New Mexico is one state that has more than its fair share of creepy locations! Whatever the reason, hidden among the mountains and the deserts there are various haunted locations each with their own spooky tales to tell.
1. Dawson Cemetery, Cimarron
Dawson is a ghost town close to Cimarron, but there is very little left now, well apart from the cemetery which also just so happens to be one of the most haunted places in New Mexico! Dawson originally sprang up around the large coal mining operation that was run by the Phelps Dodge Corporation. However, the town and the mine were shrouded in death and destruction, so much so that it almost seems fitting that only the cemetery remains! In 1913, a massive explosion killed 263 men going down in history as one of the worst coal mining tragedies in American history. As if that was not bad enough, in 1923 disaster struck once more at the mine and claimed the lives of all 121 remaining miners! With such massive tragedy, it is no surprise that there are ghost stories here! Common reports include spectral lights believed to be the miners’ helmet lights and various apparitions wandering among the graves.
2. LaPosada Hotel, Santa Fe
La Posada Hotel in Santa Fe is said to be haunted by the ghost of Julia Staab, the former mistress of the house which is now part of the hotel. It is said that Julia fell into a deep depression following multiple miscarriages and the death of her only child. This led her to become a shut-in and she not only lived the remainder of her life inside the house, but she also died there. It is thought that this has tethered her to the property even in death and many staff and guests have reported seeing her spirit in the hotel, usually crying in a corner, or simply looking forlorn.
3. KiMo Theater, Albuquerque
Not only is Albuquerque’s Kimo Theater a stunning building to look at, but it is also considered to be one of the most haunted places in New Mexico. The resident ghost is believed to be a young boy named Bobby who died in the building back in 1951. During a movie screening, the water heater in the lobby exploded killing the youngster instantly. He is now said to roam the theater causing all sorts of mischief! In fact, performers have taken to leaving him small gifts and toys to try and occupy him so that his tricks do not interfere with the performances! However, if he is not impressed by the offerings he likes to mess with the electronics and distract the actors making them fluff their lines!
4. Atoka School, Artesia
Atoka School in Artesia now lies abandoned and it is considered to be one of the most haunted places in New Mexico. One of the creepiest things about Atoka School is that it more or less just closed overnight and to this day nobody actually seems to know why! Did something terrible happen there? Is that why it is so haunted? Nobody knows! In fact, the school is not the only establishment to close down rapidly in this building. Over the years it has served a number of purposes and every single time the business has closed more or less overnight with little or no warning. These days it is a popular place for teenagers to hang out and try to scare each other. They usually do not have to try very hard since most who have visited said that there is a dark energy that lives in the walls and many reports having heard groans, snarls and what can only be described as demonic voices.
5. Luna Mansion, Los Lunas
Luna Mansion is said to be haunted by Josefita Otero who died in 1951 at the age of 77. She was responsible for overseeing renovations to the mansion which could be why she is still hanging around! The location is fairly pleased that she has remained and gone out of their way to embrace their paranormal reputation. They have even gone so far as to rename the room in which Josefita appears ‘The Spirit Lounge’! Josefita is frequently seen walking the staircase or sitting in her rocking chair in the Spirit Lounge!
6. Old Bernalillo County Courthouse, Albuquerque
Old Bernalillo County Courthouse was built in 1926 and over the years it has garnered a reputation as one of the most haunted places in New Mexico. In particular, it is the basement of the building which is said to be extremely haunted. Witnesses have reported seeing flickering lights, encountering cold spots and mysterious gusts of wind. In fact, the courthouse has such a reputation for being a paranormal hotspot that has also been used as a haunted house attraction at Halloween!
7. Shaffer Hotel, Mountainair
Many people are put off of the Shaffer Hotel in Mountainair because of the swastikas carved into the facade. However, it is important to remember that the symbol is 3000 years old and this building was constructed long before World War II when it came to symbolize such horror and atrocity. If anything should put guests off spending the night it is not the swastikas, but rather the fact that this is one of the most haunted places in New Mexico. The Shaffer Hotel is so haunted that it has actually hosted paranormal conferences in the past! Guests often report seeing flashing lights and strange shapes and shadows flitting around inside!
8. Urraca Mesa, Angel Fire
One of the most haunted places in New Mexico is also one of the strangest. Urraca Mesa is found on the Philmont Scout Ranch – a property near Angel Fire that is owned by the Boy Scouts of America. However, the legend that is linked to this location is much more than a campfire ghost story! The land was originally occupied by Native American tribes who believed that Urraca Mesa is actually a gateway to the demon realm, or to put it in more simple terms – the mouth of Hell!
9. Albuquerque Press Club, Albuquerque
Albuquerque Press Club is housed in what was formerly The Whittlesey House. The property was built in 1903 as a family residence. It is a three-storey property built in the same manner as a Norwegian Villa with low pitch roofs, exposed log fronting, and rough cut log facades. It is a very rustic look and was far removed from the family’s previous residence in Chicago! When it was first built it stood on its own since the town had not yet grown out towards that area. There would not have been any vegetation or trees in the area either which gave the property fantastic views of the Sandias, the river, and the volcanoes.
In short – the location is pretty picturesque, which seems at odds with the fact that the building is considered to be one of the most haunted places in New Mexico. The house is now a private club – the Albuquerque Press Club – and it is said to be haunted by a spirit known as ‘Mrs M’. The ghost is said to appear in the form of a woman in a black shawl. Regulars have reported hearing the sound of her high heels on the floor and say that the piano can often be heard playing on its own!
10. Santa Fe State Penitentiary, Santa Fe
While it was in operation, Santa Fe Penitentiary housed some of the very worst criminals in New Mexico! It was also the site of the most violent prison riot in the history of the United States. Records indicate that during this riot there were 33 people killed and more than 200 inmates were treated for serious injuries. During the riot alone people were burned alive, brutally attacked and murdered in cold blood and that is before we even take into consideration the deaths that would have occurred during everyday prison life outside of the riot! To say that this place has some bad juju associated with it would probably be something of an understatement! Tours are available in both standard and paranormal formats and many visitors say that they have been followed home by some of the dark spirits that reside here at Santa Fe State Penitentiary!
Haunted Hotels in New Mexico
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