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Herb Chase: Ghost at the Del Coronado
the Hotel Del Coronado
The Hotel del Coronado is located on 28 oceanfront acres,
just across the bay from downtown San Diego.

Courtesy: Hotel del Coronado

Search of the Ghost
at the Del Coronado

by Herb Chase

he Silver Strand off Coronado, California, is rated Number #3 among the "most romantic beaches," according to Travelocity.com, one of TravelingBoy.com's rival Internet sites.

TravelingBoy.com rates the Silver Strand second only to the beautiful beaches of Santa Monica, where celebrities strut and the beaches are crowded with sun lovers from all over Southern California and the world.

The Hotel del Coronado is an American treasure with more than 115 years of fascinating stories to tell.

the Hotel Del Coronado in the 19th Century
Courtesy: Hotel del Coronado

The Hotel Del Coronado, which was built in 1888, is the main attraction on the Silver Strand a few miles from the Coronado Bay Bridge. The bridge replaced the classic ferry ride which visitors enjoyed years ago when the pace was slower.

The Hotel Del was once owned by San Diego billionaire, John Dietrich Spreckels, the oldest son of sugar magnet Claus Spreckels. The Spreckels once owned the Del Coronado and at one time controlled all but five parcels of Coronado Island.

Spreckels built his own glamorous five acre mansion overlooking Glorietta Bay across Orange Avenue from the historic Del Coronado. His estate is now a very peaceful, comfortable, attractive and exclusive hotel where visitors take refuge from the constant hustle and bustle of
the milling crowds which fill every passageway in the sprawling Del.

The Spreckels' mansion is now known as the very popular Glorietta Bay Inn. The Glorietta Bay is a welcome island in a bustling vacation arena.

the beach at the Del Coronado
The Hotel del Coronado is rated the #1 Best Beach in Southern California by The Travel Channel Courtesy: Hotel del Coronado

While the Del is far more famous as one of the world's most greatest watering spots, the Glorietta Bay wins the blue ribbon for peace and comfort.

Celebrities have flooded the Del for many years. We once saw former President Ronald Reagan courting Nancy before they were married and before he became president. To name just a few others, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Al Jolson and Humphrey Bogart were frequent visitors.

Marilyn Monroe at the Del
The Del was the backdrop for the comedy classic "Some Like It Hot," starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. Courtesy: Hotel del Coronado

In 1958, Marilyn Monroe filmed her classic comedy, 'Some Like It Hot' at the Del. The film was recently named the best comedy of all time by the American Film Institute.

Many visitors have been gripped by the rumored ghost, which allegedly haunts the old wooden structure, the Hotel Del Coronado. In 1882, a beautiful young woman named Kate Morgan checked in and committed suicide five days later.

California newspapers played up the Morgan suicide which they attributed to her estranged husband's failure to show up as promised. Hotel guests over the years have reported mysterious sounds, flickering lights and flying objects...all attributed to the ghost of Kate Morgan.

If you take your children on a Coronado vacation you might want to encourage them to search for the famous Hotel Del ghost.

Our recommendation: 'Play at the Del but Stay at the Glorietta Bay.' They were both inspired and owned by the Spreckels, who were the patron saints of Coronado.

www.hoteldel.com

Hi Herb! Loved the article you wrote! It made me wish I could have come too! Thank you for the inspiring tour through your delightful descriptions.

Yoka, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, CA

Enjoyed all the trivia about Hotel Del Coronado. Some Like it Hot is one of my all time favorite films. I always wondered where it was filmed. Wish you had more pictures of the insides.

Peter Paul of South Pasadena, CA

Great article, Lt. Chase. I am a big WW2 Pacific campaign buff, and must say that I have never read a story such as yours. You focused on a personal story that rarely gets much coverage.

Sempre Fi! Thanks for your service to our country.

Paul Harper
Edmonds, WA



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