Occupation: Undergraduate Student
Residence: Evanston, IL / San Diego, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 3/15/19
Primary Language: English
Interviewer: “Can you try and explain the story of the haunted Hotel del Coronado?”
Informant: “To be honest I’m not sure how much I remember, but Hotel del Coronado is a uhh… historic hotel on Coronado island near San Diego. I’ve been there once as a kid but I mainly remember people around my elementary school saying that it was haunted and that there was some connection to Bloody Mary or something. Maybe there was a girl who went to the hotel and didn’t come back? Anyways, I don’t believe the stories but whenever I hear the song ‘Hotel California’ I think of that hotel in Coronado. There are definitely some lyrics in that song that deal with being haunted, so I’ve always wondered if there is a connection there… Probably not, but it is interesting to think about.”
The informant knew about the haunted hotel from his peers in elementary school and his visit to the location. He does not personally believe the stories that it is truly haunted.
This description came in a phone conversation I had with the informant while we were discussing childhood stories and songs.
I found the informants connection to the popular Eagles song ‘Hotel California’ very interesting, so I went ahead and researched some of the lyrics of that song, where there were indeed references to not being able to leave the hotel, which is eerily similar to the informants description of the girl never returning from the hotel. While it is unlikely the two are explicitly connected, I think the similarities showcase the archetypal nature of legends like ghost stories and haunted hotels; even if the buildings being discussed are not the same, the stories behind their haunted nature probably stem from a common archetype. Furthermore, I did some research into the legend of the haunted Hotel del Coronado, and found that the hotel itself is even advertising its haunted nature, showcasing how this urban legend has been commercialized in the name of tourism by the hotel itself.
For the “canon” version of the story behind the haunted hotel provided by the hotel’s website, see the hotel’s website:
“Ghostly Goings-On at the Hotel del Coronado.” Hotel del Coronado, Hilton, hoteldel.com/press/ghostly-goings-hotel-del-coronado/. Accessed 23 Apr. 2019.