Subtexts Ray John de Aragón on Haunted Santa Fe
Houses of the spirits
If you are unfamiliar with Santa Fe’s plethora of ghosts, you can familiarize yourself with the local lore — or hear a few good yarns again — at “Haunted History,” a presentation hosted by the State Archives of New Mexico on Halloween. Storyteller Ray John de Aragón, who grew up roaming the downtown streets of Santa Fe, hoping to bump into witches by the Oldest House, is the author of Haunted Santa Fe (History Press Library Editions). Among the ghost stories he tells is that of Julia Staab, a possibly beleaguered wife and mother who is said to haunt La Posada de Santa Fe, the historic hotel on Palace Avenue. She was a German-Jewish immigrant married to Abraham Staab, a powerful businessman with ties to the infamous Santa Fe Ring.
Aragón also discusses Native American spirits that supposedly dwell in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, as well as, of course, La Llorona, the wailing woman whose shrieks and groans can occasionally be heard along the Santa Fe River. Aragón’s appearance is followed by “The Dark Side of Santa Fe” with Stefanie Beninato, a historian and experienced Santa Fe tour guide with an abiding interest in local supernatural tales. — J.L.
“Haunted History” begins at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, in the Piñon Room at the State Archives of New Mexico (1205 Camino Carlos Rey). Aragón will speak for one hour, followed by a 30-minute presentation by Beninato. For more information, call 505-476-7956.
Aragón also reads from and discusses Haunted Santa Fe at Op.Cit. Books (157 Paseo de Peralta in DeVargas Center) at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. For more information, call 505-428-0321.
Ray John de Aragón