When St. Vincent’s hospital in Santa Fe moved to its new location on St. Michael’s Drive in 1983 the old building then was used for several years as a nursing home called by the locals, La Residencia.
The Bloody Wall *
The nursing staff at this facility was aware of the building’s reputation for being haunted. In fact, they initiated new staff members by escorting them at night to the basement on the elevator--leaving them there with the directive that they must find the staircase and meet them back up on the 3rd floor.
The seasoned staff that used this as a “rite of passage” for the newbies on the staff openly admitted they would not go to the basement alone even if they were offered money.
The basement has a history of people seeing apparitions, hearing disembodied voices, loud banging noises, and being touched by unseen hands. As I mentioned in Part l many feel that the spirits of restless Native Americans haunt the various rooms and hallways in this area.
One evening the nursing home’s Nurse Coordinator was assigned to escort the new nurse’s aide down the elevator to the basement. When the elevator stopped she wished her ‘good luck” and reminded this young lady to meet her back upstairs via the staircase.
Time passed and the nurse’s aide did not come back upstairs. The coordinator and another nurse agreed hesitantly to go down the elevator to find the aide.
As they reached the basement the coordinator went in search of the young woman while the other nurse kept the elevator doors open. The only light besides what came from the elevator were the the Exist signs and the flashlight the coordinator held.
She called out the aide’s name and heard a faint reply. She found the younger woman huddled in the corner of one storage room. The woman was grateful to see her. She told the coordinator she had gotten lost and then heard some weird noises. The coordinator called out to the other nurse that everything was okay.
As they left the room her flashlight picked up something shiny on one wall. She reached out and touched it with her fingers--it was wet. She didn’t have a handkerchief and she didn’t want to wipe it on her uniform so she just let her fingers dry.
When they entered the elevator she looked down at her hand. Her fingers appeared to be covered in blood. She smelled them and picked up the distinct iron scent of hemoglobin. Now in a panic she yelled at the other nurse, “Press the button, press the button.”
Afterwards, one workman who had been an employee when the building was the hospital told her that this storage room had once held a small furnace. The hospital had used this furnace to cremate amputated limbs and organs removed during surgeries.
After this the nursing home staff no longer used the basement to initiate new employees.
The Crying Child *
While the building was still St. Vincent hospital, Room 311 on the 3rd floor was not used for patients unless absolutely necessary.
During one Christmas holiday a new employee, a nurse’s aide experienced something on the 3rd floor she will never forget.
She was helping a patient get into bed one evening when she heard crying coming from down the hall. She went to investigate and stopped at Room 311, she heard the crying once more.
She opened the door and went inside but the room was empty. She then checked other rooms but all the patients were asleep. As she walked toward the nurse’s station she heard the crying once more.
She backtracked and heard the sound as she stopped outside Room 311. This time when she entered she turned on the lights and checked under the beds--perhaps a stray cat had gotten into the room-- but nothing was there.
Later that night she heard the crying once more. She ran down the hall to 311 but the sound stopped as she entered the room. The following evening she described what she had heard to several nurses.
They informed her that everyone heard crying--that worked on the 3rd floor, especially during the winter months. They advised her just to ignore it.
The next time she heard the crying it was Christmas Eve. She felt it must be a baby--she had worked with babies in an intensive care unit in another hospital and this crying sounded very similar to what she had heard in the past.
She listened as she heard the crying stop and then gasping sounds followed. She had heard similar sounds as she had held babies that were dying.
The next week she mentioned the “crying baby” to a group of fellow employees having dinner. One woman told her that many years before she had been on duty on the 3rd floor on Christmas Eve.
There had been a fatal 2-car accident on I-25 and the driver in one car a father had been instantly killed. His young son had been brought in with internal bleeding. This baby remained in critical condition and sadly died. The nurse stated she still remembered him gasping for breath as he struggled to live.
The aide asked what room this had been, she replied Room 311.
The nursing home left the building after 7 years. The old St. Vincent hospital building was recently been renovated by Drury Hotels.