Who doesn't love a good ghost story on a dark night?
Everyone at Blazin' Young Guns enjoys a good spooky yarn and we wanted to share our findings with y'all. Some of the stories relate to Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War while others are just about areas of interest in New Mexico.
Don't have nightmares and remember if you hear Billy's whistle on a dark, cold night he's only giving you a friendly howdy!
- 1 Lincoln
- 2 White Oaks
- 3 Silver City
- 4 Santa Fe
- 5 Mesilla
- 6 Las Vegas
The old Courthouse of Lincoln has seen it's fair share of historic happenings. From the Murphy and Dolan store to being turned into a Courthouse and jail which held Billy the Kid for a little while. It's hardly surprising that visitors and locals alike have experienced something strange in this place.
The narrow staircase leading up to what was once Murphy's bedroom and was later turned into the room that held the Kid, has had visitor's reportedly feeling a very cold breeze and the sensation of someone touching their hair. Fairly recently these stairs also revealed a grisly reminder of the buildings past. The top stair, when removed, had traces of a good deal of blood. Could this be deputy James Bell's blood that was shed during his struggle with Billy? or maybe the blood belongs to one of the unfortunate men who crossed Murphy and Dolan when the building was still 'The House.' Perhaps the ghostly breeze upon the stairs knows the answer.
Upstairs is the room that was used as Billy's prison during his stay, many have heard the distinct sound of chains scrapping across the floor and others noises of heavy restraints being moved. Could this be Billy having a little fun? or another prisoner who was held here?
Outside in the growing twilight it's not hard to see why many folks claim that the building gives them an eerie vibe. People have reported the feeling of being watched constantly as they pass the courthouse or sit out on a porch enjoying the evening air. A few have seen a strange shadowed figure moving around on the second floor, it seems to stare out of one of the windows as if watching the observer intently. It is described as a black mass, an outline of an upper body of a person.
El Torreon (The Tower) was the first building built in Lincoln by the original Spanish settlers around 1855. It was used as protection against the Indians and later by both sides in the Lincoln County War, including the Kid.
A man named William Wilson was hung at the east side of the Torreon for the murder of Robert Casey. James Dolan is said to have paid Wilson to kill Casey, promising that he would not be blamed for the murder. Wilson was found guilty and despite Dolan's attempts to protect him he was sentenced to hang. Wilson was calm and collected as he mounted the scaffold and shook a few hands of people who knew him. He was read the death warrant, he then received the extreme unction and his execution was postponed by half an hour. Unfortunately for Wilson the crowd that had gathered about the scaffold were displeased with this and caused such a protest that the sheriff had no choice but to carry on with proceedings. Wilson was hung for around 9 minutes before he was cut down and placed in the waiting coffin. It was soon discovered that he was still breathing. A rope was put about his neck once again and he was hung for a further 20 minutes before being finally cut down and buried. It is Wilson's ghost that is said to haunt this area, re-visiting the place he faced his death.
The Wortley Hotel
The Wortley hotel was around in Billy the Kid's time and at one point was owned by Pat Garrett. Although Billy himself does not seem to haunt the old building a few other ghosts still walk there. In room number 3 a terrible tragedy occurred. A pretty young Mexican woman of 18 awaited her lover and when he didn't come to her, for reasons only known to herself, she took her own life. Her ghost has been felt and seen sitting at the end of the bed while the guest slumbers, her presence is said to have 'a good vibe.'
Also at the Wortley is the ghost of a teenage girl who appears to be cleaning. She is dressed in early 1900's clothing. Could both young ladies be one and the same?
The Ellis County Store
The Ellis Store County Inn has stood on the same spot since the 1850's. With it's beautifully and homely decorated bedrooms it's quaint style has charmed many in it's time as a bed and breakfast. Back in the time of the Lincoln County War the building was a store and some of the McSween/Tunstall supporters took shelter here during the infamous five day siege upon the McSween house. Billy the Kid was later brought here after his capture at Stinking Springs where he stayed for two weeks (the room in which he stayed has been dubbed 'The Billy the Kid Room.') The ghost that is said to appear around the inn is a great hulking figure. There has also been disembodied voices and items vanishing for a good amount of time before resurfacing. Another ghost haunting the place is that of a lady who whispered into a guests ear as he slept. The Billy the Kid room also has a ghost inhabiting it. Violent knocking, muffled voices and whistling has been heard (the Kid was known for liking to whistle a tune.) A few guests were tossed out of bed when a single bed occupied the room, since a 'King Size' bed replaced it there have been no more visitors thrown onto the floor.
