Legal Tender Saloon Photos and news article

Ghosts screaming, inexplicable voices and ghosts in the kitchen: in New Mexico’s haunted saloon
By Daily Mail Reporter

Published: 6:55 AM EDT, Nov 3, 2012

You’d expect to find liquor in a bar, but it’s usually the kind that pour.

Patrons of legal tender in Lamy, New Mexico, have long reported some sort of elusive “presence” in the bar, which stands on the site of an old 1881 saloon, but it reached a ghostly climax one night earlier this month.

Cindy Lu Jednak and Phillip Heard were sitting at a table with their husbands when they heard the unmistakable sound of a woman’s screams from the restaurant’s kitchen.

They checked the kitchen, but it was deserted, with the back door locked.

Spooky Saloon: Mysterious screams in the night can be heard in the historic Legal Tender bar.

“I don’t believe in ghosts,” said Heard, who works at Legal Tender. “There must be an explanation for what that was. When I’m dealing with something like that, I want to know the facts.’

Two other bar staff, Dachin Frances and Avery Young, say the story is much more than that one hair-raising scream;
“Even if you’re alone in a room here,” Avery says, “you never feel alone.”

And Frances said at the end of a shift that she was getting ready to lock up when she and her colleagues heard pots and pans clattering in the darkened kitchen. Discretion showing most of their mettle, they slammed the door, locked it, and left.

Many employees refuse to stay within the joint closing time.
There is too much evidence of a count’s presence to write the story down to a mixture of imagination and booze,

Staff and customers alike have reported unexplained voices and what sounds like a heavy object being dragged across the floor of the main dining room. A chandelier hanging over that room has swung wildly more than once without the slightest breath of wind.

For those familiar with the legal tender, it makes sense that some of its long-dead customers are still around.

A business first opened at the legal tender site in the early 1880s, targeting the trade brought in by the newly built Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad. Somewhere along the way, the old saloon became known as the Pink Garter.

In the late 1960s, it was renamed legal tender under the ownership of RO Anderson. Wichita Lineman singer Glenn Campbell played there in his early years.
Rattle those pots and pans: The kitchen was the center of several spooky events

The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Over the years, a number of historical figures have toured the Lamy area, including Teddy Roosevelt and Billy the Kid – the latter reportedly was on a train that stopped in Lamy on the way to serve some jail time in Santa Fe.

More obscure figures also made their way through the village and may never have completely left – the border bystander allegedly shot by a stray bullet during a stray poker game and the female train passenger who supposedly died of appendicitis in one of the saloon’s back rooms, for example. .

Rumor has it that their ghosts – known as the Man in Black and the Lady in White – roam the Legal Tender.

The ghost of a young girl is also connected to the site, although no one has ever fully worked out her backstory.

But Cindy recently met a woman in her 90s who lived in Lamy in the 1920s and remembers a playmate from that era who died of tapeworm at age seven or eight. The two girls often frequented the shop that was once on the site of the Legal Tender. Cindy also tells anecdotes of kitchen workers who feel the invisible poke of a finger on their side and a presence that tightens the strings of their aprons.
Cindy Lu isn’t afraid of the legal tender ghosts, but she still has a flashlight handy, just in case.

Cindy Lu’s nonprofit Learning Mind is working with the Lamy Railroad and History Museum to revive the legal tender. She and other volunteers reopened the restaurant last spring. It serves food Thursday through Sunday, plus most holidays. Staff often sit for half an hour after closing to talk about work – and exchange minds stories .

Parapsychologist Joni Alm has conducted some five investigations in the Commercial Code in the past six months, using a high-tech audio recorder and a “ghost meter,” a device that records changes in electromagnetic fields and could reveal psychic energy.

That ghost meter flashes red when it encounters inexplicable energy, and it nearly went crazy on a recent nighttime tour of the kitchen, about the same time a New Mexican photographer’s flashlight went out. The batteries were new. The flashlight worked fine when he left the restaurant.

A four-hour ghost hunt, on a recent October night, produced a chorus of inexplicable noises: although Cindy does admit that the ice machine sometimes makes a noise that sounds like a gunshot in the distance.

Alm’s ghost meter lit up as Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” was played – “If there’s one thing that brings out a ghost, it’s that,” Heard said.

On her audio recorder, Alm recorded strange sounds, including what appeared to be ghostly whispers and, at one point, what resembled the voice of a man saying, “Go away.”
“I have a strong feeling that there are different entities, at least three,” she says.

She has felt that child’s ghost in her presence at least twice, she said. She also feels a masculine energy. “There is no fear at all. I actually feel a sense of impatience from the Man in Black ghost, like he wants his space back,” she said with a laugh.

Cindy doubts whether the Lady in White or the Man in Black are still around. She said there have been several “cleanses” of the building over the past few decades in an attempt to drive off the ghosts, and perhaps these two old-timers have disappeared.

But Cindy is sure to have a feisty feminine energy clinging to the site. She has reason to believe it is a more contemporary ghost, that of a young woman who went missing in the area not too long ago.

Cindy dares not describe what happens at the legal tender as a haunting event. “It’s just a presence, an energy, of someone or something that’s here,” she said. ‘It is an energy from another time; even from another dimension.’

