You Can Checkout Anytime You’d Like but You Can Never Leave

by K-Dean

Kate Morgan’s ghost has been haunting the Hotel del Coronado for more than 100 years.

The Hotel del Coronado overlooking the San Francisco Bay, has hosted famous celebrities such as Babe Ruth, Charlie Chaplin, Brad Pitt and Madonna. It’s most famous visitor however, Kate Morgan, has never left. Stories of ghostly occurrences have been circulating at the hotel, since the young woman died in 1892.

Kate Morgan, a young lady in her mid 20s, checked into the Hotel del Coronado alone on Thursday, November 24, 1892 under the name Lottie Bernard. Hotel staff noticed she seemed in a poor state of health and mind and found it strange that she arrived alone and without any luggage. She had reassured the hotel staff that her brother would be joining her, and that he was a doctor.

Five days after she checked into the hotel, her dead body was found on a staircase outside the hotel leading to the beach. She had a gunshot wound in her head, which the San Diego County Coroner later determined was self-inflicted. Police conducted a search in the young woman’s hotel room, room 302, but no personal belongings were found. There was nothing to identify the woman other than the name she registered as, 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. Nicknamed “the beautiful stranger” by newspapers, the story surrounding the suicide of the unknown girl at the Coronado Hotel covered the front pages. Eventually, Lottie Bernard was identified as Kate Morgan, originally from Iowa, and the wife of Tom Morgan. Morgan and her husband had been gamblers making a living playing poker on trains all across the country, pretending to be brother and sister.

A gentleman came forward during the police investigation with information about the mysterious suicide victim. He had seen Kate arguing with a man, who may have been her husband, on a train en route to San Diego. The witness said that the man got off the train before it reached San Diego.

Since her death, hotel staff, and visitors to the hotel have reported paranormal activity in the room Kate stayed in during her visit and in other areas of the hotel. Witnesses have reported seeing flickering lights, televisions turning on and off on their own, mysterious breezes when the windows are closed and even seeing Kate’s ghost.

Paranormal researchers have used infrared cameras, night vision glasses, radiation sensors, and high frequency sound detectors to document unexplained temperature fluctuations, magnetic fields, electronic emissions, and other paranormal activity.

The Hotel Del Coronado released a book called “Beautiful Stranger” the story of Kate Morgan.

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