Category Archives: BLOGGING

Bessie Coleman – High Flying Aviatrix

A woman who made her high flying dreams come true, Bessie Coleman was the first woman of African American descent and the first woman of Native American descent to obtain her pilot’s license, and the first black person of either sex to earn an international pilot’s license

Born in Atlanta, Texas in 1892, Bessie was one of thirteen children—and one of nine who survived. Her father was Cherokee Indian and her mother African American. The family made their living sharecropping in Waxahachie, Texas.

At 22 years old, Bessie moved to Chicago where she worked in a barber shop as a manicurist. Many of the shop’s clientele were pilots who had returned from World War I with stories to tell of their delights and terrors in the sky. It was then, Bessie decided she wanted to become a pilot—but flight schools did not accept women or African Americans at the time.

Robert S. Abbot, an African American lawyer and newspaperman published an ad highlighting Bessie’s dreams of aviation, and through that, she received a sponsorship from Jesse Binga, founder of the first privately owned African American bank in Chicago. After taking French lessons, Bessie took her dreams to Paris where she learned to fly a Nieuport 564 biplane.

In 1921, Bessie made history by obtaining her pilot’s license from the Fédération Aéronautique International. Emboldened by her achievement, Bessie was determined to excel at her passion and spent the next year honing her skills, and then came back to the US to launch her career in exhibition flying.

She made her first appearance at an airshow in New York in 1922. Christened “Queen Bess,” Bessie became a popular draw for the next five years and was known for her difficult and sometimes dangerous stunts. In 1923 at an airshow in Los Angeles, she crashed her plane and broke three ribs and her leg.

Determined to use her success to help combat racism, Bessie spoke to audiences across the nation about the pursuit of aviation for African Americans. She is quoted as saying, “The air is the only place free from prejudices. I knew we had no aviators, neither men nor women, and I knew the Race needed to be represented along this most important line, so I thought it my duty to risk my life to learn aviation…”

And risk her life, she did.

In 1926 during a practice flight with her mechanic, William D. Wills, Bessie’s plane took a sudden and unexpected dive. Not wearing her seat belt, Bessie was thrown from the cockpit at a staggering 2,000 feet and died on impact. Unable to gain control of the plane, Wills perished in a burst of flames as the plane hit the ground.

Bessie’s life was cut short at age 34, but her story serves to inspire all of us, still today.

 

Elizabeth I and the Death of Amy Dudley

For over 400 years, historians have been trying to discern the mysterious death of Amy Robsart and whether her husband, Robert Dudley,  and perhaps Elizabeth I, had anything to do with it.

Rainbow Portrait of Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I – The Rainbow Portrait (Wikipedia)

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and Queen Elizabeth I played together as children, but their relationship may have deepened while both imprisoned in the Tower of London by Mary Tudor. While Mary executed Dudley’s father, the Duke of Northumberland, and his brother, Guilford Dudley, for the family’s plot to set Lady Jane Grey on the throne in early 1553, she pardoned Robert in October 1554. Elizabeth, accused of plotting against Queen Mary, her half-sister, in February 1554 with the Wyatt Rebellion, also miraculously escaped Mary’s wrath. In May, Mary sent Elizabeth to Woodstock, where she remained under house arrest for another year. Yet, for four months of their captivity in the Tower, Elizabeth and Dudley had plenty of time to enjoy each other’s company, despite periodic visits from Dudley’s wife of 4 years, Amy Robsart.

When Mary Tudor died in late 1558, Elizabeth acceded to the throne of England. The next morning, she appointed Dudley her Master of Horse. The position suited Dudley, an expert horseman and breeder of fine horses, and put him in proximity to the new Queen. The position required daily, if not hourly, time in the Queen’s presence. This appointment resulted in Dudley spending months away from his wife, Amy, who lived with friends in different parts of the country, far from court. Elizabeth rarely let Dudley leave her side.

