Top Ten Most Haunted Locations in Albuquerque

Posted by in US Ghost Adventures

Albuquerque’s most haunted locations lay nestled deep within the mysterious Chichuahuan Desert. The haunted houses of Albuquerque were created out of the old brick adobes. Though most no longer stand, the ones that do tell the story of a vice-filled desert town finding its footing in a changing world. 


The spirits of Native Americans, Spaniards, and Anglos, who settled in Albuquerque over the centuries, mix here in ethereal torment, forever trapped in their final resting places.


Albuquerque’s past has left the city rife with otherworldly activity, and today, we’re sharing Albuquerque’s top ten most haunted locations.


Why is Albuquerque, New Mexico haunted?


The days of the old west were wild and tumultuous. Brothels and saloons once dotted the land, where violent means met violent ends. They have left behind a spiritual residue that attracts thousands every year. 


The spirits of property owners who refuse to move on from their precious adobes remain after generations of ownership. Their beloved homes have become the infamous haunted restaurants and hotels that dot the landscape. 


“The Land of Enchantment” lives up to its name, a place full of folklore and myths to explore. 

Learn about it all on a ghost tour with US Ghost Adventures!

1) Church Street Cafe

The Church Street Cafe is nearly as old as Albuquerque itself. This terrone adobe brick building was constructed in 1709, only three years after Spanish settlers established the city.


Similar adobe buildings sprang up around “The Duke City,” named fondly after the Duke of Albuquerque. 


Eventually, the extra “r” was lost to time, but the adobes were not. 


The Spirit of Sara Ruiz


The Ruiz family owned this particular adobe for nearly three centuries. Their lineage and subsequent property rights ended in 1991 with the passing of Rufina Ruiz in 1991. 


Maria Coleman bought the old home in 1992 and opened Church Street Cafe. 


During renovations, she quickly realized at least one member of the Ruiz family was present. 


A family friend and noted “curandero,” or spiritual healer in the community, told Marie that a woman, Sara, had been following her. Sara was Rufina’s mother and had gone through her own set of renovations after a flood ravaged their home.


Sara Ruiz lived in the house until she died in 1955 and was also a known “curandero” and leader in her family.


Apparently, Sara was upset by the renovations taking place, as spirits often are. Buckets flew across the room during the process. She yelled at Coleman, “Get him out of here!” Direct orders regarding an unwanted contractor. 


She often smashes silverware and slams doors in the restaurant. If you do not say goodnight to her before leaving for the night, she will hide your keys so you can’t leave!


Most shockingly, a collection of dolls is behind a glass case, of which only Marie Coleman has the key. They appear to watch guests walk in and rearrange themselves when no one is looking! 


Hauntings at Church Street Cafe


  • The disembodied voice of Sara Ruiz
  • Smashed silverware and slammed doors
  • Spooky dolls moving on their own

2) San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church

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San Felipe de Neri is the anchor of Old Town. And like any other old Adobe building in Old Town, there are ghost stories to go along with it. 


In 1706, the Spanish took control over what today is New Mexico. Before their arrival, this area was inhabited by the Pueblo, Navajo, and Apache tribes and had been so for thousands of years.


Deep underneath the surrounding streets of this plaza are the graves of these Native Americans, along with Spaniards and Anglo settlers. 


The original church and cemetery that once stood long ago are gone. The church we see today was built in 1793, and the old cemetery was excavated in 1869. Many graves were unmarked and left behind, however. Causing a large amount of spiritual overflow. 


 In 1994, Don Luis Plaza was constructed. Various unmarked graves were revealed in subsequent renovations. Some belonged to the Native people of the land and dated back to 500 AD! 


Strange blue orbs are often seen around San Felipe de Neri, the phantoms of these forgotten inhabitants. Paranormal investigators have made contact with many using EVP devices, and an odd feeling fills the air here late at night. 


Why is San Felipe de Neri haunted?


Blue orbs are often seen around the San Felipe de Neri. A one-hundred-and-fifty-year-old cemetery was relocated, yet many graves were left behind.

3) The Old Armijo Hacienda

The old Armijo Hacienda is another haunted relic from the early days of Spanish Albuquerque. It is now Old Town Cafe, formerly La Placita Dining Rooms, and is haunted by not one but four spirits! 


The original Armijo Hacienda was a fort used to defend the city against Native American attacks. In 1788, the Armijo family moved into the already ancient adobe building. They would occupy it until 1930, and today still have a strange connection to it. 


Ambrosio Armijo inherited the property from his father in 1830. The building was again used as a fort during the Civil War and remolded shortly after. In 1880, the current building was constructed.


