As Southern Living Magazine recently boasted, “The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa is Known to Have Ghostly Guests”. Many of these ghostly guests have become well-known thanks to nearly 20 nationally and internationally syndicated paranormal television programs that have produced and broadcast episodes on “America’s Most Haunted Hotel”. However, here are a few new tales, as told to the hotel’s ghost tour guides; stories that even the paranormally savvy might not know but will enjoy, nonetheless.
Paranormal Report 1: Last week I met a couple that was staying here at the Crescent on the first floor near the Governor’s Suite. They said the first night of their multi-night stay nothing happened; explaining that they had heard that you need to be in the hotel at least a couple of nights before anything strange happens. They said on their second night, when they were going to bed, they folded the blanket and comforter back onto the foot of the bed and just slept with only the sheet covering them. The husband awoke in the middle of the night sweating, turned on the bedside lamp, and woke up his wife in dismay. The blanket and comforter were not only pulled up over them but someone or something had tightly tucked them in. He said that happened three times that same night. Whoever or whatever was in the room, he said, wanted them tucked in and tucked in tightly. After that, during the rest of their stay, they would discover upon awakening or returning to their room that things would had been moved around in the room from where they were before going to sleep or departing from the room. They said that items moved were just small insignificant things but enough to let them know someone or something was or had been there. They concluded by stating that they really enjoyed their stay and that they would indeed be returning to the Crescent.
Paranormal Report 2: Room 419 is the room said to still be inhabited by the spirit of Theodora, a prim and proper woman. She is believed to have been a live-in member of Norman Baker’s “Cancer Curable Hospital” staff during the late 1930s and Room 419 was her room. Records show that Room 419 is the Crescent Hotel’s second most requested room because of Theodora’s rumored “housekeeping service”, tidying up after guests who stay in that room but only if she enjoys their company. I have been told by guests staying in Room 419 that they conduct experiments in that room, purposely leaving messes in hopes that Theodora will make her presence known by folding their clothes, organizing their closet and/or attractively arranging personal items that had been scattered around the room. All told me that, evidently, Theodora must not have given them the ghostly nod of approval. Then, just recently, a couple told me they had purposefully scattered their loose change around the room on tabletops, nightstand, etc., shortly before leaving for dinner downstairs in the Crystal Dining Room. Upon their return, they were overjoyed to find their coins neatly reorganized in stacks of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies and all placed together atop their dresser. No one knows how Theodora determines whom she favors but this couple, it appears, had managed to make a good impression which they said was “quite cents-able”!
Paranormal Report 3: Guests who revisited our hotel recently and retook the ghost tour took delight in recounting a story that had happened to them at the Crescent some 10 years earlier. They said that they had arrived around two o’clock one spring afternoon for an early check-in. They got their one key to Room 221 and proceeded to take the elevator to the second floor. When the elevator door opened, standing there, seemingly waiting for them, was a man in an all-black Victorian-style outfit. The man asked if he could show the couple to their room. Thinking he was a hotel employee; they told the man they were in Room 221 and handed him their key. Upon arriving at Room 221, the helpful man unlocked the door and pushed it open. The man remained just outside the doorway, smiling and tilting his head side to side repeatedly. The guest quietly turned to her husband and suggested that perhaps the man wanted a tip. In the nanosecond that it took the husband to turn to hand the man a tip, the man had disappeared, nowhere to be seen down the long hallway. Puzzled, but not concerned, the couple relaxed in their room until they left for their scheduled evening ghost tour. Following the tour, they returned to their room only to discover that their key would not unlock their door. They went down to the front desk where the clerk apologized that, by mistake, he had given them the key to Room 321 at check-in. The couple explained that the key worked for the employee who let them into their room, describing the helpful man and his attire. The front desk clerk informed them that they had no employee who fit that description and no employees wear that kind of attire. The couple never saw that “helpful man” again.
Bill Ott, the hotel’s director of marketing and communications, said, “Guest experiences such as these are quite varied and numerous, and guests seem thrilled to share them with hotel employees. What makes them believable, unbeknownst to them, is that many of their individual experiences are often identical to a story that was shared two weeks, two months, two years ago by someone they never knew who stayed in the same room or visited the same locale in the hotel.
“And oh, and by the way, the most requested ‘active’ room in the hotel is Room 218, Michael the Irish stonemason’s room. He is said to have died in the footprint of that room into which he fell while helping build the Crescent Hotel back in 1885… but you’ll have to take our ghost tour to get the full story.”