Join host Kari Bovee, award-winning author of historical fiction as she shares stories of strong women of history combined with mysteries of the past.
Welcome back to the continuation of Ghost Stories of New Mexico on Where History Meets Mystery. I hope you enjoyed last week’s ghost stories of La Llorona and the spirits who haunt the St. James Hotel in Cimarron.
Today I’m talking about Julia Schuster Staab, the Gentle Ghost of Santa Fe, who also haunts one of the state’s iconic historic hotels, the La Posada once called the Staab House.
Abraham Staab, a Jewish German immigrant, came to New Mexico in 1846 to establish himself as a merchant on the Santa Fe Trail. After Abraham became a wealthy businessman, he went home to Germany to find a bride. He found Julia Schuster, the daughter of a wealthy merchant from his home village of Ludge. Having come from the same small village, it is thought that perhaps Abraham knew Julia’s family before he left to find his riches in America. With great expectations he brought Julia back to his new home in the high desert city of Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1865.
Completely out of place in the village of Santa Fe with its mud houses and arid landscape, Julia had been accustomed to a more elegant lifestyle and a grand home. Eager to make his wife happy, Abraham built Julia a beautiful white mansion. The Staab House, a Victorian masterpiece with a large ballroom on the third floor, suited Julia’s excellent taste.
The couple had seven children, but at the death of their eighth, Julia changed both physically and mentally. She became sad, depressed, chronically ill and inconsolable. It is said her hair turned gray overnight. Her grief took a toll on the couple and they slowly grew apart. This did not help Julia’s situation, and some say she went insane. She spent most of her latter days locked in her bedroom until she died in 1896, under somewhat mysterious circumstances. Rumors of Abraham’s extramarital affairs and Julia’s possible murder or suicide were never proven.
Come back tomorrow to hear about sightings of the enigmatic, gentle ghost.
In the meantime, I have some exciting news to share with you! I am releasing a new novel. It’s a bit of a departure from my other works featuring the iconic Annie Oakley as a crime solver, and 1920’s Broadway ingenue, Grace Michelle, as a reluctant amateur sleuth, but it features a badass female protagonist all the same—archaeologist Ruby Delgado. In 1952, while on a dig in Northern New Mexico, Ruby finds herself entrenched in the mysteries of an ancient secret society–whose members are curiously dying. Can Ruby find the killer or will hers be the next body laid to rest? Bones of the Redeemed is scheduled for release November 3rd, but it’s available for pre-order right now on Amazon.