I’ve lived opposite the HAUNTED Cecil Hotel for five years… and saw some truly terrifying sights from my window
- EXCLUSIVE: Peet Montzingo, 33, has lived opposite the Hotel Cecil for five years
- Often called ‘Hotel Death’ it has a dark and twisted history of death and crime
- The YouTube star spoke to MailOnline about the unexplained things he’s seen
When Peet Montzingo, 33, moved into his new downtown LA apartment, he had no idea one of the world’s most haunted places would be looming over him and his neighbours could be ghosts.
Hotel Cecil, often called ‘Hotel Death,’ is notorious for it’s dark history of murders, serial killers and unexplained deaths – the most talked about being the disappearance of Elisa Lam, who’s naked dead body was later found in the hotel’s water tank in 2013.
There have been at least 16 deaths at the hotel since it opened in 1927 – as well a string of disappearances, crime and conspiracy theories, prompting a Netflix documentary in 2021.
Serial killers Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger lived in the hotel in 1985 and 1991, respectively – at least six people committed suicide in the hotel in the 1930s alone and a teenage mother threw her newborn baby out her window in 1944.
Now, having lived opposite the ‘cursed’ building for five years, Peet spoke to MailOnline about the unexplained sights he’s witnessed from his bedroom window – and his own trips inside it’s eerie walls.
When Peet Montzingo, 33, moved into his new downtown LA apartment, he had no idea one of the world’s most haunted places would be looming over him and his neighbours could be ghosts
The social media star, with a following of 24 million across platforms, loves ‘spooky stuff’ and said the experience was ‘cool and interesting’ – until he started seeing things through his window which he ‘couldn’t explain’.
Five years ago, Peet was looking for a place to live in downtown LA and didn’t have much money.
He explained ‘I came across this one place, which is the place I’m living now, and I didn’t understand why it was so cheap to rent here.
‘I ended up getting the place and it wasn’t until I had my housewarming party, when my friends all came over and asked me, why would you live across the street from one of the most haunted places in the world?
‘I had no idea what the heck they were talking about because I’ve never heard of the Cecil until then.
‘So after that party, I went down to Google, and I did a deep dive. That kind of started everything and I became obsessed.’
The YouTuber spent hours researching the buildings twisted history and ‘couldn’t believe’ what he was reading:
‘It was insane. I remember just doing the first Google search and there were just all these articles and things that I’m like there’s no way all this happened right there because it was empty when I moved in – they had shut down and so I couldn’t believe it.
Hotel Cecil, often called ‘Hotel Death,’ is notorious for it’s dark history of murders, serial killers and unexplained deaths – the most talked about being the disappearance of Elisa Lam, who’s naked dead body was later found in the hotel’s water tank in 2013
Now, having lived opposite the ‘cursed’ building for five years, Peet spoke to MailOnline about the unexplained sights he’s witnessed from his bedroom window – and his own trips inside it’s eerie walls
‘I started noticing online all these different places and room numbers where people had jumped off the building or committed suicide or were found dead and serial killers and all this stuff.
He added ‘I love spooky stuff like to be honest. So I was like, this is awesome.
‘I thought it was interesting rather than scary until I started seeing things, though my window which I couldn’t explain. So then I was like, okay, now I feel like I need to pray and get the salt out and the garlic.’
Over the five years he’s had a front seat view into the hotel, he claims he’s never seen a full apparition from across the street – but he has seen a lot of unexplained things that left him terrified.
He’s since made a whole YouTube and TikTok series, documenting his life across the street from the notorious building.
The hotel closed back in 2017 and Peet moved in between 2018-2019, meaning the building was empty for a few years before reopening as a supportive housing project in 2021.
He said ‘I have noticed shadows. I saw at one point what looked like a guy hanging like behind the curtain, and I remember being so strange that I like was gonna call the the police, or 911, or ambulance, or whatever.
‘But then I didn’t, because you know, it’s it’s closed so obviously they they would laugh at me.
‘Then it just kind of went away. I went to the bathroom and when I was back it was gone.
‘Another time there was a man that was smoking a cigar on the balcony, and I remember it was 2am or 3am and it looked like he was looking at me.
‘I have four giant windows that face the Cecil and out of my apartment and I was like, okay, it’s pitch dark in my building, and there’s no one that’s supposed to be living in the Cecil So first of all, why is he here?