Rumors abounded of an affair between the Queen and Dudley, and Elizabeth often brazenly showed her affection for him. Meanwhile, England needed an heir and Elizabeth’s chief advisor William Cecil pressured her to marry. Several foreign suiters vied for her hand during this time, and while she considered some, she ended up refusing them all.

painting of amy robsart
Amy Robsart – Countess of Leicester (Wikipedia)

In mid-1559, Dudley went to Throcking, Hertfordshire for a short time to visit Amy, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Talk at court stated that Elizabeth and Dudley planned to wait until Amy died, and would then proceed with marriage, making Dudley King Consort. Amy had heard the rumors, and knew of her husband’s ambition, which must have added to her stress.

Later that same year, Amy traveled to London to visit her husband for one month, but after that never went back to court, or saw her husband again. During her time at court, it is said she ate sparingly, and according to some accounts, “was careful of her food.” Could she have suspected Elizabeth, jealous of anyone’s time with Dudley, of trying to poison her? Or could Dudley be so in love with Elizabeth, or in love with the power he’d gain by marrying the Queen, that he would want Amy dead?

By December 1559, Amy moved to Cumnor Palace, rented by a family member, Sir Anthony Forster. Amy occupied the upper story of the palace and supported a large household with the proceeds from her family’s estate. She soothed her worries and loneliness by ordering dresses and finery.

In September 1560, on the day of the fair at Abingdon, Amy encouraged her servants, Sir Anthony, and his wife to attend the fair. One friend, Mrs. Odingsells, refused to leave the ailing Amy, but later retired to her rooms. When the others returned from the fair, they found Amy at the foot of the stairs with a broken neck.

A messenger from Cumnor dispatched the news to Windsor Castle, where Dudley was in residence with the Queen. Dudley called for an immediate inquest. The coroner and a jury of 15 local gentleman called the death an accident. Relieved, but wanting to be sure they would place no guilt on him, Dudley called for another investigation. The coroner again assured him the fall down the stairs caused two head injuries and the breaking of Amy’s bones, which had become brittle because of her illness. No evidence of wrong-doing on Dudley’s part was found.

Robert Dudley Earl of Leiscester
Robert Dudley – Earl of Leiscester (Wikipedia)

The mysterious circumstances of Amy’s death haunted Dudley for the rest of his life. Because of the scandal created by Elizabeth and Dudley’s relationship, and his wife’s untimely demise, it didn’t prove wise for the two to marry. Robert remained close to the Queen. During the next several years, princes and noblemen from all over Europe continued to vie for the hand of England’s Queen. She refused all marriage proposals. Dudley disappointed and angered Elizabeth when he wed Lettice Knollys in 1578. Still, once the anger wore off, Dudley remained among Elizabeth’s closest circles until his death in 1588. At Dudley’s death, Elizabeth went into deep mourning and did not leave her rooms for three days.

History leads us to believe that Robert Dudley could well have been the love of Elizabeth I’s life. Her refusal to marry and share her crown with anyone else proved she had a staunch will, confidence in herself and her rule, and no desire to share the emotional intimacies of marriage.

Did Dudley, or even Elizabeth, impetuously plot to remove Amy from their lives without thinking of the consequences? Had Amy died of natural causes, would it alter history? Would Dudley have shared Elizabeth’s crown, her rule, and her life? Did Elizabeth use her crown and her power to alter the evidence or the outcome in the case? It’s hard to say. Speculation has endured for centuries, but one thing is clear, only she and Dudley knew what truly happened.

Repost from June 25, 2017

 

 

 

Cleopatra – Fashion Icon, Military Leader, Murderer

National geographic.com

Repost:

Fashion icon, military leader, murderer. Few women can lay claim to all three titles, but Cleopatra was no ordinary woman. Born in 30 B.C.E., Cleopatra, who ruled Egypt for 21 of her 39 years, was a woman of great beauty and style. She was also a fierce leader who craved power and control. Among many other bold actions to maintain that power and control, Cleopatra optimized her social status, femininity and charm,  personally led a fleet of ships into battle and helped to organize war efforts, and took part in the death of three of her rival siblings.

