Monthly Archives: September 2017

America’s Most Haunted Hotel: Ghost Stories

Every October here in Eureka Springs, a historic village of 2,000 in the Arkansas Ozarks, USA Today-haunted26x-largethe 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa becomes the epicenter of heightened paranormal activity.  Even though encounters with hotel “guests who check out but never leave” are experienced the year-round in this mountaintop spa resort, experiences not easily explained in this Historic Hotel of America seem to increase exponentially during the weeks just prior to Halloween.

Empirical experiences disclosed to the hotel’s nightly ghost tour guides might tend to legitimize The Crescent’s claim of being “America’s Most Haunted Hotel”.  Here are six of those recently reported experiences in the guide’s own words:

o   “Of late, some people on my ghost tours are getting touched, poked, and pinched.  Nothing harsh, mind you, just gentle touches and nudges.  One of the most extraordinary recent happenings took place when one tour was being seated in the morgue (a leftover from when the hotel was purchased and utilized as an alleged cancer-curing hospital by a charlatan named Norman Baker in the late 1930s).  We heard a loud squeaking sound and the large, heavy, sliding door behind the seating area moved several inches ‘on its own’ on the rusty track from which it was suspended.  We all practically jumped out of our skins!  We all wondered which ghost in the morgue did that!”

o    “A three-year-old girl who came on the tour with her family started saying, ‘Bye-bye, baby.  Bye-bye, baby’ and waving goodbye in one certain direction as we exited the morgue.  No one could see to whom she was speaking.  She had been silent the entire tour until that point and then she kept looking directly at one ‘empty’ point in the room saying ‘Bye-bye, baby.’ over and over again.  Her father, the one carrying her, was impressed since he already believed in ghosts.”

o    “Apparently some girls in the morgue during one of my recent tours asked the EMF 442b0ee4afc877c2f630c55ed542b041meter (electromagnetic field reader used by many as a ‘ghost meter’) if Michael (an Irish stonemason who fell to his death during hotel construction) was listening.  The meter responded in the affirmative.  Their next question involved whether Michael preferred brunettes, blondes, or gingers.  At the mention of ginger hair, the EMF reader went crazy-fast.  So, in the minds of those witnesses, it is official that Michael, said to be a well-known ladies’ man even in his ghostly state, likes redheads the best!”

o   “My sister-in-law stayed at The Crescent about a year ago and the Jacuzzi and tub water kept turning itself on and off even after getting out of the tub.  It happened about three times, coincidentally each and every time she would post ‘This better not happen again on her Facebook page.  The timing of it was almost comical.  She called the bellman and asked him about it and he said it doesn’t usually happen in her room but has happened in several other rooms.  She joked that The Crescent must be an ‘equal ghost room visitation opportunity’ hotel since you never know where things will happen when a spirit’s energy starts moving around.”

o    “Recently, I got a rather unexpected reaction from a couple on my tour.  It was during my explanation of Norman Baker’s suite, the one he used while operating his hospital.  I mentioned that he had two giant St. Bernard dogs for protection.  The lady next to me snapped her head in my direction with wide and startled eyes.  She then looked at her husband pointedly as if in silent communication.  I smiled and stopped and asked if she had a question.  She said that they stayed in that room the night before and that they kept hearing scratching noises in the stairwell outside the door all night.  They kept telling themselves that it was nothing, nothing.  But, when she heard about those huge dogs she said that she was afraid to stay in their same room again that evening.  I assured her that nothing bad has ever happened to any of our hotel guests, only that they sometimes hear or see odd things.”

o    “ “One night, right after our tours had ended, a young woman who had been on one of my tours came running out of the bathroom telling me, ‘I just went in the bathroom and as soon as the door shut behind me I proclaimed out loud that I didn’t believe any of this!  And immediately after I had said that water started pouring out of the ceiling!  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough!’  I investigated to find the sprinkler head and the floor were both wet but had no flowing water.  Maintenance could not explain how or why it happened.  Needless to say, she had turned from cynic to ghost believer in the space of just a few short moments.”

“October is a wonderful and crazy month for The Crescent,” said Bill Ott, the hotel’s PACmay-236director of communications.  “People love the dual reason for a visit at this time:  awesome fall color and a chance to have a close encounter with one or more of our previous guests who have ‘crossed over’.”

