State’s Urban Legends: New Mexico

They call New Mexico the Land of Enchantment. It has its share of urban legends and not all of them are all that enchanting.


New Mexico's Chupacabra

An artist’s rendition of the creature.

It seems every state in the southwest – and the northern areas of Mexico – have a chupacabra roaming about. It’s a rabid beast, ranging in size from a large dog to a full-grown bear, with glowing eyes and what appears to be sharp spikes extending out from its spine.

If that isn’t scary enough, it seems it has the ability to fly. Oh, and it survives by sucking the blood of its victims. Said victims ranging from domesticated animals to human beings.

The first recorded sighting came in the mid-90s in Puerto Rico when it was called the “goatsucker”. In the two decades since this creature has steadily made its way through Central America, Mexico and into the southwestern United States, apparently as far as New Mexico itself. There have been fuzzy photos and videos, but no captured or killed creature to verify its existence.

La Mala Hora

“The Evil Hour” in English, for those unfamiliar with Spanish, La Mala Hora appears as a ball of dark energy. According to legend, the ball will constantly dart about, changing size and shape. If you look at it, legend says, you will go insanse and La Mala Hora will kill you, very slowly.

But some New Mexico legends say La Mala Hora appears in the form of a somewhat scary woman. Should you encounter her at a crossroads someone in your family circle will die. And that someone could very well be you.

Fenn’s Treasure

Okay, this one is less urban and less scary, but it can’t all be death and misery around here. Back in the 1980s an eccentric – and very rich – art dealer named Forrest Fenn went out a buried a million bucks worth of treasure.

The loot is contained inside a chest and is comprised of gold and gemstones. The treasure is probably worth a lot more today than they were when they went into the ground. Fenn then took to television to tell the world what he’d done and left clues on how to go about finding it.

It still hasn’t been found. Anybody have a map?


Alright, those little grey guys are back in the room so we’d better deal with them once and for all.

Back in 1947, something crashed on a ranch near Roswell. Mac Brazel was working the homestead where the crash occurred and found the debris. He took some of it to the local airbase and a conspiracy/cover-up was born. At first, the military said it was a flying saucer. The next day they said it was a weather balloon and they’ve been changing that story ever since.

It has spawned a whole industry for the town, including the Roswell UFO Museum, and occasionally someone reports seeing odd things out there – yes, including little grey men. Over the years people have come forward with their own accounts of what happened back then adding to the mystery.

True or not? We may never know.


About the author

Richard Paolinelli