Located in Eureka Springs, in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, is the Crescent Hotel and Spa. It was built in 1886 as a resort for the rich and famous. During its first 15 years in operation, there was a stable with a hundred horses that were used to take guests on rides through the trails around the mountains. Then from 1908 to 1934, it was operated as the Crescent College & Conservatory for Young Women, at least during the academic calendar. In the summer, it was still used as a hotel.
This luxurious hotel has 72 rooms with extravagant suites, along with four luxurious cottages. The hotel’s Crystal Ballroom has incredible 14-foot ceilings, there’s a beautiful hand-painted lobby, as well as huge verandas where guests can go outside and appreciate the gorgeous views and breathe in the fresh mountain air. There are also 15 acres of beautifully manicured gardens where guests can go biking, hiking, or take a stroll on one of the breathtaking walking trails.
In addition to being one of the most incredible places to relax and enjoy some vacation time, it’s also said to be America’s most haunted hotel. We wanted to mention that before you went looking to book a room. Listed below are 10 of the most frightening facts about the extremely haunted Crescent Hotel and Spa.
10. It Has Captured The Attention Of Several Television Series
Since it’s nicknamed the most haunted hotel in America, it’s not surprising that the Crescent Hotel and Spa has captured the attention of the Ghost Hunters crew, as well as several other paranormal groups who love to visit haunted houses and other paranormal locations around the world.
9. The Creepy Nightly Tours
With so much paranormal activity happening at the Crescent Hotel and Spa, it’s only fitting that there are nightly ghost tours offered to guests who want to hear the spooky tales of the location.
There are several haunted activities that are offered to guests, such as ghost stories of the Ozark Mountains, which are told around the flickering lights of a campfire. They even take guests for a tour of the morgue at exactly midnight. There’s an hour-long supernatural comedy-thriller on Friday nights at the hotel called Not Really A Door, which is about two women who each thinks she’s living in her own home, and that the other woman is a ghost. We’re sure it’s… uh… better than it sounds.
Some guests who have taken the nightly tours have seen orbs of light, and some have actually fainted in the exact spot where it is claimed that a portal to the other side is located. Before they fainted, they turned very pale and fell against the wall before almost immediately regaining consciousness.
8. The Story Of Norman Baker
In 1937, three years after the college closed its doors, a man named Norman Baker reopened the hotel as a place to cure people with cancer, even though he knew he couldn’t cure the deadly disease. Baker claimed to be a licensed physician and even called himself “Dr.” Countless people from all over traveled to the cancer-curing hospital, and some even spent their entire life savings hoping for the promised cure from an evil fraud. Many sick people landed there hoping for a miraculous cure, but many of those seeking treatment ended up dying there.
Baker’s “miracle cure” was nothing more than crushed up watermelon seeds that were mixed with spring water. His sick patients were tortured, as he would pour the liquid directly into the tumor after cutting the person’s body open. Since many of the patients were in extreme pain and often screaming with discomfort, Baker would send them to rooms on the fourth floor, which were made into an “asylum.” After the patients passed away, Baker would send their bodies to the building’s incinerator. Nobody knows the exact number of patients who died there, but estimates put it at, for lack of a more specific tally, “a lot.”
In 1940, Baker was convicted of fraud and sentenced to four years in prison. Coincidentally, he died from cancer a few years after serving his jail sentence. Baker’s ghost – which is said to be wearing a purple shirt and white linen suit – has been seen in the Recreation Room in the basement, as well as at the foot of the stairway on the first floor.
7. The Morgue And The Portal
Marty and Elise Roenigk purchased the hotel in 1997, but they also took on its very haunted reputation. So what the Roenigks decided to do was to get two mediums to come to the hotel to see what secrets could be uncovered. The mediums, named Ken Fugate and Carroll Heath, took a walk through the haunted hotel and discovered a portal to “the other side.” What’s even more frightening is the fact that the portal is located directly above the morgue, which was once located in the basement of the now-hotel.
As we just covered, after Norman Baker purchased the hotel and turned it into a cancer-curing hospital, many of his patients wound up in the morgue. The fact that there’s allegedly a portal to unknown realities or realms located exactly above it shouldn’t be a big surprise.
6. The Story Of Michael And Room 218
During the construction of the hotel in 1885, a red-haired Irish stonemason named Michael was working on the roof of the building when he lost his balance and fell to the second-floor area and died. The area in which he died is also where room 218 is now located. In fact, that room is said to be the most haunted room in the entire hotel, and it’s also the room visitors most often request for their stays.
