The True Story Of Kate Morgan, The Ghost Of The Hotel Del Coronado

Published May 3, 2018
Updated August 7, 2018

A century ago Kate Morgan checked into the Hotel del Coronado and took her own life. Now, guests claim her spirit may never have left.

Kate Morgan

Wikimedia CommonsKate Morgan

Kate Morgan lived an ordinary and rather unremarkable life by most accounts. Her death, however, has captured the attention of many for that past 125 years.

Born in Iowa in 1864, Kate Morgan lived with her family for just two years before her mother passed away. She was then sent to live with her grandfather in 1865. In her early twenties, she met and married a man named Thomas Edwin Morgan.

However, the marriage was not a happy one.

The couple had a son, but tragically he did not survive, passing away only two days after his birth. After only five years of marriage, Morgan left her husband and ran off with another man named Albert Allen. This relationship also did not appear to have lasted. Although there are very few records of Morgan’s life at this time, the next time she was reported sighted, she was ill and alone.

Her next appearance was at the Hotel del Coronado in 1892. She arrived in late November, checking in under the name “Mrs. Lottie A. Bernard, Detroit.” The staff reported that she seemed ladylike, beautiful, reserved and well-dressed, but troubled and very melancholy.

Though she mostly kept to herself, she was in frequent contact with the housekeeper, who often visited her room to clean up and run her baths. She confessed that she had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and was at the hotel awaiting her brother, a doctor, who was on his way to assist her with her failing health.

However, a few days passed, and she received no letters, and no one arrived to meet her. Her spirits seemed to sink even lower, and, at some point, she ventured out into the city to purchase a handgun.

Hotel del Coronado

FlickrThe Hotel del Coronado, where Kate Morgan committed suicide.

On the evening of November 28th, Morgan went down into the exterior veranda with her gun in her hand, and stood to face the ocean in the middle of a cold storm. Her body was discovered lying on the steps by the beach by the hotel’s assistant electrician very early the next morning.

Police were quickly called to remove her body in order to shield the tragedy from the other guests. They were able to confirm she died of a gunshot wound, and her gun was found lying next to her body. She was laid to rest near the hotel in the Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego.

Although those are the only verifiable facts, many myths and stories have spread ever since surrounding the mysterious circumstances around her death.

In the 1980s, a San Francisco based lawyer named Alan May began investigating old case files pertaining to her death when he came across an interesting fact. The bullet found in the skull did not match the caliber of the gun she had bought, which prompted him to believe that the wound may not have been self-inflicted. Although the new theory that there may have been foul play renewed interest in Morgan’s death, the case was never officially reopened.

Whatever the cause of death, many people remain convinced that the unhappy spirit of Kate Morgan never left the hotel.

Numerous paranormal sightings have been reported around the Hotel del Coronado, including unexplained breezes, sounds, and smells, doors opening and shutting without warning, and frequent sightings of a ghostly figure that bears resemblance to Kate Morgan.

A paranormal investigation team stays in room 3327 of Hotel del Coronado, where Kate Morgan’s ghost is said to haunt.

Guests have also reported electronics such as lights and televisions that turn themselves on and off. The hotel gift shop is also apparently a favorite haunt, as guests and workers have claimed that souvenirs and other goods from the shop occasionally fly off the shelves, but mysteriously remain unbroken.

Rather than scaring guests away, the ghost of Kate Morgan has drawn many paranormal enthusiasts to the Hotel del Coronado. The room she stayed in before she died is the most requested room in the entire hotel.


After learning about Kate Morgan, the woman who purportedly haunts the Hotel del Coronado, check out these haunting photos of people taken just before they died. Then, read the true story of ‘The Conjuring’ and the families that were haunted for decades.

Aimee Lamoureux
Aimee Lamoureux is a writer based in New York City.
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