The inspiration becomes even more evident when you consider the inclusion of Richard Ramirez. He is present at James’ Devil Night dinner and did actually stay at the Cecil back in 1985.

Nevertheless, the real location arguably shaped AHS: Hotel in a broad sense, rather than directly influencing major plot threads.

still from ‘Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel’ trailer, Netflix, YouTube

American Horror Story fans flock to Twitter

Since Crime Scene was released on Netflix, a number of AHS fans have popped onto Twitter to highlight the connection between the two titles.

Check out a selection of tweets:

In other news, what was Elisa Lam’s official cause of death?