Everything You Need to Know about American Horror Story: Hotel | Fanboys Anonymous

Everything You Need to Know about American Horror Story: Hotel

Posted by Caroline Oliveira Sunday, August 16, 2015
If you enjoy watching Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's American Horror Story, so far you have

"Lived at the Murder House (...) escaped the Asylum (...) protected the Coven [and] attended the Freak Show."

Now, prepare to check into Hotel!

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With the premier for the fifth season fast approaching, October 7th to be exact, many juicy details (and rumors) have been going around about American Horror Story: Hotel. Here are some things that have been confirmed so far.

The Inspiration

According to Murphy, the biggest inspiration for this season came to him after he watched the infamous Elisa Lam footage, a surveillance video recorded at the Cecil Hotel.

Now rebranded as Stay on Main Hotel, The Cecil Hotel was built in Los Angeles in 1924 and seems to have been a magnet for creepiness and violence from the get-go. Located a short distance from skid row, it has been the site of at least three confirmed murders and several suicides. The Cecil was also reportedly the residence for serial killers Richard Ramirez (the Night Stalker) in 1985 and Jack Unterweger in 1991.
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The Cecil Hotel before its name change.
If that weren't eerie enough, there are rumors it was one of the last places Elizabeth Short, aka the Black Dahlia, was seen before her murder in 1947.

But who is Elisa Lam?

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Elisa Lam.
Elisa Lam was a 21-year-old Canadian student who was visiting Los Angeles by herself for the first time. She checked into the Cecil in February 2013, and after five days of sightseeing, she disappeared.

Her parents contacted the police after not hearing from their daughter, and a search ensued. However, weeks of investigation, including the use of scent-tracking dogs around the hotel and the distribution of flyers, produced nothing. Elisa was gone.

In an attempt to get help from the public, detectives released surveillance footage that had been recorded inside one of elevators. In it, Elisa seems to be acting rather strange. She is shown entering and exiting the elevator, which remains open, talking to someone we can't see and moving her arms in a particular manner, and when she is in the elevator, she stands near the buttons and seems to push several of them repeatedly. The elevator remains open throughout the video.

You be the judge.


The strangeness of the video caught many people's attention. Some speculated on Elisa's mental health, whereas others believed she must have been under the influence of some pretty intense drugs. Yet no one could tell what had happened to her.

Around the same time this footage was made public, guests staying at the Cecil started calling management. The water had begun to taste odd and had strange color. In an attempt to locate the problem, hotel employees went to the roof to check the water tanks. Inside one of the tightly closed tanks, they found Elisa's lifeless naked body.

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Firefighters attempting to remove the body from the water tank.
To this day, nobody really knows what happened. The official report ruled the death as accidental, but many questions still remain. Did someone put her there? The reports claimed there were no visual signs of trauma. Had Elisa been high on something and decided to go for a swim? The toxicology reports claimed only a small amount of painkillers were in her system. Could it be possible a small-framed girl managed to climb inside an eight-foot-tall water tank and lock the heavy lid from the inside by herself?

The peculiarity of this case does not stop there.

Around the same time of Elisa's disappearance, a new strand of drug-resistant tuberculosis was identified on skid row, which, as mentioned before, was mere blocks away from the Cecil. The CDC named the test used to diagnose this illness as the LAM ELISA test. Coincidence?

It is not yet clear how much of this story will be part of AHS's new season, but no one can deny it is one hell of a inspiration for the horror-based series.

Characters


A moment of silence for Jessica Lange. Yes, it is true she is not coming back this season, and she will be dearly missed. Some of the series regulars are coming back, however, and they will be sharing the screen with some interesting newbies. Here is what Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have revealed about the characters so far:

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AHS: Hotel cast.

Lady Gaga: Elizabeth is a wealthy, bisexual hotel owner, who, according to Murphy, is obsessed with art, fashion, and people. She has "relationships with Angela Bassett, Bomer, Wittrock, and Cheyenne Jackson’s characters." Murphy also added that Elizabeth has a "nefarious plan" and viewers will find out about it in the premiere.

Sarah Paulson: "Hypodermic" Sally, a drug addict who lives in the hotel, is Paulson's first villainous character on the series. According to Murphy, she is "the baddest girl of them all." According to Paulson, Sally "hates Iris in a rather ancient way for reasons that are revealed quickly."

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Paulson.
Kathy Bates: Iris is the hotel manager.

Finn Wittrock: "I play a male model named Tristan Duffy who is always looking for the next high," Wittrock revealed. "And I think he sort of finds the biggest high in Lady Gaga (Elizabeth). And we have a lot to do together. She sees all of me." Naked scenes, anyone?

Matt Bomer: Donovan is a resident of the hotel and is Iris' son. He will be entangled in a love triangle with Elisabeth and Tristan.

Denis O’Hare: Liz Taylor, a movie icon who works at the hotel's bar. "I'm not actually playing Elizabeth Taylor," he explained, "but I'm playing a person who is inspired by the awesomeness of Butterfield 8 and Cleopatra (...) I [also] shaved my head for the part, and other body parts."

Angela Bassett: Ramona Royale is a sexy, powerful actress who often visits the hotel.

Chloe Sevigny: Alex is a doctor and wife of Detective John Lowell (Bentley). She’s also a mother and will be dealing with a substantial loss in her family.

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Is there a reason why the Hotel men all look so similar?
Wes Bentley: "[Detective John Lowell is] investigating some grisly murders, which somehow leads [him] to checking into the hotel." Lowell is a married man also suffering from a great family loss.

Max Greenfield: An addict like Sally. "I think he's lost 30 pounds [for his role]," Murphy said of Greenfield. "Yesterday I talked to him [and] his waist is down to a 27, so he's really committed to it and he looks amazing." Murphy also added Greenfield's character is the center of "the most disturbing scene" they have done this season.

Lily Rabe: "She's playing Aileen Wuornos, which is really fun and bizarre," Murphy revealed. Wuornos was a real-life serial killer who killed seven men in Florida between 1989 and 1990. Charlize Theron, under a lot of makeup, played Wuornos in the 2003 movie Monster, so it will be very interesting to watch Rabe's take on the character. Wuornos will be the centerpiece of the two-part Halloween special.

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Rabe (left) will play Wuornos (right) on AHS: Hotel.
Evan Peters: Murphy hasn't revealed anything about Peters' character, except that he "will be waiting in room 64." I would be happy not to leave this room ever again.

Emma Roberts: No details on her character, but she’s expected to appear in the final episodes.

Cheyenne Jackson: Will Drake, a fashion icon and father who lives in the hotel. "He's coming in and he's definitely kind of taking control of things, moving people out of their rooms and making room for his own fashion empire."

Murphy promises this season "harkens back to the first season (Murder House) and is much more rooted in the honest, primal fears that the first season was." Falchuk adds "while (...) the first season trapped you in that house, the second season (Asylum) was very oppressive in the asylum; [in season five] the horror is sneaking out of the hotel."

Fans will also find out on episode six or seven how Hotel is connected to past seasons of the series.
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AHS poster.
What do you think of Hotel? Are you going to watch this season of American Horror StoryLet us know by leaving your comments below!
THIS POST WRITTEN BY: CAROLINE OLIVEIRA

Caroline Z Oliveira enjoys drawing, writing horror tales, and using her B.F.A. in Film and Television Production to create nightmares in the horror industry. You can follow her on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram. Extended staff profile here.

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