Those of you who have been following the ghost hunt may remember I’ve said that the house I’m living in currently—The Now House—is haunted. My blog today was to be about one of the original ghost/alien hunters, Stella Lansing, but for some odd reason no information will come up on her in my research. I click on wikipedia and it won’t load but the web page for one Colonel Albert H. Pfeiffer, Sr., keeps popping up.
Freaky, right? That’s what I think. So for our hunt today we’ll research The Colonel and his connection to The Now House.
If you know nothing about Colonel Pfeiffer and want to find out more about a truly great and colorful American hero, you might enjoy doing a little investigation on him. There is no one quite like him in the chronicles of our history. Here are a few quick facts about him.
- He came to American at the age of 22 from the Netherlands in 1844.
- Two years later in Santa Fe, New Mexico he joined the Army and rose to the rank of colonel.
- In 1856 he met a beautiful Spanish woman and married her. They had one son and adopted three Native American children, two girls and a boy.
- The Colonel was placed in charge of Fort McRae (current day near Truth or Consequence, NM) in 1863. On one seemingly uneventful June morning, while bathing in the hot springs near Taos NM, Colonel Pfeiffer was apparently caught off guard. His pregnant wife, one of his adoptive daughters and another woman were taken by raiding Mescalero Apaches and later killed.
“Capt. Pfeiffer had just time to seize his rifle and wade across the river in pursuit of the Indians. He struck out without a stitch of clothing on, and the sun blazing hot. Knowing the Indian character, he thought the Indians would not kill his wife immediately, but would take the women to their hiding place and compel them to do menial labor; therefore, he made for the Fort to give the alarm and get reinforcements. He was followed by the Indians, who shot at him, one of the arrows entering his back with the end coming out in front. This wound troubled him for years afterward.
In this condition with the arrow in his back, he ran, until he reached an enclosure of rock where he made a halt to rest and to defend himself. He remained there for several hours, with the sun burning down upon him. He was known to the Indians as an excellent marksman and when they found they could not get him out of the stronghold without losing several of their number, they gave up the siege, which gave him his opportunity to escape to the post, about nine miles away. He reached the fort more dead than alive. When the surgeon drew out the arrow from his back the sun-scorched skin surrounding the arrow wound came off with it, and for days he suffered intense agony, and lay for two months at the point of death from this experience.” This was given by Md. Chester Mathias, as related to her by Elizabeth Chamberlin Pfeiffer (Lizzie Pfeiffer was the Colonel’s daughter-in-law.)
The Colonel’s Famous Battle
Colonel Pfeiffer served under Colonel Kit Carson. They were life-long friends.
He later became close friends with the Utes in particular the famous, Chief Ouray. They called him Tata Pfeiffer. (ProbeNote: I think Tata may mean “father.”)
One of the fights for which he is most known, involved him fighting a young Navajo warrior. Unrest was breaking out near Pagosa Springs, Colorado between the Navajos and the Utes over possession of the hot springs there. After days of fighting, the Utes went to Colonel Pfeiffer for help. It was agreed that each tribe would select their best warrior to battle for rights to the spring for their tribe. The winner of the fight entitled his tribe to take possession of the springs. The Navajo picked their finest, most seasoned warrior. The five-foot-five, forty-four-year-old Colonel volunteered to represent the Utes. The battle was fought with bowie knives and at the Colonel’s request, naked. It is reported in one account that: “The young warrior took one look at the grizzled body covered with many battle scars and was so intimidated that he was easily defeated.”
In 1872, Colonel Pfeiffer homesteaded land west of Del Norte, Colorado, where he died in bed at the age of 59, battle scarred and body worn. (Probe Note: Jim Perkins, author and historian, noted that Pfeiffer’s death, in 1881, in bed—not among the cactus and rocks in some lonely place—was a miracle in itself.)
What does this have to do with the ghost that haunts The Now House?
The Now House—the house in which I currently live—the house I believe is haunted—is less than a mile from the Colonel’s gravesite. The Now House lies in a direct line—as the crow flies—from his resting place. (ProbeNote: Most life-long residents claim that The Colonels’ body no longer occupies the grave but has been moved to prevent tampering.)
What I couldn’t figure out, until today, was why I sensed a female presence and not the Colonel’s. I discovered that the Colonel’s son, Albert H. Pfeiffer, Jr., and his wife Elizabeth lived on the homestead with the Colonel. It is said in a biography about her that: “Lizzie tenderly cared for her father-in-law, Colonel Pfeiffer, until his death, and could recount endlessly his famous exploits which he spent so much time in telling her.”
We are the only homeowners in the area that live on the old homestead full time. Perhaps, the reason she picked The Now House.
She is described as having a ready wit and gay manner. Someone who valued friendship and who was in possession of a personality which people gravitated toward. Having such a love of life, maybe Lizzie has decided to stay here on Earth a bit longer before beginning her next journey.
She likes to activate our fire alarms and cause our electronics to malfunction. I swear I can almost hear her giggle.
If we leave for any extended amount of time, we come home to broken lamps or non-functioning appliances like brand new coffee pots that suddenly quit working. My little Chihuahua, Stella, senses her and reacts just before Lizzie starts her mischief making.
One month to the day, separates her death and my birth. I know she is here. How? The lights just went off and came back on. It’s a bright sun-shinny day in the high country, there’s no reason for a power surge. Nothing else was affected accept the lights in my office.
(ProbeNote: Notice the coat Colonel Pfeiffer is wearing in the top photo. His son is wearing it in the photo with Lizzie. Lizzie loaned the museum in Del Norte her greatest treasures, the Apache coat with bead work which is now almost priceless. She wanted to do this because it is a lost art for the Indians and also because the Chief who wore it was killed by her father-in-law—this coat is now in the Rio Grande County Museum—and two letters written by Kit Carson to the same Colonel Pfeiffer.)
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The Probe is a blog devoted to the exploration of the unexplainable, to finding the truth in occurrences that resemble science fiction, and to researching and reporting on topics that could be flung upon the wall of weird. New posts are featured every week.
(Mostly on Mondays, but sometimes I release early, like on Sundays, if I have a writing deadline, or if I’m going camping, or if I have something exciting I just can’t wait to tell you. And sometimes I’m late if I’m camping or have family visiting .)
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