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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.

Get it on Amazon (Affiliate Link)

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Fofao: The Killer Doll




The creepy Fofao dolls did in fact contain a sharp spike within to support the doll’s head. Photo: Latin Folktales

An urban legend spread throughout Latin America in the late 1980s telling of a knife being hidden in Fofao dolls. It turns out it was somewhat based in reality.

Who was Fofão?

The rather spooky looking character of Fofao. Photo: Wikipedia

Orival Pessini was tasked by TV Globo director, José Bonifácio de Oliveira Sobrinho , to create a child character for the upcoming program Balão Mágico. As any character that was created would go on air, Orival was unsure of what to create, having no prior experience with children.

After contemplating various possibilities such as a dog, pig, clown, teddy bear, extraterrestrial, or human, Orival decided to combine all the ideas, resulting in the creation of Fofão.

Orival was also inspired by Steven Spielberg’s E.T, which he described as being unattractive but possessing a great heart and charisma. Therefore, he aimed to create a similar character in Fofão.

In 1983, the character Fofão made its first appearance on the morning children’s television program, Balão Mágico, as a supporting character to the children’s musical group.

Despite its minor role, the character quickly gained popularity, eventually becoming an iconic figure in Brazilian media during the 1980s. This was largely due to the high sales of a plush toy based on the character.

In 1986, following the end of the original program, Fofão was given its own solo show called TV Fofão, which aired on Rede Bandeirantes until 1989, with a brief return between 1994-1996. The character made its final TV appearance in 1998 on the CNT Gazeta channel.

During the early 1980s, he gained immense popularity among Brazilian children and became a sensation. The character had its own TV show, released albums, dolls, and various other licensed products.

The Legend of the killer Fofao dolls

A video telling the story of the creepy Fofao dolls

After Fofao’s meteoric rise to fame the Fofao dolls sold in huge numbers. Not long afterwards rumors began to spread about the dolls having a knife concealed inside them.

According to the legend, Fofao dolls were cursed and would come to life in the middle of the night. The doll’s head would then separate from its body revealing a large knife. The Fofao doll would then repeatedly stab the child sleeping peacefully next to them.

After the story of the cursed Fofao doll became widely known, many people reportedly burned their own Fofao dolls out of fear. The story has since become a popular urban legend throughout Latin America.

Spookily, the Fofao doll legend wasn’t completely made up. When the head of the doll was removed a large, sharp plastic spike was revealed. This was used as a structural support to help the doll to sit up on its own.

Did you hear the legend of the Fofao dolls when you were growing up? Tell us about it in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article about the creepy Fofao dolls you might also be interested in Okiku: The Doll with Growing Human Hair or the story of Gabriel March Granados and the world longest prison sentence.

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Demon Cat of D.C




A possible Demon Cat peering over a fence in Washington D.C. Photo: Wikipedia

Several people have reported seeing a large cat lurking around the US Government buildings in Washington D.C. Some say the cat appears as a warning before significant events.

The Legend of the Demon Cat of D.C

In the mid-1800s, cats were introduced into the underground tunnels of the United States Capitol Building with the purpose of exterminating rats and mice.

The story of the Demon Cat began during this time, with the belief that it was one of these feline workers whose spirit remained in the basement crypt after its passing.

The crypt, which was meant to be a final resting place for President George Washington, is said to be the Demon Cat’s favourite hangout.

As per a Washington Post article from 1898, the Demon Cat initially appears to be a regular-sized housecat but quickly expands to the size of an elephant, causing fear in the observer’s eyes.

In a 1935 Washington Post article, a witness described the Demon Cat’s eyes as glowing with the same intensity and fierceness as the headlights of a fire engine.

In addition to the Capitol Building, the legend extends to the White House. According to the tale, when the Demon Cat is seen on the Ground Floor of the White House (previously known as the basement), it means that a huge tragedy is about to unfold.

The Demon Cat’s notoriety is largely attributed to a collection of cat paw prints that can be found on the concrete floor of the Small Senate Rotunda, located near the entrance to the Old Supreme Court Chamber.

While the Architect of the Capitol asserts that these paw prints belong to the rat-catching cats that once inhabited the building, proponents of the Demon Cat legend contest this claim.

According to them, the paw prints only materialized after the rotunda was almost obliterated by an explosion in 1898, which they attribute to the vindictive cat, although official records attribute the blast to a gas explosion. (Who is to say the cat didn’t cause the gas explosion).

These believers also allege that the initials “D.C.” etched into the same floor stand for “Demon Cat”.

Sightings of the Demon Cat of D.C

One of the cats that lurked in the basement of the Capitol Building

The first recorded sighting of the Demon Cat was in the United States Capitol in 1862 when it appeared in the basement, which was then used as a bakery to feed soldiers during the Civil War.

The cat was seen multiple times in the basement, and a guard supposedly fired a gun at it, causing it to vanish.

Since then, the Demon Cat has been spotted most frequently in the Capitol Building’s basement. While some describe it as a tabby, others claim it to be black.

A White House guard claimed to have witnessed the Demon Cat before the 1929 stock market crash, while another night watchman spotted it prior to John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

Even though no firsthand source confirms the Demon Cat’s sightings at the White House, the feline ghost is occasionally included among the “most renowned” spirits of the Executive Mansion.

Possible Explanations for the Demon Cat of D.C

A video about the Demon Cat of D.C

The legend of the Demon Cat of D.C is thought to have originated from a guardsman at the United States Capitol who had possibly consumed too much alcohol during a long night shift, as per public historian Steve Livengood from the United States Capitol Historical Society.

Livengood speculates that upon waking up from a nap, the guardsman saw a basement cat that appeared larger than life due to his lying down position, and this experience might have perpetuated the story of the Demon Cat.

Such oral ghost stories are commonplace, particularly among those who worked graveyard shifts in the Capitol and White House, and the Demon Cat legend aligns with the traditional perception of cats as mystical creatures with the power to bring misfortune.

In addition to this, cats are often associated with nefarious activities and witchcraft. As a result, the Demon Cat tale is probably an amalgamation of history, imaginative narration, and widely held beliefs, making it one of the most renowned ghost stories in the nation’s capital.

Have you ever seen the Demon Cat of D.C? Let us know in the comments.

If you enjoyed learning about the Demon Cat of D.C you might be interested in other supernatural cats like the Bakeneko or the Canterbury Panther.

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