Friday, October 16, 2009

Haunted Hotels & Ghosts

In the spirit of Halloween (and since I just returned from a supposed haunted hotel in San Diego), this week's post is about ghosts. Last week, my daughter and I stayed at the Del Coronado Hotel (affectionately called "The Del") in San Diego, California. Built in 1888, The Del has hosted many major celebrities including Madonna, Brad Pitt, Barbara Streisand, Marilyn Monroe and many other celebs. The movie "Some Like It Hot" was shot there. Also, ten U.S. presidents have stayed at The Del. But their most famous guest is Kate Morgan. The story goes that Kate went to The Del decades ago to meet her estranged husband. We saw pictures of her checking in and walking alone along the beach. One problem: her husband never showed. She waited and waited and finally, allegedly took her own life on the stairs near the salon. A bellman who has worked at the hotel for 27 years said she was murdered and that's why she can't rest. She wants everyone to know and has appeared in many rooms, turned on ceiling fans, televisions, opened closet doors or appeared as a shadow. Eeek! Every person we spoke with (front desk, bellman, elevator guy, and servers assurred us Kate is still very much around). I specifically requested a non-haunted room, and we were placed in a newer addition which looked just like a Holiday Inn. At the high room prices, I requested a change of rooms (Madonna apparently requested five changes) and we were placed in the old Victorian section. Oh, my. AND...our room number used to be her room! Since they remodeled, it was a different room but the same room number. I was terrified she'd get confused and visit our room! For that reason, I slept with my eyes tightly shut, took sleeping pills, and hated to get up in the night to go to the restroom. Luckily, we didn't see her. Apparently, Kate most often visits the rooms of couples because she's jealous. As I mentioned, I was with my daughter. The hotel is very unique, has great restaurants where you can eat along the beach, and an old-time elevator operated by scary old guys. There's also a unique wine/cheese/chocolate bar. Yum. The beach was gorgeous, there's a pool and a spa/salon. I'd highly recommend this hotel if you aren't afraid of Kate. Have you ever stayed in a haunted hotel or encountered a ghost? Please tell us about it. BOO!!!


  1. Sounds like you had a great time.
    Many people are interested in Ghosts and the Hotel has good PR with Kate. What a neat setting for a book! I can think of several different way it could go. Fun.

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  3. Funny story Beth! I love ghost stories and asm very interested in the supernatural. When I was a baby my mom and dad milked cows for a living. We lived in a house they called the green house because it was green. My bedroom was green too. I shouldn't be able to remember that because I was so young, but one day I was laying in my cri and this white thing came out of the vent and started talking to me. I don't remember what it said, but I could understand it. I told my mom about it when I was a teenager and she said there was no way I should know what color that room was or that things should have been talking to me. Very weird. When my husband and I go down to Eureka Springs we loved to go to the Crescent Hotel. We have some pictures with orbs in them, but I've never seen a real ghost there--yet.

  4. We actually lived in a haunted house once. The realtor told us that it was, but we loved the house and decided the ghost wouldn't bother us because we were Christians. WRONG! We lived there for two years and it was awful. The house was built in 1899 and I don't know what happened within those four walls, but there was a terribly strong 'feeling' we all got when we walked through a hall that connected the bedrooms upstairs...just in that one spot. There were closets on both sides of the hall and I tore the backs out of them so that I could check the attics one day. My children slept in those bedrooms and, if there was anything there, I wanted to confront it...but it was just an old, empty attic.
    The people who lived there before us said that they saw an apparition on a number of occasions - it appeared to be a very angry woman.

    The house was also infested with snakes - they were the shower, on the kitchen counter, crawling along the baseboards in the living room and under the laundry baskets. Living there truly was a nightmare.

    When we decided to move, no one wanted to buy the place. My husband passed away and I brought the children back to Missouri, leaving the house vacant. Several people bought it 'on contract' over those years and then moved back out within a few months. It took five years to actually get the thing sold. At one point, neighbors complained about seeing lights passing from window to window on the inside. The county sheriff camped in the back yard for a couple of nights to see if he could 'catch' whoever was in there. He never saw a soul.

    Moral of the story: If your realtor tells you that a house is haunted...believe him!

  5. I'd be more afraid of the snakes in Jean's story than in ghosts. I have always wanted to stay in a haunted hotel. I would love for my husband to see a spirit because he thinks I'm crazy sometimes. I saw my first ghost when I was about 8 years old. I had stayed home from school and was doing laundry with my mom. I had a basket full of clothes that I was carrying, headed down the hall to go put them away. As soon as I turned the corner, I saw a man with a short sleeved plaid shirt on and I thought that my dad had come home from work, and then the man just faded away as he was walking. My mom saw it too. I've also seen my grandfather and a couple of other entities. It's scary and exciting at the same time. Of ccourse, not everyone believes.

  6. Hi Beth,
    My sister and I were weened on ghost stories.
    Our Mother was too. I always sensed some fear surrounding phranormal events she would talk about. I am surprised that my own reactions to strange happenings have not been colored by her fear.

    I myself have experianced some spine tingleing experiances and seen some things that I have sensed were not quite part of the norm. Most time I've done my double take and said, "Okay, that was weird!" But I was not truely upset, just thoughtful.