The streets of Lincoln, the place once dubbed the most dangerous street in America, have their share of ghostly tales too. An old Mexican man dressed in Western clothing and a cowboy hat has been seen ambling the pathways, once spotted he vanishes. A little boy from bygone times plays happily in the churchyard only to melt away if approached. Three ladies in Victorian clothing have been witnessed crossing the street only to disappear once they reach the other side.
The Old School House
This beautiful old brick four-room, two-storey school house was built in 1890 as is in much the same way as you would have found it back then. In the old musty classrooms with their old desk, chairs and blackboards there have been reports of children's voices and laughter. Objects move without explanation and some people have the distinct feeling they are being watched by unseen eyes.
This touching graveyard dates back to when the town was first founded. It contains many graves of miner's who unfortunately died in a large explosion, U.S.Calvary who were killed by Apache. Susan McSween is also buried here as well as James W. Bell. Strange floating lights have often been sighted in and around the cemetery.
This fine brick Victorian mansion was built by Andy Hoyle in 1887. The grand house was going to be the new home for his new bride-to-be, a mail-order bride from Massachusetts. She only got as far as Texas before she decided the landscape wasn't to her taste she returned home leaving a distraught and heartbroken Hoyle behind in a large and empty mansion. Shortly after this Hoyle disappeared, leaving the home abandoned. It is his ghost that is reputed to still linger on in the building.
Once Silver City's movie theater, the building is now used as a second-hand store. Three ghosts are said to linger in this place. The volume of music being played in the store will suddenly become very soft before jumping to unbearably loud when no one is near the player. A Grey, misty shape as been sighted upstairs along with the sound of footsteps and voices. Objects are moved and there is a strange feeling of being watched. Only one of the ghosts makes herself known fully, a little old Hispanic woman has been seen sitting in a chair looking very frail and unwell, the story goes that she accidentally fell down the elevator shaft and died from her injuries.
Inn On Broadway
This pretty is welcoming bed and breakfast in the heart of historic Silver City. Built in 1883 and sporting a veranda and beautiful garden give this place a peaceful, calm air. Inside is where the hauntings took place. A woman wearing a black Western/Victorian dress and hat was seen descending the stairs and walking down the hallway before disappearing. A few years ago the spirit was laid to rest after the woman told a psychic that she wanted mint tea, the owners complied and since then the lady in black has not been seen.
Built in 1883 the Buffalo Bar is a lively, friendly bar and dance hall in the center of Silver City. In the early 1900's a local prostitute brought her client up to a second floor bedroom to conduct business. Things quickly turned nasty and the man threw the woman out of the window to her death. A glow from this room has been seen from the street outside, the light seems to flicker as if from a kerosene lantern. A figure has also been seen peering out on the window before suddenly leaping out and vanishing mid fall to the sidewalk.
La Fonda Hotel
The La Fonda (The Inn) has existed in some form around the same location since 1607. It was rebuilt in 1921 into the hotel that now stands. It offers guests beautiful rooms and fine dining along with a bucket full of history. Back in Billy the Kid's day the building would have looked quite sorry compared to the fine Hotel it is today and was called 'The Exchange Hotel'. Billy worked here in his youth, after his mother died but he does not seem to hold enough attachment to it to revisit the place.
But La Fonda is not lacking in ghostly inhabitants. In the late 1800's a salesman lost all his money in a card game, knowing he was ruined he ran outside into the backyard and killed himself by leaping into a deep well. The well is now underneath the current dining area and guests and staff alike have been shocked to see a distraught man dash passed and jump into the floor, vanishing from sight.
John Slough, chief justice of the Territorial Supreme Court was shot to death in the Lobby in 1867. He is said to walk the hallways and his loud, heavy footsteps have woken guests up from a peaceful sleep. Those that have seen him describe him as a tall man, wearing a black coat and 1800's clothing.
A beautiful woman wearing bridal costume haunts room 510, the room in which she was murdered on her wedding night by her ex-lover.
The hotel bar as two ghosts that visit it. The first is a Old West cowboy who is always seen between the time of 2 am and 3 am. An African American gentleman has also been seen in this area, once spotted he slowly vanishes.
Grant Corner Inn
Built in 1905 by a couple who lived in the Santa Fe area. Shortly after moving into their new home the couple had a baby boy, who was a sickly child and needed constant attention. Unfortunately the woman's husband died soon after the baby's birth leaving her to try and struggle on with her life. To ease matters she soon remarried to a man that had a reputation of being a bit of a cad.
As the young boy grew his condition worsened and his mother threw herself into caring for him. Visitors often gossiped of hearing a child crying and banging coming from his bedroom when they called in upon the mother. The boy was confined to a wheelchair and would often fall out of his chair, down the stairs on purpose to gain attention. The young boy eventually died from his illness and his mother and her husband moved away.
Lights have been seen in the little boys bedroom when the house was empty. A child's voice has been heard. Reports of a grayish figure in the hallway and objects flying from tables have been given by guests and rooms 4 and 8 are said to be the worse affected.
St. Vincent's Hospital
Built in 1853 and rebuilt five more times near the same spot this hospital has seen a lot of history. The older parts of the hospital now situated in the spot were built in 1885. A young boy is said to have died in room 311 after an automobile accident that also claimed the life of his father. The boy's cries can still be heard and have distressed many staff and patient alike. On the top floor resides the ghosts of a short Hispanic man dressed in old fashioned clothing and a lady wearing a black matilla. Those who have seen them have said the spirits looked confused and in need of help but id approached they vanish.
When the state museum began storing ancient Indian artifacts in the hospitals basement strange things began to happen. Strange sounds would emit and scare nurses who refused to even go near the place alone. Two nurses who were in the area claimed to have seen fresh blood oozing from the walls and a few people have felt the sensation of something grabbing them.
La Posada Hotel
In downtown Santa Fe is the historic La Posada Hotel, within its beautiful grounds and stunning fountains sits the hotel's centerpiece, the Staab House, a Victorian mansion built by Abraham Staab for his wife Julia in 1882. The Staab's had a large family of six children but after the death of their seventh child at birth Julia became depressed and it was said her hair turned white from the grief. Abraham and Julia kept trying for another child but unfortunately this never came to pass and Julia became a recluse until her death in 1896 at the age of 52, she passed away in her bedroom. The rumor in the town had been that Julia had gone crazy over the years and this resulted in her early death. Abraham and his six children lived in the house until their father's death in 1913
The house was sold in 1930 to business men who had plans to turn the home into a grand hotel. They constructed a series of Pueblo Revival-style adobe casitas around the existing Staab Mansion and gave the hotel it's name 'La Posada' - 'The Resting Place' or 'The Inn'. The business flourished but it was soon noted that Julia Staab had not let the home she had so adored in life.
She has been seen by staff and guest alike, she appears as a elegantly dressed woman in her 40's with grey hair but her form is translucent and has been sighted near an old fireplace in the mansion and reclining in a chair. A Security guard that came across her one night was so shaken that he ran out of the hotel. Other strange reports include glasses flying off shelves in the bar area before crashing to the ground, the fire being turned on and off and a waitress reported feeling many times of the sensation of someone pushing her.
Along this historic street of pretty adobe buildings there have been sightings of a Caballero. He rides his horse down to the Santa Fe river holding his sword high. The most shocking thing about this spirit is he is headless. The legend goes that he lost his head after he complained about a love potion two witches had given him, the witches didn't take kindly to his words and took off his head.
Mission of San Miguel
The Mission of San Miguel is the oldest surviving church still in use in the United States. Built around 1610 by the Tlaxcalan Indians who traveled to New Mexico as servants of the Spanish. During a rebellion in 1680 known as the Pueblo Revolt, the church was badly damaged and most early documents lost. Inside the chapel are priceless statues, paintings and a large bell made in 1356. This bell, called 'San Jose Bell' has a tale of a miracle surrounding it. The story goes that in the mid 1800's a blind man came into the church to pray every day at noon. At some point the bell rang of it's own accord while he was praying and the man's sight was restored for a brief moment until the bell ceased ringing. He was over joyed and gave a detailed account of what the inside of the church looked like.
The room which is now used as a gift shop is said to be haunted by a small child who died there in the 1940's.
The Heritage Home
It is not the actual building that is haunted but just outside where a large cottonwood tree still stands today. Before the turn of the century criminals were brought here and hung from one of the many branches of the tree. Although the limbs have long since been cut down, people have seen the shadows of branches on moonlight nights and heard the distinct creaking of bodies swinging in the breeze.
Double Eagle Restaurant
Built in the late 1840's as a residence by the wealthy Maes family. The mother and arguably the head of the family was Carlota Maes a lady that had big plans for her teenage son Armando. The family had many servants running the big house and one of these was a young and pretty maid called Inez. Armando couldn't help falling in love and they soon became lovers. Knowing his mother would not approve of his choice the pair kept their affair a secret, but their loving glances and brief smiles soon alerted the other servants who to the great relief of the two lovers aided them in hiding their relationship.
But Armando's mother was not blind the goings on in her own household and confronted her son, he confessed that he was indeed in love with Inez but Carlota refused to listen to his pleas and banished the girl from the house. Returning home earlier than planned Carlota found the young maid and her son in bed together, enraged that her own flesh and blood had lowered himself to cavorting with servants and not heeding his mother's words. Picking up a pair of scissor she ran towards them and lashed out at Inez stabbing her in the breast, she raised the weapon again but Armando, wanting to protect his beloved, blocked the blow and was himself stabbed. The two lovers died in each others arms and Carlota lived in misery for the rest of her days, never speaking another word after that dreadful day.
The ghosts of Armando and Inez are said to haunt the Carlotta Salon, which was once Armando's bedroom. The spirits are friendly and impish, playing pranks, moving tables and smashing glasses. Two over stuffed, rarely used chairs sit in this room and are inexplicably worn with the markings of a small body and a larger body. Whispered voices have been heard and the fragrance of a heady perfume has also been detected in this room.
Old Mesilla Courthouse
Built in 1850 as a brick one story building and housing the capitol of New Mexico and Arizona, later it was turned into the courthouse and jail. This is the very place where Billy the Kid was jailed and tried for the murder of Buckshot Roberts and Sheriff William Brady. Billy was acquitted of the murder of Buckshot Roberts but found guilty of murdering Sheriff Brady and sentenced to death. The courthouse no longer serves the law and is now a famous gift shop which prominently features Billy the Kid. In 2008 the Mesilla Museum opened a new section about Mesilla's history including a section on Billy the Kid. One of the exhibits was a barber's chair that Billy actually sat in and had his haircut during his trial. The chair was made in 1870's and was purchased by a private dealer who re-upholstered the chair unfortunately covering some bullet holes although where the bullet holes came from is a mystery. The chair, sadly is no longer on display but the museum still features many interesting items.
It is the courthouse come gift shop that is said to be haunted by Billy the Kid himself. Employees have stated that items have been moved by unseen hands and a few have glimpsed a man in old west gear who appears to melt into the wall when approached. Perhaps Billy enjoys playing cheeky games with people?
Fountain Theater was built in 1905 on the spot where a Confederate army barracks from the Civil War once stood. It is the oldest movie house in New Mexico and after it's opening boasted both live performances and movie screenings. The theater is said to be haunted by the spirit of an actress, although her story is shrouded in mystery.
On the south western side of the main plaza sits the restaurant El Patio Cantina. Opened in the 1850's by the local Sheriff Sam Bean and his brother Roy the cantina was popular due to it's good location to the stagecoach offices. When Sheriff Bean went out of town his younger brother Roy who was wanted for stabbing a man in California robbed the cantina's safe knowing that many citizen's of Mesilla kept their hard earned valuables safely locked away before he fled to Texas. This man would later become known as Judge Roy Bean, a infamous man who proclaimed he was the only law west of the Pecos when in fact he was as lawless as they come and over fond of hanging.
Whether Sam, Roy or another ghost haunt the cantina is not known but whispered voices strange sounds have been heard on the property.
