Saturday, October 22, 2011

Haunted Hotel Del Coronado

Welcome to the Haunted Hotel Del Coronado, where guests check in but they don't check out! Beware, this story is actually based on historical fact and even beautiful San Diego has its dark side. The "Del" as locals call it, was built in 1888. The massive wooden structure is built in the Queen Anne style. It is a whimsical, fairy-tale like building, and is painted a beautiful white color.
The location is right on the beach, and is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. Some of the hotel residents refuse to leave, which leads us to our ghost story...
Kate Morgan checked in on Thanksgiving Day under an alias in 1892. She traveled alone, which was strange for a woman in those days. Eyewitnesses noted Kate seemed quite sickly. The beautiful, young 24 year old stated she was waiting for her "brother" to join her. She waited and waited, 5 days went by, and he never showed up.
On the 5th day, Kate took a pistol, walked to a staircase leading to the beach, and shot herself in the head. Her death stunned everyone, and was well covered in the newspapers at the time. It turned out Kate Morgan was married, but she wasn't waiting for her brother, but a lover instead. Speculation that she was pregnant at the time still lingers as a possible motive for her suicide.
To this day, mystery surrounds her, and some even say she was murdered. One thing is for certain, many hotel employees and guests say Kate still resides at the Hotel Del Coronado.
But let's investigate for ourselves. Won't you please join me as we take an elevator ride? The Del was the first hotel to use electricity.
5th Floor please kind sir!
A beautiful chandelier hangs at the top of the elevator. We're going to the 5th floor, because that happens to be the room where Kate Morgan stayed and where a lot of strange bumps occur in the night!
I'm tall (almost 6 feet) but people in the Victorian age were much shorter because I could touch the ceiling, and had to duck walking up some of the staircases. Please watch your head, you don't want to lose it!
Notice the pretty architectural accents here and there. OK we're almost to the room.
Here it is, room 3327! Many people try to book this room months in advance in hopes of seeing Kate's ghost. I was told by an employee of the Del, that one guest who didn't even know about the ghost story stayed in room 3327 during a business trip. He never made it through the night because he came down to the front desk in his robe, with no shoes on demanding another room. He wouldn't even talk about what happened to him.
Notice how the numbers have been scratched off? Perhaps a warning for us not to linger.
There are rumors of lights in the room flickering on and off, phones ringing throughout the night, and strange fragrances of lavender filling the air.
Let's head downstairs to another area where ghost sightings have taken place. It's the gift shop Est. 1888.  I spoke to the manager there and she's had quite a few strange things happen to her. You really do get a very creepy feeling walking into the shop...
She told me books literally flew off one of the shelves, especially where Marilyn Monroe memorabilia are kept. Marilyn shot the movie "Some Like It Hot" at the Hotel Del Coronado. Perhaps Kate doesn't like all the attention Marilyn is getting! Another employee actually saw a figure of a woman in a black Victorian dress behind the counter when she arrived to work early one morning. Now she won't even look into the shop when she passes it in the hall.
Let's get a breath of fresh air out on the balcony. It's getting too scary in there.  

A final good bye to the Hotel Del Coronado. I hope you enjoyed our little tour. But wait, look closer at this photo. I don't remember seeing anyone looking out at us when I took this picture! OK, now I'm scared. Let's get out of here...
Happy Halloween!  
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