Tom Lohr lives in New Mexico, where he explores the region with his canine sidekick, Ella the Brown Wonder.
Dead Doesn't Always Mean Gone
Most people think of haunted cities being east of the Mississippi. Make sense; east coast cities have been around longer, more populated and therefore have had more time to experience events that leaves spirits restless. But that doesn't mean the west doesn't have its share of goons, goblins and ghosts. While the east was busy building skyscrapers, the west was still widely lawless and justice was swift and deadly. An argument might end with litigation in New York City, but in places like Tuscon, Denver and Santa Fe, it was just as likely to end in a shootout.
Santa Fe was around a long time before it became a tourist destination and the state's capital. Cattle drives ended there as well as being a source of goods for those that were strewn across northern New Mexico. As the hub of activity in a wide swath of the southwest, dastardly and nefarious acts were bound to occur, as well as accidents that sent souls on their after-life journey before they were ready to go. Add the outlawry and austere life of the wild, wild west, along with the the area being a destination for rift-raft with a penchant for the heinous and you have the perfect mixture for modern-day paranormal activity.
The next time you land in the City Different, wait until dusk or dark and set out to explore sites of the eerie side of Santa Fe...if you dare. Start at the Plaza (A),
B. Drury Plaza Hotel 828 Paseo de Peralta
Don't let the sparkling upscale digs deceive you. Before it was one of Santa Fe's nicer hotels, it operated as a hospital run by The Sisters of Charity. The hospital closed down in 1977 and was a slew of other businesses before becoming what it is today. When it operated as a hospital, a boy was brought in that had been in a car wreck with his father. His dad died, and after a brief time in Room 311, so did the small boy. Nurses reported hearing faint crying from the room often after the child's passing. It was so prevalent, they tried to keep the room unoccupied.
Apparently, strange things have happened in the basement as well. The odd noises emanating from the basement led to many employees refusing to enter. A couple of nurses have also witnessed blood oozing from the walls in the basement. The remodel didn't help. Even as an upscale hotel, that same room is seldom rented. It seems room 311 can't let go. A couple who stayed in it after it became the Drury were streaming a movie, and the stream was interrupted several times by a YouTube video of limbs being amputated. Neither of them had the YouTube app open.
C. Convergence Gallery 634 Canyon Rd
If you are visiting Santa Fe, you are going to end up on Canyon Road to take in the fantastic art galleries. But there is one that you should be out of by dark. No one really knows who or what, but there are soft voices heard from seemingly nowhere, although oddly enough only during the winter months. There is also and general feeling of uneasiness in the building. If you visit, the vibe you get may not be coming from the art.
D. Inn and Spa at Loretto 211 Old Santa Fe Trail
Speaking of swanky, it don't get no swankier than the Inn and Spa at Loretto. From 1953 to 1968, this behemoth of beauty was a Catholic Girl's School run by The Order of the Sisters of Loretto. One of the teachers, and esteemed Sister of Loretto was Sister George. Apparently, Sister George couldn't let go after she was supposed to leave this world. She is responsible for occasional light flicking on and off, and a feat of herculean holy heaving lifting by levitating a clothing rack. If she can do that as a spirit, I hate to think about what she could do with a ruler while living.
E. San Miguel Chapel 401 Old Santa Fe Trail
When a church is built in 1610 by slave labor, it just has to be haunted. As the oldest church in the United States, the San Miguel Chapel does not disappoint. During the mid 19th century, a blind man prayed so hard he caused the church bell to ring. The ringing temporarily restored his eyesight. The miracle was short-lived and he became blind again as soon as the ringing stopped. While miracles are not evil, they can be damn spooky.
But there is still a ghost to be found in the chapel. The current gift shop was once living quarters. In 1940 a young boy died from unknown circumstances. He makes his presence known on occasion.
F. La Fonda on the Plaza 100 E San Francisco St
Sometimes you can't just have one. The La Fonda is the place to stay in Santa Fe, and it is so swanky that some guests never want to leave...or ever do. One such resident is John Slough. He got into an argument in the lobby and was shot to death in 1867. He has been hanging around ever since. There is also a bride who has taken up permanent residence in room 510. She was killed on her wedding night by an ex-lover. She probably hasn't crossed over because she is still pissed about not being able to take that honeymoon.
Then there is the distraught businessman seen on occasion in the restaurant. Seems he gambled away all of his business earnings. He became so despondent he jumped in the La Fonda's well. The site of the well is now the hotel restaurant. Champagne isn't the only thing chilling in that room.
G. Alto Street
One block separated from, but following along what is locally called the Santa Fe River, but is actually a creek, is Alto Street. Start at the end of it where it meets De Fouri St and walk a few block west. Every town needs a headless horseman, and Santa Fe is no exception; if you are going to meet one, this is where it will be. Unlucky in love, a local cowboy obtained a love potion from a pair of Spanish witches. When it didn't work, he took it back to complain. He should have read the return policy. In return for his insults, the witches took his head. He now rides up and down Alto Street, brandishing a sword. So get your Ichabod Crane on and see if you can sight him sitting high in the saddle.
Take a Walk on the Creepy Side
Santa Fe is one of the most haunted cities in the United States. There a many other haunted and unholy places to visit, but this tour covers the bulk of them if you are on foot and starting from the Plaza. If you find yourself unoccupied and short on cash while in Santa Fe, this tour costs nothing and will give you a taste of the historic ghastly goings on of the area. It's best to do this tour when its dark to get the full effect. But don't go alone; ghosts like company and you might be their perfect companion.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 21, 2021:
Santa Fe sounds like a terrific place to visit. You really gave us a wealth of information about what to expect when visiting this city. I have never been there, but it sure sounds like a good place to visit.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 21, 2021:
Thanks for showcasing the various places that are seemingly haunted in Santa Fe. It is a lovely place, and while visiting there, we have never experienced any unwelcomed spirits. Thank goodness!
EK Jadoon from Abbottabad Pakistan on June 20, 2021:
I believe in supernatural beings and they have assured me of their presence. Santa Fe seems to be a scary place. I would never try to go there because I'm a little timid. Is it true about Jhon Slough? And what about the bride from room no 510? Have anyone seen this bride? How spooky is this.
Thanks for sharing with us.
Stay safe and healthy...