During 160 years in operation, Fort Stanton has served as an Army post, tuberculosis sanatorium, internment camp and correctional facility.
With infamy gained through the Lincoln County Wars, and the lives of Billy the Kid and Sheriff Pat Garrett, the history of nearby Lincoln is riddled with acts of revenge, vigilante justice and senseless violence. Between 1870 and 1886, more than 50 people met a violent end along the main road.
Reports of paranormal activity in these two storied southeastern New Mexico Historic Sites dates back more than a century. Spine-tingling tales from former workers and people who have had unusual experiences at these and other New Mexico venues are being preserved by the Lincoln County Paranormal Society (LCPS).
“In the 1920s, there were reports of shadow figures and unexplained crying in the administration building. One person reported hearing Indian drums and flute music,” according to the LCPS website.
“Both Fort Stanton and Lincoln take on an other-worldly atmosphere when you walk through them at night,” said Tim Roberts, regional manager for Lincoln and Fort Stanton Historic Site. “It’s very easy imagine you’ve been transported back in time. The experience is greatly enhanced by the Lincoln County Paranormal Society. They bring the stories of this area to life, giving context to the experiences of the people who lived and worked here and walked these very paths.”
Here’s a testimony from a janitor who worked there for one day in the 1930s: “I never believed in ghosts and stuff like that until I got my janitorial job, my first night I saw something evil — El Diablo sus solo (the Devil himself).”
The former janitor, Emanuel Beltron, quit the very next morning.
During the After Dark events, visitors can explore the grounds and buildings of Lincoln and Fort Stanton, interact with costumed living historians, storytellers and investigators from the Lincoln County Paranormal Historical Society.
In the 1940s amid 24 suspicious deaths and 37 documented suicides, while working in the administration building Connie Montes reported, “Something grabbed my hair and threw me back in the chair.”
The After Dark events are on the last Saturday of the month. The self-guided tours will begin at 6 and end at 9 p.m.
Following are the dates and locations:
• March 31, Lincoln.
• April 28, Fort Stanton.
• May 26, Lincoln.
• June 30, Fort Stanton.
• July 28, Lincoln.
• Aug. 25, Fort Stanton.
• Oct. 26 (Friday), Lincoln.
• Oct. 27, For Stanton.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.