"...Santa Fe has its fair share of ghosts..."
As the oldest capital city in the country, Santa Fe has its fair share of ghosts. From historic hotels to Victorian homes, government buildings and ancient crooked streets, this city is full of spirits with violent or tragic pasts. Here's a guide to some of the best known haunted places in Santa Fe, as well as a few spots off the beaten trail where ghosts are known to gather.
Now a posh resort and spa, La Posada was built in 1882 by Abraham Staab, a wealthy Santa Fe merchant. His wife, Julia, is said to haunt the hotel after she died an unhappy woman having lost the youngest of her 12 children.. Guests who stay in Room 101, Julia's former bedroom, have reported items mysteriously moving around, cabinet doors slamming shut and other paranormal phenomenon. And her ghostly form has been spotted at the top of the stairs.
The Oldest House
While the claim that this is the oldest house in the country remains disputed, this adobe home supposedly harbors the spirit of a witch who lived here with her sister. The two were tried for witchcraft, found guilty and beheaded, and one of the sisters is rumored to still haunt the house. Her ghost has been seen along the narrow, one-way road just outside the house.
Alto Street and Along the Riverbank
Washington Irving would be proud. Santa Fe has its own Headless Horseman that haunts historic Alto Street brandishing a sword as he rides to the Santa Fe River. According to legend, he lost his head to two witches after complaining about a love potion they gave him. Perhaps his killers were the two witches who lived in the Oldest House?
La Fonda on the Plaza
La Fonda has a fascinating history, but less known is the story of the ghost said to haunt the restaurant area, La Plazuela. According to legend, a politician staying there killed a notable guest after catching him in bed with his wife. The politician was hung for his misdeed, but the man he killed is said to haunt the hotel, particularly the restaurant. Maybe he likes the margaritas?
The Former Grant Corner Inn, 122 Grant Ave.
This historic house was built in 1905 by a couple who had a sickly child after they moved in. Guests reported hearing a child cry and bang on the walls of his upstairs room while his mother stayed downstairs visiting. He ended up in a wheelchair. He eventually died, and his ghost is said to haunt the house. Lights have been seen flickering in his bedroom and noises have been heard. The building now houses a gallery...and a ghost or two.
The Former St. Vincent Hospital,
This creepy building has several ghost stories still told about it. A father and his young son came seeking treatment at the hospital after a car accident in which both died. The child's cries still echo in the hospital. Lights are turned on and off by the ghost of an old woman who died here. And a dark spirit is said to haunt the basement, grabbing at people as they walked by.
Built atop a pauper's cemetery, the PERA Building holds government offices, but is reportedly haunted by the souls whose coffins were disturbed when the subterranean level was being dug. Don't look in the basement…!
Learn more by taking a ghost tour of Santa Fe. Here are links with two tour companies:
Santa Fe is a spirited place to be for Halloween, and not just because of its many myths and legends of ghosts, ghouls and haunted places. Carved pumpkins appear on doorsteps all over town and people decorate their yards and porches for the night loved by kids around the country. Here are just some of the Halloween events scheduled in Santa Fe this year:
Portal of Fear: A Haunted House
Be careful if you walk by the abandoned store next to Party City in Cordova Mall on Cordova Street. Strange things have been going on there….
The shopping center was built on top of an old graveyard, and for years employees have reported seeing ghosts and hearing unearthly screams from inside this abandoned store. In honor of Halloween, a group of local sponsors have turned the empty space into a haunted house.
Open from Thursday, October 27 through Monday, October 31 (7:30 to 11 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 3 to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 6 to 11 p.m. on Halloween night), this haunted house is guaranteed to scare the candy out of your plastic pumpkin! For more info, visit www.thesantafevip.com/vipnews/the-portal-of-fear-a-haunted-house.
Santa Fe Southern Halloween Day Shot
Ride from the downtown depot on Guadalupe Street to the Galisteo Basin and back on this historic train, accompanied by a story-telling witch. Be sure to wear your Halloween costume! From 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 30. For more info, go to www.sfsr.com.
Santa Fe Southern Halloween Highball
Ride the train from the Santa Fe Depot to Lamy and back, celebrating Halloween with Witches Brew at the bar, costumes and party fun. For adults. From 6:30 to 8:45 p.m. on Saturday, October 29. Visit http://www.sfsr.com for details.
Sometimes the best way to get into the spirit of Halloween is with a good, old-fashioned fright flick and "Evil Dead" fits the bill. The story of a lone survivor crammed into a cabin with a bunch of strangers as they fight spirited demons offers a frightful way to celebrate a holiday devoted to ghosts and goblins. On Halloween night at 7 p.m. at The Lensic Performing Arts Center. Details at www.lensic.org/event_calendar/detail/1058
Trick or Treat
Bring your little ghosts, goblins and ghouls for Halloween Trick or Treating from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Santa Fe Place, 4250 Cerrillos Rd. On Monday, Halloween Eve. Call 424-0712 for more info.
Out of Town
Trolley of Terror
Ride the Trolley of Terror, presented by ABQ Trolley Co. and Tours of Old Town on Fridays and Saturdays from October 14 through October 29. The 90-minute tour on an open-air trolley takes you to Albuquerque's haunted sites, including Historic Old Town, the old Bernalillo County Courthouse, Downtown, the Barela Rail Yard and more. For more info, go to www.abqtrolley.com/index.php/TROLLEYOFTERROR