The road trip covers 990 miles and the drive time, without stops, is a little over 16 hours. This is a loop, so you can just begin on the section that is closest to you. We recommend spacing the stops over three or four days.
Here is the map.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Some cities are spooky enough to warrant multiple stops. In those cases, we’ve mapped you to the city and then provided addresses to the locations. That way you can visit them in whichever order is most convenient.
1. Hotel Parq Central, 806 Central Avenue SE, Albuquerque
The building that now contains Hotel Parq Central was originally a hospital for railroad employees. In the 1980s, it was converted into a psychiatric facility and renamed Memorial Hospital. Patients here complained of having their bed sheets yanked off in the night by unseen forces. The building underwent a major overhaul when it was turned into a hotel. But if you stay the night here, you may want to keep a firm grip on your bedding!
If you’d just like to view the hotel, head to the Apothecary Lounge on the roof to grab a drink and enjoy panoramic views of the city.
2. KiMo Theatre, 421 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque
The KiMo Theatre has been an Albuquerque landmark since it opened in 1927. In 1951, a boiler exploded, killing a boy called Bobby Darnall. His spirit is mischievous rather than ominous – he likes playing tricks on performers. He is most frequently spotted in the lobby and on the nearby staircase. (If you’re wondering about this building’s unusual design, this architecture style is known as Pueblo Deco.)
3. High Noon Restaurant and Saloon, 425 San Felipe Road NW, Albuquerque
This restaurant is housed in a building that was constructed prior to 1785 and that apparently served as a brothel and gambling parlor. So it’s not entirely surprising that it’s haunted. A lady in white is sometimes spotted in the Santos Room.
Don’t leave without trying the food, which pairs unexpected ingredients with delicious results. High Noon also has an impressive tequila menu.
Santa Fe has an abundance of haunted hotels. Here are three that also have excellent restaurants. Visit, dine, or stay in them in any order you please.
4. La Fonda on the Plaza, 100 E. San Francisco Street, Santa Fe
Although this specific hotel opened in 1922, there has been an inn at this location since the year 1607! La Fonda is so haunted that you have multiple spirits to watch for. Perhaps you’ll encounter the spectre of a cowboy swaggering down the halls or spy the ghost of Judge John P. Slough. The spirit of a murdered bride is also supposed to linger at La Fonda.
If you dine at La Plazuela, which is located inside what was once the hotel’s courtyard, check out the old well in the floor. A salesman who apparently committed suicide here can sometimes be seen leaping into the well before he vanishes.
5. The Drury Plaza Hotel, 828 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe
The Drury Plaza Hotel is inside what used to be the old St. Vincent’s Hospital. Head up to the third floor, where the sounds of crying babies are sometimes heard. People have also reported hearing the sounds of children’s running footsteps. According to more lurid rumors, blood has appeared on the basement walls. (Before you leave, grab a bite at Eloisa, the stellar, on site restaurant.)
6. La Posada de Santa Fe, 330 E. Palace Avenue, Santa Fe
As this hotel expanded, it absorbed what was once the Staab House, which was built in 1882. Julia Staab, who was once the mistress of the house, supposedly never left. Her spirit has been sighted on the grand staircase (pictured), in the bar, and in her old bedroom. The hotel takes the haunting rumors in stride and actually named their restaurant Julia, a Spirited Restaurant and Bar.
Optional Stop: Dawson
Your next official stop on this route is in Cimarron. However, if you’d like to view a ghost town that’s rumored to be haunted, continue on for another 18 miles to Dawson. Two separate mining accidents claimed the lives of hundreds of workers here.
Only the cemetery, which is on private property, remains. However, you can see it from the road. If you add Dawson to your drive, you’ll need to double back to reach the next stop. For more info on Dawson’s history,
7. St. James Hotel, 617 S. Collison Avenue, Cimarron
During the days of the Wild West, Cimarron was a rough town and at least 26 people died in the St. James Hotel. Many of them were murdered. You can still see bullet holes in ceiling near the old bar (now in the dining room) and the common spaces seem unchanged by the passing years. Room 18 is permanently closed to guests because it’s haunted by such a malevolent spirit.
