The Horton Grand Hotel started as two seperate buildings on two seperate plots of land in New San Diego (Now downtown San Diego). When the Grand Horton and the Brooklyn Hotels were slated for destruction in the 1970s they were purchased from the city of San Diego for a $1.00 each, dismantled brick by brick, stored in a wearhouse, rebuilt and reopened as the combined Horton Grand Hotel in 1986. Wyatt Earp lived in the Brooklyn hotel when he was staying in San Diego. For a more extensive history check out the Horton Grand's official site.
The ghost stories surrounding the Horton Grand Hotel are peculiar, even among ghost stories. Most explanations about who the ghosts are admit that the ghosts never stayed or even visited the current hotel. One of the theories to explain the ghost who is supposed to occupy room 309 admits that he could never have actually stayed in the room. His name is Roger Whitaker and he was either shot and killed in by his soon-to-be-father-in-law or was a gambler shot after cheating at a game of poker. More information on some of these theories can be found at hauntedhouses.com Guests staying in room 309 have reported being awoken in the middle of the night and having objects change location when the guests are asleep or out of the room.
Another ghost that is said to haunt the Horton is that of Ida Bailey, the madame of a brothel that occupied the spot on which the reformed Horton Grand was rebuilt. The hotel's restaurant is named after her.
While we were on our tour of the building as part of the 2005 Ghost Trackers Ghost Hunter conference, The open area by the stairs on the fourth floor, there was a noise as if the door to either room 435 or 436 closed, but there was no one around. Near the armoire in the same area there was a thumping noise and it felt like the floor moved.
Another oddity was explained to us by another group at the conference. The couple that comprised Casper Paranormal Investigations were staying in room 309. They played poker one night and left the cards on the table. When they awoke in the morning, the 4 of spades was propped up in the bathroom.
We spoke to some women at the William Heath Davies house nearby, and they told us some interesting ghost stories about the Horton Grand Theater. Tricia Donaldson, who worked there as a Theater Manager, took her grandson to the stage to play. When they arrived only the ghost light was on, as is usual. Zach played the piano for a little while but soon got bored. He began to dance across the stage when the stagelights came on. Upon investigation they found that no one was there and the tech booth was locked. They heard a voice say thank you for playing. Afterwards, the lights turned off but the booth was still locked. On other occaisions, Tricia would experience the sound of footsteps and the lights flickering in the hallway.
The Horton Grand Hotel is fair among boutique hotels. There charge for WiFi was rather excessive, but they did have it. Our room was nice, if a bit on the small side, but the hotel is conviniently located to numerous attractions and the Gaslamp District. There are a lot of nice historical pictures and signs providing insight to the buildings storied past. The lobby is a pleasant place to relax and talk. Parking in the area can be a little difficult, and we recommend parking your car using the hotel's valet service.