Haunted New Mexico

All of New Mexico’s hotels are people-friendly, several are pet-friendly, and far too many to be a coincidence are ghost-friendly.

With its rich Wild West history New Mexico has no shortage of fodder for ghost stories, and no shortage of great places to haunt.

If you haven't taken your own ghost tour of New Mexico, now is the time to do it. You might decide you can’t leave (after all, that’s what the ghosts did!)

Here are our favorite haunted hot spots awaiting your next road trip!

Get Your Creep On

“...If gadding with ghouls is your idea of a fine vacation, here are the top five haunted hotels awaiting your next road trip.”

If gadding with ghouls is your idea of a fine vacation, here are the top six haunted hotels awaiting your next road trip.

By Ashley M. Biggers

1. St. James Hotel, Cimarron
Built by Henry Lambert in 1872, the St. James Hotel was the backdrop for numerous shootouts during its Wild West days—it still boasts the evidence in its dining room ceiling where 22 bullets are still wedged. It's located in the heart of Cimarron, 40 miles south of Ratón on N. M. 62. Train robber Black Jack Ketchum, and outlaws Jesse James, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Billy the Kid stayed in the hotel during its heyday—today, you can say in rooms named for these famous guests. It is said to be the location of more than 26 murders, and the victims supposedly wander the hotel. In fact, room 18, which T.J. Wright is said to haunt remains un-booked as though he—or his ghost—were still staying there today. The St. James re-opened its door in June after renovations that gave the luxurious Western hotel a facelift.
Route 1 Hwy 21 Box 2, (505) 376-2664

2. La Fonda, Santa Fe
With a history that dates back almost to the City Different's founding 400 years ago, it's no wonder that the inn is fraught with tales of the paranormal. In 1857, an unfortunate gambler found himself truly out of luck when a lynch mob took him from the gambling hall and hung him in the hotel's backyard. Today, this patio has been enclosed and is the site of the newly remodled La Plazuela restaurant. Rumor has it that guests have seen what appears to be the shadow of a man swinging from a tree while dining there. Ten years later, territorial justice was transplanted from the courthouse to La Fonda's lobby when the Honorable John P. Slough, Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court, was shot there. Guests claim they have sighted the judge, in his long black coat, wandering the hotel today. A young bride, who was murdered on her wedding night by a jealous ex-lover, is also said to haunt the wedding suite. The hotel, which is located at the end of the Santa Fe Trail, is an icon of Santa Fe-style inside and out, with its southwestern décor and multi-tiered adobe exterior. During your stay, stop in the hotel bar for a late-night drink—the ghost of a cowboy might just pull up a barstool next to you.
100 E. San Francisco St.; From $229 per night; (800) 523-5002; www.lafondasantafe.com

3. The Lodge, Cloudcroft
Originally constructed as a stopover for the Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railway, the Lodge burned to the ground in the early 1900s. During the quaint chalet's heyday, Rebecca, a strikingly beautiful chambermaid with red hair, was murdered when her jealousy-stricken lumberjack suitor found her in the arms of another man. Today, the lodge's "friendly," though mischievous, ghost has been said to wander the halls, moving furniture, flicking lights on and off, and spontaneously igniting fires in fireplaces. Some believe Rebecca is searching for a new lover or friend who would appreciate her playful nature. The cozy mountain retreat, located 20 miles east of Alamogordo off N.M. 130, is ideal for curling up with a book by the fire during the winter, and striking out for a golf game at the Lodge's course during the summer. During your visit, don't miss a hearty meal at their restaurant—named after their favorite friendly ghost.
One Corona Place; From $125 per night; (800) 395-6343; www.thelodgeresort.com

4. Foster's Hotel, Chama
The Wild West is still alive and well through the wanderings of three ghosts said to frequent this rugged hotel, saloon, and restaurant in Chama, located 100 miles north of Santa Fe on U.S. 84. Guests have reported hearing the sound of a woman—said to be a frontier judge who was poisoned in the hotel when several local men took offense to her leadership position—choking and gasping for breath. Across the hall, hotel staff has heard a small girl's cries. They believe they are from the ghost of a youth who died there of an illness more than 100 years ago. The specter of a cowboy is also said to wander the hotel's halls. Pair these events with other mysterious sightings and this hotel, which is located directly across the street from the famed Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, and you'll have plenty to investigate during your next ghost hunt.
393 S. Terrace Ave. Chama; From $45 per night; (575) 756-2296; www.fosters1881.com

