Haunted History in NWA

The hotel is home to several rumored ghosts and according to Bill Ott, Director of Marketing and Communication at the hotel, the spirits have made themselves known to guests. “The most famous ghosts we have in the hotel are Michael who hangs out in room 213, he was a stonemason that fell to his death in the footprint of that room. The other one is Theodora in room 419. If you mess up the room or she doesn’t like you, she’ll put your luggage in front of the door which makes it difficult for it to open.” Read More…

Arkansas CW Crew checks into the Crescent Hotel…

crescent hotel arkansas cw

In this edition of “Paranormal Adventures with The Crew”, we check in to the historic 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa in Eureka Springs. Touted as one of “America’s Most Haunted Hotels”, The Crescent Hotel was built in 1886. For the first 15 years, it served the carriage set and was an exclusive year-round hotel resort. Due to annual off-season hotel vacancies, the hotel was turned into the Crescent College & Conservatory for Young Women in 1908. The College closed down in 1934. Read More…

Ghostly Legend at America’s Most Haunted Hotel Enhanced in 2019

For decades upon decades the stories of “the Baker    years” at the 1886 Crescent Hotel have been told.  With no living eyewitnesses to these stories, they were mere legend.  It wasn’t until earlier this year that actual proof of these stories was literally uncovered when the Arkansas Archeological Survey team carefully uncovered the secret bottle grave of the Crescent’s most infamous resident owner, Norman Baker.

Also unearthed, it seems, was additional paranormal activity further validating this historic resort, located atop the Arkansas Ozarks, as “America’s most haunted hotel”.  This ghostly moniker has now been chiseled into granite… or more accurately stated: limestone, the predominate rock formations of Crescent Mountain.

Baker, a charlatan from Muscatine IA, owned the hotel in the late 1930s when he operated the structure as a cancer hospital where promises of a cure filled the hotel with suffering victims of the disease.  His bottles contained a) several of his “curing” potions, despite the fact that no one was ever cured; and b) fleshy medical specimens extracted from his patients, despite the fact that Baker was not a doctor.  Also found was an identifiable section of one of his promotional movies, a find that the archeologists said was like finding Baker’s business card.

“We had heard the stories.  We had read the promises of Baker’s promotional material.  We had even seen his poster where he proudly displayed his bottled cures and bottled tumors extricated from his patients,” explained Jack Moyer, hotel vice president and general manager, “but it wasn’t until more than 500 bottles from the northwest corner of our 15 acres were excavated during a formal archeological dig, did we actually get to see these antique bottles of macabre proof.”

Added proof of these bottles’ authenticity came during an interview with two ladies, Genevieve Bowman and Dorothy Bridgeman, who once served the hotel as waitpersons while in high school.  Each, upon seeing them again, remembers the bottles as those they saw during excursions to the hotel’s basement area that was Baker’s morgue.  It was in the morgue where these bottle were stored in a displayed manner.

The legend now proven has spawned such often re-experienced paranormal encounters as children being seen huddled under the morgue’s autopsy table pleading for help; the reoccurrence of a Baker patient who also served as a hospital assistant being seen in and around Room 419, better known as Theodora’s room; the early morning, loud squeaking of wheels in the third floor corridor accompanied by sightings of a nurse pushing a corpse-laden gurney down the hallway only to see it vanish into thin air; and the numerous “conversations” with former patients by way of responses via an EMF (electromagnetic field) ghost meter during paranormal investigations.

The interest in the paranormal aspect of the Crescent Hotel has drawn more than 15 national and international television production companies to visit this Historic Hotel of America and air ghostly episodes on the hotel.  Two such notable programs are the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” and the Syfy channel’s “Ghost Hunters”.  With the airing of each episode, ghost aficionados flock to Eureka Springs to see firsthand the hotel and now its bottle find.  “Our numbers are growing exponentially,” Moyer added.

The best of the unearthed bottles is now back on display in the Crescent’s morgue.  Both the morgue, complete with autopsy table, and a walk-in cooler where Baker stored cadavers and body parts are open for public viewing as part of the hotel’s nightly ghost tour.  Even the burial site, the archeological dig locale, has been preserved and is open for viewing during the hotel’s VIP Ghost Tour.

To add to the enhanced paranormal interest during the month of October, hotel guests will also be able to take part in such extra resort offerings as “Flickering Tales”, a campfire circle where Ozark ghost stories are told under a nighttime sky; and a private paranormal panel entitled “Ghost Tour Guides: Their Inside Stories”, a forum where veteran Crescent Hotel ghost guides tell of their personal hair-raising encounters while touring the “Grand Ol’ Lady of The Ozarks”.