Optional Stop: Fort Union National Monument
Fort Union lies about eight miles off I-25, near the town of Watrous (NM-161 takes you right there).
Since 1851, three different forts have been established here. While this spot is interesting from a historical perspective, there’s also an urban legend associated with Fort Union.
Here’s how it goes: A solider serving at the fort became smitten with a woman who was considered a gold-digger. He proposed just before heading out into battle. She accepted and promised that, if he died in the fighting, she would remain unmarried for life. The soldier perished and his fiancée quickly got engaged to another man. At the wedding ball, the angry spirit of the slain soldier put the guests and band into a trance. He then seized his fiancée and danced with her, draining away her life.
While some claim to have encountered restless spirits in Cuervo, that’s not the only reason to stop here. This place is both accessible and well preserved, an uncommon pairing when it comes to ghost towns. Cuervo is creepy because it seems frozen in time, as if people just walked out of their homes one day, leaving cars parked outside, never to return.
More recently, someone appeared to have been using the old Baptist church as some kind of sexual trophy room. Used underwear was found pinned to the walls along with explicit and highly disturbing graffiti.
For more info.
9. Norman Petty Studios, 1313 W. 7th Street, Clovis
No one has witnessed ghosts at the Norman Petty Studios directly. The studio is best known as the place where music greats including Norman Petty, Buddy Holly, and Waylon Jennings recorded. However, paranormal activity has been captured in photos taken here. If you want to go inside the museum, you need to schedule a private tour - call (575) 763-3435. Bear in mind that the tour is designed for music fans, not paranormal enthusiasts.
10. Chaves County Magistrate Court, 400 N. Virginia Avenue G-1, Roswell
This courthouse is certainly a contender for the title of New Mexico’s Most Imposing Haunted Building. It was built in 1911, in the Beaux Arts style, and restored in 2005. The belief that the courthouse is haunted may tie in to the fact that Roswell’s previous courthouse building was the site of the county’s first hanging (in 1894). There are rumors that you can hear the voices of ghostly children playing in the basement of this structure.
11. New Mexico Military Institute, 101 W College Boulevard, Roswell
The architect who worked on the courthouse, Isaac Hamilton Rapp, also designed much of the New Mexico Military Institute. This high school and junior college originally opened 1891 and, as you’d expect in a school that age, ghost stories abound. Many have been debunked -
more info here
- but others persist.
An especially spooky tale relates to the bell tower, which was constructed as a memorial to cadets who died in an accident while playing polo. The bell is said to ring the night before a cadet will die! You can see some of the New Mexico Military Institute’s sprawling campus from the road.
12. The Lodge, 601 Corona Place, Cloudcroft
The spirit of Rebecca haunts this hotel. She worked as a chambermaid here and was murdered by a jealous suitor. Over the years, guests and employees have seen lights that turn on and off on their own, ashtrays moving across tables when no one is close by, and fires spontaneously ignite in the fireplaces. Rebecca seems to be a fairly harmless spirit and the hotel restaurant is named after her.
13. Fort Stanton, 104 Kit Carson Road, Fort Stanton
This old military fort has seen a lot of suffering over the years, which probably explains why it’s haunted. In 1862, an army doctor and captain got into a gunfight about the latter’s treatment of the Mescalero Apaches, and both died. Then, in 1899, Fort Stanton became a TB hospital for Merchant Marines – 1500 of them are buried in the cemetery close by. The fort has also served as an internment camp and women’s prison.
14. The Luna Mansion, 110 W. Main Street, Los Lunas
The historic Luna Mansion is haunted by Josefita Otero, a past mistress of the house whose ghost roams the halls. The Spirit Lounge is named after her and you can even order the Josefita cocktail!
Now it’s time to make your way back to Albuquerque to complete the loop. Congratulations! You survived this spooky drive.