He said ‘I have noticed shadows. I saw at one point what looked like a guy hanging like behind the curtain, and I remember being so strange that I like was gonna call the the police, or 911, or ambulance, or whatever’
The hotel closed back in 2017 and Peet moved in between 2018-2019, meaning the building was empty for a few years before reopening as a supportive housing project in 2021
READ MORE: Welcome to ‘Hotel Death’: Horrors of Los Angeles hotel where ‘serial killers let their hair down’ are laid bare in new Netflix series that details mysterious disappearances, suicides, and grisly murders
‘Second of all, why does it look like he can see me? And so I ran from one side of my apartment all the way to the other side just to see if his head would turn, and in fact, it his head did turn so like he was looking at me, and I got like so freaked out it took behind my couch, and when I popped back up like he was gone.’
He concluded ‘I don’t think it was an apparition but I’m also like it could have been, you know, almost a person, or it could have been.
‘It’s just a lot of very strange things, like curtains moving, doors opening and windows opening like by themselves and it was just a very odd couple of years when no one was there. I was very confused and scared.’
In the midst of his interest in the hotels dark past, he even found his way inside a few times, by making a deal with the guard when it was closed and then later making friends with a resident once it reopened.
Once inside, he felt a strange energy in the building which he could only describe as ‘sad, odd and eerie,’ confirming his suspicions of what he’d seen through his window.
The social media star recalled ‘I got inside before it opened and that was when it really validated a lot of the things that I’d seen from across the street.
‘It was really spooky to me, because I have a whole notebook of different room, numbers and different events that could or could not have happened in each of these room numbers.
And so when I was in there, I went to each one and I even went to Richard Ramirez’s room, Jack Unterweger’s room, to all these serial killers rooms so casually, it’s so weird.’
Serial killers Richard Ramirez, better known as ‘The Night Stalker,’ (left) and Jack Unterweger (right) lived in the hotel in 1985 and 1991, respectively
Six people reportedly committed suicide in the hotel in the 1930s alone, while a teen mom threw her newborn baby out of the window after giving birth in 1944
The hotel’s most recent mystery was the 2013 disappearance and death of Canadian college student Elisa Lam
Austrian journalist and serial killer Richard Ramirez , dubbed ‘The Night Stalker,’ is believed to have stayed in the Cecil for a few weeks around 1984 – 1985 , near the end of his reign of terror where he killed at least fourteen people.
Jack Unterweger, another serial killer who murdered several women, stayed at the hotel in 1991 – during his stay, three prostitutes were found dead, beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled.
The hotel’s most recent mystery was the disappearance and death of Canadian college student Elisa Lam in 2013.
She checked into the hotel on January 26, 2013, after traveling from British Columbia, Canada, where she was studying, on her way to Santa Cruz.
On January 31, Lam stopped using her phone. She was last seen in surveillance footage on February 1, behaving strangely in the hotel elevator, appearing to hide from someone or something.
Lam’s naked body was found float in the hotel’s water tank on the roof on February 19, 2013, after hotel guests complained the water tasted and smelled bad.
In the Netflix documentary ‘Crime Scene: The Vanishing at Cecil Hotel’ a worker said ‘bad things keep happening here, over and over again’ and another added ‘this hotel is hiding something.’
Talking about what it was like inside the hotel, Peet added ‘I was even talking to the guard, and the guard was telling me he doesn’t even go up to the top three floors because that’s where it’s super spooky, and you feel the energy.
‘So, of course, that’s exactly where I went. I went up to the thirteenth floor, and the door, as soon as I walked up, just like, slammed immediately, in front of me and I got this all on camera – it was insane.
‘Then I was walking by a light and it just like flickering. It’s very strange and you hear this like howling wind in the hallway, and I would say like that was probably the spookiest night, because I was actually finally there.
‘All those things that I had done my research on, I guess I just felt validated by it, and it was really really spooky.’
He continued ‘When I was in Richard Ramirez’s room, I went in there and called out to him, and I don’t know. I just felt like I was being watched, yeah, I just got scared.’
After the hotel got a remodel and reopened as a housing project, Peet says ‘it’s a different vibe now’ and it’s ‘scary in different ways’ as it’s become a hotspot for crime.
On January 31, Lam stopped using her phone. She was last seen in surveillance footage on February 1, behaving strangely in the hotel elevator, appearing to hide from someone or something
In the midst of his interest in the hotels dark past, he even found his way inside a few times, by making a deal with the guard when it was closed and then later making friends with a resident once it reopened
He said ‘I was walking by a light and it just like flickering. It’s very strange and you hear this like howling wind in the hallway, and I would say like that was probably the spookiest night, because I was actually finally there’
He said ‘If I’m gonna look and I see something I’m gonna automatically assume it’s a resident, you know.
