La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa's spectral entertainer
The travel industry is no stranger to ghosts. Many hotels have a history of hauntings, but at La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa, in the heart of historic Santa Fe, N.M., a different type of apparition is said to inhabit the property—a spirit that enjoys hosting events.
Legend has it the wealthy merchant Abraham Staab promised his wife, Julia, that he would build her a grand European house in order to ease her transition from Germany to the Southwest. In 1882, their three-story, Second Empire-style mansion was completed, dwarfing the surrounding flat-roofed adobes. Julia fell in love with the house and regularly entertained the upper crust of Santa Fe society, including notables such as Governor Lew Wallace and Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy, famous for building the city’s Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
Sadly, Julia’s storybook life was shaken forever after the loss of her eighth child, who died shortly after birth. The shock of the death was so great that Julia’s beautiful black hair turned white and she spiraled into a deep depression, rarely leaving her room over the next few years until her death in 1896. As time passed and the Staab house changed hands, people began seeing a female ghost, whom many believed to be Julia. Although the house eventually became the centerpiece of the Four-Diamond La Posada resort, Julia remains present.
“Julia is quite active when there are special events and weddings at the hotel,” says Annabel Tiberi, national sales manager at La Posada. “I personally think she is curious about what’s going on, as she loved to entertain so much.”
According to Tiberi, Julia is regularly experienced by staff members. Some of the more notable encounters have been visions of a woman’s face in the mirrors of bathrooms, areas of extreme cold that seem to move around the house and the repeated opening of curtains in Julia’s old bedroom during weddings. Once, during a reception, Tiberi was following a waiter who was carrying a tray full of glasses when it suddenly flipped over, scattering Champagne flutes all over the floor. The odd part: None of the champagne glasses were broken and the waiter swore that something had knocked the tray from his hand.
While the presence of Julia may seem intimidating, Tiberi insists that isn’t the case: “She is not evil, just probably lonely. It’s comforting to know that Julia is around making sure her guests are taken care of.”