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Haunted Road Trip (Part 2): Cadillac Ranch to Stull Cemetery

Let’s pick up where we left off on our weird and spooky Tucson to Madison road trip.  In part one we covered ghost and UFO-related locations across Arizona and New Mexico, visiting haunted hotels and eating at haunted restaurants.  I’m a sucker for classic Hollywood, so I’ll take a moment to again, point out how cool the El Rancho Hotel in Gallup, NM is.  If you haven’t had a change to read that article, check out part 1.
Our departure from lunch in Santa Fe’s haunted High Noon Restaurant, sent us east towards the Texas panhandle.  In true form, everything really is bigger in Texas… even the Holiday Inn, which boasted rooms as big as convention halls.  Exaggeration, yes, but it was some serious bang for the buck.

The next morning, waking up in Amarillo, there was one way to start the day… by hanging out in the middle of a farm field.  Cadillac Ranch has been standing for over 40 years just south of Route 66.  The 10 cars, arranged chronologically from a ’49 model to a ’64 show the progression of the iconic Caddy tailfin.  The original location was a wheat field 2 miles closer to the city, but was moved in 1997 to keep it further from the growing metropolis.  (See the move in progress below)
Perhaps most amazingly, the location is still completely free and unmonitored.  Curiosity seekers are welcome to visit and explore the oddity as they wish.  The original plan wasn’t to provide a canvas for people across the country to leave their mark, but that’s what it’s become.  Half used spray cans litter the area, allowing anyone to grab the contraband-turned-art supply and add their own little flair to Cadillac Ranch.  After 40 years, I think there’s more paint than metal here.  For a great gallery of photographs of the ranch over the years, including the unthinkable – graffiti-free pictures of the cars, visit this site: The Story of Cadillac Ranch.

We didn’t have to go far to visit our first haunted location of the day as Amarillo also houses “The Nat,” a haunted castle from 1922.  Well, a castle-style building anyway.  It was built to house an indoor swimming pool (“Nat” being short for natatorium), but within four years of opening, the venue was completely repurposed.  A dance floor was built over top of the pool and a stage was added.  The ghosts that still reside seem to come from this incarnation of the building. (keep reading after the break)

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The next 70 years witnessed an evolution of music, hosting big band groups, classic rock groups including Buddy Holly and continuing to book acts all the way to the much more contemporary Dixie Chicks.
Today, however, the building is wall-to-wall antique mall.  The upstairs loft, previously a gambling hall (unconfirmed), is the site of frequent cold spots and where a women in white is seen.  This woman has a red mark on her front.  Amazingly, this has not lead to legends of a woman being stabbed to death here, but rather the victim of a ruthless wine stain.
People have seen a couple still dancing the night away on the dance floor.  The room is also the site of easily the most rockin’ residual haunting I’ve ever heard of: a phantom drum solo!  The opportunity was too rich, so I had our award-winning drummer in residence, Wendy Lynn Staats of the paranormal rock band Sunspot, take the stage and hang out where the drum kit would be set up.  Unfortunately, our phantom performers were not enticed to show off in front of a fellow drummer.

Talking with the clerk, he conveyed a story to us about seeing a woman and young girl walking through one of the aisles around closing time.  When he approached to let them know they were closing soon, the two vanished.
This sounds like an active site that possibly got much more active with the addition of thousands of antiques.  It’s always possible that cherished objects still have attachments associated with their previous owners.  This would be an amazing, but impractical location for a ghost hunt.  I only hope the Nat has a good security system with sound; essentially a nightly paranormal stakeout.

Click here to continue the adventure to these interesting locations!
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