Reading “The Raven” to the ravens

BirdTo mark the 171st year anniversary of the publishing of “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe, author of “Ghosts and Haunted Places of Taos,” M. Elwell Romancito has planned an informal reading of Poe’s “The Raven” to the ravens of Taos Plaza, Saturday, Jan. 30th at 4 p.m.

“I know it’s last minute, and a day late and — let’s face it — it’s kind of a silly idea, but it has been one of my favorite poems since I was a kid, and even though the Plaza Ravens don’t care much about the doings of humans, they might just get a kick out of the idea,” Romancito said, adding “They certainly seem to have a sense of humor.”

Romancito will also have signed copies of her book available, which highlights the history and supernatural stories of the historic district of Taos.

“Ghosts and Haunted Places of Taos” is available online by visiting ghostsoftaos.com and also locally at Op Cit Books in the Dunn House Shops (formerly Moby Dickens) in Taos.

Romancito has prepared an audio recording of her reading from the introduction of the book which can be heard at https://soundcloud.com/romancito-house/reading-excerpt-ghosts-haunted-places-of-taos

If you are interested in the reading of “The Raven” to the ravens on Taos Plaza, Saturday, Jan. 30th at 4 p.m., stop by the gazebo on Taos Plaza. Also, if you would like a copy of Romancito’s new book, drop by and pick up your copy.

For more information about Romancito’s book, visit https://ghostsoftaos.wordpress.com/the-book/

Our ghost / guest blogger post on TaosWebb.com gives us another good bump

IMG_2695We were asked to write a guest post for the popular tourism website TaosWebb.com – here it is for those unable to follow the link through Facebook (a quirky problem with social media and link shortening services)

The colorful alleyways and streets of Taos are cheerful in the daytime, but at night on a quiet Taos street, who is to say what might brush up against you in the dark?

I give paranormal walking tours from Taos Plaza. Many times people ask me if there are enough ghosts in the downtown area to warrant a tour and I say there are more than enough. There are so many stories and accounts of well-known spirits I can keep visitors busy for more than the usual two hours we spend on the tour – and that’s just in the downtown area alone.

Besides all the haunted sights to take in on the plaza and Kit Carson’s Memorial Park, there are historical accounts of hauntings to take in — along with local urban legends – although it is a great stretch of the imagination to use the words “urban” and “Taos” in the same sentence.

Kit Carson Memorial Park entrance from Dragoon LaneDuring the tours we poke around in the alleyways and byways of the downtown historical district, and there are few buildings that don’t have some sort of paranormal designation. There are accounts of odd calls to Central Dispatch in the wee hours of the morning to report a roving weeping woman who dodges headlights in the Bent Street parking area. There have been late-night complaints of a loud party in the Blumenschein Museum courtyard on Ledoux Street. And let’s not forget the story behind the three unmarked graves of in the cemetery.

Sometimes we’ll encounter locals on our walk and we’ll ask “have you had any paranormal experiences?” They are happy to relay what they have heard or perhaps even experienced for themselves.

There are even instances when we have had our own experiences on the tour.

Once we were sitting in the lobby of La Fonda – one of our favorite resting points. I was describing previous owners, including John Poole and his sudden demise by a disgruntled customer and then Karavas Family, who remodeled and renamed the hotel.

La Fonda on Taos Plaza at night time

As I mentioned former owner and ladies’ man Saki Karavas, fresh vanilla-laced cigar smoke wafted in from some unseen gallery. It was heaviest in the vestibule. The smell of burning cigars is one of the constant claims of the paranormal for those who visit, work or stay at La Fonda.

I don’t just give a standard tour. Depending on the ages and interests of the group on the tour, I slant the scope and detail to fit the audience. Recently one of the folks on the tour was actually a paranormal investigator from the Midwest. He was looking for in-depth information about the kinds of spirits that might haunt the downtown area. I was able to go into detail about some of the claims in the area.

If there are children on the tour, I make sure and check with their parents because I don’t want to be responsible for “marking someone for life” by relaying the grizzly details of the murder of Governor Charles Bent or by going into graphic depictions of the lives and deaths of those sold into slavery on the plaza before the priests were able to persuade traders to move their market north of town.

