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

BOO!

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 26th annual trick-or-treat alternative at the ABQ BioPark Zoo on Oct. 25!

When
Oct 25, 2014
11:00 AM - 04:00 PM

Where
ABQ BioPark Zoo
903 Tenth SW
Albuquerque NM 87102

Description:
It's time for Zoo Boo! We're celebrating 26 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.

http://www.cabq.gov/culturalservices/biopark/zoo/events/zoo-boo/

Pumpkin Patches & Corn Mazes

McCall’s Pumpkin Patch & Haunted Farm

Pumpkin Patch is open weekends September 26 to October 26 and Columbus Day, 10:00am to 6:00pm

http://www.mccallpumpkinpatch.com/

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, spiderweb, mechanical bull ride, face painting and paintball.

Haunted Farm is open from October 3 to November 1, 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Three terrifying attractions – Haunted Cornfield, Haunted Barn and Zombie Hunt!

http://www.mccallshauntedfarm.com/

Wagner's Farmland Experience in Corrales

http://www.wagnersfarmlandexperience.com

Graves Farm and Garden in Roswell
http://gravesfarmandgarden.com

Davis Farms Pumpkin Patch in Clovis
http://www.davisfarmspumpkinpatch.com

La Union Maze in La Union
http://launionmaze.com/

Mesilla Valley Maze in Las Cruses
http://www.mesillavalleymaze.com/

Sutherland Farms in Aztec
http://www.sutherlandfarms.net/content/pumpkin-festival

Zombies:

Zombie Walk in Roswell
http://www.zombiewalkroswell.com/

Pojoaque Zombie walk 
http://www.ladailypost.com/content/zombie-walk-brings-living-dead-pojoaque

Mooooaaaannnnn!

Ghost Tours

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

Ghosts of Taos
http://ghostsoftaos.wordpress.com/
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 
http://theoriginalsantafeghosttour.weebly.com/
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
www.BreakingBadRvTours.com
505-246-TOUR
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
http://www.toursofoldtown.com/
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
http://albucreepy.com/
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. 

EeeeeeeeeeeeeK!!!!!

Dia de Los Muertos in New Mexico

“...The days of the dead are truly a celebration of life. When children dance with caricatures of death, eat skull sugar molds and learn to respect that life is brief, they learn there is a circle to life and to not fear death and then are free to enjoy and appreciate every moment.”

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

The days of the dead are truly a celebration of life.  When children dance with caricatures of death, eat skull sugar molds and learn to respect that life is brief, they learn there is a circle to life and to not fear death and then are free to enjoy and appreciate every moment.

Celebrating The Day of the Dead has a long history in Mexican Tradition.  The Day of the dead is celebrated on November 2nd. Sometime one hears reference to "the days of the Dead" which refers to the Days of October 31 – November 2.  October 31 is Halloween or All Hallows eve. November 1 is "El Dia de los innnocentes" or the day of the children and All Saints Day.  November second is All Souls Day or the Day of the Dead.

During the days of the dead, the family often takes the opportunity to visit the gravesite and pull weeds, clean any debris and decorate the graves of loved ones.  Often candles, flowers and the favorite foods of the deceased are placed on the grave and the family visits, eats, sings and tells favorite stories about those who have passed. 

In the United States or for those for whom visiting the gravesite is not viable, (often graveyards are closed during the evening hours) the tradition has been adapted.  Many set up altars in their homes and often communities host a variety of events. In Albuquerque's south valley the Marigold parade and celebration at the West Side Community Center is one such event. Altars are usually decorated with flowers, candles, pan de muerto, ceramic skulls, and most importantly pictures of loved ones. 

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


2014 Día de Muertos/Day of the Dead at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Museum

Saturday November 1, 2014 
Dia de Muertos 
5:00-7:00 pm

The public is cordially invited to join us in making the Community altar "Ofrenda" in the Outdoor classroom, enjoy music by Mariachi Buenaventura and refreshments. The FREE event is for all ages.

Sunday November 2, 2014
Dia de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead
1 to 4pm

Decorate Sugar skulls, make memory boxes/muertos nichos, enjoy live music and Aztec dance performance by Danza MeXiKa and sample pan de muerto. Alll by Museum admission, New Mexico residents FREE every Sunday.

http://www.internationalfolkart.org/eventsedu/diademuerto.html


Dia de los Muertos in Mesilla
October 31st - November 2nd
http://www.mesillanm.gov/tourism/event/dia-de-los-muertos/


Dia de los Muertos Celebrations in Albuquerque

Atrisco Heritage Foundation
Our 2014 Dia de los Muertos Celebracion is on Saturday, November 1st from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm at San Jose de Armijo Cemetery. 
http://www.atriscoheritagefoundation.org/Events.aspx

 


Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center

Dia de los Muertos – Celebrations for Days of the Dead 6-day Workshop

Monday, Oct. 27 – Sunday, Nov. 2

This weeklong workshop/retreat explores the cultural history, ideologue, and creative whimsy of this ancient acknowledgment and transcendence of death. Make traditional Mexican crafts, including sugar skulls and ofrendas (memorials to departed loved ones).
http://www.ghostranch.org

We Didn't mean to scare you