Revealing the Gory Truth

AHS inspired by true events

by Tanya Ortega (Staff Writer) – 11/9/15

Hotel Cecil that inspired American horror story
Hotel Cecil that inspired American horror story

American Horror Story has always drawn inspiration from real-life events, and this is even more true of this year’s fifth season, American Horror Story: Hotel.

At the Television Critics Association, executive producer Ryan Murphy revealed that he was inspired by true events. What led to this inspiration was a young 21-year old woman named Elisa Lam, a Canadian student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Lam ended up traveling on her own and checked in at Hotel Cecil in Downtown Los Angeles on February 19, 2013. The Cecil Hotel is well-known for its mysterious suicides and deaths. She had been reported missing at the beginning of the month. After maintenance workers received guest complaints about the tap water tasting weird, they checked the boiler room and discovered Lam’s deceased body.

Her death was ruled as an accident, but many believe the supernatural was involved. “The surveillance video explained a lot. Lam was clearly hiding from someone and scared to death,” explained senior Cassandra Fernandez.

American Horror Story used this true event by creating the theme of Hotel Cortez, and Ryan Murphy kicked off this season with gruesome murder.

In this show there is a character named Mr. March. He is the Cortez’s first owner and creator of the hotel. H.H. Holmes, dubbed “America’s First Serial Killer,” designed and built a hotel in Chicago. He specifically designed this hotel for himself because he planned to commit murder in this location. He committed over 200 murders and only confessed to 27 of them.

On the second episode of American Horror Story: Hotel, the Cortez’s first owner is introduced. Mr. March did almost the exact same thing in the late 1920s. After committing suicide, he is now haunting the hotel he built. “I enjoy how Mr. March is still haunting the hotel. This gives a informative idea how this hotel all started,” added junior Leslie Aguilar.

Lady Gaga’s character Elizabeth reflects on an actual person who lived. This person was named Elizabeth Báthory, who was a serial killer between the years of 1585-1610. She was described as having vampire-like tendencies. In American Horror Story, Lady Gaga’s character has a blood fetish and uses people to bring her in new victims. This relates to Elizabeth Báthory by both having similar characteristics.

All these real-life events that inspired Ryan Murphy and helped him create this year’s season. He continues to use creative ideas and finds way to interpret them in his shows. Season after season, Murphy’s ideas continue to succeed in creating unique themes.

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