This building was in shambles by 1930, and Ambrosio was long gone. He died in 1882, but luckily, it was restored and turned into La Placita Dining Rooms. They functioned until 2021, and in 2022, the Old Town Cafe opened. 


Strange Happenings at The Armijo Hacienda


Oddly enough, a direct descendant of the Armijo family works at the Old Town Cafe today. But that is not the strangest thing happening at the Old Armijo Hacienda. 


Four spirits, very possibly more, linger around the ancient adobe building. 


They startle guests in bathroom mirrors, form apparitions by the stairs, and the old cottonwood tree that runs through the center of the building into the roof. The waitstaff is often messed with by a spirit named George. He has managed to mimic the sound of the manager’s voice, which sends wait staff running at any moment. 


Most peculiar is that two of them, a young girl named “Elizabeth” and Maria Victoriana Armijo Perea, nearly always appear together. Maria, Ambrosia’s daughter from his first marriage, is believed to have died in childbirth. Elizabeth’s origins are unknown, but there is strong speculation that she is connected to the family. 


One night a security guard on patrol saw a strange woman on the staircase late at night. She was holding a baby and disappeared out of his view. Something was off about her, and he was so startled about it that the next day, he asked about any tenants. 


The manager told him there were no rooms being rented out of the building. The security guard stays clear of the Old Town Cafe even to this day. 


Hauntings of the Old Armijo Hacienda 


  • A young girl named Elizabeth
  • Maria Victoriana Armijo Perea
  • George, who enjoys messing with the waitstaff
  • A mysterious woman holding a baby

4) Old Town Plaza

Forts such as the original Armijo Hacienda were not uncommon in the days of the Old West. Albuquerque has its fair share, some even saw action in the Civil War. While the West was not a major battlefront in the American Civil War, it still held its divisions closely. 


Old Town Plaza, built in 1793, is the second oldest Plaza in Albuquerque. During the Civil War, it surprisingly hoisted the Confederate Flag high above the streets of Duke City. 


However, this Southern victory did not last long, and fallen rebel soldiers now haunt the Old Plaza. Their apparitions are seen by startled Albuquerqueians and are as common as finding New Mexico’s infamous Green Chiles around town. 

Civil War Spirits in Albuquerque 


New Mexico was just a territory when the Civil War began and joined the confederacy after the Mesilla Succession Convention of 1861. 


Union troops were sent in to liberate the area in 1862. After a relatively bloodless battle in Albuquerque, the city was wrenched out of the Confederate’s hands, who had occupied it for only a few short days.  

The sick and wounded were left behind as the rebels prepared for the final battle in New Mexico at Peralta. Legends say they were buried underneath The Old Town Plaza. 


Although this has recently been debunked, along with the removal of a Confederate monument in 2015, it does not explain the numerous ghost sightings seen around the plaza. 


Those Aren’t Re-Enactors 


Today, many have seen Confederate soldiers meandering around Albuquerque’s Old Town Plaza. Some are even on horseback, holding up traffic in the middle of the night. 


One city employee quarreled with one of these slowpokes. As he left his street sweeper to confront the man, he realized the man and his horse had disappeared! Startled, the man quickly went back to work cleaning the street.  


Another man assumed, and rightfully so, that one of these spirits was a re-enactor. The man, who was also a reenactor, chased after the stranger. The specter was gone the second he turned the street corner to say hello.

5) The High Noon Restaurant and Saloon

“Great steaks but even better spirits!” It’s hard not to be intrigued with a motto like this. 


The High Noon Restaurant and Saloon has served margaritas and authentic New Mexican fare since 1974. But a side of spiritual activity often comes complimentary with your meal. 


The building, built between 1750 and 1785 in true old-west fashion, operated as a brothel and gambling parlor. Once the home of one of the earliest Spanish families in Albuquerque, it changed hands many times throughout the decades.


 Like so many other locations around the city, a fierce past has now made it one of Albuquerque’s most famous haunted houses.


“The Dead Files,” Travel Channel’s hit paranormal television show, paid High Noon a visit in 2015 after poltergeist activity almost had left out of business. What they found was truly shocking and lined up perfectly with countless stories told by locals and employees. 


Ghosts of the Wild West


In the Santos room, one of High Noons’ various themed rooms, an illusive lady in white floats across the room, forever searching for peace. Her apparition is often accompanied by glasses sliding across the bar and the smell of fresh flowers. 


Other unnamed presences have been felt or heard in the old saloon. Employees can pick out their names being called from empty rooms while the smell of burning wood wafts out of the empty fireplace. Glasses fly across the bar top as these impatient spirits demand another drink.


One guest felt one of these phantoms staring at him. The sounds of spurs then echoed across the floorboards. He felt as if the spirit leaned in directly in front of him. His only respite came when he heard the spurs heading back in the other direction. 


