I live opposite the Cecil Hotel and this is what it’s really like there
‘Sometimes I’ll catch the doors closing by themselves’
If you’ve watched Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, or even just read up about the Elisa Lam case or the history of the hotel, you’ll probably be pretty intrigued to know what it’s actually like there.
The Tab has spoken to Peet Montzingo, a resident who lives literally opposite what has now been dubbed “Hotel Death” and is often called one of the most haunted locations in the world. And it sounds, spooky.
The singer and content creator moved to downtown LA a couple years ago, because it was an up and coming area with lots of artists and creatives. “I really wanted to surround myself with that. Also I really wanted a loft with concrete ceilings and little nooks because I thought that sounded so cool”, he said. But now he lives opposite somewhere where he says he constantly sees shadows and doors closing on their own, and he can feel the bad vibes. Rather him than me.
‘I’ll actually catch the doors closing by themselves’
It’s quite safe to say that Peet has seen his fair share of weird goings on at the hotel and around the area. Considering the building has been empty and closed for three years, you’d think nothing was going on – but definitely not. He told The Tab: “I have some good stories of things I’ve seen and experienced living across the street! Sometimes I see shadows and weird lights moving around in different windows. A couple times I’ve even seen figures. Once I even saw a girl who looked like she was about to jump, but turned out she was an actress on Ghost Adventures *whew*!”
But he said the weirdest thing he has ever seen there is quite simply how different the hotel can be from one day to the next. “There will be a door open one day then shut the next (sometimes I’ll actually catch the doors closing by themselves). Lights on in one room and the next day they’re not. I’ll even notice the subtle differences in the curtains. Every couple of days I’ll get on a TikTok live and show everyone – they usually take screenshots and compare the differences for themselves. The crazy part is that 99.9 per cent of the time I do not see anyone going in or out of the hotel and I’ve never seen anybody in there with the exceptions of a couple times.”
‘I get bad vibes’
Despite the hotel having been officially closed since Peet has been living opposite, he says he still feels the bad vibes from it. “The doors are locked and there are bars on the front windows, so I haven’t been able to go inside. However I have explored all around it and there’s definitely a creepy vibe radiating from the place. I’m not sure if it’s because of its history or because it looks so old and eerie. But before I knew about the history of the hotel, I would walk by it on the street and still get bad vibes”, he said.
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Skid Row is exactly like it looks in the documentary, but is full of tourists now
Peet said lots of people think he must live in Skid Row because of his proximity to the Cecil Hotel, but it’s actually around two blocks away. He told The Tab it’s exactly how it looks in the Netflix documentary, but there are a “group of lofts and buildings in the area that are quite nice and people move here for the nightlife and the creative community.”
“Downtown LA is definitely pricey because it’s trendy right now – it’s like a mini New York. I remember the night I moved in, I saw on one side of the street people in suits waiting to get into an exclusive club while the other side were some homeless people shooting up. It has definitely become gentrified but the homeless people go wherever they please, so it’s an interesting mix. Since the Cecil is in the limelight, there are tourists here 24/7 now! It’s kinda fun to make popcorn and watch people scare their friends, or get my laser pointer light and mess with them,” he said.
Peet has shared TikToks of him trying to fly a drone into the hotel, and what the area around the Cecil Hotel is like
Peet has managed to get right up close and personal with the building, and film right inside the windows. One of his TikTok videos gives a tour all around the outside the building, showing lights on inside, the fire escapes and the roof. People in the comments have said they can definitely see movement in the 9th floor window, despite the hotel being closed and empty.
@peetmontzingopause the video throughout and look in the windows.. ##cecil ##hotel ##haunted
Another video, which has had over six million views, shows him trying to fly a drone right up to an empty window of the hotel from his window across the street.
@peetmontzingothe plot thickens.. 👻 ##haunted ##hotel
And what does he think happened to Elisa Lam?
The case has a lot of theories surrounding it. When asked what he thinks happened to her, Peet said: “I think she could’ve had a manic episode. I do believe that bad things happen in this hotel because of the dark history and the vibes people say they feel there. Maybe that energy helped bring on the episode. I do think that there is a lot we don’t know about the case of Elisa Lam or about the hotel, since so many things just don’t add up. Like, what are the chances of a tuberculosis outbreak in this area two days after her body was found and everyone had to take a mandatory ‘LAM-ELISA’ test? My neighbours still go on about how that was one of the creepiest parts about being here for that. So many questions!”
Here’s a full video of Peet’s experiences:
Just a heads up, it’s creepy af.
Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.