In the late 19th century, Lover's Lane, one of Old Town's charming alleyways, was the scene of a gruesome murder committed by the daughter of one of Albuquerque's prominent families, the Armijos. Engaged to a local Romeo, she caught her fiancé there with another lady. Because Lover's Lane was where everyone in town went to smooch, the Armijo lady was more than just heartbroken—she was humiliated. In a rage, she grabbed a hatchet (some think it was a garden hoe, but that isn't as scary) and allegedly dismembered her cheating man. They say the other lady got away.
Armijo was never prosecuted, but being from a wealthy family, most think her folks sent her away. But some think she's still here—wha, ha, ha, ha! (cue lightening strike)—making her presence known to lovers as the Hatchet Lady! So be careful which alley you choose for a nighttime make-out sesh, because the Hatchet Lady might come after you.
This is only one of many ghost stories any brave believer or skeptic can hear in the very place it happened. New Mexico Ghost Tours, part of Southwest Ghost Hunter's Association, leads a walking tour of Old Town at 8:30 p.m. every night of the week, year-round. The haunts they visit on the regular two-hour tour are based on "solid" evidence, meaning that they've been seen by more than 12 people, and on a few occasions ghosts were seen during the tour. This week, from Oct. 27 through Oct. 30, there's a special hour-long animated extravaganza called “Night of the Dead” from 7 to 10 p.m.
Both tours cost $20, and are well worth it, if not for the ghosts then at least for the history lesson. Tickets must be reserved in advance. You can do this by calling 249-7827 or visiting www.nmghosttours.com.