A HEAD OF THEIR TIME.Byline: ROBERT NOTT
Headless specters are particularly intriguing to the average ghost hunter, probably because we know that a spook with no noggin nog·gin
1. A small mug or cup.
2. A unit of liquid measure equal to one quarter of a pint.
3. Slang The human head.
[Origin unknown. can't see or hear us, which makes escape easier. Arguably the most famous noodle-free spirit in literature is the Headless Horseman of Washington Irving's short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," first published in 1820. But there are other well-known headless ghosts, both in history and literature, including a couple from Santa Fe. Here's a sampling:
ANNE BOLEYN Henry VIII's second wife really lost her head in love after her husband accused her of adultery (he wanted to get rid of her so he could marry wife number three). She was beheaded be·head
tr.v. be·head·ed, be·head·ing, be·heads
To separate the head from; decapitate.
[Middle English biheden, from Old English beh in 1536, and her phantom reportedly haunts either the Tower of London Tower of London, ancient fortress in London, England, just east of the City and on the north bank of the Thames, covering about 13 acres (5.3 hectares). Now used mainly as a museum, it was a royal residence in the Middle Ages. or Hever Castle in Kent and Blicking Hall in Norfolk, her childhood homes. Maybe she roams all three places, unsure of where her head ended up.
NURSE MEDINA For years students at the College of Santa Fe History
The oldest chartered college in the State of New Mexico, the College of Santa Fe was founded in the Lasallian tradition of education, a Roman Catholic teaching order in which the schools are run by laymen. The institution's first incarnation opened in 1859, as St. have insisted that the spirit of a headless nurse roams the old Army barrack-style buildings on campus. Bruns General Army Hospital once occupied the site (1943-1946), and the story goes that a crazed patient cut off the nurse's head with a cleaver.
EL CABALLERO cab·al·le·ro
n. pl. cab·al·le·ros
1. A Spanish gentleman; a cavalier.
2. A man who is skilled in riding and managing horses; a horseman. SIN CABEZA According to local legend, back in the olden old·en
Of, relating to, or belonging to time long past; old or ancient: olden days.
[Middle English : old, old; see old + -en, adj. days a gentleman asked two Santa Fe brujas to make him a love potion to help him seduce a lady. When the potion po·tion
A liquid medicinal dose or drink.
a large dose of liquid medicine. didn't work, he attempted to wring the witches' necks, so they cut his head off. This supposedly happened on De Vargas Street near the Oldest House, where on some nights, you can reportedly see his decapitated de·cap·i·tate
tr.v. de·cap·i·tat·ed, de·cap·i·tat·ing, de·cap·i·tates
To cut off the head of; behead.
[Late Latin d head rolling down the road. But according to the Haunted New Mexico section of legendsofamerica.com, he actually rides down Alto Street searching for his cabeza. He probably gets lost easily.
THE HEADLESS GHOST (1959) This low-budget British horror movie features a trio of teens who stumble upon a ghost party in a medieval castle. They decide to help lift a curse by finding the title character's head. This is the kind of film that begs for a remake, preferably with Paris Hilton and Carmen Electra in the cast.
THE HEADLESS INDIAN CHIEF FROM THE THREE STOOGES' MERRY MAVERICKS SHORT (1951) A Pasatiempo copy editor once told me she had found about 40 references to the Three Stooges in my stories over the past decade. I said, "That's ridiculous! I'd really have to go out of my way to make that happen!" Anyway, Merry Mavericks is a goofy short in which the trio go to an abandoned ghost town and encounter the spirit of a headless tribal chief. Larry says, "I saw his head -- where it wasn't!" Antics ensue. You can see it for yourself on YouTube if you don't believe me.
-- Robert Nott
See pdf's for exact rendition, caption, graphics and photographer info.