American Horror Story: Hotel, the show's fifth season, is looking more and more like the case of Elisa Lam, whose body was found in the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles. The season will be based on a surveillance video of a woman acting strangely in an elevator, according to creator Ryan Murphy. He didn't mention the Lam case specifically, but all signs point toward it as inspiration.
The 21 year-old Vancouver woman was reported missing during her solo visit to LA in early February 2013. To aid with the search, police released surveillance footage of Lam acting in an erratic manner in a Cecil elevator.
After Lam disappeared, guests began to complain about discoloured, funny-smelling water in their rooms. On February 19, a hotel employee discovered her nude body in one of the water tanks on the roof.
Lam had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression, and theories abound as to what exactly caused her death, from murder, to suicide, to possession and the occult.
The hotel is also linked to an unsettling amount of murders: Elizabeth Short, victim of the Black Dahlia murder, stayed there just before her death; Goldie Osgood was raped and murdered in her room in 1964; and serial killers Jack Unterweger and Richard Ramirez both resided at the Cecil during their sprees.
Sounds like perfect territory for American Horror Story.