Stalking Santa Fe ghosts Part Two

This is Part Two of a post about of Santa Fe ghosts. Read Part One.

After you leave the Inn and Spa at Loretto continue on your hunt for Santa Fe ghosts. Walk north along Old Santa Fe Trail to La Fonda, the Inn at the End of the Trail.

 Ghosts afoot at La Fonda

Santa Fe ghosts

La Fonda has a host of ghosts, photo/Steve Collins

There seem to be a lot of Santa Fe ghosts at La Fonda. While the current building dates to the 1920s, the site has housed some kind of hostelry almost as long as Santa Fe’s been a city. Local lore has it that court was held in the hotel. If the accused was convicted of a hanging offense, the execution was held in the hotel’s lobby. That original hotel was destroyed and rebuilt as were other lodgings on this corner. After New Mexico became an U.S. Territory in 1848, many came across the Santa Fe Trail. One of its features was a gambling hall and at least one man was hanged by a lynch mob.

In 1867, the Honorable John P. Slough, Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court, was shot to death in the hotel lobby by Captain Rynerson, a member of the Territorial Legislature. The judge had called the captain a liar and a thief. Rynerson shot him. Justice Slough was able to get back to his room where he died. Ryerson was tried and acquitted. Guests have claimed to have seen Slough wandering the hotel lobby in his long black coat.

In the late 19th century legend has it that a salesman who and gambled and lost his company’s money in a card game was so distraught that he leaped to his death down a deep well in a courtyard outside the gambling hall of the then, Exchange Hotel. Today, that well is believed to be under the fountain that sits in the center of La Plazuela, the hotel’s restaurant, which sits on the site of the former courtyard. Some have reported seeing a ghostly figure jumping into “the well” at night.

Another reported ghost is more recent, dating to the 1930s. A honeymooning couple from St. Louis, who checked into the hotel and the groom went to have a drink in the bar. He got into a fight with the bartender who shot him dead on the bottom of the steps going back up to his room. The distraught bride then shot herself in the lobby. She is seen coming down the steps in her nightgown and standing over her husband’s body.

These three apparitions sound like residual energy. There are no reports that we’ve found that indicated there is any interaction.

141 East Palace

Santa Fe ghosts

141 E Palace Avenue, photo/Steve Collins

When you leave La Fonda, make a right on San Francisco Street, a left on Cathedral and a right on East Palace Avenue. You’re headed to the site of the Old Saint Vincent Hospital at 224 East Palace Avenue. As you walk, look for 141 East Palace Avenue across the street. The building used to be the old courthouse. In the old days, if someone was convicted of a capital offense, there were no appeals. They were hanged on the spot. It’s said to be a very spooky place to walk past late at night.

Old Saint Vincent Hospital

We’re not sure there are still ghosts at the old St. Vincent Hospital. Now the Drury Plaza Hotel (it opened in 2015), it feels spirit-free. We haven’t heard of any recent sightings. Prior to renovation, it was one of the spookiest feeling buildings in a town where spooky isn’t a stranger. A lot of people died here and this is probably the most haunted building in Santa Fe. As you walk- look left to 141 East Palace Avenue. This building, once the old courtyard saw a number of hangings. Local lore has it that if you got convicted of a hanging offense, the sentence was immediately carried out. No appeals in those days. There are reports of spirits afoot at night here. If it’s night and you don’t want to meet them, hurry on by.

Here are a few of the reported occurrences at Old Saint Vincent Hospital, we don’t know if they’re still in residence post renovation.

  • The little boy in room 311 cries and screams in the night. He and his father both died as the result of a car accident. He has been detected by paranormal experts.
  • Crying babies have been heard on the fourth floor where the hospital had their nursery.
  • There are reports of lights being turned on and off by the ghost of an old woman who died in the hospital.
  • And then there’s the basement, which sounds like the scariest part of the former hospital. There are stories of fresh blood oozing out of a wall and a spirit that grabbed people as they went by at night.

Maybe all the construction chased all the spirits away, otherwise, I know who Drury can call; Ghost Busters.

The gracious ghost: Julia Staab

Santa Fe Ghosts

Folks report seeing Julia Staab’s ghost on these steps at La Posada, photo/Steve Collins

Continue East on East Palace Avenue to your final stop of your tour; La Posada de Santa Fe Resort and Spa home to the ghost of Julia Staab. Julia may be the kindest and most beloved ghost in town. You can read her story here.

There are more Santa Fe ghosts scattered around town, but this is a good start. While you can do this tour on your own, there’s nothing like having a tour guide who knows the local ghosts and is willing to share them with you. After all, there’s nothing like a good ghost story.

Do you have any Santa Fe ghosts to share?

Book a private Santa Fe ghost tour with us — email or call (505) 474-4155.


2 Responses to “Stalking Santa Fe ghosts Part Two”

  1. Robert Campbell
    February 17, 2017 at 3:10 am #

    I was a paramedic in santa fe for five years. I can attest to the crying baby in room #311 of the old la residencia nursing home. Very loud. Nurses said “it happens sometimes.” They try not to use that room. I also twice saw the old hispanic man and women on the third floor of the new st. vincent’s hospital, exactly as described by others. The man seems confused and seems to want help but does not or can not speak. The women stays behind him and does not speak either. Both dressed in very old style black clothing. (1920’s or 1930’s maybe?) I did not realize they were ghosts until years later when I moved back to maryland and read about other people seeing them also. This is real.

    • Billie Frank
      February 23, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

      Wow- great experiences- thanks for sharing them! I think the ghosts left when they renovated- or at least they’re lying low.

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