I was not able to locate any witnesses to the reported phenomenon. The sources of the information we used to conduct our investigation was a 3rd hand account from an employee at the St. James Hotel in Cimarron. The site is also listed in the book “The National Directory of Haunted Places” by Dennis William Hauck.
Many people have reported feeling strange cold spots near certain graves on otherwise very hot days. These cold spots and other strange stories of male voices whispering words of warning and danger and moans. People also claim to see human-shaped patches of fog drifting through the area. These forms dissipate into the night air leaving no trace.
Historical investigations of the claims failed to turn up any witness or historical accounts of the haunting or any other unusual events occurring at the town site or cemetery. If the “ghosts” really were of the miners from 1913 there should be some sort of report of the unusual activity going on at the cemetery since the town did not “close down” until 1950. Several detailed references, including “Coal Town: The Life and Times of Dawson, New Mexico Paperback – January 1, 1995, by Toby Smith” do not mention anything unusual about the old town site or its cemetery.
I conducted three investigations of the site with observation teams watching the cemetery and surrounding area looking for anything that could have been interpreted as paranormal or a ghost. The observations from the teams are as follows;
1.) The wind whipping through the canyon creates some unusual sounds as it moves through the graves that are fenced off. To us, it sounded more like a whistling noise than a moan that is suggested by the story.
2.) There are small groups of some type of insect (gnats?), that when illuminated by a flashlight, may be source of the “apparitions” seen by the original story tellers. Looks more convincing when viewed from a distance over twenty feet.
As with most sites where a tragedy has occurred, the town of Dawson became the location of another ghost story. The “haunting” of its cemetery appears to be an urban legend. The “reported phenomenon” of the story has several rational explanations.