Human Specimens Buried at the Crescent Hotel

KOLR10NEWS reports Watch Video

crescent hotel

As if tales of ghosts and hauntings at the famous Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs isn’t disturbing enough, a landscaper at the hotel recently discovered something pretty creepy buried on the grounds. It appears they’ve dug up old bottles filled with human body parts.

Among the many tales about the history of the hotel, is one about Norman Baker, a former owner, who they say ran the property as a cancer hospital.

Well, the discovery of the first bottle has led to a full-blown archaeological excavation.

It started when hotel groundskeepers found the first bottle 3 months ago.

“And really didn’t have any idea what was going on, until I picked up the first bottle that had a clear fluid in it, with something in it,” said Crescent Hotel landscaper Susan Benton.

So far, they’ve discovered 500 bottles that point to the stories of Norman Baker using the hotel to treat cancer patients back in the late 1930s.

Hotel ghosts tours manager, Keith Scales says he recognized the bottles from a display.

“We have this displayed in the hotel, where we do the tours, so I see this every day,” Scales said, “Some of the bottles are medicines. Some of the bottles are…medical specimens. What he claimed were tumors that he had taken out of his patients — put in alcohol or formaldehyde and kept in bottles as evidence that his cure was working.”

Although the dig area was considered a dump site, archaeologists say they can tell a lot of thought went into the disposal of these bottles.

“You have these lined walls here that they actually did do hand excavating to actually dig a pit first, said archaeologist Jared Pebworth, “So, they were thinking about how they were going to get rid of their trash instead of just coming up here to the hillside, throwing it down the hillside.”

Archaeologist Michael Evans says they also dug up 16-millimeter film.

“The films in really bad shape…  but, we were able to lift a few little images from the film — and one of the images said, after.. before Baker treatment,” said Evans, “It’s a unique find, very exciting.” Archaeologists also found an old bone saw they believe Baker may have used to work on patients.

Bizarre Discovery at a Eureka Springs (AR) Mountaintop Spa Resort Reads Like a Chilling Novel



On February 5, 2019, while working to extend a parking pad at the north end of the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa’s 15 acres of mountaintop property, a chance discovery was made by the hotel’s landscape gardener, Susan Benson.  There in that first scoop of dirt were a couple strange, medical-looking bottles.  Knowing part of the hotel’s history that it was once a “cancer curing hospital” in the late 1930s, Benson called the hotel’s ghost tour manager, Keith Scales.  Upon his arrival, Scales realized the bottles he was looking at were identical to those that appeared on an advertising poster of the late Norman Baker, the charlatan who operated the hospital.

crescent hotel dig findings

Careful hand-digging uncovered a few more -even more dynamic- bottles, one of which contained “something” floating in a nearly clear liquid.  Again, from what was on the faux doctor’s poster, it was perceived to be what looked like a cancerous tumor that Baker used as a “look what I can do” advertisement for his magical, medicinal albeit false claim of curing cancer.  The hotel’s general manager was called.

That call led to a “stop order” on any future digging until archeologists from the nearby University of Arkansas-Fayetteville could offer their advice.  That advice included calling the local police (who called the state crime lab) and the local fire department (who called in a hazmat crew).  Each gave their okay on moving forward on “the dig”.  Fast forward two months…



On April 9, 2019, team members of the Arkansas Archeology Survey (AAS), part of the University of Arkansas system, arrived from the nearby Fayetteville campus, to begin their meticulous study.  They began to carefully peel back layers of dirt and rock.  Cutting root clusters as needed, the “find” was slowly uncovered.

With each descending layer of soil, the find became more and more miraculous.  AAS team members and hotel management got very excited for the lost dump site for a notorious, infamous charlatan, Norman Baker, who turned the resort hotel into a cancer hospital in the late 1930s, had surprisingly been found.

Baker treated hundreds of people, patients who were grasping at straws trying to be cured of their deadly disease, but no cure ever occurred.  He did however extract literally millions of dollars from his endeavor; money scammed from the families and trusting patients of the Cancer Curable Baker Hospital with many of the patients dying at hands of Baker.

All the folklore, all the hair-raising stories, all the rumors were now proving to be true with each and every bottle, medical specimen jar, gruesome surgical tool, etc. as they arose from their 80-year-old grave.  Physical remnants of Baker’s Cancer Curable Hospital could now be seen, studied and displayed.  The discovery echoed throughout the United States thanks to such news outlets as Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, CNN, and Newsweek, to name just a few.

