San Diego, known as America’s Finest City, is a treasure trove of experiences for both residents and visitors. From beach outings, museum tours, and movie nights to shopping sprees, sporting events, and comic book conventions, there’s something for everyone.
For those intrigued by the supernatural, San Diego also offers a unique opportunity to explore some of its most haunted locales. Here are the top haunted hotels in San Diego that you can book, if you dare.
1. Grande Colonial Hotel, La Jolla
The Grande Colonial Hotel, nestled in the heart of La Jolla, has a rich history dating back to 1913 when it first opened its doors as the Colonial Apartments and Hotel.
In 1925, the owner, George Bane, embarked on a transformative journey for the property. He relocated the original building to make way for a more grandiose structure.
The two buildings were then merged, resulting in an architectural marvel that stands to this day..
The haunting of the Grande Colonial has been a subject of debate for many. However, the front desk staff, who have reportedly received phone calls from unoccupied rooms, might beg to differ.
In one chilling incident, a staff member investigating such a call encountered what seemed to be the silhouette of a man behind the room’s curtain. As the staff member approached to draw the curtain, the figure mysteriously disappeared. With the windows securely locked and closed, there was no possible route for escape.
Moreover, there have been instances where staff members have come across spectral figures in various parts of the hotel, including the kitchen, stairwells, hallways, and guest rooms.
The hotel is known for its frequent spectral visitors. One such apparition is a woman, believed to be named Abigail, who has been seen in a guest room, donned in a light lace dress with brown hair.
Stories abound of a young boy who not only witnessed the apparition of a woman but also claimed that she gently brushed his hair.
Another tale recounts a couple, dressed in their finest attire, seen strolling down a hallway. However, they mysteriously vanished when a staff member approached to offer assistance.
In addition to visual encounters with apparitions, guests have reported experiencing doors opening and closing of their own accord, hearing loud voices, footsteps, and the sound of people running down the stairs.
The wide array of paranormal activity and ghostly sightings make the Grande Colonial a prime destination for avid ghost hunters. [BOOK A ROOM]
2. The US Grant Hotel
Ulysses S. Grant, Jr. had the magnificent 11-story U.S. Grant Hotel built in 1910. He named it after his father, President Ulysses S. Grant. The spectacular hotel has had many famous and not-so-famous guests over the years.
For over 100 years, the US Grant Hotel has provided beautiful accommodations and an excellent location for various events. It has also been the home to several different ghosts and paranormal activity!
One of the most famous ghosts that continue to call the U.S. Grant Hotel their home is Julia Grant, the former wife of Ulysses S. Grant.
It is said she wanders the hotel in a state of unhappiness and possible resentment due to her husband remarrying so quickly after her untimely death.
Individuals who have seen her say her white dress is very old-fashioned in design, suitable for the time of her death. When she has been spotted, things either disappear entirely or are moved.
It is not unusual for the housekeeping staff to report their cleaning supplies moved while tending to other things in the different guest rooms.
Some guests have claimed to have seen the ghost of a man standing over them while they are in bed. The man is reportedly heavy-set and dons a black suit. As quickly as he appears, he vanishes.
Problems with lights flickering are frequently reported as well as people hearing random footsteps and other obscure noises. [BOOK NOW]
3. Horton Grand Hotel
The historic and breathtaking Horton Grand once started as two separate structures back in 1880. When the historic Grand Horton and Khale Saddlery Hotels were slated for demolition, Dan Pearson stepped in to stop the destruction.
After much planning, Pearson took possession of both buildings, disassembled them brick by brick, and had them put back together a few blocks from where they originally stood.
What stands today is a glorious hotel ideal for weddings, events, or guests needing a place to stay the night while in San Diego.
Despite being moved from their original locations, the current Horton Grand is still home to many different ghosts. Paranormal investigators from all over the country are intrigued by the many reports from this historic building.
One of the ghosts spotted around the hotel, Ida Bailey, used to be a Madame at a brothel where the hotel now stands.
One group of paranormal investigators stayed in the hotel and decided to play poker one night. Although they left all the cards on the table, one of the investigators discovered the four of spades in the bathroom the following morning.
In room 309, the ghost of a man believed to be Roger Whitaker is seen or felt. He likes to move things around on guests as they sleep. Sometimes he even wakes the guests.
The fourth floor has also had some unusual activity. Someone reported it felt like the floor moved following odd thumping noises near an armoire. Other noises were heard in different rooms on the floor where no one was staying.
The Horton Grand is undoubtedly one of if not the most haunted hotel in San Diego! [BOOK A ROOM]
4. Cosmopolitan Hotel, Old Town
The Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant started as a single-story private home for Juan Bandini and his family in 1827. Years later, the adobe home, which was falling into extreme disrepair, was purchased by Albert and Emily Seeley.
The Seeley family was responsible for expanding what became the two-story Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant. The Cosmopolitan has provided a place for entertainment, lodging, and more to all who pass through downtown San Diego.
Today, people visit the Cosmopolitan Hotel to take a step back in history and have the opportunity to stay at one of the haunted places in San Diego. It is reported that the ghost of one of Juan Bandini’s daughters is still lingering at her former home.
Some say the ghost of Ysidora likes to stir up a bit of mischief for guests and staff members. One of the things she appears to enjoy doing the most is going to room 11 and turning the lights off and on.
There are claims that a little girl died in the Cosmopolitan, and her ghost lingers. It is said that her former bed and rocking chair are haunted. The rocking chair is known to move independently without assistance from the wind or a living person.
The ghost of a man called Carlos has been haunting the hotel for 40 years. He likes to stand outside the hotel, strum his guitar, and sing. He looks as though he is from the old cowboy days. [Book a Room]
5. Hotel del Coronado
The Hotel Del Coronado was, and remains, an architectural masterpiece that opened in 1888. It has an ideal seaside location that people from as far away as Europe would come and visit.
The upper-class and wealthy visitors would bring their servants and stay for extended periods, many staying for months. For more than 100 years, the Hotel Del Coronado has been host to everyone from movie stars, to business icons, to princes and presidents.
The living are not the only ones to visit the luxurious hotel. Some ghosts stay at the hotel too. The most famous spirit at the hotel is Kate Morgan.
The stories related to her death claim that she was a married woman who went to the hotel for a rendezvous with her lover. Other reports claim her male companion abandoned her on her trip to the hotel. She committed suicide after being alone for five days.
Since her death, a broad range of unexplainable activity has occurred in the hotel. Televisions that turn on and off, lights that flicker, voices, and footsteps are just a few things that happen. Other people claim to have seen Kate’s ghost on the beach and around the hotel. [BOOK A ROOM]
Learn more about the haunted Hotel del Coronado.