Having no Egyptian blood running through her veins, Cleopatra VII Theos Philopator, was born into the Greek Ptolemaic family who ruled Egypt from the time of Alexander the Great’s death in 323 B.C.E.

The second daughter of Ptolemy and possibly Cleopatra V Tryphaena or Cleopatra VI Trypaena, (either woman could have been Ptolemy’s sister or cousin, it is not known for sure), the young Cleopatra showed much promise as an intellect and future leader. She studied science, literature, philosophy, and became fluent in 9 languages, including Egyptian, which the rest of her family refused to speak.

While Cleopatra had the makings of a great and cherished leader, her father did not. Having allowed centralized power and corruption to flourish, Ptolemy lost control of his dynasty and fled to Rome with the young Cleopatra in tow. Cleopatra VI Tryphaena took control of Egypt, but died soon after, some say from poison administered by Cleopatra’s older sister Berenice IV, who then assumed the crown. With Roman support, Ptolemy and young Cleopatra returned to Egypt in 55 B.C.E. and Ptolemy had Berenice imprisoned and later executed.

Soon after their return, Ptolemy died and wrote in his will that Cleopatra and her 10-year-old brother, Ptolemy XIII, would share the crown. The two married, as was common in Egyptian royal culture, and ruled together. Not wanting to share the regency with a boy 8 years her junior, and desirous of complete control, Cleopatra took the reins. She had Ptolemy’s name eradicated from official documents and had her face alone printed on Egyptian currency.

The Gabiniani, powerful roman troops and named the guardians of the young Ptolemy, opposed Cleopatra’s willfulness and lust for power and ran her out of Egypt. She fled to Syria with her only remaining sister, Arsinoe.

Biography.com

While in exile, Cleopatra’s young brother made his own mistakes, the most grievous by far, angering the most powerful man in Rome, Julius Caesar, by ordering the execution of Pompey, a military and political leader of the Roman Republic. While Pompey was Caesar’s political enemy, he was also his son-in-law, husband to Caesar’s only legitimate daughter who had died in childbirth. Furious, Caesar seized the Egyptian capital and made himself arbiter between the rival claims of Ptolemy and Cleopatra.

Using Ptolemy’s fatal mistake to her advantage, Cleopatra set out to gain favor with Caesar. She had herself smuggled into Caesar’s palace rolled up in a carpet, dressed in her royal finery. Enchanted with her brashness, beauty, and brains, Caesar fell in love that night. An affair developed and nine months after that fated meeting, Cleopatra had a son whom she named Caesarion Ptolemy.

Soon after the love affair started, Cleopatra’s brother, Ptolemy XIII, drowned in the Nile, some say at Caesar’s hand with the encouragement of his beautiful mistress. Caesar then named Cleopatra’s youngest brother, Ptolemy XIV, Pharaoh of Egypt, and Cleopatra as co-ruler, and the siblings married. Caesar then set sail for Rome.

Four years later, Cleopatra took her young son with her to Rome where she and Caesar rekindled their relationship, much to the grievance of the Roman people. Their loyalty lay with Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia, and they were outraged at Caesar’s blatant flaunting of his relationship with the Egyptian temptress. He even went so far as to house Cleopatra in one of his country villas just outside Rome, and also had a golden statue of her, portrayed as Isis, erected in the temple of Venus Genetrix.

After the assissination of Caesar  in 44 B.C.E., Cleopatra returned to Egypt to claim her title as Pharaoh. After her return, young Ptolemy XIV died, many say poisoned by his older sister. Cleopatra was known to concoct poisons and perfumes as a hobby. After her brother/husband’s funeral, she named her son as co-regent.

