The Plaza Hotel is home to one of the most-loved and active ghosts in Northeastern New Mexico, Byron T. Mills. A former owner of the hotel, Byron acted as town Mayor and as a territorial representative. Mills Avenue carries his name. In fact, his ego was so large that he named it after himself. He died in 1947, at the Elks Lodge, but still lives today in the room – 310 – that he loved.
Deanna, a young woman manning the hotel front desk shivered when I asked her about Byron T. She showed me a photograph kept behind the desk. The ghost’s room looks normal, looks wellkept, clean, tastefully appointed with a thick comforter and elegant drapes. And in one chair, at a small round table, a translucent man gestures, his profile caught in animated conversation. Byron T.
“He scares me!” she exclaimed. “He likes to bother women mostly though. Female guests will feel him sit on their bed and claim they can smell his cigar! Sometimes he makes noise by opening and closing drawers. He seems to be a bit more active in the summertime. In fact this summer he was spotted in the lobby with a couple of his friends! But, you know, he's really a friendly ghost!”
We only think we are alone. Byron T.’s footsteps ring in my ear, remind me that one day we, too, may walk the streets of Northeastern New Mexico, may shake our fists at the sleeping, at those who unknowingly still possess life.