Hauntings at The High Noon Restaurant and Saloon 


  • The Lady in White in the Santos Room
  • Glasses flying across the bar, phantom smells
  • Spirits of cowboys and other saloon guests

6) Covered Wagon

Saloons and brothels were about the only thing keeping most cowboys and outlaws from shooting their heads off in the days of the Wild West, although many still did. 


Albuquerque sported a bustling red-light district in the 1880s. Statehood was far off and wouldn’t occur until 1912 when the city was a hot spot of sin and violence. 


The Covered Wagon, now a popular souvenir shop, holds one of the most telling stories from Albuquerque’s sordid past.


Built in 1880 by Manual Springer, the Covered Wagon used to be known as The Mint and was a popular brothel. Old Town used to be the center of this lucrative industry, and The Mint was its headquarters. 


The business continued well into the days of prohibition, as this type of business became even more dangerous. 


Murder at The Mint


The over-saturated business of sex work can become surprisingly competitive, and things can get bloody when the stakes are high.


One evening at The Mint, two women were fighting over the wallet of a wealthy gentleman. At the end of it all woman named Scarlett Toress was stabbed to death on the stairs of the building by her imposing rival. 


Her murder was never investigated further, and her presence has been felt ever since at The Covered Wagon. She often appears fully nude to “lucky” viewers and has been known to lure unsuspecting men into her spectral bosom. 


Two young men heard the beautiful voice of Scarlett one evening. They saw her purple dress flapping quickly around a corner, followed by the smell of her sweet perfume. 


After following her through nearby alleys, they finally entered the Covered Wagon. She had unlocked the door after hours for a special favor just for them. 


The two men soon found themselves in front of an apparition of her rotting corpse, bleeding out right there on the floor! The two took off, too scared and stunned to process what had just occurred.


The voice of Scarlett Toress has also been detected over devices such as DVD players and radios. Her apparition has been seen in the back alley behind the building, always wearing a purple dress and smoking a cigarette.


So much for a cute souvenir shop.

7) The Bottger Mansion

Albuquerque slowly moved away from the days of the dangerous Wild West and into modernity at the turn of the 20th century. With statehood came a large, new population of Americans from all across the United States.


The Botteger Mansion, now a quaint Bed and Breakfast, spearheaded this change. It was, and still is, known as “The Pride of Old Town. But it could not escape the city’s tendency to collect spirits and is now haunted by many spirits, including the original owner, Charles Bottger. 


It is still the only lodging accommodation in Old Town and once sat along historic Route 66. 


The Bottger Family


The Bottger family moved from New York to Duke City in 1893. In 1900, his father, Luis Bottger, purchased what was once a massive 40-room Spanish governor’s mansion.  


In 1912, after some family disputes over who would control the property, Charles Bottger knocked down the old adobe and built his monumental mansion. 


He was wealthy by this time but still had to take out a loan to finish the project. He died on December 14th, 1914, leaving a massive debt to his wife, Miguela. 


Migeula began renting out rooms in the large house, starting the home’s career as a boarding house. One of their earliest guests was criminal Machine Gun Kelly. Later on, celebrities such as Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra joined the fray. 


The most well-known guests, however, are the spirits of the home. 


Hauntings of The Bottger Mansion 


The most famous spirit of the mansion is Charles Bottger. He can be heard at 3:45 a.m., the time of his death, nearly every night, whispering and wondering how he is going to pay for his massive home.


A woman is often heard sighing late at night while the halls are empty. Miguela stresses over the financial burden her husband left her, even in the afterlife. 


One amorous phantom enjoys sitting on the bedside of young women who visit and is believed to be a remnant from the Spanish territorial days. 


The odd sounds of children gurgling and squealing echo through the hallways at night. The Bottgers had an infant die at a very young age, its grave not too far from the house. While it has never been proven, many believe the sounds are this young child’s spirit.

8) Hotel Parq Central

Route 66 made its way through Albuquerque as the city entered modernity, cutting its way right through the center of the city. It was first commissioned in 1926 and connected the eastern US to the more remote Western states. 

Today Central Avenue is lit up by the Neon signs of the old interstate highway. I-40 has taken up the space it once held, but it brought many visitors into the city. With new visitors meant new accommodations for the once remote desert town. 


Hotel Parq Central once served as a hospital and psychiatric ward during the booming days of Route 66. It sits right off the popular entertainment district the street has now become. 


The Sante Fe Hospital was opened in 1926, the same year the route began, and was used to treat sick railroad employees. 


It changed names several times, finally becoming the Memorial Hospital in the 1980s and cementing its place in Albuquerque ghost lore. 