Wikipedia

At the height of her power and beauty, Cleopatra’s popularity with the Egyptians was paramount for several reasons. Like all fashion icons she wore exotic hairstyles, jewelry, and clothing; she was the first of her family to speak her countryman’s language, Egyptian; and she believed herself to be the embodiment of the reincarnated Egyptian goddess, Isis. Because of her engaging personality and style, Egyptian women made themselves up and dressed like her. According to the historian Joann Fletcher, “so many Roman women adopted the ‘Cleopatra look’ that their statuary has often been mistaken for Cleopatra herself.”

Rich, powerful, intelligent, and beautiful, Cleopatra was in her prime when Mark Antony, a triumvir who ruled Rome after the death of Caesar, summoned her to Tarsus to incur her support of his planned war against the Parthians. In her typical diva fashion, Cleopatra made an entrance designed to impress. For the voyage she designed a golden barge adorned with purple sails and silver oars. Dressed as Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, Cleopatra set sail for Tarsus determined to win over the Roman trimivir, who also considered himself the embodiment of a god; the god Dionysus.

Encyclopedia-Britannica.com

As she had hoped, Mark Antony fell for her, and Cleopatra had yet another powerful Roman leader hopelessly devoted to her. So devoted that at her urgent suggestion, Mark Antony ordered the execution of Arsinoe, Cleopatra’s younger sister, whom as the last sibling left, Cleopatra feared would attempt to take the throne. The murder took place on the steps of the sacred Temple of Artemis, a scandalous act against the temple sanctuary and thus, the Roman people. Already not in favor with Rome because of her relationship with Julius Caesar, Cleopatra further scandalized the city when she convinced Mark Antony to marry her in an Egyptian ceremony while still married to Octavia Minor, sister to his fellow triumvir, Octavian.

With the relationship between Octavian and Mark Antony on the brink of disaster even before Cleopatra, tensions continued to rise and in 33 B.C.E. Octavian waged war against Egypt and in doing so, Cleopatra. Two years later, the conflict climaxed with the battle of Actium. Cleopatra led the charge, alongside Antony’s fleet, with dozens of Egyptian warships, but the lovers’ forces were no match to Octavian’s army. Cleopatra and Mark Antony fled back to Egypt.

Their respite was not to last, and in 30 B.C.E. Octavian invaded Egypt. There are several stories surrounding the death of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, but the most popular is when Octavian invaded, Mark Antony believed he had captured and killed Cleopatra, so attempted to take his own life by falling on his sword. When his friends learned that Cleopatra was hiding out in her mausoleum, the rushed Antony, still alive, to her where he died in her arms.

Wikipedia

With Octavian’s rise in Roman power, Cleopatra feared she would meet a public death much as her sister Arsinoe did, so committed suicide in her mausoleum with two of her women attendants as witnesses. The most recounted story is that she had a venomous snake, the Egyptian asp, smuggled into her sanctuary and enticed it to bite her arm. Other stories claim she used an ointment, or drank wine laced with poison of her own making.

Like many of history’s empowered women, Cleopatra lived her life on the edge making bold, sometimes unpopular but always provoking decisions, taking monumental risks and enforcing change. She lived her life at top speed, she rarely looked back, and she never settled for defeat.

 

Sonora and her Flying Horse

For nineteen years, Sonora Webster Carver made her living on the back of a flying horse.

Photo of Sonora Webster Carver and her horse
pressofatlanticcity.com

 

Clad in a trim bathing suit, Sonora climbed a forty-foot wooden tower and when a galloping horse charged up the adjoining ramp, she jumped on its back and the two would sail through the air, eventually landing in a tank filled with twelve feet of water.

The notion of diving horses was developed by Doc Carver, a sharpshooter who toured in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. After he left the Wild West Show, Doc took his own circus show on the road, featuring the captivating horse divers.

Sonora was born in 1904 to a working-class family in Waycross Georgia, and at nineteen years old, she was looking for some adventure and a way out of a life of what she called “genteel poverty.”

