Investigation Report

Location: The Lodge, Cloudcroft, NM
Date: 20 August 2005
Weather Conditions: rain
Humidity: 58%
Geomagnetic Storm Activity: Inactive
Temperature: 82
Number of Photos taken: 122
Number with possible targets: 3
Average EM Readings: 3 nt
Average M fields Readings: 1 nt
Average E Field Readings: 1 vpm
Cold Spots detected: None
Olfactory Phenomena: None
Visual Phenomena: None
Type of Investigation: Ghost Hunt

All information and photos Copyright 2005 by Cody Polston, Bob Carter and SGHA. All Rights Reserved.

Location Description and History

Originally constructed in 1899 by the Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railway as a by-product of the railroad's search for timber and railway ties, the resort of Cloudcroft became an immediately successful mountain retreat...a cool reprieve to thousands of overheated Texans.

Owned and operated by the railroad, the resort's initial building was a pavilion (now the Pavilion, a Bed and Breakfast at The Lodge with reception and ballroom.)

As the actual log constructed Lodge neared completion in 1899, an article in the Albuquerque Journal Democrat reported, "This beautiful building will be known as Cloudcroft Lodge and its interior will be furnished with a lavish hand, yet in keeping with the character of the place. Fireplaces, with wide, hungry mouths, will sparkle, crackle and dart forth welcome tongues of flame to hundreds of merry guests, who will find a new pleasure in life during the long, sultry summer.
"In 1908, the EI Paso and Southwestern Railroad System, the resort's new owner, advertised that the hotel,

restaurant, dancing pavilion, tennis court, golf links, bowling alley. billiard parlor, burro trips and children's playground were accessible for weekend rates of 53.00 round trip. Lodge rates were $12.50 and up per week.

On June 13, 1909, a disastrous fire destroyed The Lodge. But by 1911 The Lodge had been rebuilt and reopened on its current, more scenic site. Since then it has undergone numerous renovations, but the initial appearance remains almost unchanged.

Over the history of The Lodge, thousands of Southwestern families have called The Lodge and Cloudcroft their second home. The Lodge has entertained and hosted hundreds of politicians, artists, entertainers and business leaders, including such notables as Poncho Villa, Judy Garland and Clark Gable. Gilbert Roland was known to frequent The Lodge. Both U. S. and Mexican government officials have long visited the historic hotel. Military leaders, scientists and astronauts from all over the world have made the Lodge a retreat during their visits to White Sands Missile Range, Holloman AFB and Fort Bliss. And, in fact, the most famous hotel in in the world was once associated with The Lodge; Conrad Hilton managed it in the 1930's.

In January of 1992 the historic Lodge was repurchased by the Great Inn of the Rockies, Inc., a small privately held corporation that aspires to own and operate small resort hotels and country inns in the Rocky Mountain Region. The Great Inns of the Rockies previously owned The Lodge from 1986 to 1990.

Today The Lodge continues in the tradition of friendliness, hospitality, outstanding food and unique lodging.

 

Reported Phenomena

The name of the ghost is Rebecca, who appears as a beautiful young woman, with red hair, blue eyes, and wearing a long dress. She was murdered by her "jealous lumberjack boyfriend" when the hotel was a logging lodge in the 1930s. Not as famously known, the lodge has a second ghost, a 20 or 30 year-old chambermaid, who was also murdered by a jealous lover, and then buried in the basement. It is unclear to which ghost the collected story refers, or if both ghosts have the same original story .Rebecca's ghost has been seen by employees and guests, and ostensibly likes to play tricks moving ashtrays, lighting fires in fireplaces, and playing with the phone in Room 101.

Several dozen employees and guests at this mountain resort have seen the apparition of a woman wearing a long dress, wandering the lodge halls. Rebecca was a beautiful, young maid with striking blue eyes and red hair. Rebecca is called a flirtatious, mischievous spirit, who likes to use the Governor's Suite. Guests in that room sometimes receive phone calls from nowhere, and operators at the resort say that the line to Room 101 is often lit up, even when no one is in the suite. Rebecca's presence is also felt in the Red Dog Saloon, where ashtrays move by themselves and flames appear in the fireplace with no logs or other source of fuel.

The photo on the left is of Rebecca and was composed from details provided by those who have sighted her in the old beautiful building.

There are some who believe that Rebecca is in search of a new lover who appreciates her apparently flirtatious and mischievous ways.

Another story tells of a man who came back to his room late one night to discover a beautiful red headed woman soaking in his bath tub. He reported this to the front desk, who sent someone up to the room, but the young lady had mysteriously vanished. Wet foot prints, the size of a petite woman's, were discovered on the carpet, leading out of the room and down the hall. The man, who was present in the room while waiting for the staff, saw no one leave the room.