And she said she’s never afraid – even if she hears inexplicable whispers or her name is called by others when she’s alone in the building.

The Legal Tender Saloon, Lamy, NM

History

The building in 2006 when we investigated it.

Pflueger General Merchandise Store and Annex Saloon was opened in 1818 and was the actual saloon where Billy The Kid was brought, in shackles, en-route to Santa Fe.
The former saloon and eatery had occupied a two-story Victorian building along the town’s main drag and was renamed The Pink Garter Saloon in 1950. Eventually, the building changed its name again to the Legal Tender in 1969.
In the Legal Tender, the electricity has been hooked up, boards removed from the windows, and a security system has been installed. The Legal Tender is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its roots extend back to 1881, when it was first opened as a mercantile company and general merchandise store. It has since gone through about ten owners. Before it closed eight years ago, it had been remodeled into a restaurant.
It’s a grand old place with a lot of history and a lot of memories. Inside, an old cherry wood bar from Germany still dominates the saloon. According to museum records, the bar was brought in by John and Louise Pflueger in the early 1900s when the building was the John Pflueger General Merchandise Store. The walls and the interior of the building are still in good shape. The red carpet and curtains still look new. Old-fashioned items such as mirrors from the 1800s, pictures, and furniture collected from various owners will be put into some of its rooms.

 

Ghost Stories and Paranormal Claims

This old saloon and vaudeville hall is haunted by several ghosts. A lady in white, dressed in an elegant white gown, is seen floating up the steps to the balcony in the Parlor Room.

The ghost of a little girl in a long dress sits alone on the stairs. A man in black, killed by a stray bullet in the rowdy gambling hall, has been seen helping himself to a drink at the bar. The building was constructed in 1881 and was called the Annex Saloon. In the 1950’s it was known as the Pink Garter. It became the Legal Tender in 1969.

Originally the ballroom had a second story balcony that now no longer exists. The apparition of a lady in white is seen frequently in the area where the stairs leading to the balcony used to be.

 

Research and Additional Information

SANTA FE, N.M. (Associated Press) — It was shortly after closing time one cool, dark night earlier this month at the Legal Tender. Cindy Lu and Phillip Heard were sitting with their spouses at a table at the Lamy restaurant when they heard the voice of a woman screaming. The sound was coming from the kitchen, but no one was there. And the back door was locked. “I don’t believe in ghosts,” said Heard, one of the volunteer workers at the restaurant/bar. “There has to be an explanation for what that was. When I deal with something like this, I want to know the facts.’ Employees Dachin Frances and Avery Young were not there to hear the cry of the terrorized woman. But, Young noted, “Even when you are alone in a room here, you never feel alone.’ And Frances said one recent night, she was headed out the back door of the darkened kitchen with some co-workers, about to lock the door, when some pots and pans began rattling inside. They slammed the door, locked it and left.
Others won’t stay in the joint after closing time, and at least one of Lu’s employees is afraid that whatever walks within the darkened halls of the old saloon might follow her home at night.

Staffers and patrons have heard unexplained voices and the sound of something heavy being dragged across the floor of the main dining room. The chandelier hanging above that room has started swinging to and fro without any sign of wind.
To many who work at or frequent the Legal Tender, it makes sense that some of its long-dead denizens are still present.

The community, named after Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy, has a population of about 220 people, according to the 2010 census. It’s a quiet village, particularly after the sun sets. A business first opened on the site of the Legal Tender in 1881 — about the same time the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway built the spur line from Lamy to Santa Fe. The operation began as a combination mercantile store and saloon. Lemp’s Extra Pale Ale was apparently a favorite of patrons of the time, according to an old photo hanging in the restaurant.

Somewhere along the way, the old saloon became known as the Pink Garter. Glenn Campbell played there in his early days. In the late 1960s, it was renamed the Legal Tender under the ownership of R.O. Anderson. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Over the years, a number of historic figures have passed through the Lamy area, including Teddy Roosevelt and Billy the Kid — the latter was reportedly on a train that stopped in Lamy on the way to doing some jail time in Santa Fe.

More obscure figures also found their way through the village, and they may still be around — the frontier bystander reportedly shot by a stray bullet during a poker game gone wrong and the female train passenger who supposedly died of appendicitis while convalescing in one of the saloon’s back rooms, for instance. Their spirits — known as the Man in Black and the Lady in White — have long been rumored to roam the Legal Tender. The ghost of a girl child is also connected to the site, although no one has ever quite figured out her back story. But Lu recently met a woman in her 90s who lived in Lamy in the 1920s and recalls a female playmate from that period who died of tapeworm at age 7 or 8. The two girls would often visit the store that stood on the site of the Legal Tender. Lu also tells anecdotes of kitchen workers feeling the invisible poke of a finger in their sides and a presence tightening their apron strings. Lu’s Learning Mind nonprofit organization has joined with the Lamy Railroad and History Museum to revitalize the Legal Tender. She and other volunteer workers reopened the restaurant last spring. It serves food Thursday through Sunday, plus most holidays. Staffers often sit around for a half-hour or so after closing to swap work — and ghost — stories.

 

 

 

Bibliography
Lamy saloon long rumored to be haunted, https://www.scdailypress.com/2012/11/02/lamy-saloon-long-rumored-to-be-haunted/