“Interest around the world in our paranormality seems to grow during October.  Numerous international and national radio and television stations call or come by the hotel for an October interview.  For that same reason, many of the nationally-released television network programs like ‘Ghost Hunters’ seem to replay their Crescent episodes more often during the tenth month of the year,” Ott concluded.

This may be why the thousands of guests who step inside the 129-year-old five-story limestone structure during the 30 days leading up to Halloween will inevitably inquire at check-in, “Is the Crescent really haunted?”  Desk clerks reply with, “Please let us know when you check out.”

For more information on the paranormal aspect of the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, go to

Unexplained Happenings at America’s MOST HAUNTED Hotel

(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) –  When Marty and Elise Roenigk purchased the Crescent Hotel in 1997 they inherited a confused association with the paranormal and what seemed to be a hundred years’ worth of ghost stories. At that time, before Ghost Hunters, many hotel owners might have hesitated to publicize the fact that their establishment was haunted, but the Roegniks were interested and decided to take a different approach.  That path was to restore the hotel as a destination spa resort but also pursue what many had claimed; that the Crescent Hotel was America’s Most Haunted Hotel.  A key part of that early pursuit included Mr. Roenigk pursuing and hiring two certified mediums, Ken Fugate and Carroll Heath, to “read” the building. Their findings, plus the startling number of repeated sightings that had been recorded over the decades, became the basis of what has become The Crescent Hotel Ghost Tour. It is only now that one of the most compelling discoveries on that initial reading has become clear.

Jack Moyer, Hotel General Manager for the Roenigk Era recounted “I clearly remember Carroll Heath stating that he had discovered a portal to the other side for those who are on the same frequency.”  Moyer, at the time a skeptic laughed “I remember asking myself what we were thinking trying to explore this unexplained world,  but now I recognize how many people truly connect to the spirits here at the Crescent.”  Fast forward eighteen years and enter the coincidence that resurfaced the original portal discovery.  It started with dialogue involving Moyer and current day ghost tour manager Keith Scales. “Keith came to me to share a concern about a phenomenon that had been re-occurring on his nightly tours.  That phenomenon included multiple guests whom had grown faint, with a few passing out briefly at the same tour stop and he didn’t have a reasonable explanation.  It was then that Scales described the exact location of the portal identified nearly a decade early by Heath.  “What made it one of those chilling moments came next as both Keith and I realized that that portal was directly over the Morgue and just a couple of floors up.”

Now in its 17th year, the ghost tour at the Crescent Hotel continues to increase in popularity, and evidence in the form of personal experiences, orb and other anomalous photography keeps coming in – often on the tours themselves. Now, The Legend Continues as another phenomenon that occurs with uncanny frequency and that seems to rise from the notorious Norman Baker’s morgue as every couple of weeks or so outside the “annex” entrance (identified by Carroll Heath as a Portal), has guests suddenly turn pale and sliding down the wall in a faint. Though the loss of consciousness does not last long and recovery is immediate, the hotel’s supernatural connection to the paranormal remains.

Keith Scales, Ghost Tour Manager explained, “here at the Crescent Hotel we are super-cautious about accepting events as “supernatural.” We believe that 95% of reported paranormal phenomena can be explained by normal means. But there is always a residue, maybe 5% of experiences, that defies explanation. We don’t know why some people have a tendency to faint at this particular place – we only know they do, that this is a place where activity of various kinds has been reported over decades, and that the people who drop out of this world for a few moments tend to be those with psychic abilities of their own.  The curious fact is that this event has never been known to occur anywhere else on the tour except at this location – directly above the morgue.


Portals to other realities, located in the Crescent Hotel? Who can confirm, or deny, the possibility?  It is an unexplained happening at America’s Most Haunted Hotel.


Sleeping with a Ghost…

…is guaranteed during the month of October 2016 at America’s Most Haunted Hotel as every room -even Michael’s Room 218 (said to be the most active room in the hotel)- will have a “ghost” on the bed welcoming guests as they enter.

 “America’s Most Haunted Hotel”, the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, is giving overnight guests during the month of October a guarantee that they can sleep with a ghost.   The ghost of the guarantee may not be of the paranormal kind but a “ghost” nonetheless.