Marty Mills, the hotel's recreation director, says the "Lodge has a spirit. I'm not just talking about Rebecca. I don't know much about the paranormal, but there is a presence here." At 49, Mills has been feeling a presence and seeing things she can't explain for a number of years, going back to the 1960s, when her father managed the golf course. As a child, she often played in the Lodge's dimly lit corridors in search of subterranean passageways rumored to exist there. "If you believe in the spirit, whether you call it Rebecca or whatever, the spirit will leave you alone," she adds. "If you do good for the Lodge, you're OK. But you better not push the spirit's buttons."

Guests and other staff members have reported seeing an apparition, and tell about toilets that flush themselves, ashtrays that move, champagne glasses that explode, and the woman who appeared in a mirror only, but wasn't seen in the room. Strangest of all may be the stories of the moving golf carts, which happened in 1976 when Mills was 26. "There was this shed here about full of golf carts, and when we unlocked it we would find that all the carts had been moved around and jammed together so tight you could hardly budge them. That wasn't how we'd left them the night before." Thinking at first it was a prankster, Mills changed the locks and plugged all holes in the shed. On her return the next day, the carts again were all jumbled together. The jumbling repeated every two or three nights for the next two weeks, until one morning she went into the shed and said, "Look, I believe you're here. I believe you exist. But you're filling my life with grief, and I'm getting tired of it. I'd rather you not mess with my carts." Sure enough, the carts weren't moved again.

Over the years the Lodge has played host to many famous guests, including Pancho Villa, Judy Garland, and Clark Gable, but Rebecca, for whom the Lodge's restaurant is named, remains it's most well known lodger. Sandra Naylor, who works in the gift shop, says at first she was skeptical about the ghost. In the spring of 1994, she was interviewing a young woman, also named Rebecca, for a job in the shop. "I was saying to her that if she came to work here she would get kidded a lot because our ghost's name was Rebecca, too," says Naylor. "Just as I was saying that, one of the books in the gift shop, a book about ghosts called The Ghostly Register, fell over. There was no reason for it to fall. There were no fans on, no windows open, no breeze." The book landed open. "It was open to the page about Rebecca," says Naylor. "It made a believer out of me."

Source: "Chambermaid's Ghost Prowls Lodge Set in New Mexico Mountain Range," Ollie Reed Jr., from the Albuquerque Tribune.

The Investigation

We arrived in the late afternoon and after settling in, we moved to check out the Red Dog saloon. The saloon is in the basement of the lodge and the staff was kind enough to open it up for us. There were several odd EM fields near the southwest corner of the saloon. they appeared to be D/C in nature and averaged around 4 nanotesla. After several minutes, the fields simply vanished.

After we looked at the Red Dog saloon, we took a break and ate at Rebecca's Restaurant, located off of the main lobby. There were still several people around the area so we made arrangements to come back later after the restaurant had closed.

The ghost hunt resumed at 11:00pm with a look inside the restaurant. Jessica talked to some of the staff while Cody moved about the restaurant looking for unusual EM fields and taking photographs. the restaurant has a stained glass window with Rebecca's image on it as well as a nice painting of her, located near the restaurants entrance.

Several pictures taken in the restaurant had unusual images in them but nothing unusual was found in this section of the building.

From here we moved upstairs are started sweeping the hallways for anything unusual. No EM fields were located and photographs taken during this time appeared to be completely normal.

At one in the morning, Jessica retired to her room to rest while Cody sat in the lobby, taking occasional photographs and monitoring the area with a Natural trifield meter set on sum mode. The meter's alarm went off twice and both photographs taken show "orb-like" phenomena in them. After an hour and a half, Cody moved back upstairs and was searching the main corridor on the second floor when he felt someone "pat" his behind twice. Assuming that it was Jessica, he asked, "Have you gotten anything?" There was no reply.

Moments later, Jessica emerged from her room down the hallway. Cody immediately turned around only to find an empty hallway. Quickly he snapped off one photograph, which reveled an odd mist-like in it. Smoking is not allowed on the second floor and no one had been smoking in the area when the photograph was taken. Another photo was immediately taken and it came out completely normal. No EM readings were obtained during this event.

We searched the building and the area outside for another 2 hours with nothing interesting occurring. No other EM fields were located and nothing was captured on our cameras.

Photographs

Click on the thumbnails to view the larger image.

Initial Conclusions

One photograph taken during this ghost hunt was especially interesting, although no other data was obtained during this event.

It was taken after Cody had felt someone "pat" his behind and then discovered that no one was behind him. the photographs taken before and after this event were "normal' and had nothing of interest in them.

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