Santa Fe: Oldest Capital in the U.S Overrun with Ghosts?

Are Ghosts Real, or Just a Myth?

By SAVANNAH JUNES

The city of Santa Fe was erected in the year 1610, making it the oldest capital in the U.S, but could that also make it the most haunted? Antonio R. Garcez, author of New Mexico Ghost Stories, seems to think so. There are many haunted places in Santa Fe alone, but is it truly a paranormal phenomenon, or just make believe?

The most famous haunted places in Santa Fe reside in the same area: historic downtown Santa Fe. Places like hotels: La Fonda, La Posada Inn, The Drury, Grant Corner inn, the Inn at Loretto, and the Santa Fe River. Then there are lesser known haunts, such as the Palace of the Governors, and the house on Apodaca Hill, but some haunts are just stories like Doña Leticia, and el molcajete.

The most famous of these haunts is that of what is now called the Drury Plaza Hotel. Prior to 1983, the building was the old St. Vincent’s Hospital, but it became better known as La Residencia. Many employees believed the hospital to be haunted.

A Twisted “Rite of Passage”

According to an ex-employee’s accounts, the basement of La Residencia was hell. She claims that the museum offices next door housed old Indian artifacts in a hallway in that basement.

“It would not surprise me if there were skeletal remains down there in cardboard boxes,” she told Garcez in an interview for his book. She recalls how employees would send newcomers into the basement alone as a “rite of passage,” and once she went with them. When the person they were sending down had not come back, she went back to investigate. She claims she saw shadows and once she found the woman, her flashlight shone on blood oozing from the walls. The blood seems to a recurring event as others have claimed to have seen it.

The other story that La Residencia is famous for, is the story of Room 311. One nurse recounts how one night she heard continual crying coming from the room. She checked the room several times before reporting it to a superior. The other woman told her, “Honey, everyone who has ever worked that third floor has heard that same crying sound.” The nurse then said that she listened carefully and realized it sounded more like a child gasping for breath.

“In the pediatric unit, I would at times cradle and rock babies who had been given a terminal prognosis, so I can never erase from my memory the sounds of a baby’s last few breaths of life, that sad drawn-out, labored cry. There was no doubt in my mind the cries I was hearing were the gasps of a dying baby,” SHE told Garcez.

Room 311

She also stated that a few days later she brought it up at lunch with her colleagues, and one of them told a tragic story.

“It was Christmas Eve, and we received an emergency radio call from the state police informing us of a fatal accident on I-25. A father and son were in a two-car collision; the father had been killed instantly, but the little boy had sustained internal injuries. He was still alive, in critical condition. I can still recall the child’s little body gasping for breath, and his long intermittent cries of pain,” she said.

When asked which room he was admitted to, the answer was Room 311.

Is this a coincidence, or did the spirit of the boy get trapped in the room where he took his last breaths? There are no real pieces of evidence to confirm or deny the existence of earth-bound spirits. The answer is up to you.

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