Suicide or Murder: Kate Morgan’s Ghost

Since its existence in 1888, the popular Hotel Del Coronado had ghost stories attached to it soon after its grand opening. The hotel is said to be haunted by a woman, whose death has yet to be conclusively deemed as a murder or suicide. The ghost is said to belong to a Kate Morgan, who along with her husband, Tom, made a living as a con artist during the 1800s.

Traveling by way of trains, the two posed as brother and sister, tricking men into a profitable game of cards for money. When Kate found out that she was pregnant in the November of 1892, she wanted to leave the thieving lifestyle behind them. It was Tom who was not in agreement. On a train heading for San Diego, they fought and Tom got off somewhere near Orange Count or Los Angeles.

It was agreed that Tom would meet Kate in San Diego for Thanksgiving. When Kate reached San Diego, she gave the alias “Lottie Anderson Bernard” when checking into the Hotel Del Coronado. When Thanksgiving came and past, with no sign of Tom, she began searching for him throughout the area. Reports state that at this time, she was appearing sick and looking pale. It is thought that she performed an abortion on herself in an attempt to please Tom.

Reports also state that while Kate awaited the return of her husband, she bought a gun in San Diego. Shortly after, Kate was found on a set of steps leading to a beach. She was shot in the head and considered a suicide victim. But, there have been skeptic doubting this claim. A lawyer, Alan May, who is familiar with murder cases, stated in 1990, that he did not think she committed suicide. He wrote in a book called “The Legend of Kate Morgan: The Search for the Ghost of Hotel Coronado.” he stated that when he analyzed old records, there were discrepancies regarding the bullets that were used in Kate’s gun, as well as the position that her body was found at the time of her death. He believes that she was murdered by Tom.

When Kate stayed at the Hotel Del Coronado, she was checked into room 302, which today is room 3312. The hotel is also to have another haunted room in the unit 3502, which once serves as a maid’s accommodations. She had become friends with Kate and the day after the funeral, disappeared. It is speculated that Tom may have killed her as well.

Both rooms display odd occurrences, such as malfunctioning electrical equipment, cold breezes, as well as objects being moved around the room by unknown forces. Kate’s ghost has been sighted walking down the hallways and standing at certain windows. May also claims that a light located over the steps where Kate met her end, will not stay lit, no matter how many bulbs are replaced.

The hotel can be found at 1500 Orange Avenue in Coronado, California. As a guest, you can rent a self-guided audio tour, which is available at the Signature Shop. The tour will briefly make reference to Kate Morgan.