Eureka Springs Paranormal (ESP) weekend at the 1886 Crescent Hotel has evolved over seven years. What began as an opportunity for paranormal investigation groups to explore the active areas at night for one weekend in January, has grown to a two-weekend, two-hotel investigation – and not only of ghosts.
The phrase Extra Sensory Perception refers to the mysterious powers that some people (and maybe all people) possess, that seem to defy the laws of space, time and even logic.
You will have many opportunities to explore your own psychic abilities at ESP19, our interactive weekends – opportunities to share your experiences, feelings, questions, realizations with other companions on the quest. And at night we will be attempting to communicate with those who linger in this hotel long after their bodies are dead and buried.
“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
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.”
Debbie Baxter was in Room 419 on a ghost tour in July. Her camera kept going off and taking pictures sporadically until the battery drained out. Here is one of the photos taken by her camera of interesting reflections or light anomalies on the face of the painting of Theodora.
GM’s MOTHER REPORTS MYSTERIOUSLY VIBRATING BED IN HER ROOM AT “AMERICA’S MOST HAUNTED HOTEL”
There is a member of Historic Hotels of America that is considered by many to be “America’s Most Haunted Hotel”. The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa is a mountaintop spa resort located here that credits the largest portion of its business to weddings and spa travel but just happens to have -it is said- “guests who check out but never leave”. Regular guests to the hotel annually report numerous accounts of the paranormal. Special guests do too.
“Several months ago my mom came down with three ladies for a ‘girlfriends’ getaway’ to Eureka Springs for spa treatments and to run over to Crystal Bridges (Museum of American Art) in nearby Bentonville,” explained Jack Moyer, vice president, and general manager of the Crescent. “I always like putting Mom up in a room that we have just refurbished or remodeled for two reasons… one, she’s my mom and I want to give her a room that is special; and two, I can use her to test it out and give me the unvarnished assessment of our changes. Read More…
My fiancée and I were there for the weekend and actually stayed in 419. We had no experiences in the room, however, on the 9:30pm ghost tour, it was a different story.
We were on the tour and had just made it down to the 2nd floor and were walking up to Michael’s room as the tour guide had just started telling his story. I was one of the last to meet to party so I leaned up against the wall close to the door and as soon as I leaned my shoulder into the wall, I heard “Mike” said out loud. It was said one time and in a male voice. I asked my fiancée if she had heard anything or said anything as she was close to me. She had neither heard or said anything. No one else in the group knew who I was or my name, so they would have no reason to call out to me. I got goose bumps and started sweating and just felt “weird” right after it happened. We were talking about it coming home and the same feelings hit all over again.
We took the ghost tour Thursday evening, which was very interesting! We also believe we were visited by Breckie. Ever the skeptic, my husband was awakened by someone pulling on the bed sheets. He awoke from a sound sleep from the tugging and because of the chill that he felt run up his spine. This was around 1:00 or 1:30 a.m. After we had settled down and fallen back asleep, I felt the tugging of the bed sheet at the end of the bed. The first time it occurred, I thought it was my imagination because my husband had mentioned it. The second time I thought, ‘now that’s not my imagination’. The third time, I drew my legs up and drew the covers closer to me and it stopped. Just as I was falling back asleep, something began pulling on the end of my long hair. I also then experienced a odd chill up my spine. It occurred two more times, until I wrapped my hair into a twist and placed it under my neck. Then it, too, stopped. An experience we will never forget!
Due to the inexhaustible demand for ghost tours in October, Crescent Hotel management is suspending late night theatre performances for the month, and replacing them with special, slightly abbreviated Late, Late ghost tours: “all the stories, none of the stairs.”
The tours will begin in the 4th floor Faculty Lounge, where audiences will hear the classic stories handed down over generations at the “most haunted hotel in America.” The tour will then proceed to locations where the storytelling will not interrupt guests who are trying to sleep, including the lobby, the outdoor firepit and of course, the Morgue.
The October Special Late, Late Ghost Tours will be offered at10:00, 10:30 and 11:00 pmon Friday and Saturday nights, starting September 30th. The one-hour, two actress supernatural comedy-murder-mystery-thriller, Not Really a Door and Flickering Tales, the program of authentic Ozark tales told around the outdoor fireplace, will be resumed in November. Flickering Tales will also be offered Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays during October.