In 2013, the internet was gripped by a perplexing and haunting mystery centered around Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old Canadian student exploring the United States. Her unexplained vanishing took place at the infamous Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, leaving everyone puzzled and concerned.

During the investigation, the LA police released a viral video that sent shivers down the spine of viewers worldwide. The footage, taken from the hotel’s elevator, showcased Elisa engaging in peculiar behavior moments before her disappearance. Strangely, the elevator doors remained open as she appeared to converse with an unseen figure, jumping in and out of the elevator in an erratic manner.

The captivating enigma took an unexpected turn when online sleuths and armchair detectives delved into the case. As they tried to piece together the puzzle, “The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel,” a gripping documentary series, emerged, distinguishing it from the familiar internet mysteries like Netflix’s “Don’t F*** With Cats” in 2019.

The chilling and inexplicable events surrounding Elisa Lam’s disappearance made it a truly remarkable and unforgettable internet phenomenon that continues to intrigue and mystify to this day.

Some ghost conspiracies:

surveillance footage from the elevator

Questions arises from this footage:

This is the last time she was seen. First, it looks like she’s hiding,  like someone was chasing her. But if someone chasing you, you should not go out of the elevator as she went.
It gives you some theories though. One of which was she was on hallucinogens or drunk, and while Elisa was in fact bipolar, and reportedly took four different medications for that disorder, this theory that she was on hallucinogens or drunk was quickly rebuked by the fact that her toxicology test results came back with nothing in her system that could have contributed to her death.
Yea, but, if she’s bipolar, just right there, that could explain why she was doing that.  Another theory was that she was actually murdered, but the autopsy showed no visible signs of trauma on her body. So if evidence suggests that it wasn’t foul play and that it wasn’t drugs, many wonder what could have led Elisa to actually climb in the tank herself and that’s a good question because nobody knows even how she got up there.

The circumstantial evidence surrounding the Elisa Lam case is undeniably compelling. The infamous video, drawing eerie parallels to the horror movie Dark Water, and even the speculated connections to a tuberculosis test called Lam-Elisa have all contributed to the proliferation of conspiracy theories and ghost stories that continue to thrive online.

  • Joe, involved in recounting the story, acknowledges the significance of these ghost stories and the need to contextualize them. They have become an integral part of the narrative, impossible to ignore.

The web sleuths, diligently piecing together Elisa’s final moments alongside the LA police department, played a role in fueling these ghost stories. Some of these individuals displayed “tunnel vision,” getting fixated on coincidences and conspiracies, despite the dangers of such an approach. While Joe recognizes that web sleuths can sometimes accomplish remarkable feats, he admits that their actions were somewhat misguided in Elisa’s case.

Elisa’s family, although not actively featured in the series, were aware that Joe was retelling the story. They chose not to participate further, as they wanted to move on from the tragedy. The family disagreed with sensationalized narratives portraying Elisa as the victim of some malevolent force, finding them deeply disrespectful. Consequently, they preferred not to engage in another show that might exaggerate the circumstances of the tragedy.

On the other hand, the LA police, coroner, and former manager of the Cecil Hotel step forward to speak about the events publicly for the first time, shedding some light on what truly transpired during that fateful period.



In 2013, the world was captivated by a chilling and enigmatic case involving Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old Canadian student on a journey through the United States. The haunting tale unfolded at the notorious Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, where Elisa mysteriously vanished, leaving everyone perplexed and anxious.

The Viral Video:

During the investigation, the LA police released a haunting video that sent shivers down the spines of viewers worldwide. Captured from the hotel’s elevator, the footage depicted Elisa engaging in peculiar behavior moments before her disappearance. The inexplicable part was that the elevator doors remained open, as if she was in communication with an unseen presence, jumping in and out of the elevator erratically.

Ghost Conspiracies:

As the case garnered attention, conspiracy theories, and ghost stories emerged, fueled by various elements, including eerie coincidences. Some speculated that Elisa’s behavior was induced by hallucinogens or alcohol, but toxicology results proved otherwise. Others considered the possibility of foul play, yet the autopsy showed no visible signs of trauma on her body. The mystery deepened as questions arose about how Elisa could have gained access to the hotel’s rooftop water tank, given its locked entrance and alarm system.

Web-Sleuths and Tunnel Vision:

Online sleuths and armchair detectives joined the investigation, bringing with them both valuable insights and tunnel vision. Their focus on coincidences and conspiracies intensified the allure of the ghostly elements surrounding the case. While their efforts were well-intentioned, their conclusions sometimes veered into misguided territory.

Haunted History of Cecil Hotel:

The Cecil Hotel’s dark history added to the intrigue surrounding Elisa’s disappearance. Infamous guests like serial killer Richard Ramirez and the unsolved murder in 1964 created an aura of dread and mystery. Tales of numerous suicides from the hotel’s rooftop earned it the morbid nickname “The Suicide”.
The Family’s Struggle:
Lost amidst the whirlwind of conspiracy theories and ghost stories, Elisa’s family endured immense pain and heartache. They chose not to participate actively in retelling the story, hoping to move on from the tragedy. The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hotel, seeking answers and justice for their beloved Elisa.
“Eternal Whispers” delves into the perplexing case of Elisa Lam, exploring the web of conspiracies, the chilling ghost stories, and the haunting history of the Cecil Hotel. Join us as we journey into the heart of this enigmatic mystery, seeking the truth behind the unexplained vanishing of Elisa Lam.