Ghosts of Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque Press Club

Albuquerque Press Club

Albuquerque Press Club – Originally built as a family residence in 1903, it was called the Whittlesey House. Over the years, it passed into various hands, and at one time, many of the rooms were rented to people who were convalescing from two nearby sanitariums. Today, the building serves as a nightclub, and most of the phenomena are the many strange sounds heard by the staff and visitors. High-heeled shoes are often heard walking across the bar and lobby areas, the piano sometimes plays of its own accord, and strange voices are sometimes heard. The apparition of a woman in a black shawl that the staff call “Mrs. M” has appeared to numerous people over the years.

The Arroyo – The Spirit of La Llorona, the weeping woman, is said to wander along this draining ditch, crying and searching for her lost children. Thought to have murdered her children long ago, the legend is often told to children by their parents to get them to behave.

Carrie Tingly Children’s Hospital – Allegedly, there are bright rooms seen in unused portions of the hospital and invisible “force fields” that sometimes stop people from passing through doors and hallways. These barriers make a hissing sound when encountered. Also reported are the sounds of sobbing, voices, and heartbeats, and black-robed figures are seen in the darkened hallways.

Church Street Cafe, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Church Street Cafe, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Church Street Café – This 18-room hacienda, nestled in the heart of Old Town, dates back to 1709. Originally built as a residence by the Ruiz family, it was referred to as the Casa de Ruiz for nearly 200 years. One of the oldest structures in the State of New Mexico, it remained in the Ruiz family until the last family member, Rufina G. Ruiz, died in 1991 at 91. After Marie Coleman purchased the property and began renovations for the Church Street Café, it was found that the building continued to be inhabited by the spirit of Rufina Ruiz’s mother, a woman named Sara Ruiz. Known to be a “curandera,” or healer, Sara was not happy with the renovations as she once yelled at Marie when she brought in a contractor, “Get him out of here, now!” Once a contractor was finally hired, buckets began to get kicked around mysteriously. These types of antics continued until Marie began to talk to the spirit. Employees have seen Sara’s spirit in the café dressed in a long black dress, and several customers have felt her presence.

Haunted Hill – Located at the end of Menaul Boulevard in the foothills, allegedly, visitors have heard the sounds of screaming, phantom footsteps, and bodies being dragged. According to the legend, an older man once lived in the caves at the top of the hills, sometimes bringing prostitutes there and killing them. Other reports tell of the apparition of an older man walking and the swinging of a lantern by unseen hands.

Kimo Theatre, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Kimo Theatre, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Kimo Theatre – The Kimo Theatre, a Pueblo Deco picture palace, was opened on September 19, 1927. No institution stands through time without something bad happening, and the Kimo is no exception. In 1951, a six-year-old boy named Bobby Darnall was killed when the boiler in the basement exploded, demolishing a part of the original lobby. This boy, wearing a striped shirt and blue jeans, is often seen playing on the lobby staircase. But he is also known to play numerous impish tricks, such as tripping the actors and creating a ruckus during performances. To appease the spirit, the cast hangs doughnuts on the water pipe that runs along the theatre’s back wall behind the stage.

Luna Mansion Restaurant in Los Lunas, New Mexico

Luna Mansion Restaurant in Los Lunas, New Mexico

Luna Mansion – Actually located in Los Lunas, New Mexico, a nearby suburb of Albuquerque, the Luna-Otero Mansion is known for its excellent steaks, hot chili, and tempting desserts; but that’s not all it’s known for. It’s also renowned for its resident ghosts. Inside this 1881 mansion-turned restaurant, there have been many reported sightings of the ghost of Josefita Otero, who seemingly prefers the second-floor bedrooms and the stairway. Other reported phenomena include chairs that move independently and pots and pans that are often heard rattling in an otherwise empty kitchen.

Maria Teresa Restaurant –This beautiful old hacienda-turned-restaurant dates back to 1783 when it was built by Salvador Armijo. Today it has the dubious distinction of being one of New Mexico’s most haunted buildings. At least four different spirits have been seen wandering through the restaurant on various occasions. Other phenomena include a piano that seemingly plays of its own accord, employees touched by unseen hands, reflections of ghosts appearing in mirrors, unseen voices, and flatware and tables that mysteriously move on their own.

Rancho de Corrales – Not actually in Albuquerque, but about 15 miles north of the city, in Corrales, New Mexico, this gracious old hacienda was built in 1801 by Diego Montoya. The sprawling adobe home, with its thick walls and heavily timbered ceilings, was, at first, a peaceful oasis surrounded by orchards. However, that all changed when Luis and Louisa Emberto purchased the property in 1883. Some five years after they moved in, a bloody shootout occurred. It all started when Luis discovered that his wife was having an affair and moved out of the hacienda, promising to return and kill both her and her lover. In April 1898, he made good on his promise and shot his wife twice.

An armed posse soon surrounded the hacienda, and in the gun battle that ensued, Luis was struck down. Due to the scandalous circumstances of the couple’s death, they were not allowed a proper burial in the church cemetery. Their remains were interred across the irrigation ditch to the west of the building.

Today, the restless pair continue to make their presence known at the hacienda-turned-restaurant. Reported activities include items that seemingly move on their own, the sounds of disembodied voices, and a woman’s appearance in 1800’s era clothing. Others have heard the sound of midnight parties in the old hacienda.

Wool Warehouse Theater Restaurant – This building, a National Historic Landmark, was built in 1929 by a prominent wool businessman, Frank Bond, as his New Mexico headquarters. Designed by T. Charles Gaastra, who had recently returned from a trip to Egypt, the building prominently displays Egyptian influence. Today the historic building is part of the DoubleTree Hotel Complex. Encompassing some 5,000 square feet, the Wool Warehouse Theater Restaurant is housed on the second floor. During performances, a man in a cream-colored double-breasted suit has been known to have appeared on the stage. Thought to be Mr. Bond himself, the spirit seems pleasant and is also known to watch the productions from the side stage happily.

On the other hand, the stairs behind the stage that led to the basement are thought to hold are more malevolent spirit. Employees have reported feeling pushed by unseen hands, something or someone that grabs their ankles, and strange noises emanating from the walls. This has frightened some to such an extent that they refuse to go to the basement. Other paranormal activities reported are the feeling of hot and cold spots, being watched, and mysteriously moving items.

Xilinx Building – Today, this building serves as a technology development center, but this has not always been the case.  The building once served as a mental health hospital. Today, staff report mysterious banging sounds throughout the building, groans heard in the courtyard, and whispers in the back office area. Others tell of objects that seemingly move of their own accord and shadowy figures seen moving along the hallways.


© Kathy Weiser-Alexander/Legends of America, updated April 2023.

Also See:

Albuquerque – 300 Year Old Duke City

Ghost Stories Across America

La Llorona in Albuquerque

New Mexico’s Route 66