Here are a few well know NM Haunted Hotels; information, stories and pictures credited to: Central New Mexico Ghost Investigations. check them out!


Haunted Hotels: The St. James

In the spring of 2010 the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, NM graciously closed its doors to guests so that my group—Central New Mexico Ghost Investigations—could do a private investigation. The present manager and a past manager both took the time to share personal experiences they had at the hotel. I was really impressed they both care a great deal about their town and the St. James.

Judy, an employee of the hotel, also spent a lot of time with our group talking to us about the hotel’s paranormal history. The information these three shared with us could easily fill a book so I will just share some of the highlights here. In another post I will share some of the experiences myself and members of my group had during our investigation of the hotel. But here is something interesting we captured.

We placed one of our DVR cameras on the second floor facing into the Poker Room. We captured this lamp moving when we were taking a break after midnight, on the hotel’s front porch, so no one was on the second floor; the security guard was downstairs in the lobby during this time as well. The window was open but there was no wind.

The word Cimarron means ‘wild and unruly” this is a very appropriate name because both the town and the hotel have a very violent history. Several resident ghosts have made themselves known over the years and even more activity comes and goes because the hotel is right next to the Santa Fe Trail. Also the hotel was used as a make shift morgue in the early days.

Many people died in the hotel or where brought into the hotel to die. One well-known ghost is T.J. Wright. He was shot in the hotel and then taken back to his room, Room 18, to die. The previous owner’s wife when she entered this room to discuss the renovation of it was knocked to her knees twice by something unseen. Her husband decided there and then the room should be left undisturbed and locked to the general public. The present manager told us he was a skeptic until he had his own experiences in Room 18—the room remains locked to this day.

Pictures of Room 18:

The hotel has an entity they call “The Imp.” Several people have caught glimpses of him; he is described as older, short, with a pockmarked face. Judy works the front desk and one day when she returned to her workspace she found that the cash drawer, which she had not opened since early morning, had been emptied. She searched the area and found all the bills stacked neatly under a book on the counter. She has also been locked out of the office area at the front desk several times.

One female guest who stayed at the hotel the year before we did our investigation got more than she bargained for. She later admitted she had verbally been disrespectful to the ghosts during her stay on the second floor of the hotel. As this guest walked down the staircase to leave, Judy heard a loud banging, like a suitcase falling down the stairs. When she went around the corner to investigate she found this female guest on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. Flustered the guest asked for help leaving the hotel—which was accomplished quickly.

She later called the hotel and explained what she had experienced. As she walked down the stairs she felt a very angry presence walking up the stairs toward her—this presence that she did not see-- hit her real hard. She then felt a much more positive presence that seemed to protect her as she fell.

The hotel’s protective spirit is Mary Lambert. She was Henry Lambert’s second wife. A past guest caught a photo of what is believed to be her profile; it is displayed on the wall above the staircase on the second floor. Henry was the original owner of the hotel. Employees and guests have felt Mary’s presence over the years—while alive she ran the hotel for many years. She announces her presence with a distinct floral scent. Our group had an experience with her—but that is for another post. Her room is just down the hall from T.J.’s.

Haunted Hotels: The Shaffer

The Shaffer Hotel in Mountainair New Mexico is reported to be haunted by it’s original owners’ Clem (Pop) Shaffer and his second wife Lena (Ma) Shaffer. Pop built the hotel in 1908 in his version of the Indian motif style. Today the hotel is a Registered National Historic site.

Paranormal activity that has been reported in the past by guests who have stayed at the hotel include: personal items being moved in their rooms, lights turning on and off, water taps turning on by themselves, and dark shadows lurking in the second floor hallways and in the first floor conference room. People have also reported feeling they were being watched.

The owner Joel told us a story of a dark presence that accosted him and his girlfriend in the hallway outside the Wedding Suite. This presence was so forceful it literally flattened his cheeks back against his face in a kind of wind tunnel or bobsled effect. He also reported to us that at least one of the entities in the hotel had followed him all the way home to Albuquerque shortly after his hallway experience.

My group had several personal experiences at the Shaffer last year when Joel was kind enough to close the entire hotel to the general public so we could investigate the property without interruption.

One of the first experiences we encountered was the distinct smell of chocolate in the handicapped room off the conference center on the first floor. This room had been empty for the winter and had no linens on the beds etc. Two of my investigators also sensed a presence in this same area at the back door of the conference center that leads out to the fire pit and park.

We also captured some interesting activity on the second floor. We caught a spirit taking his “last breath” in the Abo Suite on one of our digital recorders. It was in this room the former owner died before Joel bought the hotel. We caught several EVP’s in and around the second Cowboy Room, which is located at the front of the hotel. We also picked up a meter dropping to the floor off an end table on one of our DVR cameras in this room when no one had been in it for over an hour.

We experienced high EMF’s (electromagnetic field) readings on our Kll’s and Mels in the two guest rooms directly above the kitchen storage room; there were no high power sources in these areas. These two rooms connect to the hall that we captured an interesting black bat like shape on the ceiling with another of our DVR cameras. You can view this video on our web site: 

Pop Shaffer and his son created the concrete fence and gate that runs along the side of the hotel. This structure alone creeps me out.

Protective Spirits

Whether they are referred to as a protective spirits or guardian angels many people believe that there is something out there that watches over us and protects us. Whether there is a religious connotation placed upon this belief or not, I find that most people I have discussed this with have at least entertained the notion that protective spirits do help us.

My group has helped two clients recently that have protective spirits in residence. The first owns a shop that has several protective spirits in residence that protect her and her store. When she or her daughter smell cigar smoke and then a floral scent they know they are being warned of some danger connected to the store or themselves. The store was a warehouse from the early 1900’s and is over two stories high. The daughter was standing on a scaffolding at the front of the store painting the exterior wall. She smelled these two scents so she climbed down and then a strong wind blew the scaffolding down.

The St. James Hotel in Cimarron, NM was the site of many gunfights at the turn of the century. One man who was shot and killed in the hotel was T.J. Wright. The hotel keeps the room where he stayed and died locked to the general public because of the negative energy it pulsates. But the St. James also has a protective spirit, “Mary Lambert” the second wife of the man who built the hotel. While investigating the second floor near T. J. Wrights’ room each of my investigators and myself individually smelled gunpowder and then Mary’s floral scent sweeping down the hall to protect us from T. J.

Pictures of both of these places are posted on my groups’ website at:

The majority of spirits I have encountered over the years have fit into this category. Some have been indifferent, some playful, but most have been positive in nature. I feel the reason for this is I actively seek out the positive. I do not court or waste my time with negative energy. Therefore most often than not negative energy leaves me alone.

Not overly religious myself, I rarely refer to negative energy as “demonic” or “evil.” This does not mean I do no believe that this form of energy or spirit exists.

Happy Ghost Hunting!