    Once I dreamed about a shining golden figure.
    He talked to me about the meaning of life and when I woke, it was with a sense of peace like I had never felt before. I tried and tried to remember what he had said to me in the dream, I felt it was important but could not recall. Still the feeling of peace stayed with me for several weeks after.

    It seem to me, the real question is are the strangers among us spirits, some angry and others at peace? or perhaps Angels and Demons? or some of each?

  7. Wow, ladies. Some great, albeit scary stories here. I'd be afraid of those snakes, too. Eeeek. Could not handle that for two days, let alone two years. I don't know how you lived there, Jean. You're brave.

    Interesting, Becky, about your remembrances and observations from the crib. Goosebumps. I had heard about the Crescent Hotel's being haunted but have never stayed there. Also, the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, AR, is supposedly haunted.

    Jarielyn, my husband doesn't believe either and laughs at me. Amazing that both you and your mom saw the same ghost/spirit. I've seen one, too. Maybe I'll talk about it in another post since we're coming up on Halloween!

    Thanks for sharing your spooky stories.

  8. Delane, very thoughtful comments and insights. Interesting about the shiny golden figure (made me think of the Academy Award! ha) Glad it made you at peace. And to answer your question, who knows, but I'd guess some of each--angels and demons.

  9. Mom,
    I was very disappointed NOT to get a glimpse of Kate! We heard so much about her, I thought she'd do something for sure....turn on a light, knock something over, anything! I guess I'll have to go with Steve and see if the 'couple' theory is true :) I had a great time at the hotel, and definitely recommend going back!

  10. This thread is so interesting, Beth. I love hearing about haunted houses. I've always wanted to go to the Crescent Hotel. Saw that episode on Ghost Hunters where they actually caught an apparition!

    I haven't actually seen an apparition, but I have had a few weird things happen over the years. One in particular was at our old house. My children were younger, and we had all already gone to bed. Then I saw what I thought was one of them walk through the hallway and into the living room. I yelled out, "Would you kids get back into bed?"

    When there was no answer, I climbed out of bed, walked down the hall and peeked into their rooms. They were BOTH sound asleep. I crept slowly into the living room. Lights were still off. I walked into the kitchen. Again, saw nothing. I glanced through the kitchen leading to the garage door and decided "no way!" I ran back and crawled back into bed.

    Another time was when we lived in California. I hated living there. The weather was PERFECT, but we had no family there. I was so lonesome because my husband traveled a lot.

    I remember one night in bed, I rolled over and let my hand slide of the side of the bed. Something touched my hand. I'm talking FLESH ON FLESH! It startled me, and I jerked my hand back up.

    Strange thing is that it was the most comforting gesture I had ever felt. Didn't scare me, just startled me. I've never forgotten that.

  11. Amy, I hope you and Steve do get a chance to go but I was glad we didn't see her. Maybe Kate was around but the sleeping pill knocked me out.

    Shirley, that hand thing would have freaked me out!!! Wow. Glad it comforted you, though. Also strange about whatever you saw in the hallway. Okay, I'm scaring myself in my upstairs office. Signing off to run and find my hubby!

  12. On the night of Sun., 2/11/73, around 10:30 p.m., Pacific Palisades, Calif., my washer overflowed. As I grumbled while mopping up the surging sea of suds that was oozing toward my costly white wool wall-to-wall carpet, a mellifluous voice said in perfectly proper pear shaped tones, "Well, if you don't like it, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT." Since I was alone, I spun. Over my shoulder, behind me, suspended between kitchen ceiling and floor, was a candle-shaped golden light, like a faceless/formless human shape. And it was communicating with me! I dropped the mop, grabbed a pen and took dictation on paper toweling, and thus bgan my true relationship in a close encounter with a Being who dictated a book, and the title for it--THERE'S A SPIRIT IN THE KITCHEN--and whom my publisher named a ghost. For whatever reason--misnaming of a spirit or ???--the book never did catch on and it never sold, although it is magnificent. It is available on and Galde Press online. I do not even try to sell it. Is there a difference between a spirit and a ghost? I only know this: The name of this wondrous being was allegedly Amy Kitchener, and my good fortune was to have Amy as a mentor/guide/slavemaster of the rarest kind.
    My business is Amy Kitchener's Angels Without Wings Fdn. at
    and you can see by visiting it just what influence such a so-called ghost can have on the living... including me. Instead of trying to explain Amy, I just say, "May the muse be with you." I also say: If you doubt such a being, look at what she dictated in 1973: In the year 2001, there will no longer be one America. She added later, in Springfield, Mo.: America is now divided into two continents of consciousness.
    Life IS a mystery. Go for it.
    Wanda Sue Parrott, Member of Sleuths' Ink &
    much-misunderstood medium. If you write fiction, you're one, too.

  13. I opened the Ozarks Senior Living Magazine and saw an article "THE GHOSTS OF BRANSON"
    Thought we would have something spooky to add to this site. It tells about the show in Branson where they have Elvis, John Denver and others bring inpersonated. Wait, maybe that is spooky!

  14. The Legends show is GREAT. Full of really talented,look-alike impersonators. I've seen it twice and highly recommend it.