CLOUDCROFT, N.M. — The Lodge Resort and Spa in Cloudcroft is home to many ghosts that tend to be friendly with humans during a ghost investigation Saturday night.
The El Paso Ghost Tours searched through multiple rooms of the 47 room hotel surrounded by more than 300,000 acres of Lincoln National Forest.
"It just happens." said Daniel Bustamante, owner of El Paso Ghost Tours. "The spirits here like to communicate and they're not shy to let you know that they are here."
One of the most famous ghosts at the hotel is Rebecca.
"Rebecca was a chambermaid here in the early 1900's and she was done away with from her lumberjack boyfriend, cause of course she was found in the arms of another," said Lisa Thomassie, general manger at The Lodge.
Employees said Rebecca's presence can be felt throughout the hotel and even guests have had interactions with her.
One of the stories Thomassie vividly recalls is a little girl, also named Rebecca, who was very intrigued by the chambermaid's story.
She said one morning, she saw young Rebecca walking through the hotel.
"She had her hand out like this and she was coming down the stairs and I said Rebecca what are you doing, and she says oh Rebecca came and got me out of my room and she's taking me on a stroll of the hotel," Thomassie said.
With countless unexplainable stories, The Lodge also attracts ghost hunters like Daniel Bustamante from El Paso Ghost Tours.
Once night fall, Bstamante and his team set up an investigation for about 10 people hoping to interact with the Cloudcroft hotel's famous redhead.
Bustamante stressed their investigations are only worth it if they capture any proof.
"We're skeptics, we're not going to believe it," Bustamante said. "You can tell me you saw it, but unless it's on video or audio or a picture we're very scientific in what we do."
They use infrared cameras, static sensors and K-2 meters that are the easiest method for entities to communicate.
The K-2 meters use lights that turn on and off when spirits respond to yes or no questions.
"We want to communicate with any entity any spirit that's in this room," Bustamante said when the tour started.
After very minor interactions inside the room, the group moved on to the ladie's restroom where employees have said they have experienced strange things.
Bustamante tried to establish communication through a K-2 meter which was very active.
He also asked the ghost to turn on a flashlight.
After a few seconds the light turned on with nobody around it.
Joey Strumpf was the closest to the flashlight when it turned on.
Strumpf was holding a meter in one hand and a glass of water in the other.
"It scared me a little bit at first," Strumpf said. "Then it would turn on and off with what he was asking and I couldn't believe it."
After the restroom experience and a brief session inside the dining room with very little activity, the group moved on to the bell tower which is one of Rebecca's favorite places.
The tower was originally built to help spot the train in the early 1900's.
The small room is said to be home to the ghost of an Artesia woman.
The group placed the flashlight from the restroom inside the eye of a halloween decoration far from any people.
"Is there something you want me to do for you to make that light turn on?" asked Bustamante.
The light once again turned on and off on command.
From there the group went to the Marica Dining Hall where they had already encountered a not so friendly ghost in previous tours.
"There's nothing you can do to me that hasn't already been done," said Mike Starky, an investigator with the tour. "I've been bit, hit, punched, scratched so come on take your best shot."
Bustamante said the best way to get a response, is to provoke the ghost.
The ghost then targeted two women in the group.
One of them began to feel shaky. The other woman named Crystal, told Bustamanted she didn't like him.
At one point Crystal had to leave the room after having difficulty breathing.
After a while she returned and had an interesting exchange with the ghost hunters.
Crystal: "He's sad."
Bustamante: "Are you sad? Poor little baby is sad?
Crystal: "He doesn't like being talked to that way."
Starky: "Are you sad because we're not letting you do what you want? Cause everybody in this room is stronger than you?
Bustamante: "I am (stronger than you)."
Bustamante explained there were various ghosts throughout the night the group interacted with.
"That's what paranormal activity is right," Bustamante said. "It's beyond reason, it's beyond common sense, why is this happening and then we try to explain and debunk why it happened."
"I go home with definite possibilities and I want to see more," Strumpf said after the tour.
For more information on tours and investigations:
Phone : 1-877-GHOST-10
The Lodge Resort
601 Corona Place
Cloudcroft, NM 88317