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New Mexico has been described by some as the desert that needs to be seen to be enjoyed. With all the scientific research and the ability to produce tons of minerals for export around the world every year, it has certainly built a reputation for itself. It’s often referred to as the state that embodies everything the southwest was, complete with its high deserts to low deserts and in all their exotic beauty. From Carlsbad Caverns, to its old settlement forts and its monuments to Native American history, people from all over the world flock to New Mexico to experience what was once the old west.

But that’s not all people travel to New Mexico for and for many, it is not what they may think. Although Roswell is just the beginning, this state has its hauntings nearly everywhere you go. Here we’ve tried to define what are believed to be the top five of New Mexico’s most haunted hot spots. Although we’ve not had time yet to determine their validity, we will have plenty of time to research them.

Chinos Mines Creek, Bayard — A Mother’s Betrayal

There is an older lady by this creek who cries for her son. The story is that she and her son were wiped away in a flood, but that is not the story I heard. It seems that there was this beautiful Hispanic lady who was poor and married a rich handsome man. It appears that this man changed after they got married. He would go away a lot and wouldn’t come back for long periods of time. It seems that he was cheating on her. She was very upset but didn’t seek revenge in the usual way. Instead of murdering him, she decided the thing that would affect him most is to not see the children ever again. That is when she drowned her children in the river. At the last minute she realized what she was doing but by that time it was too late and they were dead. While running down to to rescue them she fell and cracked her head. The ghost is nicknamed “Llorn” which means crying lady. She can be seen and heard crying out for her children every night.

Sandia Ranch, Albuquerque —A Black Cloud of Murder

First of all, the Sandia Ranch had been used for many things, including a sanitarium and tuberculosis asylum during its early years. Since then, it had also been used as a geriatric home and was later closed for health and fire code violations.

The owners of the ranch it seems are very strict about trespassing  so don’t even think about it. Authorities had been called many times to the asylum for vandalism, spray painting and a few well publicized drug deals gone bad. Two men were shot on the grounds and it closed shortly thereafter because of that drug related crime.

For those who have risked going into this asylum without permission, some have witnessed a large black figure following them throughout the facility. This black figure has also appeared in various photographs taken there (none of which we were able to locate). It is said that a Dr.Samuel would experiment on the ill patients only to kill them afterwards and place their bodies in the basement where he would dispose of them by various means. A few years later he hanged himself.

After the murders were exposed, the asylum was never quite the same and it was forced to close down. The surrounding residences are said to now be owned by some of the areas southsiders…who don`t mind releasing their Doberman’s on anyone trespassing or shooting at anyone on their property.

Luna Mansion, Los Lunas —An Old Fashioned Haunting

This mansion was the home of the Lunas family who, for all intensive purposes, were an upper class family. The hauntings began in or about the 1970’s when it was first turned into a restaurant. That is the first time Josefina Lunas made her first appearance. Some people believe that she didn’t much care for what they were doing to her home. Many who have seen her said that she appeared to be a real person only in 1920’s clothing up on the second floor, believing she was a member of the staff. At the top of the stairs sits a rocking chair that she has been seen in by an employee and vanished into thin air when he approached her. The most common sightings have been of her walking up and down the stairs.

The Cruz, a groundskeeper who loves women and children, is also said to play harmless pranks on unsuspecting people, and is often seen sitting on the couch in the dining room, looking as he did the day he died.

Holy Cross Sanatorium, Deming —Not So Holy Anymore

Holy Cross Sanatorium began as a military base in WWI and before WWII was the tuberculosis ward. At one time a satanic cult was said to have used it as a place for animal sacrifices, but no concrete evidence has surfaced to that allegation.  Only one building remains today, the rest destroyed or decayed by time.

This place is believed to be haunted as unexplained noises fill many of the top floors for those that have ventured there not expecting activity. A shadowy apparition has been reported numerous times in “the alter room,” as well as disturbing the nearby cemetery where crosses have been knocked down. Several recorded murders have occurred here, including that of a lover’s quarrel with a drainpipe and a gang killing one of their peers as a human sacrifice during a satanic event. Beware of the gangs in the area, and take note that this facility is watched very carefully by the local police.

St. James Hotel, Cimarron — A Haunted Saloon

This place has been the witness 26 murders including the famous Buffalo Bill and Jesse James. Many others such as Doc Holiday and Billy the Kid have also been known to have visited the hotel. Its quick acclaim was earned by its violent saloon, restaurant, and bar. The second floor being the most active is often filled by the scent of cigar smoke noticed by guests, as well as many complaints of “cold spots.” Although no one has actually been seen, some guests have reported been touched or pushed. A couple of groups have also seen cowboys reflected in the mirror sitting next to them while having a drink served.

Room 18 is no longer rented out due to the fact that there seems to be a permanent guest with an ill temper by the name of Thomas James Wright who does not like sharing his room. It seems that after he won ownership of the hotel after a night gambling, he was shot in the back and proceeded to his room where he bleed to death. People have been pushed down in his room as an orange light also floats about the room.

Room 17 is also occupied by a former owner’s wife and she’s often accused of making noises in the room, including tapping on the windows as if trying to get someones attention. Many more apparitions have been seen there as well, including the ghosts of children and a dwarf-like guy who loves to play tricks on the unsuspecting.

Yet, the best part of the St. James, is that it’s not only haunted, but an active haunt for the living and is well known as a great destination for a family vacation or just a weekend getaway. Definitely worth the trip for a short stay…you never know who you may run into.

Other Places to Check Out in Santa Fe, New Mexico

The College of Santa Fe

One ghost in particular paces in the shadows late at night often rattling students coming home from a late night out. Another prominent ghost on campus is that of a nurse that had been decapitated during WWII, as the campus was the insane asylum during the war. A post-war inmate was said to have snapped and cut off a the nurse’s head in his rage. She has been seen walking in the hallways at night in an area that now leads to the college cafeteria. Ask any student and they will tell you that the entire college is haunted.

Grant Corner Inn

Rooms 4 and 8 and the hallway on the second floor are the primary haunting sites in this three- story house built in 1905. Objects falling on the floor, footsteps, and slamming doors are among the usual fare. There is also a grayish figure that appears in the hallway.

The Heritage Home

An old turn-of-the-century site where criminals were hung from the large cottonwood in front of the building. The tree’s limbs have long since been cut down, however the shadows of the limbs are still cast on moonlit nights.

La Fonda Hotel

The present dining room in this lovely old hotel is situated exactly over an old well, in which a man leapt to his death over 100 years ago. He had lost his company’s money gambling. Guests in the dining room sometimes report seeing a man walk to the center of the room and then jump as if into an invisible hole and simply disappear.

La Posada Hotel

The ghost of Julie Stabb is seen on the 2nd floor.

The Old Hospital Building downtown

Located downtown, the hospital was originally established as a sanitarium for victims of tuberculosis. It was the main hospital until the early 1980’s when a new building was erected. Until recently, it served as a nursing home. On the 4th floor, which originally served as the maternity ward, sounds of crying babies float through the halls. There are reports of a child running through the halls as well.

Santa Fe Indian School

The dorms are known to be haunted.. at night you can see people being hung in the shadows, and hear screaming.

Resources:

Forgotten USA