Elisa Lam was a twenty one year old college student who was travelling from Vancouver to Los Angeles alone in 2013. Although she was living a normal life of a twenty one year old, she was known to be suffering with bipolar disorder.
She went missing shortly after booking into her hotel room at the Cecil. In a bid to try and find her, the police released the last known footage of Elisa from the hotels CCTV cameras.
You will instantly notice some strange things about this footage. Firstly, it appears she seems to be running from someone or something. As hard as she tries, pressing all the buttons on the control panel, the lift doesn’t respond and the doors remain open. Elisa then is seen hiding and peeking, as if she is trying to avoid detection, and checking to see if what ever she is hiding from is still there.
Elisa Lam then starts acting even stranger after leaving the lift. She seems to stop near the left of the screen and you can see her throwing her arms around with open palms, almost as if she was possessed. Finally you see her walking back the way she came and the lift doors close.
A few days later the hotel staff started receiving complaints from their guests saying that the showers didn’t have any pressure and that the water was discolored and had a strange taste. A member of staff was dispatched to check the hotels water tanks where, five days after the video was released, they found the naked body of Elisa Lam, who was dead, floating in the tank. Her clothes, watch and room key were found in the water beside her, however her cell phone was never found.
The coroner listed her death as a drowning and many believe that she had hidden in the water tank to try and get away from what ever or who ever was chasing her. Some believe, however, that the tanks lid was too heavy for Elisa to have lifted on her own, as they weighed about 40 kg. The openings were also ten feet up, requiring a ladder to enter them although no ladder was found near them when they discovered her body. The lid to the tank was not hinged and the tank itself was at least half full, leading some to wonder how the lid was closed if she had gotten in by herself.
The most plausible explanation is that Elisa had bipolar disorder and according to her autopsy, had only taken her prescribed stimulant medications but neither of her stabilisers. This could have led to a manic episode, which can cause some bipolar sufferers to experience hallucinations or psychosis. If she did have a manic episode, it’s possible she thought someone was following her, perhaps causing her to hide in the water tank for safety.
The hotel has its own gory history which fuels the paranormal theories. Known serial killers had stayed there and one even lived there while still active. Richard Ramirez, also known as the Nightstalker, who lived there in 1984 while he killed thirteen people. It also had it’s fair share of documented suicides, including one where the victim fell on top of a pedestrian, killing them both.
The footage itself also speculates a conspiracy theory, the time stamp is mostly blacked out, what you can see is the time skip forward. This means that it’s possible the video was edited, possibly to hide someone else’s identity. It would also appear when Elisa talks her mouth is pix-elated out so you can’t see what she is saying, however both the authorities and the hotel staff deny altering the footage.
In an even more bizarre coincidence, a tuberculosis drug was being studied near the Cecil, strangely named “LAM-ELISA”. While nothing has been found connecting Elisa or her death with the tuberculosis study, this was just one more in a series of strange circumstances that ensures that Elisa Lam’s death will be a source of fascination and speculation for a long time to come.
What do you think happened to Elisa Lam? Please comment below!