As part of our Do The Ozarks Halloween series, The Arkansas CW Crew went back this year to the famous haunted hotel The Crescent Hotel. Built in 1886, the first 15 years it served the carriage set and was an exclusive year-round hotel resort. During our tour, we had a chance to go into Theodora’s room, Michael’s room, and the Morgue. Read More…
“America’s Most Haunted Hotel”, the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, is suddenly moving to “world’s most haunted hotel” status thanks to the soon-to-air episode of the Global Photo Association Tokyo, Inc. (GPAUS) program for Fuji Television Network in Japan. The program, “What Is This Mystery” was shot on location at the hotel in May of this year and captured some unexplainable moments.
The founder of Paranormal Inc., Rich Newman of Memphis TN, who has been investigating the paranormal for more than ten years, appears on the program. He shared these experiences with hotel management, “I don’t know if the television crew spoke to you after our night monitoring Theodora’s room (Room 419), but we had quite an exciting night! While monitoring our subject sleeping in that room, several lamps turned themselves on and off. First it was a floor lamp in the couch/TV area. Then it was the nightstand lamp right beside the bed. While we were marveling over the bedside lamp switching on and off, the closet door in the room opened all by itself! What’s better, this all happened on camera!”
The Fuji Tv show makes the sixteenth paranormal program produced featuring the Crescent Hotel in the last dozen years. The most recent is an episode of the Travel Channel’s “Most Terrifying Places in America” which recently debuted.
Some of the most haunting Crescent stories to emerge in 2018 are those recounted the hotel’s ghost tour guides. Here are a few:
> At the conclusion of one of our nightly tours, two ladies -sisters- stopped me to ask a question. The blonde-haired lady asked me why I didn’t introduce the gentleman who was sitting in the rocking chair during my opening remarks in the hotel’s history room where we start each of our tours. I looked at her and told her there was no one sitting in the rocking chair. Her sister laughed and said, “That’s what I told her!” The blonde sister went on to say that he was wearing a three-piece brown suit and a rounded hat, and that he smiled, laughed and rocked all during my opening comments.
> One night in the morgue(which is located in the hotel’s basement, used as such by Norman Baker during the time he operated a ‘cancer curing’ hospital in the Crescent during the late 1930s), I had just brought my tour in and they were beginning to sit in the front area. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man high-stepping into the autopsy room. He wore a dark suit and top hat. I excused myself and went into the room, looked around and even opened the meat locker (where Baker stored cadavers and body parts), but there was no one there. However, I saw him as plain as day. The hair on the back of my neck stood up and I had goose bumps.
> While supervising one of my tours, I was standing against the wall across from the SkyBar located on the hotel’s fourth floor when, to my left, I saw an orange-striped tabby cat at the end of the hall. I walked down to that area, looked left and right but there was no cat. I just knew it was Morris, the hotel’s orange-striped tabby cat for 21 years from 1973 to 1994 and is buried -complete with headstone- in the hotel’s East Lawn garden, was paying us another visit! (Note: a cat-like entity is often “felt” in the hotel’s lobby rubbing up against a guest’s leg or jumping into a guest’s lap right below the Morris’ memorial poem and photo.)
> One night this summer, I had a full ghost tour of 24 people seated in the entranceway of the morgue. As I stood up to make my presentation, I heard distinct footsteps in the autopsy room which was just down the short hallway from us. It sounded like someone was pacing back and forth. I had an eerie feeling that it might be a ghost and that I was the only one who was hearing the footsteps. A few seconds later as I was presenting the story of Norman Baker, I noticed that no one on the tour was listening to me; they seemed distracted. So, I paused and asked the group, “Do you hear footsteps?” They all nodded in unison.
While the Crescent’s ghost tour guides capture many stories, guests are also encouraged to submit experiential stories and photos on the “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” Facebook page. Many of these photos include orbs that paranormal theorists contend contain the energy of one or more ghosts or entities. Here is one such account:
>I captured a lot of different orbs on my phone’s camera but I had one orb, seen by my naked eye, basically like kind of attack me. It came from across the room down in the morgue and zig-zagged at me then flew behind me. It made me feel very uncomfortable, plus I got super cold. A few seconds later, it appeared again, coming from behind me, traveling back across the room straight at me. However, this second time, it stopped and was just like hovering in front of me as if it were checking me out, eventually disappearing. What they say about the morgue being (paranormally) active is true indeed.
“The best thing about our mountaintop spa resort is that it is a Historic Hotel of America best known for weddings, romance travel, and a family gathering place,” explained Bill Ott, the hotel’s director of communications. “And, oh by the way, the 1886 Crescent Hotel is also said to have ghosts or what we like to call, ‘guests who check out but never leave’. Our haunted persona is just another avenue for creating lifetime memories.”
Back by popular demand, Paranormal Pair takes you to America’s Most Haunted Hotel, the 1886 Crescent Hotel’s and the 1905 Basin Park Hotel for a two-night stay experience. Explore the haunted hallways and stories that have stuck around the historic hotels with 2 tickets to the Crescent Ghost Tour where you will venture to the morgue. On your second night experience the Basin Park Hotel Ghost ADVENToUR where you can experience the adventure of a Paranormal Investigation with the thrill of a ghost tour. Exclusive access to both the rooftop crows nest and underground cave.
Price: $329 plus taxes and fees Sunday–Friday, not valid on Saturday. March 12-23
The Crescent Hotel has made staying at the hotel just that much more THRILLING. Included in the Resort Pass and FOR GUESTS ONLY is a late-night program of Spine Chilling Tales around the fire and Late Night Horror Movies in the Crystal Dining Room.
This just in! Friday evening, January 12th, Dave Schrader, known to listeners all over the country from his Darkness Radio station and his frequent hosting of Coast to Coast, will be participating in ESP18 at the Crescent Hotel. Dave will be giving a keynote speech on Friday evening, January 12th, and also taking part in a round table discussion on Saturday 13th. Look for more details on this website and tune in to Coast to Coast, your nightly portal to the Unknown!
Every October here in Eureka Springs, a historic village of 2,000 in the Arkansas Ozarks, the 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 meter (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 director 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.”
(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.
…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
(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.
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“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.