Santa Fe is the second oldest city in the U.S., which means that ghosts and spirits have had over four centuries to make Santa Fe their home. As the city settles into autumn, the Halloween season begs visitors and locals alike to explore Santa Fe’s haunted history. Do you dare?
Santa Fe’s Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and pioneer cultures each contribute to the city’s spirited remnants. History points to a city built on the ground of an abandoned Tanoan Indian Village, including the sacred Tanoan burial sites. That’s almost a guarantee for spookiness.
As you stroll along the shaded Santa Fe River, be aware of La Llorona (pronounced “LAH yoh ROH nah”) the “Weeping Woman”. Her tall, thin spirit is said to be blessed with natural beauty and long flowing black hair. Wearing a white gown, she roams the rivers, wailing into the night and searching for children to drag, screaming to a watery grave. These days many Santa Fe parents use the legend of La Llorona to keep their children in line. Be good, or La Llorona may come looking for you!
Holy ground always intrigues the spirit-curious and the Chapel of San Miguel, the oldest church in the city, is an iconic staple that will not disappoint. It too was built on top of a burial site in the early 17th century, and was the first building burned in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Hundreds of human remains have been found beneath the church, and many visitors have claimed to see and feel ancient spirits in the sanctuary. Even the gift shop is haunted by the presence of a child that died in the 1940’s. His heavy footsteps and laughter can be heard about the room.
Hoping to visit a site with a bewitched history? The Oldest House, approximated to be 800 years old, once housed a witch and her sister. The two were tried for witchcraft, found guilty and beheaded. The spirit of one can be seen roaming the narrow road just outside the home.
Legendary hotels like the La Posada Hotel, La Fonda on the Plaza and the Palace of the Governors add to the haunted legends in downtown Santa Fe. The ghost of Julia Staab still haunts the room she died in at La Posada, once her lavish residence. Ask for room 101 if you’re brave enough to spend the night. La Fonda Hotel has sightings ranging from ghosts moving through walls to the spirits of a hanged judge stalking the hallways.
If you can’t make it to Santa Fe this Halloween to explore your mysterious side, it offers year-round tours of its most eerie locations. The Original Santa Fe Ghost Tour guides you through the paranormal activity in the city’s past and present.
Listening to the unearthly accounts of Santa Fe’s resident spirits offers a glimpse into the city’s paranormal activity. Book a stay in one of the haunted hotels and they just may come calling!
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