Case File: La Posada Hotel
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Date: March 24, 1983
Description: The Staab House is more than a hundred years old, its construction finished in 1884. The first formal structure of the area, the three story structure was Victorian in architecture. The former mansion is reached through the lobby of the La Posada.
History: The employees of the La Posada are quite aware the place is haunted. Sounds as well as sights have been recorded. Most activity occurs around Room 256 which belonged to Julia Staab. Security guard Chuck Barone was assisting the bellman with a group of unruly tourists one afternoon. They came to Room 256 and knocked at the door as per routine. When they did, a voice called out, "I'm in here." Since the room was supposed to be empty, the bellman checked at the front desk. The bellman returned and advised that the room was empty. Barone adds: "I then knocked. There was no reply this time. I opened the door and we went in. The room was empty. It is a second floor room and the windows were locked from the inside."
Chuck's son, John Barone, was also a security guard. As he was locking up, he checked the men's room and noticed a woman's face staring at him from the mirror. Acknowledging it, he felt a cold chill and left without checking the ladies room or turning off the light. Chuck confirms, "This is true. He met me and the security manager Dan Chappell outside on the patio minutes after. He was as white as a sheet and scared. He told us what he had seen."
Ross Weissenhoff also had an experience in the inn while he was staying there with his girlfriend, Holly Knor. He was staying in a room near Julia's when he awoke one night to see a luminescent shape at the foot of the bed. As he looked back two more times, it took the form of a woman staring at him. Although he was a skeptic before, he woke Holly and quickly checked out of the room.
Background: Abraham Stabb had the mansion built for his wife, Julia Schuster, who he brought to Santa Fe from Germany. The structure was the center of society with Julia the hostess of parties that were attended by men like President Rutherford Hayes, General Sherman and Governor Lew Wallace. According to historian Betsy Sollitt, the Staabs had seven children, but their eighth child died early and Julia went into a self-imposed exile afterward. She would not eat or sleep and when she died at fifty-two, she looked far older than her years. It was converted into an inn in 1936.
Investigations: Christopher Chacon of the Organization of Scientific Investigation and Research arrived with a team to test the La Posada for physical, psychological and electrical reasons for the hauntings. His team members included a physician, a psychologist, and an electrical engineer. They conducted psychological and physical examinations of the witnesses and checked the location for elements that might cause illusions. They checked the air, the water, the walls, and even the carpets for anything that could cause seemingly unexplained phenomena. For twelve hours, they sealed off one of the Staab's bedrooms and monitored the environment. He and his team then entered, using infrared technology and other devices that can monitor possible spiritual activity. Night vision equipment is also used to examine the room. Christopher felt the witnesses were reliable but could not discern the source of the activity that was happening.
Extra Notes: This case originally ran on the October 2, 1994 episode.
The La Posada was also featured in the book, "Adobe Angels" by Antonio Garcez.
Actor Joe Pantoliano of "The Sopranos" described having an experience here in the TV Series Celebrity Ghost Stories and revisited the location on The Haunting of.
- Julia Staab's restless spirit lives on at La Posada
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- Haunted La Posada Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico