The Historic Grand Horton Hotel is unique. It includes the building materials from two hotels built in the 1880s. The ghosts from the hotel’s past seem to have stayed on after the rebuild, with the ghosts of Roger Whittaker and Ida Bailey believed to haunt the building, which many people believe is one of the most haunted hotels in San Diego.
Ghosts of the Horton Grand Hotel
One ghost that the Grand Horton is renowned for, but two stories may explain why he haunts the hotel. Roger Whittaker is the spirit that haunts the hotel’s room 309 and the hallway on the same floor.
Roger Whittaker Ghost
Roger Whittaker Story 1
The first theory that ties Roger to the Grand Horton occurred in 1843, long before the hotel was built. Some believe that Roger’s spirit decided to move in when the hotel was built! The father of Roger’s love and would-be wife shot and killed Roger, dragging his body to the swamp, which used to be located near the property.
Roger Whittaker Story 2
Other people believe that Roger was a gambler caught cheating in a game of cards in the Stingaree District – an old area synonymous with gambling, prostitution, and drug use. He barely escaped with his life when he was set upon, running back to his hotel with his assailants following closely behind.
They followed him to his room (309), where he was shot through the door, dying in the room. Perhaps his body was later taken to the swamp, and he returned to what was his room to find safety?
Haunted Room 309
However he died, Roger still haunts room 309 to this day, often making himself visible to guests in the hallway and inside the room. Guests and staff have never felt threatened by his appearance, with him often referred to as friendly.
On one occasion, a guest witnessed Roger in the hall. Mistaking him for a real person, she asked him where the ice machine was. Imagine her surprise as he vanished before her eyes!
In room 309, guests have been woken up in the middle of the night by their beds shaking and the armoire’s doors being opened. Things often turn on and off in the room, and objects have been known to move around the room independently.
Another experience is when the room suddenly becomes inexplicably warm and can’t be cooled down by air conditioning or opening the window.
Hotel workers have heard the sounds of someone playing cards inside the room when it’s empty, and the indentation of a person lying down on a freshly made bed is a common occurrence experienced by maids.
Several other ghosts are known to haunt the Horton Grand, including that of Ida Bailey – the one-time owner of the brothel that stood on this site.
Horton Grand Hotel History
The Horton Grand Hotel is unique because its two historic hotels were restored into one. Originally built in 1887, the Grand Horton was a luxury hotel built due to the city’s first transcontinental railroad connection.
The second hotel (Brooklyn-Kahle Saddlery) was a less formal hotel that combined Western/Cowboy and Victorian styles. It was built around the same time as the Grand Horton.
It was originally known as the Brooklyn Hotel but later changed its name as it became synonymous with the saddle and harness shop on the building’s first floor. During his seven-year stay in San Diego, Wyatt Earp was a permanent resident at the Brooklyn Hotel.
Other famous guests of the two hotels included Benjamin Harrison, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, and Babe Ruth.
Both hotels were demolished brick by brick in the 1970s, with each brick being cataloged and stored. In 1986 the hotels were rebuilt using materials from each, and the present Horton Grand Hotel was born.
The Horton Grand Hotel is an enchanting blend of style, class, and Victorian charm. Each of the 108 guest rooms and 24 junior suites is elegantly furnished with antique furniture and marble-framed fireplaces, reflecting the charm of the 1880s.
The hotel’s Palace Bar offers a welcoming ambiance in sophisticated surroundings. You can also enjoy outdoor dining in the hotel’s New Orleans-style courtyard.
- It is located in the heart of the gas-lamp district.
- Unique guestrooms furnished with Victorian-style furniture, marble framed fireplaces, and armoire
- Complimentary wi-fi
- Private parking
- Room service
- Rooms with courtyard views
Things to Do
The Horton Grand is located in the historic Gaslamp Quarter, within walking distance from 100’s bars, restaurants, and shops.
Local attractions include Seaworld, San Diego Zoo, and San Diego Safari Park. There are also world-famous beaches just a short distance from the hotel, and Disneyland is within close proximity also.