The Kate Morgan Story: The Ghost of The Hotel Del Coronado

Over a 100 years ago a woman checked into the Hotel Del Coronado and took her own life. Today it is believed that Kate Morgan's spirit still resides at the hotel and terrifies its guests.

Kate Morgan Hotel Del Coronado
The Hotel Del Coronado today along with a picture of the late Kate Morgan

Kate Morgan appeared to have lived a relatively ordinary life by most accounts, however, her death has captivated people from all around the world for over 125 years.

In 1864, Iowa, Kate Morgan was born and lived with her parents for only two years of her childhood until her mother passed away. Following the death of her mother, Kate was sent to live with her grandfather in 1865.

When she was in her early twenties she met a man by the name of Thomas Edwin Morgan, the two would soon become husband and wife, however, the marriage was an unhappy one. Kate and Thomas had a son, but tragically he died, just two days after he was born.

After just five years of marriage, Kate Morgan left her husband and ran away with another man whom she had been having an affair with, Albert Allen.

It is reported that this new relationship also didn't last long, although records of Kate Morgan's life at this time are very sparse so we cannot be sure, but the next time she was reportedly seen, she was on her own and unwell.

Her next appearance came in November, 1892 when she checked into the Hotel del Coronado, using the name “Mrs. Lottie A. Bernard, Detroit.” The staff at the hotel had commented that Kate Morgan was a very beautiful woman, ladylike and well-dressed, but she appeared melancholy and troubled.

Throughout her stay at the Hotel del Coronado, Kate mostly kept to herself, though she did have frequent conversations with the housekeeper, who would clean her room and run baths for her.

She confided in the housekeeper, telling her that she had recently been diagnosed with stomach cancer and her reason for being at the hotel was she was waiting for her brother who was a doctor, he was supposedly coming in an attempt to help her with her deteriorating health condition.

Kate Morgan "beautiful stranger" is said to still haunt the Hotel Del Coronado

It is said that time passed and no one arrived to meet Kate nor did she receive any letters, staff noticed that her spirit seemed to sink even lower, then at some point, she made the trip into the city to purchase a handgun.

On the evening of November 28, 1892, Kate Morgan walked down into the exterior veranda with her gun in her hand, a cold storm was currently in full flow, she stood and faced the ocean before shooting herself in the head.

An assistant electrician who worked at the hotel found her body lying on the steps by the beach in the early hours of the following morning.

The police quickly arrived to remove her body before the story of the tragic events of the night before got around the other hotel guests.

Authorities confirmed that Kate Morgan died of a single gunshot wound to the head, her gun was found lying next to her body on the steps.

Her final resting place was close to the hotel in the Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego.

Where was Kate Morgan buried?
Kate Morgan was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, San Diego

These are the only verifiable facts about Kate Morgan, many stories and myths have circulated surrounding the mysterious and dubious circumstances of her death.

In the 1980s, Alan May, a San Francisco based lawyer started investigating old case files pertaining to her death when he uncovered an interesting fact.

The bullet that was found in the skull of Kate Morgan did not match the calibre of gun that she had purchased, which led him to believe that the gunshot wound may not have been self-inflicted after all.

This new theory of potential foul play gathered a lot of interest in Kate Morgan's death being revisited, however, the case was never officially reopened by authorities.

Whether the cause of death of Kate was suicide or murder, we will likely never know, many people to this day remain convinced that the spirit of Kate Morgan still resides at the Hotel Del Coronado.

Ever since her death, there has been a consistent flow of reports of paranormal behaviour coming from the hotel, reported by both staff members and guests alike.

The most frequently reported events include, doors opening and closing, strange sounds and smells, unexplained breezes and sightings of a ghostly figure of a well dressed, young woman, bearing resemblance to the descriptions of Kate Morgan.

Hotel guests have often spoken of how lights and televisions in their rooms would turn themselves on and then off.

The gift shop is said to be a highly active part of the hotel to this day, with guests and staff claiming that souvenirs and other goods from the shop would fly of the shelves, but mysteriously not break.

For years now the Hotel Del Coronado has been a popular ghost hunting spot for paranormal enthusiasts, with the hotel confirming that room 3327 is the most requested room in the hotel, this is the room that Kate Morgan stayed in prior to her death.

After learning about the spirit of Kate Morgan and the Hotel Del Coronado, check out the Exorcism of Anneliese Michel. Then read about Dering Woods, AKA Screaming Woods, the UK's most haunted forest.

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