Was American Horror Story based on the Cecil Hotel?

12 February 2021, 10:57 | Updated: 12 February 2021, 18:52

There are similarities between the fictional Hotel Cortez and real Cecil Hotel
There are similarities between the fictional Hotel Cortez and real Cecil Hotel. Picture: Netflix/FX

Was American Horror Story filmed at the Cecil Hotel and was the show inspired by it?

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel recently arrived on Netflix, with the documentary telling the tragic story of the death of Elisa Lam in the notorious Cecil Hotel.

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The downtown LA hotel was built in the 1920s, and has a long history of crime, violence and death since its construction.

Fans of American Horror Story may be wondering if it was the inspiration behind the fictional Cortez Hotel in season five (AHS: Hotel), as the two are similar in appearance and location, and also have dark histories.

Here's what we know.

Lady Gaga stars in American Horror Story: Hotel
Lady Gaga stars in American Horror Story: Hotel. Picture: Netflix/FX

Was American Horror Story based on the Cecil Hotel?

There has been no confirmation that Hotel Cortez was based on the Cecil Hotel, but it is very likely that it was inspired by it.

The biggest clue came from American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, who previously hinted that a video of a girl in a hotel elevator inspired him to make the series.

During a panel discussion in 2015, he said: "A girl got in an elevator in a downtown hotel.

"She was never seen again."

While there has never been confirmation that Murphy was talking about the Elisa Lam video, it is likely that he was.

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There are a number of similarities between the Cecil Hotel and the fictional Hotel Cortez - they were both built in the 1920s and have art deco styles, and are both located in Downtown Los Angeles.

One of the major parallels between the two is that the real-life serial killer 'Night Stalker' (real name Richard Ramirez) is portrayed in American Horror Story: Hotel. He was a minor character in the series, with his ghost attending the Devil's Night at the Hotel Cortez.

The real Ramirez famously stayed in the Hotel Cecil in the 1980s, as revealed in the Netflix documentary.

The fictional Hotel Cortez features a similar Art Deco style
The fictional Hotel Cortez features a similar Art Deco style. Picture: Netflix/FX

Was American Horror Story filmed at the Cecil Hotel?

While there are certainly similarities in their appearances, American Horror Story: Hotel was not filmed there.

The series was filmed largely in six-story hotel set built specifically for the show.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel is available to stream on Netflix now.

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