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Ghosts and Folklore of New Mexico: The Lady of Highway 313

NM HWY 313  Picture by Judy Lovato

NM HWY 313 Picture by Judy Lovato

The Wandering Spirit

If you travel just north of Albuquerque, New Mexico there is a fairly quiet stretch of highway that is said to be host to a hitch hiking woman. The road runs from Albuquerque's North Valley, through the Sandia Reservation, into the town of Bernalillo and continues up north. Growing up just west of this area I had never heard of the sightings until I was an adult. It turns out that many residents of Bernalillo have encountered the spirit while driving the quiet road at night.

Driving this road during the day you can see scattered cars, trucks and the occasional bicyclist. To the east is a beautiful view of the Sandia Mountains and all around are fields of grazing livestock, huge cottonwood trees and ornate little buildings. In daylight it is a relaxing picturesque drive, as the sun goes down the darkness can give a sense of uneasiness and possibly play tricks with your eyes.

I have spoken to several people over the years who claim to have seen the spirit of the young woman in the long white dress or gown who walks this road at night into the early morning hours. The witnesses I have talked to over the years did not know one another but what they did have in common was driving down this back road at night and encountering her.

NM HWY 313 By Judy Lovato

NM HWY 313 By Judy Lovato

Ghost Sighitings

The first time I had ever heard the story was from a friend I meet in collage. She grew up in a small town in the area and had known many who had claimed to have had a run in with the spirit . Someone she know had been driving northbound with her husband on HWY 313 at about 8 pm. Up ahead they notice a woman walking alone on the side of the road. She seems to be wearing all white and looks totally solid. The lady had long black hair flowing down her back and appeared to extend her arm an put her thumb out. They had no intention of slowing down to see if she needed help or stopping to offer her a ride and as they sped past she threw herself in front of their truck. The witnesses claimed to have felt the truck hit her and this caused them to stop and get out. They looked under, in front of and all around but found not sign of anyone. The informed the police but no sign of any accident was found other than their tires skid marks.

Another story I heard was from a lady who drove that road early every morning on her way to work. Depending on the time of the year it could be still dark as she made her way to work. This particular morning she was driving and noticed someone walking ahead. As she got closer she slowed down and noticed it was a woman with long dark hair and felt comfortable offering her a ride. The hitch hiker accepted and got into the back seat. The driver asked where she was headed to and when there was no response, she looked in her rearview mirror to find the seat empty. The thing that bothered her the most was that she heard the woman enter the car and close the door. The door never reopened to let her out.

The other accounts I have been told are similar in that if the driver stops and offers her a ride, she will get in and disappear shortly after. If the driver does not stop to offer her a ride she jumps in front of their vehicle. The one commonality is that the driver has no sense of fear and the woman looks as solid as any living human being.

During my research of this road I found information about deaths that have occurred on the Highway. These deaths have occurred as recent as this month but only go back to the 1990s. The sightings go farther back than that. I have driven this road many times at night both alone and with a passenger, hoping to catch a glimpse of her but I have not seen her yet. Most areas have a story of a hitch hiking ghost, this is one of New Mexico's.

Have you had an encounter with this spirit?

Please share your story below

Do you believe?


Letitia Cordova on October 31, 2019:

Ive heard the story but never encountered her. However, I do take that road quite often and what i have encountered and its always on my way back from bernalillo to albuq. I have seen what seems to be a person carrying a lantern out in the distance this is about the midway point. You can see it getting closer to the road and soon disappears and shortly after ive seen a man sitting in my back seat and disappears from the backseat as i approach near shady lakes. Ive encountered this man many times and my passengers have also seen him. He seems to be dressed in black clothing dating back from late 1800 to early 1900. I now call the man joe short for jose i do not know why but thats the name i kept hearing. Lastnight my 15yr old son saw joe for the 1st time with me lets just say he is very scared now.

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Paul on January 01, 2018:

This article just gave me the chills! Sometime back in the early 2000's my father who is a trucker and I were driving this stretch of highway Northbound heading back to Canada. Time was about 3:30 am I seen this lady on the highway wearing a white gown long black hair passed her shoulders covering her face couldn't see her feet and last second she stepped out in front of our semi. My father and I stopped to look but no one was there. We began to drive again and not even 10 mins later antihero trucker on the CB radio came out asking if anyone else just seen a lady in white. He had the same story as us! Truly creepy this single incident is the only reason I still believe in life after death. Just typing this out brings tears in my eyes that this is truly a shared experience!

Carolyn Tenorio on September 11, 2015:

I have driven that road many, many times but have never seen a lady in white hitchhiking. Altho, I believe it is quite possible. May God grant her soul eternal rest and may perpetual light shine upon her....

Mike Sedillo on September 07, 2015:

Around 1985-1986, i used to commute between S.F. and Albuq for my job. Many real weird things happened around Bernalillo. Once, around 1:00 am, i was approaching exit 242 on i-25 going south. It was winter time, probably about 20 degrees. There on the road was a lady standing, like looking for someone to pick her up. Long white dress, like a prom or wedding dress. No jacket or wrap of any kind. I thought as i passed her, that she had to be freezing. I slowed down, looking for a place in the dirt median to make a u turn to give her a ride. Before she froze. I don't know why, but i looked at my speedometer and it read 06660. I kept going. True story.

ness on September 07, 2015:

Driven thru there countless times have not ever seen her and hope to keep it that way but have heard the story plenty of times.

Chris Ramirez on September 06, 2015:

i live right next to this strip of road! Seen her once on a way home from Albuquerque during construction on the freeway a few months back! Scared me! Ever since then i keep lighter fluid and salt in my jeep! Salt and Burn baby! Salt and Burn!!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 25, 2015:

This is interesting and intriguing. I'd love to know if the lady (or whatever is creating her appearance) really exists, and if she does, why she behaves as she does. The paranormal is so fascinating!

Mackenzie Sage Wright on March 19, 2015:

I always find these fascinating because there are so many cities that have similar stories... so you have to wonder, is everyone just lying, or is it really something going on here? If that happened to me I'd be worried that I'd just slam into a tree or something in shock.

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