Thursday, September 2, 2010

Redheaded Rebecca Haunts Lodge At Cloudcroft, NM

Rising up from the arid plains and desert floor of southeastern New Mexico, the Capitan Mountains thrust visitors into an alpine realm of tall ponderosa pines and fragrant wildflowers.  Nestled high in these mountains is the Lodge at Cloudcroft, a stately hotel haunted by a seductive redhead.

In the 1930's, when Conrad Hilton himself managed the property, a young maid by the name of Rebecca charmed patrons with her beauty. According to the many stories told about her, she was very popular with the many lumberjacks who frequented the establishment. She was also very popular among the men in town.

While it isn't clear what became of Rebecca in life, it seems that in death she still haunts the halls of the old hotel. One legend claims that in a jealous rage, her lumberjack boyfriend killed her in an impassioned and brutal manner. He then disposed of her body in the woods behind the hotel.

Visitors have often claimed of encountering a strikingly beautiful woman with brilliant red hair. She has been described as playful and flirtatious. One guest was shocked to discover a lovely redhead bathing in his tub. He called down to the front desk, thinking the room had been double-booked. When the staff arrived, the girl was gone. Another gentleman glimpsed Rebecca very late one night as she was arranging flowers on a table in the hall outside his room.

Employees have witnessed her the most. To the dismay of the operator, the phone in the Governor's Suite often rings when no one is booked in the room. This is the same room that keeps many a frustrated maid busily tidying up the bed covers. Often times they will discover the indentation of a human form, only a short time after making the bed. Rebecca seems to enjoy hazing new recruits, as if to test their mettle.

When a couple by the name of Sanders purchased the hotel in the early 1980's, they received an especially dramatic welcome. The couple had stored some of their belongings in the basement, which it seems is a favorite haunt of Rebecca's. One evening, the couple went down to the basement storage and discovered a strange light floating in midair. They switched on the lights and discovered all their luggage and trunks and boxes were in complete disorder. Furthermore, a previously unlocked room in the rear of the basement was now suddenly wide open. 

The light floated over to the open door and disappeared inside the dark room beyond. The couple followed it into an old bathroom that had been sealed up for decades, it seemed. Suddenly, water burst with tremendous force from pipes all around the room, drenching the couple. After managing to shut off the water, the couple inspected the room but found no signs of a human culprit. If it were a human agent, he or she was at least VERY good at covering their tracks.

So it went over the years: doors opening and closing by themselves, strange phone calls, mysterious apparitions... But there doesn't exist a sense of fear or malevolence associated with Rebecca. On the contrary, she is seen as something of a celebrity. Her portrait hangs in the hotel lobby, a stained glass representation of her greets visitors to the dining room, and all who visit are charmed by her presence - whether she is seen or not.

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