by Joseph Arguello and Deanna Sanchez
Have you seen or heard something out of the ordinary? Lights flickering on and off? Voices when no one is around? Mystifying, flashing lights hovering in the sky? Maybe you’ve heard of a creepy story or legend passed down through generations? Perhaps you've heard about the Shuler's ghostly residents or our library’s creepy companions? Either way, we have a few stories to share with you about Raton, New Mexico.
Now begins the story of an encounter of the first kind.
Imagine dropping off a turkey for Thanksgiving, only to get into your car and be followed by an unidentified flying object. Every turn you take, a huge, football-field-sized light is chasing after you. This story, though seeming quite fictitious, was sworn to be the truth. Nonetheless, this story is based in Raton.
A few days before Thanksgiving in 1996, a woman and her daughter were driving down Berry Street when they saw a huge light fly over the mountain from the north end of town and began hovering above the car. The women were baffled, asking, “What the heck is that?” At first, the term UFO wasn’t even a thought.
“Oh, it must be an airplane heading to the airport or something,” said both women. However, the local residents realized the “airplane” was flying too close to the ground and produced zero sound. To them, this made absolutely no sense. If it were an airplane, where would it land in town?
The ladies flew into panic making turns down several different streets trying to deter the mysterious object from following the car. Eventually, the chase ended on the busy intersection of Clayton Road and Second Street. The UFO shot off towards Johnson Mesa. The most curious detail from this story was there were multiple eyewitnesses. The cars at the intersection saw the UFO, stopped, and began honking. The ladies went home in utter bewilderment. Baffled, they told family of their encounter with the scary flying object, but were met with doubts.
The next day, a family member confirmed the sighting as he was driving on Clayton Highway when a large object was heading towards Johnson Mesa around the same time. Discussing theories around aliens, another family member who used to work for a farmer on the mesa believed aliens to be around the area. He claimed to have once found a pregnant cow mutilated and left for dead, with her calf missing from her womb and no incision marks to prove that she was operated on or evidence of birth. He was completely grieved at the sight and could never forget how he found the cow.
Additionally, there were several accounts of cows’ udders being mutilated in the surrounding area and as far north as Walsenburg, Colorado. Many theorize our area is prevalent with alien and UFO sightings, due to the fact that Raton falls close to the 37th parallel.
The 37th parallel is the 37° on the Earth's latitude, coined the UFO super highway with well over 500-alleged UFO sightings and reports. Several states fall on this highway such as the southern borders of Utah, Colorado, and Kansas and the northern borders of Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
Although UFO sighters describe the encounters as flying saucers, we have reason to believe, especially after speaking to this local eyewitness, the 1996 UFO looked more like a basket.
That brings us to question, have you had an encounter? Did you see a UFO on that busy Raton intersection in 1996?
The Lady On The Pass
Being in New Mexico, we’re sure you’ve heard about La Llorona—the weeping woman who is said to snatch young children that play near ditches, rivers, and arroyos. Well she isn't the only woman on the ghost scene. In fact, few other famous ghostesses wander around our area. One being the woman of the evil hour. In Spanish, she is called La Mala Hora. Usually the evil hour falls at 3 a.m., but this woman is known for striking at midnight.
La Mala Hora is depicted as a beautiful young lady with long black hair decorated with a rose crown, and wears a black dress. Witnesses claim that she is beautiful at first glance and then horrible looking the next. Unlike La Llorona, she takes to the highways, preying on cheating men who have left their wives or significant others for the company of another woman.
The men she usually adheres to are prone to falling into temptation. Briefly and at first sight as they drive on past this woman, they see her beauty. Then yearning for a second glimpse, they look back at the seductress to see her transform into an ugly witch. As a result, they often get into car accidents suffering from major, if not, life-threatening injuries. Instead of paying the consequences for their heart’s infidelity, La Mala Hora makes men wish they stayed home with their loved ones.
According to several here in Raton, they have seen the ghostess walking the Raton Pass waiting for her next victim. Few have fallen victim to her evil mind games, and even fewer know not to look again.
The Dancing Devil
The music is blaring. The liquor is flowing. The stage lights are flashing. People are flirting and enjoying the company of longtime friends. The dance hall is beginning to heat up. Picture yourself dancing the night away. Then, you come to and see that you're literally dancing with the devil!
In the mid 1980s, two dashing couples dressed in red entered a Raton dance hall. Two women adorned in beautiful red dresses and two men in the most ravishing red suits made their way to the dance floor and began dancing. It was a busy night when the two couples received the attention of the entire building. For several hours, the couples danced freely, but it was discovered these people were not people at all, but instead demon-like beings with hoofed feet. Once the public realized, a panic broke out. The gorgeous, yet devilish, couples began whispering and conducting a satanic ritual on the dance floor. The local residents were not completely clueless as to what was being whispered, because residents countered and broke out into prayer, reciting the Hail Mary in Spanish. Reciting the Hail Mary or Our Father prayer in Spanish with a large group is said to be the most powerful way to rid demons and other spirits away from any location. Once the people of Raton started praying, the demons seemingly vaporized into thin air.
However, this is not the only time local residents of Raton have witnessed hoofed-beings. One man had claimed to have picked up a hoofed man on the highway in Raton. Women have claimed to have danced with the devil himself. Raton is not the only town of hoofed-people sightings. In fact, the dancing devil is well known throughout New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Texas, and Arizona.
Um... Looks like its time for us to learn the Hail Mary in Spanish. You know, just in case!
Got the heebie-jeebies? Us, too.
Tell us your paranormal story about Raton.