Debunking the “jumping” ghost at the La Fonda Hotel

A ghost that is claimed to have been seen in the hotel is that of a man wearing 1800’s clothing running across the Plazuela Restaurant. Both guests and staff alike have reported the sight of a ghostly figure that walks to the center of the room and then seemingly jumps into the floor and disappears. According to the story, the ghost disappears as he jumps into the ground where the old well used to be as the La Plazuela is situated directly over the site of the old well. Furthermore, maintenance men have also seen this specter in the bowels of the hotel. This is often followed by finding the storage areas in the basement in a state of disarray. Another version of the story gives this account;


“He was a traveling salesman¬†from St. Louis who is written in the ledger as having checked in around 1934. According to history, the salesman lost all his money by drinking and gambling and became very emotional at the front desk. He can be seen, at times, in his long black coat with chalky white skin, running towards the hotel’s well and jumping into it.”

The big issue here is that there was no way for a man to simply jump down into the well in the way that people describe. At that time there was not a second story.

The solid black lines depict the layout of the hotel in 1921. The first phase of 1927 additions are shown faintly sketched around the existing hotel. W. C. Kruger Architectural Drawings (unprocessed collection), University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research.

So, in order to jump down into the well from a high place, one would have climbed up onto the roof of the open air patio, run across it and hope that you make it to the well.

The original patio before it was enclosed and turned into a restaurant.


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