“When guests check in to the 1886 Crescent Hotel, the question most often asked when handed their key is ‘Is there a ghost in this room?’  Well, during the month of October, Crescent front desk clerks can cheerfully answer ‘Yes!’,” said Jack Moyer, hotel vice president and general manager.

The 1886 Crescent Hotel, a proud member of Historic Hotels of America, has been featured on nearly 10 nationally syndicated paranormal television shows in as many years and is regularly listed at or near the top of all haunted hotel lists found online.  “USA Today has featured our hotel in full-page articles twice and NBC’s Today Show has mentioned our property on numerous Halloween versions of their morning broadcast,” Moyer added.  “However, the best national exposure of our ‘guests who check out but never leave’ was when Syfy’s highly popular Ghost Hunters program captured a full body apparition here on their thermal imaging camera while conducting an on-site investigation.  They called it ‘the holy grail of ghost hunting’.”

Throughout the years, many guests have reported seeing, hearing or feeling an apparition in their room during their overnight stay at the 1886 Crescent.  Some have even described those sensations in or around the bed while sleeping.

“It was the frequency of these random encounters that encouraged us to offer every overnight guest during this October such an experience,” explained Moyer, “even though in a somewhat whimsical manner.  We will be decorating each sleeping room with a cute, cuddly, three-foot by two-foot by one-foot white plush ghost to hang on to during the sleeping hours.  A paranormal security binkie has never taken a more delightful form.”

Moyer concluded, “As an added bonus, if any guest wants to take home one of these snuggly ghosts, they will be available in our hotel gift shop.”  Large Ghost $125.00 (stay the night and the large ghost is only $86.86) Small Ghost $25.00

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(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) – If there was a National Trust for Haunted Places, some say that the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, located here atop Crescent Mountain, should be on the national register.  Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Jack Moyer, hotel general manager, was having Sunday Brunch in the hotel’s Crystal Dining Room with his wife Misty when another employee joined their table and handed them a recent “ghost sighting” photograph taken by a hotel guest. Hotel employees for the most part are used to seeing photos of orbs, shadows or other sometimes unclear unexplainables but when Jack handed this particular photo to Misty she turned white.  Still ashen, she struggled to whisper, “It’s her… the woman I saw.”

The photograph, taken in one of the hotel’s new luxury suites, was of a hotel guest modeling a new outfit she had purchased from a downtown Eureka Springs’ boutique.  In fact the series of photos had her modeling several different outfits.  As she would step out of the bathroom and strike a pose her husband would snap a photo.  In each you could see the corner of the bed, the Jacuzzi tub and the 32” television that was turned off.  The particular photo that caused the reaction from Ms. Moyer showed on the screen of the television set the reflection of a young woman in Victorian attire.  The same woman Ms. Moyer claims she awoke to see at the foot of her bed early one morning in that same room when she and her husband had stayed there several months earlier.




“America’s Most Haunted….”



  • Steve Garrison, a cook for the hotel’s Crystal Dining Room restaurant for the past fourteen years recounts, “I’ve lived here (Eureka Springs) all my life and I have never been one to believe this stuff.” That all changed two different mornings in the restaurant’s kitchen.

Morning 1:  Garrison was “slicing and dicing” vegetables when he looked up and saw a little boy with “pop bottle” glasses, dressed in very old-looking clothes such as knickers, who was skipping around the kitchen.  Morning 2:  When opening that same kitchen early one morning he flipped on the lights only to see “some or all of the pots and pans come flying off their hooks.”  He was quick to add, “I don’t drink on the job.  In fact, I don’t drink… period.

  • A former gift shop employee vividly remembers a late night “customer” she encountered, “One slow evening, I was leaning gently against the display case, kind of looking downward, but not really at anything when I looked up. There in the store’s doorway into the hotel lobby stood a man, looking out of place in time.  He was dressed in a long, black cutaway coat with a tall shirt collar and ascot-like cravat, top hat and his face was adorned with mutton-chop sideburns.   His trousers were gray striped but as I continued to gaze down his image ended around the middle of the lower leg.  It didn’t go all the way to the floor.  His image was there.  It was very complete and lifelike, not at all wavy or wispy.

