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THE GHOST OF KATE MORGAN HAUNTS THE HOTEL DEL CORONADO
Coronado, CA -Stories of ghostly happenings have been circulating at the Hotel del Coronado for many years, all thought to be related to the death of a beautiful young woman, Kate Morgan, who stayed at the hotel in November 1892.
Hotel guests, employees, and even paranormal researchers have attested to some supernatural occurrences at The Del. Witnesses report flickering lights, televisions that turn on and off by themselves, dramatic shifts in room temperatures, odd scents, unexplained voices, the sound of strange footsteps, mysterious breezes which cause curtains to billow when windows are closed, and objects which move of their own accord; still others claim to have seen the ghost of Kate Morgan herself.
Kate Morgan, a pretty woman in her mid 20s, checked into the Hotel del Coronado alone on Thursday, November 24, 1892 (Thanksgiving evening). During her stay, hotel employees – many of whom had frequent interactions with Kate – reported that she had appeared ill and very unhappy. She had also told quite a few employees that she was waiting for her brother (who she said was a doctor) to join her - but he never showed up.
Five days after she checked in, Kate was found dead on an exterior staircase leading to the beach. Kate had a gunshot wound to her head, which the San Diego County Coroner later determined was self-inflicted.
A search of her hotel room revealed no personal belongings. In fact, there was nothing to identify “the beautiful stranger” except the name she used when she registered: Lottie A. Bernard (from Detroit).
After her death, police sent a sketch of Kate’s face and information about her death to newspapers and police stations around the country, in the hopes that someone could shed light on “the dark mystery surrounding the suicide of the unknown girl at the Coronado Hotel.”
Eventually, Lottie Bernard was identified as Kate Morgan, originally from Iowa, and the wife of Tom Morgan. Reportedly, Tom Morgan was a gambler, who may have made his living gambling on the railroad.
After the inquest into Kate’s suicide, a gentleman came forward to say that he had seen Kate arguing with a man (thought to have been Tom) on a train en route to San Diego. The witness said that Tom disembarked before reaching San Diego, and Kate continued on to the Hotel del Coronado by herself, where, it is assumed, she waited – and waited - for Tom to join her. When he never showed up, Kate took her own life.
Since that time, paranormal activity has been reported in the room Kate stayed in during her 1892 visit and in other areas of the hotel.
To this day, interest continues to be generated by the legacy of Kate Morgan. Paranormal researchers have used infrared cameras, night vision glasses, radiation sensors, toxic-chemical indicators, a microwave imaging system and high frequency sound detectors to document unexplained temperature fluctuations, magnetic fields, electronic emissions, and other paranormal activity.
Not surprisingly, the media has closely followed the legend of Kate Morgan, and stories about The Del’s ghost have appeared nationally and internationally in newspapers, magazines and on television.
In October 2002, The Del released a book entitled “Beautiful Stranger - The Ghost of Kate Morgan and the Hotel del Coronado”. Researched and published by the Hotel del Coronado Heritage Department, the book reflects the most accurate report of the legendary story to date. Look for the book in The Del’s Signature Shop or online at www.delshop.com.
Founded in 1992, KSL Resorts manages six time-honored resorts with outstanding recreational amenities, including spa, golf, tennis and ski. Each is refined yet unpretentious, rich in legacy, and genuine in service. The KSL Resorts are:
Hotel del Coronado (San Diego, CA)
La Costa Resort and Spa (Carlsbad, CA)
Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa (Rancho Mirage, CA)
Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa (Vail, CO)
Barton Creek Resort & Spa (Austin, TX)
The Homestead (Hot Springs, VA)
For more information, call 1-866-KSL-7727 or visit KSLResorts.com.