Monday, June 10, 2013

Haunted New Mexico: Perea Casa

My team investigated this old home in Corrales, New Mexico a few years back. Don Juan Perea built Perea Casa between 1830 and 1850. This Casa is a classic 19th Century Territorial style home with a central “Grand Sala” or great hall that is 1200 square ft. This sala is flanked by a row of rooms on each side. 

According to several records Perea’s wife loved to dance, so he had his home built with this in mind. During the time he owned the Casa many fiesta’s were held in his home. Ever since there have been recorded incidents of hauntings on the property.

After Perea died, the home was used as a county courthouse. During this time there were hangings outside the Casa. In the 1970s the home hosted several pool parties for governors of the state. The home sits on an acre of land. 

By the mid-1900s, a large pool was placed in the front, and a large master bedroom suite was added onto the back of the Casa. Also at this time, a two-story servant quarter was built in the back of the main house. In more recent years these quarters were leased out as private apartments.

Activity in the Casa has been relatively consistent. The sound of footsteps are heard when no one is there. Cold spots are felt, and various unexplained noises are heard. 

An apparition is seen of an old bald man with a red handlebar mustache. He wears a blue shirt and brown pants that are held up by suspenders. It is thought he is the original owner of the home.

The property stood empty for almost ten years after one frightening incident occurred in the 1990s. The owner at this time had guests staying at the home.  They reported that they had orange peels thrown at them from unseen hands. At this point, the owner abandoned the house never to return. One local news report about this incident at the time filmed the rooms to show all the furniture that was left behind.

By 2004 the Casa was in foreclosure. An interested buyer from Massachusetts attempted to purchase the property. Underwriters at several lenders refused to grant financing after reading an appraisal note that stated the original owner of the home who haunts it, assaults people with orange peels.

“Its just something so out of the ordinary, that if you had to foreclose on it, there would be a limited buyer pool.”

Ghost occupancy can decrease the value of a property by 35%. What is called a "stigmatized" property often becomes both a legal and value concern. Ironically, not all appraisal reports will discount the cost of a home based on supernatural occupants. A classic example of this is commercial properties, which often increase in value when known to be haunted.

The Massachusetts buyer was eventually able to purchase the property by having another appraisal done that didn’t mention the haunting. By 2010 when my group did our investigation of the property, the Casa had a history of being sold and bought by owners that paid for it unseen and never visited it in person. It was their loss for Corrales is as charming as Santa Fe but smaller. This beautiful community is located in a small valley near the Bosque.

The average home in this area sells for millions. Many homes in the area are haunted. I have done several investigations in Corrales, but I was particularly excited when my group was allowed to do an overnight investigation at Perea Casa. This opportunity came about because of the local realtor who had taken over the management of the property a year before. He had a personal experience with the ghost.

During his first inspection of the property he and several others were standing in a small room off the south side of the Grand Sala. It was a hot summer’s day, and the room they stood in, became freezing cold. Within seconds he sensed that a dark figure was slowly circling the group. 

At our first meeting, he explained to us because of the Casa’s haunted history it was written within his contract to allow ghost investigators to come in. But he also obviously had a personal reason. He participated in the first half of the investigation with us.

Our Investigation

In several spots, we got high readings on our EMF meters--in the Grand Sala and in the newer bedroom suite. There is a strong sense of a presence in the Casa. 

One of the more exciting experiences we had was two of my group that night saw a blue flash of light dart outside the window at the western end of the Sala. This same light then flashed through the window and entered the room with us. The window was closed. I captured some interesting light anomalies on film in this area afterward. 

Recently, the Perea Casa was sold to a commercial company. They completely restored the Casa--which is terrific. They had a soft opening in February of 2013. It is a company run by a man that is a former Disneyland designer. His new company a center for “ Imagineering” is called, Marshall Monroe Magic. They do media development and consultation for theme parks.

The following video features another ghost hunting group and another realtor. I place it here because it has some great shots of the interior and exterior of Perea Casa before it was renovated.


Unknown said...

I grew up in this house. Lived there from 5 years old to 9 years old. My mother continued to live there for several more years. My parents told me when I was 5 or 6 I walked into their room in the middle of the night asking to use their bathroom. I told them I could not use mine because a man was standing in the door way and would not let me in. Later the man that I described matched the description of Juan Perea the builder of the house.

Virginia Lamkin said...

Thanks for sharing. Your experience backs up others that state they have felt or seen his spirit.

Unknown said...

I lived in and was married in the Sala at Casa Perea in 1974. I remember the Meyer family was the owners while I lived there...