Do ghosts exist?
In the late 1980's I was on my way home to Placitas late one night from a friend's house in Bernalillo. I was between West Placitas and what is now The Merc (it did not yet exist at the time) when I observed a white figure on the shoulder of the northside of the highway. As I drove closer the figure appeared to be a woman walking in a westward direction along the highway. I thought this woman was in need of help so I slowed down to where I almost stopped in the middle of the highway. As I came up on the white figure I could not believe my eyes. It's long hair, face and clothing were all white, and the clothing was a flowing gown. I accelerated and did not look back. This really scared the heck out of me, but my encounter with this white figure was not the last.
Several weeks later I was again going home late at night from my same friends house in Bernalillo when I again encountered this white figure, but this time she was standing in front of my house next to the driveway. As I pulled into the driveway I noticed her. She watched me drive in and park. I did not want to attempt any type of contact so I quickly turned off my car, got out and got into my house. I have never been so freaked out. I have not seen this white figure again.
A True Story
This is not a ghost story. But it is every bit as chilling.
In the late `50s, I was working summers as a sales clerk in the Boys and Campus department of J.W. Robinsons department store in Beverly Hills. I was in high school at the time.
One day towards the end of summer, and just a few days before I returned to school, an attractive, young, red haired woman entered the department shopping for back-to-school clothes for her son. I was having a difficult time keeping my eyes off her. Not because I was physically attracted to her, but because I could not get over how much she looked like the photographs of my mother when she was at Mills College and close to this woman’s age. It was uncanny. (My mother was a redhead as well).
We concluded the sales and I asked her for her charge-a-plate, (those little metal plates that preceded the credit card). As I was writing up the sale, I looked at the address and a chill ran down my spine.
“Is that the big house that has a miniature version of the house as a mailbox?” I said.
“Why yes it is,” she replied. “Do you know the house?”
“Yes,” I said, “I used to walk by it from time to time.”
I did not want to tell her that is was the same house in which my mother lived from early childhood until she met my father and got married.
—Gary W. Priester
The Ghost of Las Huertas Creek
Me and the wife have lived in Placitas for 35 years and we’ve always heard the story of Joey Clark and how he was beheaded and garroted by his deranged wife while he was panning for gold in Las Huertas Creek in 1943. They say that he finally hit it big that year, had discovered a major vein of gold in the water right where Las Huertas goes by Cripple Creek, just three miles or so north of the Village of Placitas.
I guess one of his big mistakes was braggin’ about it to his wife and so-called buddies when he went drinking that night at the Thunderbird. But, he never did tell anyone where he struck it big. Oh sure they tried to follow him, but he was pretty cagey and no one ever did find the spot – leastwise that’s what they used to say.
Well, it turns out that Ol’ Joe Clark’s wife had other ideas about that money. Angeline used to be a baker in Minnesota, and she used to kneed more than dough, if’n ya catch my drift. In fact, in them days in St. Paul/Minneapolis she was known as the “Tail of Two Cities”. Well, the legend has it that one evening, Joey came back to his home in Ranchos a little early and found Angeline with the local red-haired boy, and they weren’t playing mah-jongg. Joey said he wasn’t going to give Angeline his gold, nohow. So they had a big fight and Angeline followed him to Las Huertas Creek and “changed his mind” with an axe – cut that head clean off. Too bad she never did find out from him where the gold is – it’s still out there somewhere.
I didn’t believe the story until I kept hearing strange ghostly sounds coming from Las Huertas right behind my arroyo. And then…last night it happened. Me and the grandkids were walkin’ the creek looking for lizards (they’re quite delicious when sautéed). Well, right in front of us we saw, and I have witnesses – my grandkids - a headless old man, and he was holding his head like a football, tucked under his arm. Scared the heebie-jeebies out of me and the brats. We took off down the arroyo and it seemed like the head was screaming at us to stop and he’ll show us where the gold is. Sorry – there ain’t no money in the world worth that. We’re movin’ to Algodones next week. And that’s my story…believe it or don’t.