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

Every state, city, town, neighborhood, school, or even workplace have their share of urban legends. New Mexico has its share of haunted places. Some of the popular urban legends come from several of them. 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 as well as long flowing black hair. Wearing a white gown, she roams the rivers and creeks, wailing into the night while searching for children to drag, screaming to a watery grave.

2. Urraca Mesa

The Urraca Mesa
The Urraca Mesa – photo by flickr

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 of Anasazi origin. It means “magpie.” The magpie is a blackbird 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 as well as their blood 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. And are 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 ever 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? Something crash-landed here in 1948 in Aztec, New Mexico. The alien bodies were said to be recovered by the military and then taken away to some top-secret facility. This story was thought to be debunked in the 1970s. However, the case was reopened by a claim from the FBI in 2013. The FBI claimed that there was an incident in the same area on the same night. And that it 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 shapeshifters. And we’re able to take any form. 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 your 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, one of New Mexico's scary urban legends.
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’s still so awesome. It plays with time and space, with logic and reason, with fear and mortality. A shapeshifting 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 as a beautiful woman in white. The latter considered being a bad omen, meaning your death is coming!

John Ghost

John Ghost is a professional academic at Arizona State University working on his English (Writing, Rhetorics, and Literacies) degree. His path leads to becoming an English professor. He writes weird fiction for fun and enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. He lives in the Valley of the Sun.

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