After seeing an ad placed by Doc Carver calling for “a girl who could swim and dive, and was willing to travel,” Sonora felt she’d found her ticket. Her sister Arnette followed in Sonora’s footsteps and at fifteen also joined the show.

Both Sonora and Arnette loved the thrill of sailing in the air on horseback. The girls reveled in their jobs and in their fame, and for Sonora, the adventure also led to love and marriage. Doc Carver’s son Albert, who took over the show after Doc’s death in 1927, was smitten with the feisty horse diver and he and Sonora married in 1928. Sonora and her horse diving into the water

Although horse diving by nature is a dangerous occupation, Arnette, in an interview, said the secret to avoid injury was to “keep your head tucked down to one side, so that when the horse raised his head as he jumped up at the bottom of the pool, you wouldn’t get smacked in the face.”

Unfortunately for Sonora, she couldn’t avoid injury all together. In 1931 while diving her horse Red Lips off Steel Pier in Atlanta, Georgia, Sonora hit the water off balance with her eyes open. Both retinas detached resulting in blindness. But the loss of sight didn’t deter the amazing young woman. She continued for eleven more years and went on to become the most famous horse diver in history.

Horse diving continued until 1978 when the SPCA grew concerned over the safety and well-being of the horses. According to Arnette, Doc’s horses were always treated well, and no horse was ever injured while on his watch.

The Gentle Ghost of Santa Fe NM - Julia Staab - La Posada

Flash Briefing – New Mexico Ghost Stories: La Posada Part II

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.

>> Listen to Flash briefing HERE. <<

Welcome back to the continuation of Ghost Stories of New Mexico on Where History Meets Mystery. Today we continue with of the story 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.

 

A guest staying at the hotel decided to see for himself if the ghost of Julia Staab really existed. When he and his wife decided to visit the hotel, they requested to stay in Julia’s room. Hearing that Julia’s ghost was very particular about things in her room, when they retired to bed that night, he purposely left the top dresser drawer opened. Later that night, he and his wife were awakened by the sound of the drawer being slowly closed.

 

I became fascinated with the story of the La Posada Hotel after our daughter decided she wanted to be married there. She, her fiancé and I took the hour long drive to Santa Fe to stay the night in the hotel and speak to the event planner who worked there. As luck would have it, the engaged couple was put up in one of the casitas, and I was assigned to a room on the second floor of the mansion—the room right next door to Julia’s. I had heard some stories that the hotel was haunted, but at the time, I didn’t know Julia’s story, or that hers was the room next door. Which is probably a good thing. Fortunately, the only thing that kept me up that night was the rowdy party in the bar downstairs.

 

Months later, while on another visit to Santa Fe, I wandered into the lobby of the La Posada and saw the book American Ghost by Hannah Nordhaus, great-great granddaughter to Julia Staab. sitting on the concierge’s desk. When I asked the concierge about the book, she proceeded to give me the highlights and told me some of the fascinating stories other staff and guests had told about Julia’s ghost. I asked if she had any similar experiences. She told me that after her final chemotherapy treatment, she and her daughter decided to celebrate with a weekend stay at the hotel. They requested Julia’s room in the hope they would get a visit from the familiar “gentle ghost” and sat up all night waiting for her. In the wee hours of the morning they fell asleep and slept undisturbed. The concierge believed that Julia was too shy to make an appearance when someone was expecting her. She said she’d rent the room again sometime.

 

Well, that concierge is braver than I am. Now that I know the story, I’m not sure I’d request to stay in the main house again. In fact, I would definitely request one of the casitas.

 

Come back tomorrow to hear about some other famous ghosts of New Mexico. In the meantime, head on over to my website at Karibovee.com. Once there you can subscribe to my newsletter and receive Shoot like a Girl, the prequel novella to my Annie Oakley mystery series for free!

ghosts who reportedly reside at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico.

Flash Briefing – New Mexico Ghost Stories: St. James Hotel Part 4

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.

>> Listen to Flash briefing HERE. <<

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.

ghosts who reportedly reside at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico.

