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"Two more to go!"
-Letti Gordon
Wessex Hotel Service Department Manager





DEATH #1 / #9

Counting Corpses:
When Elaine first arrives in her room and the porter opens the ventilation grating, there is an older ragtime piano theme playing. It stops soon after Elaine notices it. We will eventually learn that each time this piano music is being played, it is being played in the background while someone is dying. This marks the first death (Death #1) at the hotel since Elaine has arrived, and marks (Death #9) on the hotel's current count...



DEATH #2 / #10

Counting Corpses:
The second death (Death #2) that occurs at the hotel since Elaine arrives, is witnessed by Elaine when the service elevator she is riding in breaks down, wedged between floors. The hotel does everything in it's power to try and convince Elaine it is all a dream, but Elaine isn't too sure. This marks (Death #10) on the hotel's current count...



DEATH #3 / #11

Counting Corpses:
Poor, poor Mrs. Beecher marks the third death (Death #3) that occurs at the hotel since Elaine arrives. It is a horribly tragic death as we have gained so much empathy for Mrs. Beecher throughout the course of the movie. Apparently she was drugged the night before and smuggled onto the floor during the night. They then cleaned her room, burned her personal effects in the hotel's incinerator, and then checked somebody else into her room all by the following day. She awakens to a horrible fate. This marks (Death #11) on the hotel's current count... Note that her hat wasn't burned right away, however, as we will see it again later in the film.



DEATH #4 / #12

Counting Corpses:
Peddler marks the fourth death (Death #4) that occurs at the hotel since Elaine arrives. He is a derelict that takes items from the hotel incinerator, assuming he gets to them before they are too charred and scorched, and then sells them on the street, usually to buy a bottle of liquor. He won't be missed, although, as Elaine was sure that he was the killer, she wants to know everything she can about what happens to him. She begins to worry when she can't find him and she's sure that something bad has happened to him. It has. This marks (Death #12) on the hotel's current count...



DEATH #5 / #13

Counting Corpses:
Juli, the sweet, young, hotel waitress marks the fifth death (Death #5) to occur at the hotel since Elaine arrives. She begins to worry too much, too close to the end, and the rest of the staff unanimously decide that ending the waitresses' life to keep her quiet would be the only way their secret stays safe. This marks (Death #13) on the hotel's current count...



DEATH #6 / #14

Counting Corpses:
Gail Myers, the sweet and innocent young lady working at the City Engineer's Office as its "Record's Manager" marks the sixth death (Death #6) that occurs at the hotel since Elaine arrives. Gail finds a way to get onto the floor (not through the use of staircases, which, you would think would be drawn into the floor plans) but in the process, loses her glasses. Not being able to see, and not waiting for Elaine, were two contributing factors to her death. This is tragic as we have gained much empathy for Ms. Myers, as well, and it's even more tragic knowing that she couldn't see clearly, and that her life was taken during a half-blinded state. She didn't know what was going on until she felt the axe tearing her apart. This horrible death marks (Death #14) on the hotel's current count...



DEATH #7 / #15

Counting Corpses:
The poor, overworked, Sergeant marks the seventh death (Death #7) to occur at the hotel since Elaine arrives. The hotel only needs to kill off 16 people before they can make contact with Satan, thus achieving immortality, and Sergeant Madden makes the fifteenth (Death #15) death that the hotel has committed since beginning the process. There were eight people to pass before Elaine ever arrived at the hotel. If the Sergeant could have found a way to climb or jump, he might have gotten away. But as he more than likely didn't hear Elaine yell that she couldn't stop the elevator's descent, it's tragic thinking that sarge died believing Elaine left him on purpose. He didn't mean to not believe her. She just didn't have any hard evidence. Hopefully Elaine wasn't in on it, either. The poor Sargeant is left to watch her leave, knowing the killer is right behind him, and knowing that he is going to die, for there is no way to escape death. He leaves the world in a horrible state: knowing his only hope of escape is gone, and that the only two options he has left are to either plunge to his death, being able to grab ahold of nothing on his way down, or to await a slaughterous torture via the hands of the murderder, who is just inches away.



DEATH #8 / #16

Counting Corpses:
If the hotel would have gotten their way, Elaine would have been the 16th, and final death needed to be able to contact Satan, and achieve immortality. Our lovely heroine has more she wants to do in life before getting older, and dying isn't one of them. A twist of fate allows her live, but in the process, she winds up shooting Creeson, doorman extraordinaire. Technically Creeson doesn't count as death #16 as the hotel's "killer" didn't kill him, Elaine did.



DEATH #9 / #17

Counting Corpses:
Letti Gordon, the Manager of the hotel's Service Department, is the second to be killed in Elaine's crossfire. It doesn't matter to Elaine who she had to shoot, she just wanted to get away. Letti just happened to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time.



DEATH #10-12 / #18-20

Counting Corpses:
After the 13th floor explodes, it is very likely that most of the staff that were on the floor, were still on the floor, and died during the massive explosive. We know for a fact that Judith Teller lives on, but the fates of Abraham, Mr. Rogas, and Dr. Lanier are unknown. Dr. Lanier more than certainly perished, while Abraham and Mr. Rogas might have escaped the floor when Judith did, via the service stairs, but it is unknown and left to the viewer to ponder.



DEATH #1-16 / #33 or 36

Counting Corpses:
While this list only reflects murders that have occurred while Elaine has been staying at the hotel, the Avery Block murders accounted for the original 16 murders. This gives a total count of murdered patrons at at least 33. Assuming Abraham, Mr. Rogas and Dr. Lanier perished in the blaze, the hotel death count reaches a staggering 36. And that doesn't include any deaths that may have occurred throughout the years that we don't know about...


Note that the count above only includes murders. It doesn't count accidental deaths that may have occurred within the hotel. We can be assured that at least one accidental death may have occurred, due to one piece of horizontal railing seen during the epic chase sequence. The railing runs from one staircase to the next, but it's placement is unusual. Here is the callout box from the Walkthrough/Analysis:

Anachronistically Speaking:
Looking through the circular mesh grating we can see another structural oddity. There is a standard, iron wrought, picketed railing system with a rounded polished wood top rail identical to the other handrails, just behind the mesh grating. It's location makes it unusable, so it's purpose it strictly anachronistic. It also makes it's positioning easy to explain. Originally, the circular mesh grating didn't exist. Instead there was just the regular handrail system that connected to and matched the rest of the hand railing leading into it. Due to the excessive amount of death that was committed elsewhere in the hotel, and perhaps because people may have fallen to their deaths by falling over this railing that was a standard at the time, a new system was devised. During the great renovation of 1901, the circular mesh grating was added for not only decorative flair and appeal but also for safety reasons. And rather than removing the existing railing, it was left as an anachronistic reminder of a time when alternate railing systems weren't a necessity.