‘I can’t say it’s a ghost, that’s gonna be dumb but it is scary in different ways now, there are gangs that hang outside.
‘I got in there a couple of months ago just to shoot a video and while I was up there was actually held at gunpoint by one of the residents so it’s now more dangerous kind of like how it used to be.
Having been inside with the resident he made friends with, he said ‘it’s loud and so chaotic and you can just tell that the energy is pretty creepy, still.
Adding ‘I mean, it’s almost like every week they’re they’re texting me even now and they’re like, there’s a a another dead body outside my my door, or somebody had killed themselves over here.’
When asked if after everything he’s seen, does he believe the Hotel Cecil is haunted, he paused for a moment before saying ‘I’ve never seen an apparition but I would like to say, yes, I do believe it’s something.
‘I do also believe that the other side of that is just that so many bad things happen there, and so many bad people are drawn there. So I feel like a lot of it is 50 50, in my, in my opinion.
‘I love the Cecil, and it will always hold a place in my heart. Like I said, I love spooky stuff. It’s like kind of my thing and so I’m I’m very grateful for it, but at the same time it’s just getting so dangerous to even walk outside at this point.
The TikToker added ”I love the Cecil, and it will always hold a place in my heart. Like I said, I love spooky stuff. It’s like kind of my thing and so I’m I’m very grateful for it, but at the same time it’s just getting so dangerous to even walk outside at this point’
‘I just feel like I’m ready for a change. I’m ready for something different. I’ve been doing videos about the Cecil for a couple of years, and then I’m ready to like kind of move on from it.’
Peet’s videos about his experiences at the notorious hotel from hell have gained him a whole new following of people who are intrigued by it – the building even inspired American Horror Story’s fifth season, Hotel.
He joked ‘I wanna go live across the next spooky place. I started this whole new like series before anyone cared about the Cecil Hotel of the Cecil Hotel, and it wasn’t until, like the Netflix documentary came out in like 2021 is when people started caring.
‘As soon as as the documentary came out, it exploded. I thought it was awesome. I thought I give everyone a a new perspective and I felt like I was kind of like helping be the non official reporter.’
With his mother constantly asking when he’s moving out and his friends refusing to visit as they’re scared, Peet admitted he is ready to move on to his next horror adventure.
The dark and twisted history of the Cecil Hotel
1924 – Hotel Cecil was built by William Banks Hanner, Robert H. Schops, and Charles L. Dix, costing $1.5 million to complete
1927 – The first registered death was 52-year-old Percy Ormand Cook, three years after the hotel opened – he died by suicide in his hotel room
1930’s – At least six people committed suicide – two ingested poison, one shot himself in the head and others jumped from the building itself
July 1932 – Army Medical Corps Sergeant Louis D. Borden was found dead in his room at age 53 after he slashed his throat with a razor
1940’s – The blocks surrounding the Cecil Hotel became known as ‘Skid Row’ after an influx of homeless people inundated the area. The hotel became associated with transients, sex workers, criminals and untimely deaths
January 1940 – A teacher called Dorothy Seger died in her hotel room
September 1944 – Dorothy Jean Purcell, 19, threw her newborn baby out of the window – she was charged with murder but was found not guilty by reason of insanity
1947 – Elizabeth Short or the Black Dahlia, was allegedly spotted having a drink at the Cecil hotel days before her murder in 1947, though the claim remains heavily disputed
In November of the same year, a man called Robert Smith died after jumping from the seventh floor window
February 1962 – A 50-year-old woman called Julia Frances Moore jumped from the window of her room on the eighth floor
In the same year, another woman called Pauline Otton had been fighting with her husband and jumped out of the window – she landed on a man called George Gianinni and they both died
June 1964 – ‘Pigeon’ Goldie Osgood, a retired telephone operator, was found murdered in her room at the hotel – she had been staying at the Cecil for five years. She was found raped, beaten and stabbed
1985 – Serial killer Richard Ramirez, better known as ‘The Night Stalker’ lived in the Cecil Hotel for a few weeks
1991 – Serial killer Jack Unterwerger was working as a journalist covering LA crime for an Austrian magazine when he checked into the hotel – he killed three sex workers in the city while staying there
Januaray 2013 – Canadian student Elisa Lam who was staying at the hotel disappeared, before her dead body was found floating in the hotel’s water tank on the roof in February
2007 – 2017 – Amy Price, who was manager of the hotel for ten years, revealed in the Netflix documentary that between 2007 and 2017, she estimates at least eighty people died
2017 – 2021 – The hotel underwent major renovations and reopened as a permanent supportive housing project
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