A Few Very (Bookable) Haunted Hotels in San Diego
California is bursting at the seams with haunted hotels, motels, and inns. San Diego is one of the most filled! We scoured the internet for truly eerie paranormal events happening at these haunted hotspots. Check out our list below to find your next vacation ‘boo’king!
Horton Grand Hotel
Spectral Residents: Roger Whittaker & Ida Bailey
The Horton Grand Hotel was combined from the Horton Grand and Brooklyn Saddlery Hotel in 1986. These two hotels were scheduled to be demolished but were instead dismantled, and their pieces kept. The current Grand Horton Hotel was rebuilt from these pieces on a different site nearby downtown. Because of its lengthy history and Victorian-era furnishings, the hotel has a reputation as being one of the most haunted spots in San Diego. By far, the most famous haunting occurs in room 309. The story goes that a man named Roger Whitaker, a habitual gambler was staying in the room when he angered some of his creditors for not paying back his debts. He hid inside the armoire when they came looking for him to pay, and when they found him, he was shot dead inside the armoire. As a result of this tragic end, reports of Roger carry on even now. Even though the hotel has been relocated, room 309 still provides guests with an array of paranormal activity, including flickering lights, shaking beds, strange misty clouds, and unexplained footsteps and movement. You can reserve room 309 if you’re brave enough.
Another lesser-known specter at the hotel is that of a brothel owner. She operated a popular brothel at the location in which the Horton Hotel was constructed. Guests to the hotel report manifestations of the brothel’s Madame, Ida Bailey. She appears to guests in the form of a sizeable white mist alongside a cold chill, or sometimes if she’s in a good mood, she appears as a brief warm and welcoming feeling.
Hotel Del Coronado
Spectral Resident: Kate Morgan
Thanksgiving Day 1892. A 24-year-old young woman named Kate Morgan checks into the Coronado alone, appearing very distraught and sick, saying that she was waiting for a gentleman to arrive later in the day. With what happens next, one can only assume this man was her lover. When the mystery man never arrived, five days later, Kate was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. She came to be known as the ‘beautiful stranger’ in newspapers and the public eye. Kate was later found to be a married woman who worked as a maid for a rich family in the heart of Los Angeles. She was estranged from her husband and frequently traveled by train the meet the man who was supposed to meet her at the Hotel Del Coronado. Since her tragic death, the hotel has experienced paranormal activity and strange occurrences throughout.
She appears to guests of the hotel as flashing lights, and they can hear her ghostly footsteps walking around the rooms. She has been known to pull on bedsheets, move books and personal belongings of guests, and she has even been reported walking up and down the beach at sunset, almost as if she’s living out the visit and long walks on the beach she was supposed to have with her mystery man. Many of these occurrences are centered around the third-floor guestroom where Mrs. Morgan stayed all the way back in 1892 and where she took her own life.
Check out our in-depth article about The Hotel Del Coronado here!
Spectral Residents: Mysterious Actors?
For a few generations, the popular spot in La Jolla was the Grande Colonial, and with its popularity came a rise in rumors. Locals began to chat about how haunted the hotel was. Unlike Kate Morgan at the Hotel Del Coronado, the string of unexplained paranormal happenings at the Cosmo are not linked to a single spirit or tragic event and are not because of gruesome occurrences or suicide. The paranormal activity at the Cosmopolitan is relatively harmless, including unexplained telephone calls to the front desk from a certain unoccupied room and items being moved about the lobby. One explanation that has risen is that a lot of popular actors stayed in that room in the 1940s when they were done performing at the La Jolla Playhouse. It’s thought that maybe their spirit is calling, trying to get some decent room service after their big show!
Spectral Residents: ‘Lady in Red’ & Ysidora Bandini
The Cosmopolitan is located in what is considered the birthplace of California, Old Town San Diego. The original building dates back to 1827. Given its age, the hotel boasts a few famous hauntings, including the ‘Lady in Red,’ who was another woman who died waiting for a man to arrive and meet her. She has been seen and felt in rooms 4 and 5 of the hotel. Another spectral guest is Ysidora Bandini, daughter of the pater founder, Juan Lorenzo Bandini. She is encountered in room 11. It is rumored that Ysidora fell from her room’s balcony, but since has been proven as just a rumor since the building did not have a second floor at the time of her death. So how did Ysidora die? That remains a mystery of the hotel.
The U.S. Grant Hotel
Spectral Resident: Fannie Chaffee Grant
First opening its doors in 1910, the U.S. Grant Hotel was built by Ulysses S. Grant Jr, the son of the U.S. president and Civil War hero and his wife, Fannie Grant. Fannie passed away less than a year after the hotel opened for business, and as the story goes, her ghost became unhappy when her widower husband remarried too soon after her death. Ever since, Fannie’s ghost has been reportedly haunting the hotel, her apparition being seen by guests in the hallways, wearing an old fashioned white gown. It seems as if all of these San Diego haunted hotels are frequented by women scorned!
Over the years, mysterious events have been reported at the U.S. Grant, including full-bodied apparitions of a man at the foot of the bed in rooms on the 5th floor, flickering lights throughout the entire hotel, and disappearing belongings in the ballroom.
Featured Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons