If you love to be scared, then add these eight places to your New Mexico bucket list. Then again, you may want to tick off some other attractions first just in case you don’t survive a visit to these creepy locales!
1. Dawson Cemetery, Near Cimarron
Little remains of the ghost town of Dawson, except for the cemetery. Given the town’s history, this is fitting. The Phelps Dodge Corporation ran a large coal mining operation in Dawson. In 1913, an explosion killed 263 men in one of the worst coal mining tragedies in U.S. history. Ten years later, disaster struck again, claiming the lives of 121 miners. To this day, a sense of unrest continues to ripple through the air surrounding Dawson.
2. KiMo Theater, Albuquerque
In 1951, during a movie screening at the KiMo Theater, a water heater blew up in the lobby. A young boy died in the accident and his spirit is rumored to have haunted the theater ever since. Performers leave small gifts for the boy in order to mollify him and avoid his ghostly hijinks.
3. Luna Mansion, Los Lunas
It’s common knowledge that Josefita Otero, who lived between 1874-1951, now haunts the Luna Mansion. The establishment has embraced these paranormal rumors, christening the room where she appears, The Spirit Lounge. Josefita oversaw updates to the mansion, so perhaps that’s why her presence remains. Just think of her as the Ghost of HGTV Past!
4. Shaffer Hotel, Mountainair
Forget the swastikas emblazoned across the exterior of the Shaffer Hotel (the symbol has been around for 3000 years and, when this building was constructed, the horrors of World War II were yet to come). The scary stuff is inside, in the form of mysterious shapes and flashing lights. In 2008, the hotel even hosted a paranormal conference.
5. La Posada Hotel, Santa Fe
Supposedly, the ghost of Julia Staab lingers in La Posada Hotel. The mistress of this house (now part of a hotel) fell into a deep depression following several miscarriages and the death of her child, essentially becoming a shut-in. Perhaps Staab’s sorrow was intense enough to tether her to the house, even after death. Both employees and guests claim to have seen her ghost over the years.
6. Old Bernalillo County Courthouse, Albuquerque
Built in 1926, the old courthouse is reputed to be haunted—or at least its basement is. Witnesses report experiencing cold spots, flickering lights, and mysterious gusts of wind. The courthouse has even been used as a haunted house at Halloween.
7. Bottger Mansion, Albuquerque
Frank Sinatra and Elvis have both slept here. If that’s not enough of a draw, multiple ghosts allegedly haunt this 1912 mansion, turned B&B.
8. Urraca Mesa, Near Angel Fire
Urraca Mesa is located on the Philmont Scout Ranch, which is owned by the Boy Scouts of America. The legend surrounding Urraca Mesa seems to be more than just a campfire tale. Native American tribes in the area believe it to be the gateway to the demon realm. In other words, a Hell Mouth. Where’s Buffy when you need her?
Have you encountered any apparitions in New Mexico? What spooky spots would you add to this list?