Why is Hotel Del haunted?

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November 26, 2008 12:18AM

The Hotel del Coronado is reputedly haunted by a beautiful young

woman who arrived there November 24, 1892. She gave her name as Mrs

Lottie A Bernard of Detroit and was found dead on Coronado Beach

the morning of November 29, 1892, an apparent suicide. Many

questions arose, including her true identity, why she was alone at

the hotel, and why she apparently shot herself. The Legend of the

Beautiful Stranger as she came to be called in 1892 attempts to

answer these questions. In doing so it actually raises more

questions than it answers. Many reasons have been given as to why

the young woman committed suicide. One is that she might have been

pregnant and found her situation hopeless. It is believed she was

quite sick when she came to hotel, and may have believed herself to

have a terminal disease. Perhaps this is why she took her life. Or

perhaps she didn't take her life at all. Perhaps the real answer

lies in an argument she had with her travelling companion a few

days earlier at Orange, California. Three different identities have

been offered by various authors over the intervening years as the

real person who died at the Hotel del Coronado. The most commonly

held identity is that of Mrs. Kate Morgan of Riverton, Iowa. If she

was the Beautiful Stranger perhaps she was sad that she had

prematurely left her husband, felt she could not return, and was

becoming desparately alone. Another identity believed correct for a

short time in 1892 was Miss Lizzie Wyllie, thought to be from

Detroit. This identification was rejected in 1892. More recent

research has confirmed that Lizzie Wyllie indeed married in Canada

in 1898, difficult to do if she had deceased six years earlier. The

most obvious identity is the one most often overlooked: it is

possible the young woman was not lying about who she was and was in

fact exactly who she said, Mrs. Lottie A. Bernard of Detroit. If

she has been misidentified, perhaps this is why she remains at the

Hotel Del Coronado - waiting for her true story and her true

identity to be discovered. Although four books have been written on

the subject, perhaps none are completely correct - since the

Beautiful Stranger remains at the Hotel Del Coronado to this


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