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These 8 New Mexico Urban Legends Are As Scary As Hell! New Mexico

Every state, city, town, neighborhood, school, or even workplace has their share of urban legends. These are 8 urban legends of New Mexico that are super scary as all hell!

1. La Llorona

La Llorana

La Llorona

The famous legend of La Llorona (The Crying Woman), has been told and retold in many ways over the years. La Llorona is uniquely a Southwestern legend that is popular among the Latino culture. However, everyone is becoming more aware of this scary legend. Especially in recent years with the various movies that have been made.

Legend has it that the tall, thin spirit is said to be blessed with natural beauty and long flowing black hair. Wearing a white gown, she roams the rivers and creeks, wailing into the night and searching for children to drag, screaming to a watery grave.

2. Urraca Mesa

The Urraca Mesa

The Urraca Mesa – photo by iFlickr

The Urraca Mesa is located in the north part of New Mexico and has an ancient mythological and superstitious history. Indigenous tribes considered the Urraca Mesa to be the gateway to Hell! They erected various cat totems to guard the gates. The name “Urraca” is a of Anasazi origin and means “magpie.” The magpie is a black bird that the Anasazi believed to be able to call your name, and if it did, you were doomed to an evil fate. The Navajo, descendants of the Anasazi, tracked the evil they were sensing to be coming from this mesa.

3. The Chupacabra

Image by Luisa Lozano

Image by Luisa Lozano

The chupacabra (“goat sucker”) is an animal said to be unknown to science and systemically killing animals in places like Puerto Rico, Miami, Nicaragua, Chile, and Mexico. The creature’s name originated with the discovery of some dead goats in Puerto Rico with puncture wounds in their necks and their blood allegedly drained.

However, in recent years claims of chupacabra sightings have occurred. Has the creature come to the Southwest? Is it just an amalgam of various people’s imaginations?

4. Las Cruces Teratorns

Ancient Teratorn rendering

Ancient Teratorn rendering

Teratorns are extinct ancient birds that used to inhabit North and South America. They have been extinct for over 11,000 years, but were more common millions of years ago. They were giant prehistoric birds that were considered to be among the largest birds to ever fly. If you encountered this bird, you’d probably be its dinner!

In Las Cruces there have been claims of sightings of teratorns in flight. No one has every captured one though, and it is unlikely that anyone would be able to easily if they still existed anyway. But if you do encounter one, you’d better run and hide!

5. Hart Canyon Flying Saucer

Aztec, New Mexico UFO crash illustration

Aztec, New Mexico UFO crash illustration

Everyone knows about Roswell, but how many know of the Hart Canyon incident? Apparently it is said that a flying saucer crash landed in 1948 in Aztec, New Mexico. The alien bodies were said to be recovered by the military and taken away. This story was thought to be debunked in the 1970s, however, in 2013 the case was reopened by a claim from the FBI rated an incident in the same area on the same night and was dismissed by the bureau as “a second- or third-hand claim that we never investigated.”

6. Bigfoot

Sighting of the shirtless Bigfoot

Sighting of the shirtless Bigfoot

We have all heard of Bigfoot. But normally the ape-man is claimed to be seen in the Pacific Northwest. Like many legends though, it is growing and probably will continue to evolve into future stories as time goes by. One aspect of this evolution is a Bigfoot sighting in Valles Caldera, New Mexico. Is this a man without a shirt in the woods? Or is it something else?

7. Skinwalkers

A famous depiction of a skinwalker

A famous depiction of a skinwalker

Skinwalkers are ancient demonic beings that originate in tales told from the time of the Anasazi Natives. They were considered to be shape shifters that could take any form of a living creature. Often a man with glowing eyes, a snake, or a coyote; skinwalkers are a part of Navajo and Hopi tradition to this very day. Perhaps there is some truth to the legend. Maybe your friend is not really your friend, or you lover is not really your lover, maybe you’re not even here but simply a part of a dream of a skinwalker in the form of a butterfly. What is real!

8. La Mala Hora (The Bad Hour/Time)

La Mala Hora

La Mala Hora

This one is my second favorite of all the urban legends on this list. My first is the legend of the Urraca Mesa. However, this one barely comes in second because it awesome. It plays with time and space, with logic and reason, with fear and mortality. A shape shifting demon may appear as you drive after midnight on any of the many long dark roads of New Mexico. It could appear as a black blob, or a beautiful woman in white. The latter considered to be a bad omen, meaning your death is coming!

John Newell

John Newell is a professional musician as well as student, who is currently working on his PhD in Rhetoric and Composition at The University of Washington. He is also a photographer and freelance writer.

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