Spirits of Memorial Hospital


Patients of Memorial experienced various phantom encounters while receiving treatment there. The most common was a woman in the right wing of the top floor, watching people from the hallway and pulling off bedsheets in the middle of the night. 


Whatever occurred here in the 1920s continues to haunt the building today, stoking much interest from the paranormal community.


The most well-known paranormal investigation of the building happened in 2011, a year after the hotel opened. Los Muertos Spirit Seekers entered the hotel late at night, successfully communicating with these tormented spirits via the flashlight method. 


Who Haunts Hotel Parq Central?


The souls of people laid to rest here during the long years it served as a hospital. Most specifically, a woman on the top floor of the building who watches guests from the hallway.

9) Haunted Hill (Menaul Boulevard)

While Route 66 took travelers through the interior of the city, the beautiful mountains and plateaus outside of it called out to many of these desert explorers. What many of them found continues to be unexplainable to this day.


The Haunted Hill at the end of Menaul Boulevard is a prime example. 


This hill has made visitors queasy as long as Albuquerque has been a city, and the list of paranormal activities here, whether spiritual or demonic, goes on for quite a distance. 


Folks heading to the hill behind Menaul Boulevard have seen a light flickering in the distance. With many reporting rocks being thrown at them after sighting the light. Strange flashes also accompany it, and gutturally, even demonic noises have been heard alongside them.


It is believed to be the spirit of an elderly man, protecting the hills from trespassers. His origins remain unknown. Some proclaim it is a secret government facility, others cry skinwalker or something far more sinister. 


The sounds of a woman screaming and a man grunting are also heard by visitors. The dead bodies of prostitutes were found here in the 1980s, stoking much of this local legend. 


One brave man claimed he didn’t believe in the spirits. After five minutes of this, he complained that his back was burning. He had three scratch marks running down his back, inches long and fresh. 

Who haunts Haunted Hill in Albuquerque?


Stories of skinwalkers, demons, spirits, and a strange old man with a lantern are reported at Haunted Hill. Odd lights are often seen here, along with strange unexplainable, humanoid sounds.

10) La Llorona

New Mexico contains a plethora of legends and myths, earning it its name “The Land of Enchantment.” Albuquerque is filled with them, from the old brothels, to the majestic hills and even in the local waterways. 


The Arroyos, ditches, and various waterways that run through the city are known to be haunted by La Llorona


La Llorona is a myth that dates back to the days of the Aztecs and is found in nearly all parts of the Southwestern United States and Latin America. It is a spooky bedtime story for children, teaching them not to go out and play in the waters at night. 


The tale in Albuquerque, the story varying depending on the region, goes like this. There was a woman named Maria who had two children. She was out galavanting around town, looking for love in all the wrong places, and dressed up in her favorite white dress. Due to her neglect and passion, her children drowned in the dark waters. 


She took her own life in the Arroyo, right where her children were lost, out of grief and shame.


Her soul is now filled with rage and vengeance, and anyone who sees her and her flowing white dress will meet a similar demise. 


Sightings of La Lloroana


She has been spotted numerous times around Albuquerque, always near a body of water. One college student from Kansas met her one night in a friend’s mobile home by the river. Stools flipped up on the counters on their own and spun around the room. 


Her friends, well aware of the legend and their location by the river, feared it was La Llorona. But the girl decided to sleep at her friend’s house anyway, perhaps for protection. 


In the middle of the night, she was awoken by La Llorona. “Do you know where your children are?” The apparition demanded of the frightened young girl. As the girl woke up from this terrifying interaction, she saw a dark figure standing by the doorway. The next morning she asked her friends if they had been in her room; they had not. La Llorona had paid a visit, they were all lucky to leave with their lives. 


One man saw her as a young boy while walking in a small creek. They saw her out in the water late at night, but she seemed to float above it! She vanished out of sight, only to reappear again a short time later and then up over a nearby hill. 


When the family went after her, she had disappeared, and no footprints were found. The grown man still remembers this chilling experience to this day.

Albuquerque Haunted Houses

The desert city has intrigued visitors since the first Spanish conquistadors set foot in the area in 1540. The Native Americans who lived here knew the beauty and mystique of the land and its importance. As the Spaniards came and the city developed, it took on a whole new face. Violence developed, and the stain of their blood still soaks the city. 


The adobes and saloons of Albuquerque are beautiful and enchanting, much like the surrounding landscape. Upon further inspection, though, one finds a haunted history like no other! 


The spirits of The Duke City are all around you; use this as your guide to all things haunted in Albuquerque


But, if you are feeling adventurous enough, take a tour with US Ghost Adventures on your next New Mexico journey! Our experienced tour guides tell you all you read here and more! 


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