Amassing a fortune as a major supply contractor for the U.S. Army during the Civil War, Abraham Staab, returned to his German homeland in 1876. There he met and married Julia Schuster. Julia had little say in the matter and was hustled away from her homeland to live the rest of her life in Santa Fe.
Although Staab built a beautiful three-story brick mansion for her, he was said to be a domineering man, expecting his wife and family to bow to his every wish. Some stories say Julia played the role of high society hostess and bore Abraham six children and was happy to show off her beautiful home. Other stories say she was trapped in a loveless marriage and was deeply alone. When her seventh child died soon after birth, the mansion, constructed in the French Second Empire-style and decorated with the finest European materials and furnishings, became Julia’s prison.
Some legends say that Julia fell victim to a dreadful accident that left her bedridden. Other stories say she went completely insane after several more pregnancies failed and had to be confined, and still uglier rumors speculate that Abraham slipped into her bedroom one night and smothered her with a pillow when she was no longer of use to him.
Whatever the case, the ghost of Julia did not go quietly into that good night — either because she loved the home so much she didn’t want to leave or for darker reasons. Her spirit still haunts the hotel to this day. Numerous guests and staff have seen her, particularly in room 256, the same room where she spent the last years of her life. Her ghost frequently rearranges guests’ belongings or hovers over their bed at night. She’s been credited with flying glasses in the bar, turning off and on fireplaces … in fact, just about anything odd that happens in the hotel. For the most part, however, the regal lady ghost tends to guests as she would have the guests who stayed in her home while she was alive — with caring and an eye toward comfort.
In 1930 adobe casitas were built around the existing Staab Mansion and carriage house, creating the La Posada Hotel. It was renovated in the 1990s and is an exquisite Resort and Spa. Featured in National Geographic, listed in Travel & Leisure’s Top 500 hotels of the world, and selected by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler for the 2004 Gold List Reserve Award, there’s a good reason why La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa was featured in Architectural Digest.
La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa
330 East Palace Avenue
Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87501
Table of Contents for the Haunted Southwest Series:
Haunted Hotel: The Stanley Hotel, Colorado
The Vulture Mine, Wickenburg, Arizona
Haunted Hotel: The San Carlos, Phoenix, Arizona
The Haunted Shores of the Great Salt Lake, Utah
Haunted Tombstone, Arizona
Haunted Mines: Ghost, Goblins and Tommy Knockers, Southwest
Ghost Camels of the Southwest
Haunted Dawson Cemetary, New Mexico
Haunted Inn: Who Haunts the Brook Forest Inn, Colorado
Halloween in Jerome, Arizona
The Mystery of the Missing Locomotive, Colorado