Ghosts and Folklore of New Mexico: The Lady of Highway 313
The Wandering Spirit
If you travel just north of Albuquerque, New Mexico there is a fairly quiet stretch of highway that is said to be host to a hitch hiking woman. The road runs from Albuquerque's North Valley, through the Sandia Reservation, into the town of Bernalillo and continues up north. Growing up just west of this area I had never heard of the sightings until I was an adult. It turns out that many residents of Bernalillo have encountered the spirit while driving the quiet road at night.
Driving this road during the day you can see scattered cars, trucks and the occasional bicyclist. To the east is a beautiful view of the Sandia Mountains and all around are fields of grazing livestock, huge cottonwood trees and ornate little buildings. In daylight it is a relaxing picturesque drive, as the sun goes down the darkness can give a sense of uneasiness and possibly play tricks with your eyes.
I have spoken to several people over the years who claim to have seen the spirit of the young woman in the long white dress or gown who walks this road at night into the early morning hours. The witnesses I have talked to over the years did not know one another but what they did have in common was driving down this back road at night and encountering her.
The first time I had ever heard the story was from a friend I meet in collage. She grew up in a small town in the area and had known many who had claimed to have had a run in with the spirit . Someone she know had been driving northbound with her husband on HWY 313 at about 8 pm. Up ahead they notice a woman walking alone on the side of the road. She seems to be wearing all white and looks totally solid. The lady had long black hair flowing down her back and appeared to extend her arm an put her thumb out. They had no intention of slowing down to see if she needed help or stopping to offer her a ride and as they sped past she threw herself in front of their truck. The witnesses claimed to have felt the truck hit her and this caused them to stop and get out. They looked under, in front of and all around but found not sign of anyone. The informed the police but no sign of any accident was found other than their tires skid marks.
Another story I heard was from a lady who drove that road early every morning on her way to work. Depending on the time of the year it could be still dark as she made her way to work. This particular morning she was driving and noticed someone walking ahead. As she got closer she slowed down and noticed it was a woman with long dark hair and felt comfortable offering her a ride. The hitch hiker accepted and got into the back seat. The driver asked where she was headed to and when there was no response, she looked in her rearview mirror to find the seat empty. The thing that bothered her the most was that she heard the woman enter the car and close the door. The door never reopened to let her out.
The other accounts I have been told are similar in that if the driver stops and offers her a ride, she will get in and disappear shortly after. If the driver does not stop to offer her a ride she jumps in front of their vehicle. The one commonality is that the driver has no sense of fear and the woman looks as solid as any living human being.
During my research of this road I found information about deaths that have occurred on the Highway. These deaths have occurred as recent as this month but only go back to the 1990s. The sightings go farther back than that. I have driven this road many times at night both alone and with a passenger, hoping to catch a glimpse of her but I have not seen her yet. Most areas have a story of a hitch hiking ghost, this is one of New Mexico's.
Have you had an encounter with this spirit?
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