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Haunted Cemeteries of New Mexico
Introduction to New Mexico
New Mexico became the 47th state in 1912. Spanish explorers called the area Nuevo Mexico as early as 1561. It was changed to New Mexico when the land was ceded to the United States after the Mexican American War in 1848. In 2014 the population was around two million. There are 2,016 documented cemeteries in the state’s 121,697 square miles.
Dawson Cemetery is off Barus Road in the ghost town of Dawson in Colfax County. There are almost 1,500 interments here. Many graves were unmarked, but the ones with dates are from the very early 1900s. The cemetery is practically the only thing left in Dawson, but in its heydey it was the second largest town in New Mexico.
This cemetery is very haunted and it’s no wonder. On October 22, 1913 a huge explosion rocked the entire town. Two miles away in Stag Canyon Mine No. 2 coal dust had ignited and blown up. Of the 285 men who had gone into the mine that day, only 23 made it out alive. Two rescuers also died. At the time it was next to the worst mining disaster in history. The townspeople buried the miners and each grave was marked with a simple white iron cross with the inscription “Miners Cross.”
Ten years later it happened again, this time in Stag Canyon Mine No. 1. There were only two survivors with 123 men losing their lives. More white crosses were added to the cemetery.
In 1950 the Phelps Dodge Corporation closed the mines, sold what was left of the town for scrap, and plowed the whole thing under.
Visitors to the cemetery see lights and misty apparitions coming down the hill. Locals say the lights are from the headlamps of the fallen miners.
Fairview Cemetery is located in Santa Fe at the end of Cordova Road at Cerrillos Road. There are nearly 3,000 interments going back to the mid 1800s. There are three New Mexico governors buried here.
This is supposed to be one of the most haunted cemeteries in New Mexico. There is a legend that there are either seven or eight gates leading to hell located in the United States. If the legend is to be believed, one of them is in this cemetery. One bit of “proof” is the address. The street number is 1134. If you turn it upside down it spells hEll.
Even if there is no opening to hell here it is still an extremely creepy place. Apparitions and mists are seen everywhere and the EMF (Electromagnetic Field) readings nearly break the monitor.
There is a very odd tombstone here that says simply “Here Lies Eliza Wilcox.” There is no other information known about her, but apparently she, or some other ghost, visits the grave on a regular basis.
Another grave here that gets a lot of ghostly attention is that of Julia Schuster Staab. She moved to Santa Fe from Germany when she was 16 years old and married a wealthy businessman, Abraham Staab. She became the social queen of high society in Santa Fe. She even entertained President Rutherford B. Hayes when he was in town.
She also had eight children. The last child born was named Henriette and she only lived a few weeks. After her death, Julia went into a deep depression, became a recluse and died in 1896 when she was only 52. Some people believed she was murdered by her husband because he was tired of caring for her. In either case, her grave is always very active.
Madrid Cemetery is near Madrid and Waldo Mesa on Miller Gulch Road in Santa Fe County. There are 128 interments going back to the 1890s.
But the cemetery is not the only haunted place in Madrid. All types of ghostly happenings occur in this cemetery and the surrounding area. An apparition of a cowboy escorting a Spanish lady dressed in her Sunday best have been seen walking down Main Street.
The Mine Shaft Tavern, which burned down on Christmas Day in 1944, was rebuilt in 1947 and has been open ever since. It is said to have many patrons that are actually ghosts.
Fort Stanton Cemetery
Fort Stanton Cemetery is on private land and permission must be obtained to visit here. It is also known as Civilian Cemetery, Fort Stanton Calvary Cemetery, and Old Fort Stanton Cemetery. The cemetery was in use from the 1870s until the 1920s. There are 23 interments here.
People who have been allowed to visit here have reported seeing a male ghost dressed all in white, including a white hat, standing in the southwest corner.
Angus Cemetery is located on Bonita Park Road in Alto in Lincoln County. It sits at an elevation of 7,300 feet, hence the name Alto which is the Spanish word for high. It is in the Lincoln National Forest, five miles north of Ruidoso. There are around 750 interments dating back to the late 1870s.
The ghosts here used to haunt a different cemetery. They were originally buried in the Bonito City Cemetery, but there were moved here in 1933 before that graveyard was submerged by the building of a new dam for the Southern Pacific Railroad.
In 1885 Martin Nelson murdered seven people in cold blood at the Mayberry Hotel in Bonito City. Later the same day he was killed by a posse.
According to the local legend Nelson was possessed by the devil. He checked into the Mayberry Hotel, at dinner there and then went up the stairs to this room. In the middle of the night, he got up and started his rampage. First he killed four members of the Mayberry family that ran the hotel. He then killed Peter Nelson, the saloon owner. They were not related; the last name was just a coincidence. He then went on to the kill the local doctor. Dr. R.F. Flynn, and the grocer, Herman Beck.
Martin Nelson is buried just outside the cemetery. He has a marker, but his grave is ignored by groundskeepers.
Monte Vista Cemetery
Monte Vista Cemetery is on East 1st Street in Alamogordo in Otero County. There are close to 6,000 interments here. The oldest marked grave is from 1866.
This cemetery only has one known ghost and she is the familiar “woman in white” that is common to many haunted cemeteries.
Strange mists and colored orbs are occasionally seen here.
Fort Bayard National Cemetery
Fort Bayard National Cemetery can be found at 200 Camino de Paz in Grant County north of Santa Clara. There are over 5,000 interments here. It was established in 1866 and named Fort Bayard in 1922 after Brigadier General George Dashiell Bayard who died at the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862. He is buried in Princeton Cemetery in New Jersey. The Fort Bayard National Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. The oldest marked grave belongs to U.S. Army Private Carl Johnson, who died in 1930.
The cemetery has an extra creepiness factor added to it because of the abandoned remains of Fort Bayard that surround it. There are no named ghosts here, but the cemetery is said to be full of unknown ghosts.