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. 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!