The town of Lincoln, New Mexico has a reputation for being haunted, and after researching the history of the place it’s no wonder. In 1878, during the Lincoln County War, the single road that runs through Lincoln became one of the most dangerous streets in the entire county.
Ground Zero in the Lincoln County War would have been the Tunstall Store. Its very presence ended the economic monopoly held by shopkeepers Lawrence Murphy and Jimmy Dolan. And it was the murder of shop owner and rancher John Tunstall by lawmen loyal to Murphy and Dolan that ignited the Lincoln County War.
The Tunstall Store is now a museum, and today it looks very much the same as it did in the 1870’s when Billy the Kid walked the streets of Lincoln. But when I took this photo I had yet another bending light beam appear. It seems that I’ve had yet another accidental ghostly encounter.
I took a trip to Lincoln, New Mexico to do some research for my latest book Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War: a Luke and Jenny Adventure. As usual, I brought along my trusty 35mm to snap a few research photos for later use. As I was heading down the highway from Ruidoso to Lincoln I stopped at the roadside historic marker indicating the spot where John Henry Tunstall had been murdered.
The brazen 1878 murder of rancher and shop owner John Tunstall by corrupt lawmen, loyal to Tunstall’s competitors, Lawrence Murphy and James Dolan, sparked a violent and bitter feud called The Lincoln County War. It ended five months later with the death of attorney Alexander McSween, who tried in vain to seek justice for the murder of his good friend, John Tunstall.
I took these two photos within a minute of each other. They were taken on a clear day with no breeze blowing. The first photo appears normal. But in the second photo is a strange, brown mist. It almost looks like a dust devil, but there is no shadow underneath it. One of my friends swore she could see the top half of Mr. Tunstall’s face on the top of the ‘cloud,’ but perhaps this was just matrixing, or our mind’s way of creating familiar shapes. Either way, it’s another accidental ghostly encounter