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.