I blinked and said, ‘Whoa!?!’ and in that instance he disappeared.  I sped into the lobby toward the Crystal Dining Room then back toward the Governor’s Suite but he was absolutely gone.  I never saw him again.”

It is stories like these that adequately intrigued the producers of the Sci-Fi Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” program to spend nearly a week in the hotel this summer to investigate, film, and discover stories of their own.  Although those individuals involved in the production of the Crescent Hotel episode have taken a pledge of secrecy until the show airs sometimes this fall, all indications are that the show will reveal even more titillating tales of the plethora of precocious poltergeists that have been checking in but never leaving this Historic Hotel of America since 1886.

Celebrity Ghost Discovered In “America’s Most Haunted Hotel”

(EUREKA SPRINGS, ARKANSAS) — Spirits from various places and various eras make up the “guest register” of those “guests who checked out but never left” what many consider America’s most haunted hotel”, the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa.  This five-story mountaintop spa resort each year seems to discover yet another one of those famous “guests” by name.  This year it was dancing legend of the early to mid-twentieth century, Irene Castle.

“We were thrilled to find out that Ms. Castle still visits the hotel as she did during her final years here as a resident of Eureka Springs (AR),” stated Bill Ott, marketing director of this Historic Hotel of America, “and it was only as we linked casual references of a young girl describing a paranormal encounter were we able to piece together that her encounter was with someone who once frequented our property.”

Irene Castle and her husband Vernon were the best-known ballroom dancers of the early twentieth century.  They operated ballroom dancing clubs and would travel the country charging as much as a thousand dollars an hour for lessons.  She appeared in a Broadway show and several movies.  Her popularization of social dancing with her husband was portrayed in a movie starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire entitled “The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle”.

“It was after the death of her fourth husband when Irene moved to Eureka Springs in 1959 to be near her son from her third marriage,” Ott explained.  “She bought a house on a small parcel of land just blocks from the Crescent, a place she called Destiny Farm.  She died in 1969 while living here in Eureka.”

Ott said that locals have told him that it was her love of the social life in her later years that brought her to the Crescent on numerous occasions.  It is said of Irene that even in her sixties that she was still a “trim, a lovely and fashionable lady with nothing to do but embrace the social scene of Eureka Springs” for which the Crescent was the epicenter.

“It was a family that vacations annually at the Crescent who were part of the encounter where links to Irene came to the fore,” Ott said.  “This story, which was recounted on a recent episode of the Biography’s Channel My Ghost Story, takes place when the mother was giving her daughter a bath in their room and the young girl began talking as if she was having a conversation with someone.

“The young girl said there was a princess standing right behind her mother but the mother saw no one.  The mother thought it was unusual because her daughter was using such words as pirouette, ballerina, tango, princess, castle, and bob.

“It wasn’t until the girl’s father read about Irene Castle’s connection to the Crescent on our hotel blog that he was able to the puzzle pieces of that encounter together.  He writes, ‘the strange words my daughter had said that we had made note of began to make sense.  The princess was someone in a costume.  That princess did not live in a castle; she was Castle.  Bob was a hairstyle popularized by Ms. Castle.  Those dancing terms were words commonly used by a professional dancer.  It was clear, my daughter had been talking to Irene Castle.’”

Ms. Castle is only one of many paranormal guests who have been named at the Crescent.  “Two of the better-known nom de spirits are Michael, the Irish stonemason who fell to his death during construction of the hotel in the footprint of Room 218; and Theodora, the cancer patient who fumbles for her key outside Room 419,” Ott noted.

Whether named or nameless the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa has become a haven for those wanting to encounter the shadow, the whisper, the tingling touch of someone, something who stealthily walks the halls of the hotel proper.  Nightly ghost tours have been selling out for years.  In fact, hotel management now encourages guests and visitors to purchase ghost tour tickets in advance to ensure their opportunity to walk with these Ozark specters on the night they desire.

“October sees the interest grow exponentially in the paranormal aspect of our hotel,” Ott concluded,  “however the frenzied interest is year-round.  It has escalated so much that later this fall we will be introducing ‘Midnight In The Morgue: A Portrait of Norman Baker’.  This exciting new, multi-media theatrical presentation will give our guests and visitors a chance to ‘meet the man’ who purchased the Crescent and operated the hotel in the late ‘30s as a cancer-curing hospital.”

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