Most of the action of AHS’s fifth season will take place within the confines of the Hotel Cortez in Los Angeles, California. And, while there are hotels named “Cortez” in the world — including ones in Bolivia and Mexico — this one is very much a fabrication: There is no Hotel Cortez in L.A. However, that doesn’t mean that everything about the fictional setting is made up. “We were really inspired by the idea of this hotel surveillance video that showed a girl getting into an elevator in a haunted hotel and who was never seen again,” Murphy told the audience at the show’s TCA panel this summer.
Downtown LA’s notorious Cecil Hotel has a long, sad history (suicides, mass murderers), but now that one of its more recent tragedies has a connection to the new season of American Horror Story, the Cecil has become a major tourist attraction. TMZ says “hordes of fans” are now coming to the hotel and hoping to stay there, especially in the bedroom of Elisa Lam, whose body was found in a cistern atop the Cecil in 2013 and whose strange death inspired the new AHS season, aptly named “Hotel.”