The Truth Behind Elisa Lamb and The Cecil Hotel

The Truth Behind Elisa Lamb and The Cecil Hotel

by | Feb 16, 2021

The Tragic Death of Elisa Lamb

Throughout history, we have recorded and studied haunted buildings from around the world. Psychics and Ghost Hunters descend upon these ghostly sites determined to uncover the truth upon the spooky occurrences. And whilst many of these sites remain quite innocuous, there is one that continues to claim lives to this day, the infamous Cecil Hotel. But beyond the many natural deaths, suicides and murders that took place within the walls of the hotel, there is one case that has haunted the internet community for years, and confounded those who in investigated the case, the mysterious deaths Elisa Lamb.

Whilst this case is widely documented as being paranormal in nature, the documentary Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, the latest hit documentary on Netflix, breaks the case wide open and looks at the real evidence surrounding the tragic death of Elisa Lamb. Whilst the students disappearance is one of the internets greatest mysterious, it seems that not all is as it seems.

The Truth Behind Elisa Lamb and The Cecil Hotel - Horror Articles - Horror Land

Elisa Lamb, better known by her Cantonese name, Lam Ho Yi, was a Canadian student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She was a profusive blogger and keen learner, and wanted travel to expand her life beyond its current horizon. Hey travels took her too Downtown Los Angeles, where she booked herself into The Cecil Hotel. In early February of 2013, Elisa was reported missing by her family when she failed to contact them. A police investigation of the property revealed little evidence apart from footage of the young student acting erratically in one of the hotels lifts.

The police released the footage in an attempt to trigger a public response. The Grainy security footage shows Lam, clearly spooked by something, in an elevator communicating hysterically to people who were not there, and waving her hands around in a peculiar fashion. More alarmingly, the lift itself does not move whilst lamb is inside. Lam enters the lift and starts to press random buttons on the control panel. She then squashes herself into the corner, as if hiding from someone, peeks her head around the side of the door, before leaving, waving her hands in the air and disappearing off to the left. Whilst the footage led to no new leads, it did set the internet on fire, as a torrent of internet sleuths took it upon themselves to figure out the strange disappearance of Elisa.  

The Truth Behind Elisa Lamb and The Cecil Hotel - Horror Articles - Horror Land

These people, armed with only a computer a video of Lamb in the lift, took it upon themselves to try and solve the case. Strangers who hearts and minds were firmly on finding the missing girl, despite never having met her or known her.

A couple of weeks later, guests at the hotel complained about low water pressure and murky, odd tasting, water. A maintenance working headed to the roof to try and fix the issues. In the morning of February 19th 2013, Lam’s naked body was found in one of four 1,000-gallon tanks that supplied water to the entire building. The poor guests of the Cecil Hotel had been washing and drinking water from the tank in which Elisa’s body was found.


The Truth Behind the Mysteries

The Truth Behind Elisa Lamb and The Cecil Hotel - Horror Articles - Horror Land

Whilst the police investigation took place, the internet sleuths started their own campaign to discover the truth behind Elisa Lambs death. The evidence they had seemed strange. Many of the reports coming from the police muddied the waters and with a coroner’s report that deemed her death an accident, many wanted to know the truth.

According to the evidence available, Elisa had somehow managed to get on the roof and shut herself inside one of the tanks, despite the roof being locked and access to the tanks very limited. It was also very unlikely that Elisa had managed to shut the tank hatch behind her. It seemed evident that there was some fowl play afoot. Was it supernatural? The hotel was synonymous with mysterious deaths and suicides. Maybe the hotel staff were covering something up? Maybe the Police were hiding evidence?

The Truth Behind Elisa Lamb and The Cecil Hotel - Horror Articles - Horror Land

With limited information, it’s easy to get transfixed on small details. When you stand back and look at the actual evidence, the real answers start to appear.

Many question how Lamb even got on the roof, and whilst the main access to the roof was indeed locked and alarmed, the fire-escape remains to be an easily accessible route to the roof for all guests. Another contention seems to be how Lamb got up onto tanks, but many internet reports ignore the fact that there is access.  If staff members easily accessed the tank to find her body, it’s reasonable to assume that Lamb accessed it just as easily.

The Truth Behind Elisa Lamb and The Cecil Hotel - Horror Articles - Horror Land

The biggest issue that surrounds the case, is the strange behavior of the lift itself. The lift doors fail to close whilst Lamb is inside, and many surmise that this apparent malfunction of the lift is supernatural in nature. The solution to this mystery is easily explained. When you look at the elevators button panel, there is a “Hold Lift” button that keeps the doors open for 2 minutes, allowing guest to load and unload luggage without the doors closing. This was one of the buttons that Lamb erratically selected when she came into the lift.

The Truth Behind Elisa Lamb and The Cecil Hotel - Horror Articles - Horror Land

As for her erratic behavior, Lam had been diagnosed as being bi-polar, which meant that she was taking medication to control mood swings. According to an interview, on the documentary, Lams sister reported that Elisa had suffered from outburst of strange behavior in the past. Just days before her disappearance, Lamb had to be moved from the shared room she was staying in because of erratic and disturbing behavior towards other guests. This was not someone quite in their right mind. The autopsy also found very low levels of her medication, indicating that poor Lam was either under medicating, or had stopped taking her pills.

The biggest mystery, was of course how Lam had managed to shut herself into the water tank. It would have been every unlikely that the young girl could have done this whilst inside. The answer is quite simple. She didn’t. The maintenance worker that found Lambs body clearly started to the police that it had been open when he climbed on top of the tank. It seems that an erroneous report, where the message had got misconstrued, had been given to the press, leading to element of the case that never existed.

The Truth Behind Elisa Lamb and The Cecil Hotel - Horror Articles - Horror Land

The evidence paints a very different picture from ghost, demons or coverups. It seems that Lamb was not in her right mind, she had found her way up to the roof and had climbed onto the water tank. Seeing the water, she had stripped off her clothes and jumped into the tank.

Whilst Elisa Lamb’s death is a tragic case, one that captured many peoples hearts and minds, it’s clear that internet rumours, fake news and a twist of over enthusiasm had twisted her story into something insidious. Elisa was clearly a trouble young woman, whose journeys took her to dark places, and her terrible death will forever be seen as the time the world cared for the girl in the lift.

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“Hello Horror Fans – Sometimes the truth isn’t as scary as the myth, but the thing about myths, they live on forever. Until next time Goblins…

Keep Rotten”


“Morti” The Mortician



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