El Rancho Hotel, Gallup, NM (Paranormal Claims)

Disembodied footsteps and laughter have been reported on the upper floor of the lobby after hours. Objects have been reported to have been moved about throughout various hotel locations by unseen hands. The bridal suite has reported the mysterious opening and closing of doors. A hotel housekeeper once walked in and was terrified to see the dirty clothes on the bed actually begin to manifest a shape as if an invisible presence was wearing them!

Once such story was printed in the Salt Lake Tribune It reads;

Lindsay Mapes came to Gallup as an America Corps volunteer and needed to find inexpensive housing, not an easy task. So she stayed in a room at the historic El Morro Theater in the heart of downtown, not realizing its notoriety of being haunted.

Mapes, now events and promotions coordinator for the Gallup Chamber of Commerce, never saw the ghost of a little girl said to wander around the theater holding a red balloon. But, with her room near the balcony, she did have an encounter with the theater’s other ghost — an usher.

One night, while she was alone in the theater, Mapes heard a pounding sound. When she went to investigate, she saw the outline of the usher behind the screen of the theater. She moved two weeks later.

That new place was the historic El Rancho Hotel. It too is said to be haunted, this time by a woman in a white dress wandering the halls of that venerable Gallup establishment. Mapes never encountered the ghost.


El Rancho Hotel, Gallup, NM (History)

Formally opened December 17, 1937, The El Rancho Hotel was built by the brother of the movie magnet, D.W. Griffith. Drawn by the many films made in the area, Ronald Reagan, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, and Kirk Douglas were some of the many stars listed in the guest register. Autographed photos of the stars, Navajo Rugs & Mounted trophy animal heads adorn the magnificent two-story open lobby with its circular staircase.

The El Rancho Hotel was built by Joe Massaglia in 1937 for R.E. “Griff” Griffith. Originally, Griffith came to Gallup to direct a film. He later returned to build the El Rancho Hotel. He also managed the local Chief Theater. From the 1930s to the 1950s, the hotel became a temporary home for many Hollywood stars.


It also became a stopping point for tourists driving on old Route 66. The hotel is now protected by the National Historic Preservation Society. This historic hotel is continually cared for by Mr. Ortega, who has made it his personal hobby since its purchase. The hotel is decorated and furnished in the Old West rustic style. It is constructed of original brick, ash tar stone, and massive wooden beams with a pitched wood shale roof. The large portico overlooks the entrance and reflects the Southern Plantation style. Entering through the solid wood doors, one views the lobby’s grandeur. The floor is brick, inlaid in a basket weave pattern, and the light fixtures are stamped aluminum. The stone fireplace cove is surrounded by handmade wooden staircases that spiral to the second-floor balcony. The balcony encircles the lobby and displays original hotel photos and many autographed pictures of the Hollywood stars. Mr. Armand Ortega has recaptured the hotel’s splendor and charm of yesterday.

The Bad Man, an MGM film starring Wallace Beery & Ronald Reagan in 1940; Sundown, a Wanger film starring Gene Tierney in 1941; Desert Song, starring Dennis Morgan in 1942; Song Of The Nile, starring Maria Montez & Jon Hall in 1944; Four Faces West & Colorado Territory, both were starring Joel McCrea in 1947-48; Streets Of Laredo, starring William Holden & William Bendix in 1948; Rocky Mountain, starring Errol Flynn in 1950; Big Carnival, starring Kirk Douglas in 1950; Raton Pass, starring Dennis Morgan in 1951; New Mexico, starring Lew Ayres in 1950; Fort Defiance, starring Dane Clark in 1950; Fort Massacre, starring Joel McCrea in 1957; A Distant Trumpet, starring Troy Donahue & Suzanne Pleshette in 1963; The Hallelujah Trail, starring Burt Lancaster & Lee Remick in 1964.



New Mexico Travel | LASR.net. https://www.lasr.net/travel/state.php?Historic+El+Rancho+Hotel+%26+Motel&TravelTo=NM0402006&VA=Y&Attraction_ID=NM0402006a003