This coming Friday will mark 122 years since the Hotel del Coronado opened for business. The hotel was possibly an inspiration for description of the Emerald City in some of author Frank L. Baum's Land of Oz books. It has also been used as a filming location for a number of films (including Some Like It Hot and Wicked, Wicked). The Hotel del Coronado is also reputed to be haunted due to a tragedy that occurred when the hotel had only been open a mere four years. It is a tale of love gone wrong; a chilling Valentine for our dark travelers.
On November 24, 1892, a young woman, using an alias, checked into the hotel's room 302. Five days later the woman was dead. Her corpse was discovered, the apparent victim of a suicide, outside the hotel on the steps leading up from the beach. It wasn't until after her death that her identity was discovered; she was Kate Morgan, a con artist who assisted her card shark husband at bilking unsuspecting men out of their money during poker games. Her husband had left her after discovering that she was pregnant and wished for them to settle down. She apparently took her own life after days of fruitlessly waiting for him to return to her.
The hotel has changed the room number twice since the incident, but the rumors of haunting persist and it remains the most requested room in the hotel. Some have claimed to witness the ghost of Kate Morgan looking from the room's window or wandering the halls of the hotel. It has been theorized that Kate may not have taken her own life: rather she had been the victim of a murder staged to look as though it had been suicide. The truth may never be known. Perhaps if you stay at the Hotel del Coronado, the long dead Kate Morgan will whisper her story into your ear as you sleep.