5. Shaffer Hotel, Mountainair
Clem "Pop" and Lena "Ma" Shaffer ran their modest hotel in Mountainair, the "Pinto Bean Capital of the World" located more than 70 miles southeast of Albuquerque on U.S. 60, with care until their deaths during the 1950s. The duo is said to look over the hotel today—peering at guests and moving objects as they see fit. The town has a quaint, Western downtown and serves as a jumping off point to visit pueblo ruins in the area.
103 West Main St.; From $69 per night; 505-847-2888; www.shafferhotel.com

6. La Posada Hotel, Santa Fe
In 1882, a prosperous merchant named Abraham Staab built his three-story brick mansion, in the French Second Empire-style, on property that now belongs to La Posada. Abraham and his wife, Julia, entertained Santa Fe society in the grand residence decorated with the finest European materials. Legend has it that Julia Staab has never left it. Julia has most often appeared at the top of the grand staircase in the original building in the main complex of the inn. However, she has also been seen in the Nason Room, a small alcove built upon the old formal gardens of the original structure. So, why does Julia Staab linger?  Some say that ghosts appear when death occurs in a state of turmoil and anxiety, such as the circumstances that seemed to attend Mrs. Staab’s final years. Depressed over the loss of a child and other unsuccessful pregnancies, Julia Staab was rumored to have gone mad, retreating to her bedroom until her death at age 52. In recent years, her alleged spirit has been the subject of many ghost tours, an episode of Unsolved Mysteries, and Weird Travels. The Staab House stands today in the form of a bar, where guests of La Posada enjoy cocktails and light Southwestern fare. Some have even reported meeting the grand lady. www.laposadadesantafe.com


More Haunted Hot Spots:
Laguna Vista Lodge, Eagle Nest; www.lagunavistalodge.com
Plaza Hotel, Las Vegas; www.plazahotel-nm.com

Special thanks to the Southwest Ghost Hunter's Association, whose research provided the basis for this list. For info: www.sgha.net


Halloween Haunts and Happenings A schedule of Spooky Events across the state.

“...This time of year New Mexico is a SCREAM”

Kid Friendly Halloween Activities:

Zoo Boo
Join us for our 27th annual trick-or-treat alternative at the ABQ BioPark Zoo on Oct. 31!

Oct 31, 2015
11:00 AM - 04:00 PM

ABQ BioPark Zoo
903 Tenth SW
Albuquerque NM 87102

It's time for Zoo Boo! We're celebrating 27 years of safe Halloween fun this year with games, Haunted Habitats, costumes and, of course, candy! Trick-or-treat from dozens of sponsoring businesses and civic organizations at tables throughout the Zoo.

For More Info, click here.

McCall’s Pumpkin Patch & Haunted Farm

Pumpkin Patch is open weekends September 26 to November 1st and Columbus Day, 10:00am to 6:00pm.

Activities include hayrides, pedal kart track, 16-acre corn maze, Wee Wild West, gemstone mining, pumpkin picking, jumping pillows, pumpkin launch, animal alley, goat bridge, country store, Lil’ Boomtown, back-in-time playhouse, bouncy jumpers, pig races, miner’s shack, Bunnyville, corn cannons, giant slide, pumpkin slingshots, sandboxes/fossil dig, down train, corn box, Old West play fort, duck races, hillbilly band, spider web, mechanical bull ride, face painting and paintball.

For More Info, click here.

McCall’s Haunted Farm is open from October 2 to October 31, 7:00pm to 10:00pm and has three terrifying attractions – Haunted Cornfield, Haunted Barn and Zombie Hunt!

Fore More Info, click here.

For Even More Halloween Fun, Check Out These Great Events:

Wagner's Farmland Experience in Corrales

Graves Farm and Garden in Roswell

La Union Maze in La Union

Mesilla Valley Maze in Las Cruses 

Sutherland Farms in Aztec

Zombie Walk in Roswell


Ghost Tours

“...Walk the streets where Billy the Kid and Black Jack Ketchum once walked. But watch out for La Llorona!”

Ghosts of Taos
As you walk the picturesque and historic streets of Taos it may occur to you that there is something more to Taos than meets the eye in the light of day. Some lingering spirit may have left its mark in the very spot you’re standing. These Taos ghosts are just as much a part of the landscape as the towering hollyhocks, dusty petunias, bancos, portals and adobe walls of Taos Plaza. And the Plaza is just the nexus of the spooky activity. There are so many stories.