Flash Briefing – New Mexico Ghost Stories: St. James Hotel Part III

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.

>> Listen to Flash briefing HERE. <<

Welcome back to The Ghost Stories of New Mexico on Where History Meets Mystery. Today features the continuation of the ghosts who reportedly reside at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico.

 

As I mentioned in an earlier flash briefing, the hotel was built by a man named Henry Lambert. In 1926, Henri’s second wife, Mary Elizabeth died in Room 17, and according to some, her spirit still resides there. Staff and guests have reported the aroma of Mary’s rose scented perfume and an incessant tapping on the window occurs if the window is open. Once the window is closed, the tapping stops.

 

There are other strange happenings that occur in the hotel that cause people to believe yet another ghost resides at the St. James. Objects from many of the rooms and the common areas have turned up missing only to be found in an area where they don’t belong. This is supposedly the work of a little “dwarf-like” man who has also been seen at the hotel. The staff have nicknamed him the “Little Imp.” Once while two of the former owners stood in conversation in one of the rooms of the hotel, he was said to have tossed a knife, it’s blade point landing in the wooden floor between them.

 

Cold spots, lights turning on and off, electrical equipment behaving strangely and items falling from walls and shelves have also been reported at the hotel.

 

Many famous guests came to stay at the hotel including Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Doc Holliday, Billy the Kid, Pat Garret, Lew Wallace, and famous author Zane Grey. Other distinguished guests included Buffalo Bill Cody and, one of my personal favorites, Annie Oakley. The books in my Annie Oakley mystery series do not feature Annie Oakley in New Mexico, but I suppose there is always room for another story in the series. Perhaps she could team up with Wyatt Earp to track down the notorious criminals and murderers that were said to have stayed at the famous hotel?

 

I have not yet been to the St. James, but now that I have potential plans for another installment in the Annie Oakley mystery series, I may have to investigate. I wonder if there is a Holiday Inn next door?

 

Come back next week to hear the continuation of The Ghosts of New Mexico on Where History Meets Mystery, where I will be talking about Julia Staab, the Gentle Ghost of Santa Fe.

In the meantime, head on over to my website at www.Karibovee.com, where you can receive a free copy of Shoot like a Girl, the prequel novella to my Annie Oakley Mystery Series. See you next week!

ghosts who reportedly reside at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico.

Flash Briefing – New Mexico Ghost Stories: St. James Hotel Part II

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.

>> Listen to Flash briefing HERE. <<

Welcome back to The Ghost Stories of New Mexico on Where History Meets Mystery. Today features the continuation of the ghosts who reportedly reside at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico.

 

According to an article on the Legends of America website, the second floor of the St. James is the most active with spirit and ghostly activity. The staff and guests of the hotel have told stories of the smell of cigar smoke lingering in the halls—strange because smoking is not allowed in the hotel. A former owner claims one night, she saw a cowboy in 1800’s dress standing behind her in the mirror on the front of the bar. The bar was closed.

 

One of the most notorious otherworldly guests at the hotel is the ghost of Thomas James Wright who bled to death from a gunshot wound in Room 18. Reportedly, Wright had just won the rights to the hotel in a poker game and as he made his way up to his room, someone shot him in the back. He continued to the room and died there, and apparently he hasn’t left.

 

One former owner said she often saw an orange light floating in the upper corner of the room and was once pushed down while cleaning the room.

 

Today, Room 18 remains locked, and people are rarely allowed to enter. If you are one of the lucky ones who can enter, you will find inside a bedframe with no mattress, a coat rack, a rocking chair and a bureau graced with a Jack Daniels bottle, basin and pitcher, chewing tobacco tin, and shot glasses sitting on top of it. And if you do visit the room, don’t stay long. Rumors abound about a number of mysterious deaths occurring in that same room before it was permanently inaccessible to guests.

 

Come back tomorrow to hear about two more mysterious spirits who supposedly haunt the St. James.

