It’s almost enough to even make the Suns Gorilla scream out in fright.
Earlier this month, the Suns closed out training camp in San Diego by checking out of the team hotel. That’s fortunate, because some guests never leave.
Long considered one of the world’s most haunted establishments, the Hotel Del Coronado has a rich history as one of the few Victorian beach resorts still in operation that has also hosted 16 U.S. presidents, countless celebrities and played bit parts in feature films since its opening back in the late 1880s.
But it’s relatively newfound notoriety as a “haunted hotel” is giving the resort and some of its “guests” a newfound life, so to speak.
Take Kate Morgan, for instance, a guest who died under odd circumstances on the property in the fall of 1892 who has reportedly made the hotel her permanent residence in the afterlife.
“She was young and beautiful and there was mystery around her death,” said the Hotel Del’s Public Relations Director Lauren Ash Donoho. “Kate and our film history like Some Like It Hot are the top topics here. People are mesmerized by it. She checked in under a pseudo name, which is bizarre, as are a lot of things about her stay here.”
A local media sensation surrounded Morgan in the subsequent investigation which revealed more questions than answers in terms of her health, marital status and even her reason for staying on Coronado Island prior to her alleged suicide.
Lights flickering, bed covers being pulled off in the middle of the night, floating objects, hazy visions of a young lady in Victorian garb… there have been many claims over the years from both guests and hotel staff alike pertaining to Morgan’s room No. 3327, which is still in rotation – as are the rooms once occupied by the likes of Babe Ruth, Charlie Chaplin and Thomas Edison (to name a few).
“The Del has a lot of tradition,” Suns forward Alando Tucker said. “You hear about all the famous people who’ve stayed there, but I try and stay away from all the ghost stories, though. When night hit, I kept the lights on. It has tradition, but even walking up the stairs got creepy. I wouldn’t leave my room past 8 o’clock.”
The self-imposed early curfew was undoubtedly okay with Head Coach Alvin Gentry, but regardless of the stories, some players were too distracted with the main focus of their trip to San Diego – Suns training camp – to notice.
“I was too tired to be haunted,” center Channing Frye said.” If you’re messing with ghosts, that means you’re not going hard enough in practice. If the ghost was going to mess with me, I’m the wrong person. I must have slept through it all, ghouls and all.”
Of course, strange goings-on aren’t limited to just Miss Morgan and room 3327. Unexplained occurrences have been reported all over The Del for years, but have not been readily released to the public until the hotel began relishing its paranormal overtones, beginning a few decades back.
While some guests actually request to stay in certain rooms reportedly having paranormal activity, the Suns players were certainly not among them. In fact, the consensus said they wouldn’t even want to be made aware they were given such “otherworldly” accommodations.
“I’d rather not know about it,” rookie forward Earl Clark said. “If you know about something, you’re going to go in there and your mind will start playing tricks on you. You’ll start thinking you see something, when everything is just normal.”
Tucker added, “I wouldn’t want to know I’m staying in a haunted room. I wouldn’t want to wake up in the middle of the night, and my cover flips off. I’m out of there, then. I’ll leave everything in the room.”
A self-professed non-believer in the paranormal, forward Amar’e Stoudemire was willing to make one concession when it came to the hotel.
“If the ghost of Wilt Chamberlain comes around,” the All-Star joked, “maybe he could give me a few pointers on the game of basketball.”
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