The Old Taos County Court House
Teresina Lane
Bent Street
Reportedly the oldest building on the plaza
A haunted inn
A colorful hotel with a past
Ledoux Street
Doña Luz Street & parking lot
Kit Carson Road
Kit Carson Cemetery
and more, depending on the wishes of the guests on the tour

Santa Fe Ghost Tours 
White Shell Water Place is Santa Fe's original Tewa Indian name for a settlement that dates back to before 1100 AD.  Many souls have lived here and some are still here.  Want to encounter them? Take The Original Santa Fe Ghost Tour.  Learn about our most famous ghost, Julia Staab, featured on the TV program, Unsolved Mysteries.  Hear about our Smelly Ghost---will it assault your nostrils?  Possibly encounter La Llarona, the spirit that Santa Fe mothers warn their kids about, not allowing them to play by the Santa Fe River. Skeptical?  That's okay---come spook about and see evidence on the tour.

Breaking Boo! Albuquerque
A 90-minute, paranormal themed riding tour inside the Breaking Bad RV! Visit the show’s most popular locations and conduct real ghost hunts at places rumored to be HAUNTED.

Ghost Tours of Old Town
Legends, folklore, ghost stories and history come to life as you depart on an intriguing excursion through 306 years of haunted history. Old Town was founded in 1706, and for more than three centuries people have lived and died around the Old Town Plaza. The historic buildings and dark alleys conceal the long-forgotten secrets of battles, murders, hangings, and hidden cemeteries.

Albucreepy Downtown Ghost Tours
Beneath the towering office buildings and twinkling lights of modern downtown Albuquerque lurk the memories of public hangings, duels, horrific murders and locations haunted by those who have passed over to the other side. Tales of vengeful lovers, murdered soldiers and mysterious specters await around every turn. What better way to experience Albuquerque's history than to possibly come face to face with a spirit from the past?
The 90-minute Albucreepy Downtown Ghost Walk will guide you past 1.3 miles of Albuquerque’s darker side, including historic (and reportedly haunted) sites such as the KiMo TheaterKiva Auditorium, old Bernalillo County Courthouse, the Wool Warehouse, the former red light district known as “Hell’s Half Acre,” and more. Albucreepy tour guides are experienced paranormal investigators.
As you walk, your guide will reveal vivid accounts of Albuquerque’s most popular ghosts, explain methods used to detect paranormal activity, and discuss previous investigations at downtown locations. This is an interactive exploration of Albuquerque’s haunted past and not a theatrical performance. While some tour participants have experienced unusual activity, we can’t guarantee ghostly phenomena. 

Halloween Ghost Walk at the Silver City Museum

Saturday, October 31, 2015, 1-3 pm
Visit with ghosts of the historic past, get some great Halloween prizes! Face painting, refreshments, and crafts will all be on offer. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the museum’s website at www.silvercitymuseum.org or contact the museum at (575) 538-5921, info@silvercitymuseum.org.

Images for this article provided courtesy of the Albuquerque Museum to see more images from New Mexico's Haunted Highways visit their Fickr Page Here


Dia de Los Muertos in New Mexico

“...Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl.”

Dia de los Muertos / The Day of the Dead: November 2nd

Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and acknowledged around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. In 2008 the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a public holiday. Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer. It was moved to October 31, November 1 and November 2 to coincide with the Roman Catholic triduum festival of Allhallowtide: All Saints' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world, being absorbed within other deep traditions for honoring the dead. It happens to be a holiday that has become a national symbol and as such is taught (for educational purposes) in the nation's schools, but there are families who are more inclined to celebrate a traditional "All Saints Day" associated with the Catholic Church.

On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children's altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.

The Days of the Dead

October 31st - All Hallow's Eve, Halloween

November 1st - Dia de los innocents, All Saint's Day

November 2nd - the Day of the Dead, All Soul's Day

Día de Muertos/Day of the Dead at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe

Sunday November 1, 2015 1 - 4 PM

Dia de Los Muertos/ Day of the Dead. Hands on activities for ages 3 to 103, enjoy live music, write a memorial leaf for the tree of life on the community altar, seasonal refreshments. All included with Museum admission, New Mexico residents FREE on Sundays.

Click Here

Dia de los Muertos in Mesilla

October 30th, 31st & November 1st on the Plaza (Procession November 2nd)

Click Here

Dia de los Muertos Celebrations in Albuquerque

In Albuquerque, Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebrations take place over several weeks in October and November, although the holiday is traditionally celebrated between October 31st and November 2nd.

Families remember deceased loved ones and honor them by building offering altars (ofrendas) where sugar skulls are placed, along with offerings of pan de muertos (bread). The holiday is festive although the subject may not be, as spirits are welcomed back into peoples' lives for another year.

Click Here

We Didn't mean to scare you