The thing about Taos is, for a town its size, it has had a very dramatic and turbulent past. Along with baggage like that come unsavory characters, unforgivable acts and a lot of misery. That’s a perfect recipe for ghosts and the paranormal.

People ask me if I am afraid to walk through the streets of Taos at night, and I have to say yes. I’d be a fool not to be afraid – but that isn’t going to keep me from studying what I’m sincerely interested in and from sharing what I know about Haunted Taos with anyone who is interested.

Sunset from the entrance to Governor Charles Bent's HouseFor more information about the Ghosts of Taos walking tours, visit ghostsoftaos.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video links:

Paranormal Taos Playlist (1 hour 6 min, 9 videos, includes promos and investigations)

Ghosts of Taos Promo

We smelled cigar smoke

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This wonderful group, Rebecca Meares with Sunny Turner, her sister Linda, Linda’s daughter Sarah, and Sarah’s boyfriend Craig, smelled fresh cigar smoke while we took a short break at La Fonda’s lobby. Bob Saud, the current owner of La Fonda, showed the group the drawings by D.H. Lawrence, and on the way out of the hotel, we smelled the smoke again — this time, from the vestibule, where no smoking is allowed.

Saki Karavas, one of the former owners of La Fonda, is known to haunt the hallways and lobby of La Fonda. He is described as being a “constant presence in the hotel” by people who work, visit and stay there.

Videos of locals telling local ghost stories

gravesWe see television shows about the paranormal and sometimes (although it’s fairly rare) they are scary, but sometimes, you might run across a good storyteller and their tales will send the hair on the back of you neck to rising.

Here’s a cluster of stories told by Frank Rivera who has a re-sale shop. Ghosts of Taos stopped by and got him to repeat a story about four Indian women who projected a movie-like vision to Frank about their fate in Taos centuries ago.

Do you have a ghost story you’d like to tell Ghosts of Taos? send us an e-mail at taosexperience@gmail.com and we’ll contact you about it.

Investigating Ghosts of Taos: Bent Street

Dunn House ShopsTaos is filled with spirits, but some places are more “haunted” than others and the reasons behind the hauntings are often easy to understand. It’s no secret that the Plaza and surrounding areas has its share of claims of ghosts, when there is a rise in claims, it is often for a reason.

During the month of January, shop owners on Bent Street and in the Dunn House complex have reported an increase in unexplained activity which marks the 166th anniversary of the Taos Revolt — a bloody page in Taos history.

Many people lost their lives during the Taos Revolt of 1847 — among them is New Mexico’s first territorial governor, Charles Bent, who was murdered in front of his family at the family home on what is now Bent Street. An account of his murder by his dautghter, Teresina, can be read here.

We investigated on the night of January 21, after Moby Dickens reported a tripped alarm and an unexplained relocation of a book during the night before.

Technically it wasn’t late enough to do a formal investigation, and low temperatures make it difficult to mount an investigation of three hours or more, but Ghosts of Taos decided to go down to Bent Street and see what they could see.

We did manage to capture one EVP and one odd coincidence. We shot a little video and had a bit of interaction through EMF detectors and Ghost Radar.

Taos Inn Ghost Story from Carol Morgan-Eagle

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From Carol Morgan-Eagle:

It was after celebrating my birthday in my usual way on the patio at the Taos Inn, Sept. 21st. Dan and I had gotten a room for the night and some friends came back to the room with us to celebrate some more. Our friend, Billy had a digital camera and was taking photos when all of a sudden, he said “that’s strange” and showed us a photo with the dark fog on it. We just thought it was a problem with the camera and continued on and it was ok for a few photos until it showed up again in a different spot. So then we realized something was going on here and kept taking photos and checking and sure enough, as you can see, it just kept moving around the room and showing up differently. It sort of freaked us out a bit, especially when it would show up on someone’s body. I have to honestly say, we didn’t feel anything from it, it just kept showing up in different spots.

Dan and I spent the night in the room, the only thing I felt was very hot because I slept the whole night with my head under the covers because I was a little freaked out from spending the night in a room with a spirit.