The Cloudcroft Ghost
Cloudcroft, New Mexico, meaning a "clearing in the clouds", is a small mountain town located to the east of Alamogordo, NM ("Cloudcroft"). The town's history is intimately tied to the building of the Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railway that allowed the town to be permanently settled in the late 1800s, and to the logging business that made the town and railroad successful for half a century ("Investigation… Lodge"). As with many frontier towns, Cloudcroft has a number of legends that document the unique and violent events in its history, and also a fair number of ghosts that haunt its historic sites.
I was told a story about one of Cloudcroft's more famous ghosts when casually lounging in the undergraduate student physics lounge at the University of Maryland, College Park, with a group of students during a lunch break before class. This occurred during early April, 2005. I inquired whether anyone knew any ghost stories or folklore. A friend of mine volunteered that she knew several ghost stories from her travels. The storyteller was a 23-year-old Caucasian female from an upper-middle class family in Baltimore. She currently lives in Crofton, MD, and is a physics and astronomy major.
For a prior internship a few summers earlier, the storyteller had worked at the Apache Point Observatory in Sunspot, NM, studying various solar phenomena. Sunspot is located 17 miles from Cloudcroft. She originally heard her legend from a coworker at the observatory, who took her to visit the place of the haunting. After finishing a story about the ghost of the astronomer Maria Mitchell (who allegedly haunts Nantucket, Massachusetts), the storyteller began the tale of the ghost of The Lodge at Cloudcroft.
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"Investigation of the La Fonda Hotel" Southwest Ghost Hunters Association. 31 Oct 1998. Retrieved 5 Apr 2005 http://www.sgha.net/lafonda.html.
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