Located on six historically
rich acres in downtown
Santa Fe is the
La Posada Hotel. Within its beautiful landscaped grounds and
fountains sits the hotel’s centerpiece, the Staab House, a Victorian
mansion built by an old
Santa Fe Trail
merchant in 1882.
Amassing a fortune as a major supply
contractor for the U.S. Army during the Civil War, Abraham Staab built the
beautiful three-story brick mansion for his wife Julia. Constructed
in the French Second Empire-style, the residence was decorated with the
finest European materials and furnishings.
La Posada Hotel in
large Staab family, including six children, primarily lived on the
second floor, accessed by a grand staircase. On the third floor
was a beautiful ballroom which soon became one of the social
entertainment centers of
society, as Julia loved to show off the home that she adored.
However, the Staab
family’s fairy tale life was to end when Julia’s seventh child, a son,
died soon after his birth. Deeply affecting, Julia, she dived
into a deep depression and her hair was said to have turned
prematurely white. After this child’s death, Julia underwent
several more unsuccessful pregnancies and eventually took to her room,
where she spent almost all of her time until her death at the age of
52 in 1896. Rumors at the time persisted that in Julia’s later
years, she had gone completely crazy.
The surviving six
Staab children grew up in the house and upon its spacious grounds.
In the early 1900's, the original third floor ballroom was destroyed
by fire. Abraham Staab died in 1913.
In the 1930s, R.H.
and Eulalia Nason became the owners of The Staab House and surrounding
estate with plans to turn the property into a hotel. They soon
constructed a series of Pueblo Revival-style adobe casitas around the
existing Staab Mansion and carriage house. The Nasons called their new
business La Posada, Spanish for "inn" or "resting place."
In the years to
follow, the La Posada became a popular place to be for the arts
community. Posada A summer arts school held there every summer drew
many guests, who were leaders in the
Santa Fe arts movement.
Over the years, La
has served the world of literature and cinema by accommodating
numerous writers and other well-known personalities. However,
legend has it that not only has the La Posada hosted these famous
guests and well as thousands of travelers who enjoy the hotel’s
romantic ambience, but also the ghost of Julia Staab. Reportedly
Mrs. Staab loved her home so much that she has never left it.
Numerous reports have been made that Julia Staab’s spirit continues to
interfere with hotel employees and guests. One of the first recorded
reports in 1979 tells of an employee who was cleaning late in the night
and looked up to see a beautifully dressed translucent woman standing near
a fireplace. On another occasion a security guard saw the same woman and
was so scared he took off running. A hotel operator reported saw her
reposing in an armchair. In all three cases, the spirit vanishes
shortly after she appears.
More recent reports include a bartender who states that during a
particularly busy evening, glasses suddenly began to fly of the shelves,
one by one, crashing to the floor. On this same night the fireplace
kept turning on and off, seemingly of its own accord and a seasoned
waitress continually dropped trays, reported that it felt as if someone
had pushed them up from underneath.