Haunted Santa Fe
Vintage photograph of San Francisco Street in
established in 1607, is the second oldest city founded by European
colonists in the United States. Only St. Augustine, Florida is
older. It's long history of
Indians, Spanish, Mexicans, and pioneers have led the city to be
one of the most haunted in America. Furthermore, the city was
built over an abandoned Tanoan
Indian village where no doubt,
Indian burial grounds might be found beneath the city's depths.
is one of the few
cities that offers a full schedule of "ghost tours” and "ghost walks”
year around, with as many as five operators conducting tours from
historic plaza. These tours primarily focus on the ten block
historic area of
featuring such places as the La Posada and La Fonda Hotels, the Grant
Corner Inn, Palace of Governors, the oldest house in the nation, and
other historic buildings. Some tours also include
area superstitions, as well
history of vigilantes, gunfights, murders and hangings.
Whether you take a tour or stumble upon
its many ghosts on your own, here are are a few of
Street – Reportedly a headless horseman
haunts this street, riding his horse down to the
Santa Fe River. Brandishing a sword, it is said the he lost his head to two Spanish
witches, after complaining about a love potion they gave him. Most often this headless cowboy is sighted near the riverbank.
Casa Real Health Care Center
- At this senior health-care facility at 501 Galisteo Street,
employees, patients and visitors have complained of strange happenings
ever since the facility was built in 1985. Constructed over the
site of an old penitentiary graveyard next to another haunted
building, most people say that an oppressive, uncomfortable feeling
emanates from this building. Others have reported strange colds
spots moving throughout the rooms and unexplained moaning is often
heard in the north and south wings.
Grant Corner Inn
Just a few steps off
Santa Fe's historic Plaza sits the historic
Grant Corner Inn. The house was originally built in 1905 by a couple
new to the
Santa Fe area. Unfortunately for the young
couple, shortly after they built their new home, a sickly son was born who
required constant attention. To make matters worse, the woman’s
husband died shortly thereafter. The young mother soon remarried a
man who was said to have not been a very nice person. Over the
years, child continued to get worse and the mother threw herself into
caring for the young boy. During this time, visitors to the home
would often report hearing the young boy crying and banging on the walls
of his upstairs room while his mother was downstairs visiting.
Confined to a wheel
chair, the boy was said to have continually rolled too close to the
stairway, tumbling down, wheel chair and all, to the landing below. The child finally died of his ailments and the woman and her husband moved
Afterwards, when the
house was empty, neighbors would often report seeing lights in the
upstairs room that had belonged to the boy. When someone finally
purchased the house, the new owners reported hearing noises in the child’s
room, as if he was still there. Today the house has been converted
into a Bed and Breakfast.
When Art Garcia, a former
caretaker for the B&B, was interviewed by Antonio Garcez for his book
Adobe Angels: Ghosts of Santa Fe and Taos, the caretaker relayed
terrifying happenings within the home. In this account, Garcia tells
of deafening noises, blasts of freezing air that would often kill house
plants, and the terrible aroma of rotting meat.
However, since the
property was purchased by Louise Stewart, the building has been
extensively remodeled and the spirit of the boy has quieted down or
perhaps left the building entirely.
However, rumors persist
that object continue to fall to the floor, while footsteps and slamming
doors are often heard within the old house. Others have reported
seeing a grayish figure in the hallway. Reportedly, rooms 4 and 8,
as well as the hallway upstairs are the areas reported to be haunted.
Today, this lovely Bed and Breakfast,
voted the best in
Santa Fe by several local periodicals, is a
charming 10-room Inn, surrounded by a white picket fence and weeping
willows. The Inn provides old-fashioned hospitality, comfortable,
well-appointed accommodations and innovative country cuisine. Rooms
are decorated with antique quilts,
and four-poster beds, hand-painted armoires and numerous pieces of
antiques and art that combine to make each room a unique experience.
Luguna Pueblo Mission -
The coffin of
the murdered priest keeps popping up through the church floor here. Father
Juan Padilla was murdered by
in 1733 and was buried beneath the floor at the Islata Pueblo Church.
Before long, his coffin, hollowed out of a cottonwood tree, rose out of
the earth in front of the altar. It rose again twenty years later, and
again in 1889. Then, on Christmas Even 1914, it poked through the floor
again. Two investigations were conducted by the Bishop of
Santa Fe, but no conclusion was reached as to
the nature of the phenomenon.
– Now housing a nursing home, this building at the corner of Palace Avenue
and Paseo de Peralia, was once the community hospital. Years ago a
little boy died in room 311 from injuries suffered in an automobile
accident. Unfortunately, the boy’s father also died in the same car
wreck. Today the muffled crying of the little boy is heard so often
that administrators try to keep the room unoccupied. Other
paranormal occurrences also happen in the basement. This only began
to occur when the state museum began to utilize the basement to store
artifacts. Reportedly, strange sounds are often heard in the
basement rooms, so often that some nurses refuse to enter the area. On one occasion, two nurses reported seeing a wall in the basement oozing
fresh blood. La Residencia is located at 820 Paseo De Peralta.
Mission of San Miguel
– The oldest church still
in use in the
United States, this simple earth-hue adobe structure was built around 1610
by the Tlaxcalan
of Mexico, who came to New Mexico as servants of the Spanish. Though badly
damaged in the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, the sturdy adobe walls remained
unharmed. Stone buttresses later were added
to strengthen the walls, the tower was remodeled and a modern façade was
display in the chapel are priceless statues and paintings and the San José
Bell, weighing nearly 800 pounds, which is believed to have been cast in
Spain in 1356. The bell was used in churches in Spain and
Mexico before being brought to
Santa Fe by oxcart in the early 19th century.
This old bell is said to have been the source of a miracle in the
mid-1800's when a blind man attended the church at around noon every day.
His fervent prayers are said to have cause the bell to ring of its own
accord and when it rang, the man regained his sight. Unfortunately,
when the ringing stopped, he lost his sight again but was later able to
accurately describe statues and icons inside the church.
The gift shop at the
church, that once served as a private residence is reportedly haunted by a
small child who died there in the 1940s.
Across the narrow street
from the church is the oldest house in the United States, which is
supposedly haunted by a malevolent presence. In fact the entire
block surrounding San Miguel dates back to the 1200s and was once the site
of an ancient
Pueblo. For centuries, tragic and violent events have occurred
within this block including the subjugation of the Pueblo
the Pueblo Revolt against the Spanish in 1680, executions of convicted
criminals and much more. Not only is the church and the oldest house
said to be home to a ghost or two, but the entire block.
The church is located at 401 Old
Santa Fe Trail.
of America, updated August, 2015.
The San Miguel Church is the oldest church in
the U.S., Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Image available for photo prints & editorial downloads
The San Miguel Church in 1880
the La Posada Hotel
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