La Posta de Mesilla Restaurant
Originally built in the 1840's and used by Sheriff Sam Bean who operataed a way station for the Butterfield's stagecoach line. This building also housed a hotel named 'Corn Exchange Hotel.' The hotel had a fine reputation for good boarding and great food and was visited by many famous people including Pat Garrett, Billy the Kid and Kit Carson. The building has long had a reputation of being haunted and employees of the restaurant have reported chairs moving by their own accord, glasses smashing, doors opening and closing without anyone being nearby, unseen hands shoving customers, a strange sulphur smell and cold spots.
Old Mesilla Cemetery
The cemetery is old and has many graves dating from the time of the Old West and further back. Local legends state that it here you will find the infamous La Llorona (The weeping woman) the spirit of a woman who drowned her own children before coming to her senses and lamenting her awful crimes and committing suicide. It is said this ghost wanders aimlessly by rivers and through cemeteries looking for the children she lost.
The Plaza Hotel
Built in 1882 and dubbed the 'Bell of the Southwest' for it's fine dining, features and room, the Plaza Hotel has been a popular stop over for a long time and was frequented in the early 1900's by wild west movie stars. It was lovingly restored to it's former glory in 1882 and is now once again a fine hotel with an olde charm along with modern amenities. Around the middle of the twentieth century the hotel was taken over by Byron T. Mills wanted to demolish the hotel, for reasons unknown to this day Mills did not go ahead with the sale. The legend goes that Mill's felt so guilty over his rash decision that he came back as a spirit to haunt the hotel. Mill's ghost seems to prefer the company of ladies and his presence is often accompanied by the scent of perfume.Cigar smoke has also been smelt in the saloon named after him along with the sound of heavy footfalls.
El Fidel Hotel
Opened in 1923 and called 'The Meadows Hotel,' it was the first hotel in Las Vegas to boast bathrooms in each guests room. In 1923 a fatal shooting occurred in the lobby. A man by the name of Judge David J. Leahy came to verbal blows with a reporter, Carl Magee, who had written slander about him in a newspaper. The judge attacked Magee with his cane to which the reporter pulled out his gun but the bullet missed it's intended target and instead killed a innocent bystander. Magee was charged with manslaughter but was acquitted on the grounds of self defense and moved away from Las Vegas. It is said that the innocent man who died still haunts the lobby. The hotel also has other unusual happenings including guests and employees reporting a strong smell of cigars in empty rooms, a woman's disembodied laughter and a freezing cold spot in room 107.
Built in 1898 by Fred Harvey, who had many railway chain hotels. The hotel is a mission style brick building and features a u-shape plan. Inside the dining area and lobby seem almost untouched by time. The hauntings that take place here are by unknown persons. Guests and employees have experienced the unnerving sensation of being watched, cold spots and disembodied voices and footsteps.
Adele Ilfeld Auditorium
After the Civil War was over a man named Charles Ilfeld settled in Las Vegas with his wife Adele. Charles became a community leader and respected citizen. After his beloved wife's death in the early 1900's, and knowing how much she loved the theater, Charles built a auditorium in her memory and named it after her. It was completed in 1921. The theater is said to be frequented by many ghosts who appear upon the stage, including Adele herself. A gangster has been seen upon a balcony, a clown has beckoned to students from the stage.
Las Vegas Railroad Depot
The railroad road depot opened in 1879 and has quite a history. It has seen it's fair share of famous and infamous people including President Theodore Roosevelt, Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett and Dave Rudabaugh who just avoided a lynching here. The spirit that is said the visit this place is of a man who railroad workers have nicknamed 'Alley.' The tale goes that this man would bring food to the tired railroad workers during his lifetime and seems to come back to check if everything is still running smoothly. In the dead of night footsteps have been heard echoing around the depot and doors open and close by themselves.
United World College
Originally built in 1882 as a hotel called 'Montezuma Castle.' This hotel was luxurious and visited by many famous actresses, actors and singers of the day. One of these guests was a opera singer who died in tragic circumstances. The hotel was razed by fire twice before being taken over in 1982 by Dr. Armand Hammer who turned it into a college designed to bring together many cultures to promote understanding and tolerance. Students have reported hearing opera being sung and have felt the presence of the lady spirit on the second and third floors.