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Witness: Juan Velarde
Location: Taos, New Mexico
Date of Encounter: 1980-1981

My family moved to Taos, New Mexico to an old "Artistic House." This was a house that was 3000 square feet with ten rooms. It was a traditional, old New Mexican Adobe with three-foot thick walls and rock floors on the first floor. We had heard that it was haunted by a ghost who would knock on the walls late at night and rumor had it that if you followed the knocks to their origin you would find a coffee can with gold coins. This was meant for a person who was poor but had a good soul. I never heard the knocks but I awoke one night to pounding on the walls downstairs with several lights turned on inexplicably. Another night my sister and I were upstairs watching TV and we heard a door open rather violently downstairs in the kitchen and when we went to investigate, we found the back door (a heavy wooden door with a bolt lock) wide open and all four burners on the stove turned on (the kind that required you to push then turn). All of my family members and even cousins who came to stay experienced inexplicable encounters in different rooms. I remember another night I got up to use the restroom and saw a form of a person standing next to the TV and was so terrified I stayed in my room.

The house was creepy at times with cold spots and rooms where frost would appear on the inside of the windows due to the draftiness, and insects would congregate in one room on the windows. We always had cockroach problems due to the age of the house. Once the lights went out you could hear the roaches pitter patter on the wooden floor. When you turned on the lights they would scatter. To this day I am pretty neurotic about roaches. We finally sold the house and it was renovated and converted into a Bed and Breakfast. As an adult I visited the new owners who had heard of the stories of the hauntings and offered me a free night stay if I would document them all. I never did follow-up but that house definitely had some character to it.

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