“What surprised us the most,” said Jack V. Moyer, general manager and vice president of operations of the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, “were several calls from eyewitnesses who remember the ‘Baker years’ and some of whom actually saw these same bottles in the area of the building that Baker used as his morgue and autopsy room.  Both of those rooms, which are now a key component of our nightly ghost tours, were stripped bare of artifacts before the current owners came on board in 1997.

“We had been told those artifacts had been taken to the dump.  We thought that meant the county’s solid waste dump but low and behold they had been dumped on hotel property.”

Moyer explained that these bottles would become part of a special display in the morgue, adding to the macabre ambiance of the ghost tour and that the bottle burial site itself will be encased and available for viewing on special tours.  The planned date for this shocking debut is set for June 1.

“What we wait for now is how this find and the resurrection of these bottles has spiked our paranormal activity,” Moyer concluded.  “Already paranormal experts and ghost hunters are waiting to return to ‘America’s Most Haunted Hotel’ to see at what higher level there must be following this bizarre bottle exhumation.”



Read more on the 400 glass bottles that have been unearthed in the backyard of the Crescent Hotel.

Daily Schedule ESP




3:00 p.m. CHECK-IN begins at the 1886 Crescent Hotel front desk. SIGN UP at ESP WELCOME TABLE in the Living Café in the Conservatory for:

  • GHOST TOURS (included in your package)
  • ESP ASSESSMENT (included in your package)
  • Psychomanteum -Telepathy testing -Remote Viewing experiments
  • PRIVATE SESSIONS with Certified Hypnotherapist MELANIE BELL (not included in your package: details available at ESP Welcome Table)
  • PSYCHIC SALON – – three psychics, three kinds of readings. (not included in your package: details available at the Salon in the lobby)
  • Don’t forget to pick up your t-shirts and all-important ID tags!
  • While you’re in the Living Café, introduce yourself to JOHN HEALEA, live-wire host of Hotrod Paranormal Radio. John will be interviewing investigation participants for a program about ESP19 at the Crescent Hotel.

Please feel free to explore the hotel, check out the CRESCENT COLLEGE HISTORY PROJECT exhibit (4th floor), indulge in the SKYBAR GOURMET PIZZARIA (4th floor) or CRESCENT CONFECTIONS (lobby), find souvenirs at the ESP SUPERNATURAL SUPERMARKET (Living Café) or SERENDIPITY AT THE CRESCENT art gallery (lobby) and visit the NEW MOON SPA (garden level).

  • 5:00 p.m. OPENING THE DOOR – Welcome Reception. Light refreshments in the Living Café (Conservatory on the lobby floor). KEITH SCALES, Tour Manager at 1886 Crescent and 1905 Basin Park hotels, Creative Director of ESP weekends, will introduce our headliners and the themes of this year’s conference.
  • 6:00 p.m. Certified Hypnotist MELANIE BELL presents a demonstration of PAST-LIFE REGRESSION. Participation strictly voluntary. Observers welcome.
  • 7:30 p.m. NOT REALLY A DOOR: Back From the Dead, With Baggage! A one-hour, two-actress, supernatural-comedy-murder-mystery thriller, now in its fifth year of performance at the Crescent Hotel, featuring Rebecca J. Becker and Debra Holman Workman. (Living Café)
  • 8:30 p.m. DINNER BREAK

The following activities and events will take place beginning at 9:00 p.m. FRIDAY

  • PSYCHOMANTEUM (scrying chamber) will be available 9:00 p.m. Friday to 3:00 a.m. Saturday. 15-minute sessions. SIGN-UP AT ESP WELCOME TABLE. Sessions will be held in the North Penthouse, Room 502 (Norman Baker’s private suite).
  • GHOST TOURS 9:00, 9:30, or 10:00 p.m. ESP special tours. (Public tour at 8:00 p.m.) An introduction to the most active areas in the hotel and the stories of uncanny experiences that have been handed down for generations – – and still occur! Invaluable preparation for the night’s investigation. IMPORTANT! RESERVE YOUR PLACE ON A TOUR AT CRESCENT HOTEL FRONT DESK and plan to arrive at least ten minutes before your tour begins. ALCOHOL-FREE ACTIVITY. (Tours begin in the Faculty Lounge, 4th floor.)
  • 11:00 p.m. MELANIE BELL Melanie leads a workshop in SELF-HYPNOSIS. A way into the Zone… Voluntary participation, observers welcome. (Living Café)


***SATURDAY JANUARY 5TH AND 12TH 2019*** The Investigation Begins!

  • 12:00 midnight TOAST TO THE GHOSTS Join us to raise a glass in honor of the spirits of the Crescent. Champagne provided. (Skybar, 4th floor)

SHUTTLE available to the BASIN PARK HOTEL (ask at front desk), but it’s only a five-minute drive if you’d rather take your own car. Parking available on the street.

