Fremont County, Iowa

The Ghost of The Hotel Del Coronado
"The True Story of Kate Morgan"

by Terry Girardot, 2001;
used with permission

Chapter One
In the spirit world, there are poltergeists and ghosts; the first is considered to be an unexplained force, a disembodied energy that may be either benign or malignant. A ghost is usually considered to be the spirit or soul of a deceased human, although animals have been reported in ghostly form as well. If a ghost is a visual image of a etheral spirit, it’s yet another curious phenomenon that they are clothed, and sometimes are accompanied by physical objects, such guns, wagons, etc. A reasonable suggestion for this is the human mind must correlate what it imagines with what it knows to be real.

In his book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ghosts and Hauntings, Tom Ogden lists some notable haunted places in America: the Edgar Allen Poe house in Baltimore, the Chase home in Portsmouth, New Hamphire and the Bolton Mansion in Levittown, Pennsylvania, and many more. Most places are haunted by the nameless: “the ghost of a Confederate soldier,” “the spectre of a little girl,” or “a woman riding a white horse.” Those ghosts whose identity is known are usually the famous, like Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln, who is presumed to haunt several places.

It is therefore somewhat unusual that the ghost of the Hotel del Coronado has a name: Kate Morgan.

In June of 1982, Kathy Long of Irvine, California was part of a four-couple group that was celebrating the birthday of one of their friends. After a dinner at the Chart House, the eight friends walked back to the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego.

When she got to her room at the Del, she looked to the door next to hers and saw a beautiful woman standing by that door. The woman glanced back at her. They exchanged smiles and each went into her own room. Almost immediately, she realized she had seen something special, but when she looked out her door, the vision was gone.

“The woman was beautiful with her dark hair pulled up the back,” she said. “She was wearing a beautiful dress – fitted waist, high collar, tucks down the front, with sheer gloves, in a voile-like fabric. But there was no color to her or her clothes. It was all sort of whitish-gray and almost transparent. It was as if there was no life.”

* * * * * * *

Carol Moore is an anesthetist by profession and was living in Minnesota in September of 1993, when she made her first trip to The Del. She stayed in the Victorian Building, at the far westerly corner, facing the ocean.

After having dinner in the Crown Room she retired, but woke in the middle of the night and went to get a drink of water. When she looked out the window, she noticed a woman with her back to the hotel, walking down some exterior stairs toward the ocean. She assumed the woman was dressed in “period costume” since she was wearing a white blouse with a long dark skirt. Her hair was also long and dark.

All of a sudden, the woman turned around and looked directly at Ms. Moore, unnerving her. She was taken aback, thinking the woman could look into her hotel room, even though it was in total darkness. She did not think the woman on the beach could have seen her in the room, yet she was convinced the woman was looking right at her.

The next day, she went into the hotel gift shop to purchase some post-cards. There she saw a book about the hotel, with a picture of a woman who looked just like the person she had seen the night before. She thought nothing more about it until she thumbed through the book two days later.

The book contains specific information about the location where a mysterious young woman had been found dead in November of 1892. Only then did she realize the woman she had seen was walking in the same area where the body had been found more than one hundred years earlier. Had she seen a ghost?

* * * * * * *

January 2000. A doorman at the hotel was showing the haunted room to two young girls, ages nine and eleven. When they entered Room 3312, it appeared someone had been lying on the bed and had not straightened out the bedcovers. The doorman thought this was odd, as the room had been thoroughly cleaned and was ready for the next guest. He tried to straighten out the covers, but couldn’t undo the impression made by the body. He said the experience was “really weird.”

* * * * * * *

February 2000. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts wanted to stay at The Del for the long Valentine Day weekend. There were no rooms available in the Victorian Building at the time, so they returned a few weeks later and were booked into Room 3312. That evening, a hotel manager came by their room to ask them if anything had been left in the bathroom inadvertently by a hotel employee. He was accompanied by a female housekeeper who kept her distance, peering in, but acting a little strangely.

After dinner, Mrs. Roberts took a shower. She noticed the bathroom lights were dimming and flickering on and off. While her husband was taking his shower, she noticed the tassel on the ceiling fan was circulating “as if someone had walked by and brushed it.”

That night, while both Mr. and Mrs. Roberts were in bed asleep, their covers were jerked off the bed. Mrs. Roberts thought her husband was hogging the blankets and went back to sleep. In the morning he asked his wife, “Did you see what happened last night?” He told her someone standing at the foot of the bed pulled the covers off the bed – he could see the outline of a head. After that, he couldn’t get back to sleep. Later on, he heard their room door rattling but he couldn’t bring himself to go to the door.

Only then did Mrs. Roberts tell her husband about seeing the fan tassel moving inexplicably the night before. Imagine her surprise when her husband told he that he had witnessed a similar thing after she had fallen asleep – he told her the tassel began to move as if someone had walked by and batted it.

When the bellman came to their room to retrieve their bags that morning, he greeted them by saying, “Well, how was it to sleep in the haunted room?” That was the first they had heard of the ghost who haunts the Hotel del Coronado.

Written by Terry Girardot, 2001;
Copyright held by Terry. All rights reserved.

Return to Fremont County Home

Page updated on November 5, 2018 by Karyn Techau

Copyright © IAGenWeb 2018 The submitters & IAGenWeb
Pleaseread the IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer
~ all of which applies to the complete Fremont co. IAGenWeb website. ~