It’s hard not to be considered haunted when the place you live was once known as a ghost town, but for people living in Madrid, New Mexico, they say it’s part of their charm.
“I don’t know if being considered haunted a stigma,” said Andrew Wice from the Madrid Oral History Tour. “In this day and age, anything to stand apart from the crowd.”
Established in 1869 as a mining town at its peak, nearly 4,000 people lived in the town and worked in the mines. It was that dangerous profession which led to the demise of many.
“Coal mining is deadly, dangerous work and many miners died in the mines,” said Wice. “Many families lost their father and this was an era where if a family lost their father, it could spell the end of that family as well.”
Many now say the spirits of those miners still haunt parts of the town. It was almost a domino effect that with the death of those miners, more tragedy would arrive.
“Because there was a lot of tragedy in Madrid and a lot of coal miners died, there was an orphanage in Madrid and a lot of children were here,” said Ruth Aber, owner of Mostly Madrid. “People that are sensitive will tell you that they hear the sound of children, up by where there’s a locomotive where they hear children playing on it.”
With World War II and the decline of coal as a heat source, many left the once thriving town in the mid-1950’s turning it into a ghost town. Fast forward almost twenty years later, it was rediscovered by a new group of hippies, outlaws and some might say an eclectic bunch.
“During its revitalization period, there was some growing pains of extreme violence and things like that led to a few violent deaths in town and some people feel like some of those remain,” added Wice.
It’s not all doom and gloom in the popular tourist spot nestled between Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
“People shouldn’t be scared, I think if there are spirits in residence here, I don’t think they have any sort of dark agenda,” said Wice. “They probably just want to be remembered.”