 

If you are interested in learning more about me and my books, hop on over to my website at www.Karibovee.com. And, if you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll receive Shoot like a Girl, the prequel novella to my Annie Oakley mystery series.

ghosts who reportedly reside at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico.

Flash Briefing – New Mexico Ghost Stories: St. James Hotel Part I

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.

>> Listen to Flash briefing HERE. <<

Welcome back to The Ghost Stories of New Mexico on Where History Meets Mystery. Today I am going to introduce you to the ghosts who reportedly reside at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico.

 

Many of New Mexico’s old hotels are said to be haunted. One of the most famous is the St. James Hotel in Cimarron. The St. James, once the Lambert Inn, was built in 1872 by a Frenchman named Henri Lambert. Lambert, personal chef to President Abraham Lincoln, decided upon Lincoln’s assassination to move west in search of gold. He first settled in Elizabethtown, New Mexico, but ended up in Cimarron where he built the Lambert Inn, a saloon for cowboys, traders and miners. The saloon became so popular that Henri decided to add guest rooms and made it one of the most elegant hotels west of the Mississippi River.

 

Many famous guests came to stay at the hotel including Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Doc Holliday, Billy the Kid, Pat Garret, Lew Wallace, and famous author Zane Grey. Other distinguished guests included Buffalo Bill Cody and, one of my personal favorites, Annie Oakley. The books in my Annie Oakley mystery series do not feature Annie Oakley in New Mexico, but I suppose there is always room for another installment. Perhaps she could team up with Wyatt Earp to track down the notorious criminals and murderers that were said to have stayed at the Lambert Inn?

 

Back in the late 1800’s law and order were in short supply in New Mexico. It is reported that over 26 men were shot and killed within the Inn’s adobe walls. When Lambert’s sons replaced the roof in 1901, they found more than 400 bullet holes in the saloon’s ceiling. Luckily, a double layer of heavy wood prevented the guests upstairs from harm.

 

Many of those gunslingers are said to still haunt the place. In fact, the spiritual activity of the hotel is so well known, it has been featured on the television shows Unsolved Mysteries and A Current Affair. Psychics who have visited the hotel have identified the strong presence of at least three restless spirits inhabiting the hotel today.

 

Come back tomorrow to hear about the mysterious ghosts that haunt the St. James Hotel.

If you are interested in learning more about me and my books, hop on over to my website at www.Karibovee.com. And, if you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll receive Shoot like a Girl, the prequel novella to my Annie Oakley mystery series.

La Llorona New Mexico Ghost Stories

Flash Briefing – New Mexico Ghost Stories: La Llorona Part II

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.

>> Listen to Flash briefing HERE. <<

Welcome back to Ghost Stories of New Mexico on Where History Meets Mystery. Today is the continuation of the spooky tales of La Llorona, the woman who haunts the Southwest.

 

The first documented appearance of La Llorona after La Malinche’s death occurs in Mexico City in 1550 where she is said to wander the streets in a white dress on nights with a full moon, wailing and looking for her children. Sightings of La Llorona spread throughout the Americas, with each town or city claiming she is local to their area.

 

Other tales claim that La Llorona was a woman named Maria who fell in love with a nobleman of Spanish descent and had two children by him. When it came time for the man to marry, his family would not accept Maria, so he refused to marry her. He would often visit with his new wife to see his children, but he would pay no attention to Maria. Angry and jealous, Maria drowned her children in the river and then drowned herself, full of grief and regret for her act. Since then, she wanders the banks of the Rio Grande crying for her children.

 

I grew up with this tale. Our house was built next to the main irrigation ditch that flanks the Rio Grande. When I heard wailing cries in the night, I’d run to my parent’s bedroom, terrified of the legendary ghost. My father would gently explain that the sound came from the packs of coyotes that ran the ditch banks, but to this day, I’m convinced it was La Llorona crying for her lost children.

 

Come back tomorrow to hear about more of New Mexico’s ghosts.

 

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.