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These 6 Haunted Places in New Mexico Will Send Chills Down Your Spine New Mexico

New Mexico is truly the land of enchantment with its amazing natural scenery, historic wild west landmarks and its ancient Native American ruins. With all this wild and unique history, it’s no wonder that there are many haunted locations throughout the state. I have compiled a list of 6 of the most haunted places in New Mexico for any brave ghost hunter to visit.

1. El Rancho Hotel – Gallup, New Mexico

El Rancho Hotel - Photo by Tim Anderson

El Rancho Hotel – Photo by Tim Anderson

Built in 1937 by famous movie producer D.W. Griffith’s brother, R.E. Griffith. At one time it was a hot-spot for celebrities to stay at and party while on location for movies they were starring in. A few on this list included Ronald Reagan, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Kirk Douglas. Gallup provided a lot of great scenery for westerns filmed from the 1940s-1960s.

Ghostly happenings:

Many claims by hotel guests over the years include sounds of footsteps and laughter in the lobby when no one was there, doors opening and closing, objects flying around and feelings of unexplained cold spots.

2. KiMo Theatre – Albuquerque, New Mexico

KiMo Theatre - Photo by Daniel Jeffries

KiMo Theatre – Photo by Daniel Jeffries

The Pueblo-Deco KiMo Theatre was built in 1927. The  innovative Oresete Bachechi wanted a Southwestern style theatre. Customers can see movies, plays, musicals and musical performances at the theatre throughout the year. It is truly a genuine Albuquerque landmark.

Ghostly happenings:

Employees and customers have seen an apparition of a lady wearing a bonnet roaming the hallways. Though the most active haunting is believed to be by a boy named Bobby Darnall. Bobby died in the theatre when a boiler exploded. Employees claim that Bobby’s ghost is mischievous. He likes to play pranks on the crew. Often the theatre performers will leave out donuts for him so he’ll not interfere with their show.

3. Sierra Vista Hospital – Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Sierra Vista Hospital

Sierra Vista Hospital

The Sierra Vista Hospital is located in brilliantly named city of Truth or Consequences. It is old but is still an operational hospital today. And it has a dark side!

Ghostly happenings:

Nurses have claimed and continue to claim to hear babies crying when there are no babies around. Doors seem to open and close on their own without anyone close enough to be the cause. Electronics often turn off and on on their own accord. The scariest hauntings in my opinion are the sightings of ghostly apparitions of nuns who used to work there long ago. What’s scarier than a ghost of a nun?!

4. United World Colleges / Montezuma Castle – Montezuma, New Mexico

Montezuma Castle - Photo by Don Baird

Montezuma Castle – Photo by Don Baird

Montezuma Castle was built in 1886 by the A T & SF Railroad as a hotel, with natural hot springs thought to ease the suffering of people with tuberculosis, “chronic rheumatism, gout, biliary, and renal calculi.” It closed on October 31, 1903. Next it was used as a training center by Jim Flynn for his 1912 boxing match with Jack Johnson. Then it was owned by the YMCA, next a Baptist college from 1922 until 1931. Then in 1937 it was sold to the Catholic Church, when it operated as a seminary for Mexican Jesuits until 1972. It was vacant until 1981 when the castle and the surrounding 100 acres were purchased by industrialist Armand Hammer for use as a United World College campus.

Ghostly happenings:

The castle is quite old and even had a few fires. And with age and fire comes hauntings! There are claims that ghostly opera music is heard when no one is performing or playing any music. It is also believed that the ghost of a former owner of the castle roams the halls at night. Lastly, there have been sightings of a woman’s ghost appearing in the main tower at night.

5. Urraca Mesa – Colfax County

Urraca Mesa - Photo by iFl1ckr

Urraca Mesa – Photo by iFl1ckr

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.

Ghostly happenings:

Not necessarily ghostly in nature, but there are odd aspects to the Urraca Mesa that make it a haunted location. Try using a compass here. It won’t work properly. Also legend has it that the cat totems have been slowly disappearing over the ages, and once they are all gone, the gateway to Hell will be opened for demons to walk freely into our world. In need of a scary hiking trip? I dare you to visit the gateway to Hell!

6. La Posada de Santa Fe – Santa Fe, New Mexico

La Posada de Santa Fe - Photo by Bill Hammond

La Posada de Santa Fe – Photo by Bill Hammond

La Posada de Santa Fe was built on ancient native lands in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1882 by a merchant named Abraham Staab. It originally was a three-story brick mansion in the French Second Empire-style. He and his wife Julia entertained many people in their not-so humble abode. They impressed many of the Santa Fe society with their expensive European decorations. It is now a upscale resort and spa.

Ghostly happenings:

It is said that Julia Staab suffered from severe depression after one of her children died. After her long bout of depression, she passed away but apparently didn’t pass onward. Her spirit is claimed to have been spotted throughout the resort and several guests have claimed to actually have met her. Besides her ghost appearances, objects have been known to fly around on their own.


The wild west is still wild in many ways. New Mexico is a beautiful state with a lot of great history. It has something for everyone, even aspiring or professional investigators of the paranormal.

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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