The Life and Afterlife of Kate Morgan

A photo of Kate Morgan before her death. Photo: Heather Monroe.

24-Year-old Kate Morgan was found dead at the Hotel del Coronado in 1892. According to locals her spirit never left the hotel and her ghost is often observed as a gentle presence around the building.

Who was Kate Morgan?

Kate Morgan arrived at the Hotel del Coronado on Thanksgiving Day, 1892. Hotel staff and other guests said she was waiting for a gentleman to join her. They described her as being quite sickly and forlorn.

Kate spent most of her time in her room. When housekeeping staff went in to clean her room Kate told them she was suffering from terminal stomach cancer and was waiting on her “brother” to arrive from California.

During her stay she ventured in to San Diego to buy a handgun. On the fifth day of her stay she died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Police struggled to identify the lovely young woman whose body they had found. She had given the hotel a fake name which complicated matters. A description of Kate was telegraphed to other police agencies around the country and newspapers reported on her death asking the public for help identifying her.

Eventually it was discovered that the body belonged to Kate Morgan. She was married but separated from her husband and it was assumed that she was planning to meet with another lover at the Hotel del Coronado.

It was discovered that Kate had been employed as a maid in a wealthy household in Los Angeles. She left abruptly one day and traveled by train to the Hotel del Coronado. Fellow train passengers reported a woman who matched Kate’s description fighting with a male traveling companion with the two ending up leaving separately.

This travelling companion turned out to be the step brother of her husband, a man named GL Allen. Kate and Allen had been running a gambling scam together where Kate would promise to marry a man if he was able to beat her “brother”, Allen, at a game of cards.

It has been suggested that Kate’s “stomach cancer” may have in fact been a pregnancy Kate was trying to abort.

An autopsy discovered that the bullet used to kill Kate didn’t match the one in the gun she had purchased. This was never followed up by the police.

Sightings of Kate Morgan’s Ghost

A video about the paranormal activity at the Hotel de Coronado

Many guests at the hotel have experienced paranormal activity they believe to be caused by the spirit of Kate Morgan.

In the room on the third floor where Kate stayed guests have reported:

lights flickering on and off

a sudden gust of wind coming from nowhere

scents and sounds with no discernable source

tv’s turning themselves on and off

items moving on their own

doors opening and closing by themselves

sudden changes in room temperature

Kate’s ghost has also been spotted by guests in the hotel hallways and walking forlornly along the seashore. Another very active area is the hotel gift shop where items routinely fall off of the shelves on their own but are never broken.

Possible explanations

Like many ghost encounters its possible that guests are misattributing normal things like draughts or settling of the building to have a paranormal cause.

The hotel uses Kate Morgan’s story as a promotional factor so it is in their best interests to play up the paranormal activity at the hotel. This doesn’t mean none of it is real however. You might have to venture there and discover for yourself!

Do you think the spirit of Kate Morgan is still lurking at the Hotel del Coronado? Let us know in the comments!

If you enjoyed this article you may also like to learn about the Rose of the Vulcan Hotel or the spirits lurking at the General Wayne Inn.

Further Reading

A narrative retelling of Kate Morgan’s story: The Del by S.G Courtright.

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