Ghost towns could have two different meanings. The first one refers to a town whose population is at an all-time low like areas have only citizen numbers in the hundreds. Ghost towns could also mean a town or city that is famous for having supernatural phenomena. These kinds of towns are popular for tourists who are looking for sites that could offer scary thrills like haunted tours and ghost hunts. The small village of Madrid in New Mexico has both – a small population of 400 residents and several haunted places to explore.
The Eventful History of Madrid, New Mexico
For a millennium and a half, the area that is now known as Madrid, New Mexico has long been the residence of Native Americans. They used the surrounding hilly areas to mine for turquoise and lead. When the Spaniards came to America, they utilized the natives they conquered to mine for silver. Some of the Spaniards settled and founded ranches and farms. However, it was not until the finding of coal deposits in 1835 that the population started to grow. More workers and prospectors came to the place that became modern-day Madrid as gold deposits were also found in the nearby San Pedro mountains. Madrid was officially made into a town in 1869. When the Sante Fe Railroad was connected to Madrid in the 1880s, coal mining became a large-scale industry for the town. This paved the way for the town to be advance and become more commercialized that electric companies, stores, hospitals, and schools were finally established.
The height of the coal industry reached its peak in the 1920s. Although, in the 1970s, when coal began to be replaced by natural gas as the primary source of heating, the economy of Madrid collapsed, and citizens began moving away. There was a time when the whole time was even listed for sale in the Wall Street Journal for $250,000. Through the efforts of Joe Huber, a man determined to revive the town, Madrid is now a picturesque destination along the famous Turquoise Trail Scenic Byway.
Haunting Excitement in Madrid
Madrid is well-known for its annual lighting displays during the Christmas season. It is also a haven for tourists with its many cafes and bed-and-breakfast inns. Other attractions that the town offers include as well the old Catholic Church, the Miner’s Amusement Hall, and the Coal Mining Museum. Topping all of these must-see places are the spooky haunts that could be found all over the town. For guests and visitors looking for ghost haunts, there have been many reported sightings in old homes, the cemetery, the old church, and the town’s Mine Shaft Tavern. A famous sighting is that of the ghosts of Main Street – a silent cowboy escorting a fashionable Spanish woman. Tales of the legendary La Llorona or the Weeping Woman is numbered among the spirits of the town. Even if many stipulate that this ghost is nothing more than a myth, the locals of New Mexico still believe that the ghost of a tall, thin, and beautiful woman wanders their Southwestern towns.
Among all the rumored haunted places in the small village of Madrid, the most notorious is the Mine Shaft Tavern. The original tavern was burned down in 1944 but was rebuilt and remodeled through the years. It is known to have the longest bar in all of New Mexico. Creepy and unexplained phenomena, like a ghost in the mirror, breaking glass, unexplained sounds, and moving furniture, can be experienced there.