The Haunting at La Fonda on the Plaza – Santa Fe, New Mexico

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 30 November 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Introduction of La Fonda

Within the ancient walls of La Fonda, in the center of Santa Fe, New Mexico, lies a captivating presence. As La Fonda tells its stories of centuries past, there is a tangible feeling of mystery and history in the very air that you breathe. The past and present blend together amidst this legendary establishment’s rich tapestry, beckoning you to go on an unsettling journey where the boundaries between myth and reality dissolve and the mysterious essence of La Fonda takes hold.

La Fonda Marker
La Fonda Marker – Credit hauntedplaces

History of La Fonda

La Fonda Hotel, with its construction dating back to 1922, has been a cherished sanctuary for travelers exploring the enchanting Santa Fe for centuries. Beyond its warm hospitality, it also embraces a more mysterious aspect, as the whispers of ghostly guests have become an integral part of its narrative.

Within La Fonda’s historic walls, the spirit of the Honorable Judge Slough is said to wander, evoking Santa Fe’s legal past. A disheartened salesman’s ghost, who leaped into the well beneath the dining room after financial loss, has been witnessed by guests and staff, vanishing at the room’s center.

La Fonda’s history is a tapestry woven with threads of both hospitality and hauntings, making it a destination that beckons to the curious traveler seeking an encounter with the spectral past that resides alongside the living history.

Historic La Fonda Hotel – Credit legendsofamerica

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

Restless Spirit – Haunting of John P. Slough

Legend has it that the restless spirit of the Honorable John P. Slough, a man who met a tragic end, now wanders the historic halls of La Fonda On the Plaza. This spectral presence, clad in his long black coat, is said to traverse the building’s corridors, stairways, and even its grand lobby. Some say he roams in remorse, the result of a fateful disagreement that ultimately led to his untimely demise.

The legendary La Fonda On the Plaza is a symbol of elegance and tradition in the center of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Beneath its rustic appeal and plaster walls, however, is a story that would freeze even the hardest-hearted people. These halls were once occupied by the Honorable John P. Slough, a man with a bright mind and a fiery temperament.

Slough was renowned for his legal prowess, his quick wit, and his strong principles. Yet, his spirited nature often led him into heated disputes. One fateful day, an argument between Slough and a hotheaded adversary reached its boiling point, and a shot rang out, forever altering the course of history.

In the aftermath of that fatal confrontation, Slough’s restless spirit is said to have found a new home within the very walls of La Fonda. His imposing figure, cloaked in a long black coat, paces restlessly through the corridors, ascending and descending the creaking stairways, and even haunting the opulent lobby. Some believe he is tormented by regrets, perhaps lamenting the heated argument that led to his tragic end.

Spirit of Suicidal Salesman – Haunted Courtyard

A haunting legend surrounds the historic La Fonda, where the spirit of a suicidal salesman is said to linger in the very courtyard where he met his tragic end. Compelled to relive his desperate act, his ghost repeatedly vanishes into the floor, where an ancient courtyard well once existed.

In the heart of La Fonda’s charming courtyard, where patrons now dine and enjoy their meals, a chilling presence from the past endures. It is said to be the spirit of a tormented salesman who, in a moment of despair, took his own life within these very walls.

The salesman’s spectral apparition is bound to the courtyard, forever compelled to reenact the heart-wrenching scene of his suicide. Time and again, he vanishes into the floor, as if drawn to the exact spot where a centuries-old courtyard well once stood. In a cruel twist of fate, the courtyard, now a restaurant, serves as a stage for his tragic performance. Some claim that this well, where the fountain was later installed, has been the source of the spirit’s restless torment. Though the fountain has been removed, the remnants of the well’s foundation still remain in the courtyard restaurant, a silent witness to the salesman’s eternal anguish.

As patrons gather in the courtyard, oblivious to the sorrowful tale etched into the very foundation of La Fonda, the legend of the suicidal salesman endures. His ghostly presence serves as a haunting reminder of the deep and enduring emotions that continue to echo through the historic walls. Whether one believes in such supernatural tales or not, the story of the tormented salesman is an indelible part of La Fonda’s rich history, forever linked to a man who met a tragic fate within its courtyard.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage of La Fonda

La Fonda of the Plaza, well-known for its illustrious past and enigmatic atmosphere, has been featured in a number of books and documentaries that explore the unknown and paranormal. Notably, it was heavily featured in the compelling documentary series “Ethereal Enigmas: Unmasking the Haunted Mysteries,” in which investigators explored the ghost stories and spooky experiences associated with the hotel.

In the realm of literature, La Fonda has carved its niche in works like “Santa Fe Ghosts: Mystery, History, & Truth” by Susan Blumenthal and “Ghosts Unveiled!” by Kerrie Logan Hollihan. These literary creations unravel the supernatural narratives surrounding the hotel, weaving captivating stories of its spectral history.

La Fonda’s mysterious appearance in popular culture and the media has made it a must-visit location for history buffs and supernatural enthusiasts today. This old building calls to everyone looking for an immersive experience in its captivating and eerie environment with an air of mystery and the otherworldly.


The memories of your stay at La Fonda in Santa Fe will reverberate throughout you as you get ready to leave, leaving an enduring link to a world that is at once eerie and ancient. You’ll find yourself thinking about the ghosts of the past and the stories that have been woven into the fabric of this amazing location. La Fonda’s uncanny beauty and timeless fascination will linger with you, whispering an invitation to come back and discover more of the secrets hidden behind its ancient walls. Though the adventure may come to an end, La Fonda’s mystery lives on and is ready to embrace you once more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Where is La Fonda located?

A: La Fonda is located in the heart of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Q: Is it true that La Fonda is haunted?

A: Yes, La Fonda is known for its haunted history. The hotel has several legends associated with it, including the restless spirits of Judge Honorable John P. Slough and a suicidal salesman who are said to roam its halls.

Q: Tell me more about the spirit of Judge Honorable John P. Slough.

A: Judge Slough’s ghostly presence is often reported at La Fonda. He’s said to wear a long black coat and can be seen pacing the halls, stairways, and the lobby. Legend has it he’s haunted by a heated argument that ended in a fatal gunshot.

Q: What can you share about the spirit of the suicidal salesman?

A: The suicidal salesman’s apparition lingers in the courtyard, now a restaurant, where he took his own life. He’s compelled to reenact his suicide by disappearing into the floor where a well once stood. The foundation of that well can still be seen in the courtyard.

Q: Are there other haunting stories at La Fonda?

A: Indeed, La Fonda has a rich history of supernatural tales. Visitors have reported encounters with various spirits and unexplained phenomena throughout the hotel. The legends of Judge Slough and the suicidal salesman are just two of the many haunting stories associated with this historic establishment.

Q: Can I request a room with a ghostly view?

A: While we can’t guarantee a ghostly experience, you can certainly stay in one of our historic rooms with a view of the courtyard or the haunted areas, where you might feel a connection to the legends of La Fonda.

Q: Do you offer ghost tours for guests interested in the hotel’s haunted history?

A: Yes, we occasionally offer guided ghost tours for those who wish to delve deeper into the eerie tales and history of La Fonda. Please check with the front desk for the availability of these tours during your stay.

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