Guests who have stayed in that room claim to have seen hands emerging from the mirror in the bathroom, and say they’e heard loud bangs coming from the wall, as well as the door opening and slamming closed. People have also heard the cries of a man, seemingly falling, coming from the ceiling. Michael can be also be quite playful, as he often messes around with the television and the lights in the room.
5. The Ghost Of The Famous Irene Castle
In the early 20th century, two of the most well-known ballroom dancers around were married couple Irene and Vernon Castle. Irene performed in numerous movies, as well as in a Broadway show. There was even a movie made about the Castles called The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.
After Irene’s husband passed away, she wanted to be closer to her son so she moved to Eureka Springs in 1959. Her house was only a few blocks away from the Crescent Hotel. Irene passed away 10 years later, but it’s said that her ghost still visits the hotel, where she spent quite a bit of her time attending social events.
When a family was vacationing at the hotel, a mother was giving her daughter a bath when the little girl started having a conversation with a female apparition. The girl was using words associated with the late Irene Castle, such as pirouette, tango, ballerina, and castle.
4. Theodora And Room 419
The spirit of a woman named Theodora has been spotted many times, both inside and outside of room 419. Outside the room, people have seen the apparition of her fumbling around for her room key. Guests who have stayed in that room have claimed that their belongings had been unexplainably moved around. There have also been claims that the room was tidied up when the housekeepers weren’t around, as well as their belongings being neatly packed.
There are two different stories as to who Theodora was when she was alive. Some think she was around during the time that the building was a supposedly cancer-curing hospital. While it is unknown whether she was a patient or a nurse, some witnesses who have actually spoken to the spirit of Theodora have said that she introduced herself as a cancer patient and then vanished.
This room is the second-most requested room at the hotel by guests, behind room 218 – Michael’s room.
3. The Third Floor And Laundry Room
When Norman Baker was using the building as a “cancer-curing” hospital, he used the third floor as a pain ward where he would bring his patients before they died. Many guests who have stayed on the third floor have heard the sounds of squeaky wheels on the floor of the hallway, and when they opened the door they would see a nurse dressed in white rolling a gurney with a dead body, presumably taking it to the morgue. The nurse would then disappear as soon as she reached the end of the hallway.
Another haunted location at the hotel is the laundry room, which is located next to the old morgue. One of the several scary experiences people have had there included a maintenance worker who, in the middle of the night, witnessed all of the washers and dryers turning on all by themselves without any explanation.
2. Other Paranormal Experiences
There are countless other stories of people having paranormal experiences at the Crescent Hotel and Spa. Let’s take a closer look at just a few…
One of the workers at the hotel received a phone call coming from the recreation room in the basement, but nobody was on the other end of the line. When employees went down to the basement to check out who was on the other end, they’d notice that the phone was off the hook. What’s even more frightening is that that room was locked up, and the only way to get access was to unlock it with the key that was safely put away at the front desk.
One morning while slicing vegetables, a cook at the hotel saw the apparition of a young boy with glasses, dressed in old-style clothes and knickers, skipping in the kitchen. Another morning, the same cook experienced pots and pans flying off the hooks.
A photo was taken by an unknown individual in room 202, where it looked as though a ghostly figure was slouching down in the closet. Guests have also witnessed the ghost of a waiter in the hallways, carrying a tray of butter.
A well-dressed man with a mustache and beard, wearing Victorian-style clothing (along with a top hat), has often been seen at the bottom of one of the stairways, as well as at the bar. While several people who have seen him have tried talking with him, he just sits quietly at the bar before vanishing.
Witnesses have reported hearing a woman screaming as if she’s falling. It’s believed that the screams are coming from a female who was a student when the building was a college for young women. It’s said that the young woman either jumped — or was perhaps pushed — from a balcony, and fell to her death.
1. The Crystal Dining Room
The Crystal Dining Room is a hot spot for paranormal activity in the hotel. One time when the dining room was closed up, the Christmas tree and the presents underneath it inexplicably moved from one end of the dining room to the other, and the chairs moved around to face the newly moved tree and gifts. One morning, employees found menus placed all around the dining room when no one had been in there.
There have been many encounters of spirits dressed in Victorian-style clothing. One of those encounters included a waitress who was looking into a mirror (situated between the doors between the dining room and kitchen), when she saw what appeared to be a man and a woman getting married. At that point, the groom turned toward the waitress, and they made eye contact before the ghostly couple vanished.
Several people have seen the apparition of a man sitting at a table by the windows dressed in Victorian-style clothing. Witnesses have heard him saying, “I saw the most beautiful woman here last night and I am waiting for her to return.” Many have also seen spirits dancing around the dining room in the middle of the night.