The few other reported “sightings” are typical of psychosomatic response episodes that are common in poorly lit areas. Additionally, all of evidence that the woman in black is a ghost is loosely based solely on the fact that she mysteriously vanishes.
The chapel has a south doorway which is often left open in the warmer months. A person seated on the west bench could easily exit the building without attracting the attention of someone kneeling at the shrine near the entrance. It should also be noted that while at the shrine, one does not have a clear view of the chapel’s main room. After the sightings at the chapel were thoroughly
explained, the location was added onto the ghost tour of Old Town. Not because it was a “haunted” location but because they needed to add 15 minutes onto the length of the tour.
It is also important to note the interviews with myself and B. McCombs (the original owners of New Mexico Ghost Tours) concerning the pre-2003 Ghost walk of Old Town. On the tour it was implicitly stated that the chapel is not haunted. The first story of the “Lady in Black” was told to them by a former manager of Maria Teresa’s Restaurant who had an encounter there while drinking wine. She was not certain if what she saw was a ghost or not, but thought that they should check out the location anyway. Impressed with the beauty of the chapel and the similarities between the stories of the Chapel ghost and La Llorona of Hispanic folklore, they added the chapel as a stop on the ghost tour. Before entering the chapel, they told the story of the Lady in Black,
how it related to La Llorona and New Mexico folklore. The tour guests were then taken into the chapel to show them its unique charm and art. Tour guides hired after 2003 often neglected to state that the chapel was not haunted.
Stories were often confused or misquoted which lead to the myth building of this particular legend. Despite this, there are many people who believe that a ghost appears there and even a few who insisted that it is not a ghost but Albuquerque’s patron saint, our Lady of Guadalupe. There are also other ghost tours that still claim the chapel is haunted, basing their information on extremely poor sources.
The airplane crash theory makes no sense. The crash happened in 1955 while the chapel itself was not built until 1975. The “ghost” as also eluded many ghost hunters who have swarmed over the chapel on February 19th for the past several years.