  • 12:30 – 6:00 a.m. NOCTURNAL INVESTIGATION OF KNOWN ACTIVE AREAS What you came for! Free roam or work with our lead investigators, LARRY FLAXMAN, DAVE HARKINS, and BUD STEED. (Gather in the Faculty Lounge, 4th floor at the Crescent, or in Barefoot Ballroom, 6th floor, at the Basin Park Hotel.) PLEASE NOTE: BASIN PARK investigation will begin with a guided tour of the building.
  • 3:00 a.m. SMALL HOURS SNACK PARTY Share results, take pictures, recharge or wind down. (Living Café at the Crescent Hotel, Atrium Room at the Basin Park Hotel.)
  • 3:30 a.m. A FLICKERING TALE. A spooky story for the witching hour, delivered by one of our famous Crescent Theatre storytellers. (Fireplace in the Lobby of the Crescent Hotel or the Atrium Room at the Basin Park Hotel.)

Tiptoe time! You may continue exploring independently but please be considerate of sleeping guests.

  • 6:00 a.m. Time for bed. Security will be locking down the active areas at this time.
  • 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. BREAKFAST available in the Crystal Dining Room (not included in package)

The following INTERACTIVE EXPLORATIONS will take place between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. E.S.P. (Extra-Sensory Perception) manifests in many ways. Some people believe we all possess these faculties, and simply need to locate them within ourselves. Are you in touch with your psychic abilities? ESP!19 provides the opportunity for you to explore your PSI potential. SIGN UP AT THE ESP WELCOME TABLE for:

• TELEPATHY TESTING: Two-person, 15-minute sessions starting at 10:00 a.m. (Governor’s Suite, Room 101 off the lobby, Crescent Hotel)

• REMOTE VIEWING EXPERIMENTS: Time and Place to be announced

• PSYCHOMANTEUM: Open up a conduit to your own mind – – or is it the Other Side? One-person, 15-minute appointments available 2:00 p.m. Saturday, to 2:00 a.m. Sunday. (Norman Baker’s penthouse, room 502.)

• PSYCHIC SALON: three psychics, three kinds of reading. Appointments taken at the Salon. (Lobby) (Not included in your package.)

• PRIVATE SESSIONS with Certified Hypnotist MELANIE BELL: Further information and sign-up at ESP WELCOME TABLE in the Living Café. (Not included with your package.)


  • 5:00 p.m. READINGS AND BOOK-SIGNINGS Best-selling authors Larry Flaxman, Keith Scales, Bud Steed and others read their favorite passages from their paranormal works. (Living Café)
  • 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. THE PURSUIT OF APPARITIONS Intrepid researchers of supernatural mysteries, DAVE HARKINS and BUD STEED share their adventures. (Living Café)
  • 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. DINNER BREAK
  • 9:00 p.m. LARRY FLAXMAN PRESENTS ESP Weekends’ lead investigator since 2013. Larry’s multimedia presentations and live commentary never fail to challenge and inspire his audiences. (Living Café)
  • 10:30 p.m. SOCIAL HOUR Light refreshments and a FLICKERING TALE. An opportunity to mingle with your fellow investigators, catch your breath and prepare for the night’s adventures! (Living Café)




SHUTTLE available to the BASIN PARK HOTEL (ask at front desk), but it’s only a five-minute drive if you’d rather take your own car. Parking available on the street.

  • 12:30 to 6:00 a.m. NOCTURNAL INVESTIGATION Investigate the active areas of 1905 Basin Park and 1886 Crescent Hotels. Gather in the Faculty Lounge, 4th floor at the Crescent, or the Barefoot Ballroom, 6th floor, at the Basin Park Hotel. PLEASE NOTE: BASIN PARK HOTEL investigation will begin with a guided tour of the building.
  • 3:00 a.m. SMALL HOURS SNACK PARTY. (Living Café at the Crescent Hotel, Atrium Room at the Basin Park Hotel.)
  • 3:30 a.m. A FLICKERING TALE. (Fireplace in the Lobby of the Crescent Hotel or the Atrium Room at the Basin Park Hotel.)

Tiptoe time! You may continue exploring independently but please be considerate of sleeping guests.

  • 6:00 a.m. Time for bed. Security will be locking down the active areas at this time.
  • 9:00 a.m. – 1 P.M. BRUNCH available in the Crystal Dining Room. (Not included in package.)
  • 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. PANEL DISCUSSION and Q & A in the Living Cafe with our experts next year’s theme:


Farewells and photo-ops.