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The mysterious Pink Lady at The Grove Park Inn Resort in Asheville, N.C., has been seen, felt and experienced by hotel employees and guests for more than a half century. Little was known about the Pink Lady - just a swirl of stories about a young woman dressed in pink who fell to her death in the Palm Court atrium around 1920. Mere rumors, tales and lore weaving through the inn's rich history. In 1996, the Grove Park Inn conducted in-depth research on the Pink Lady phenomenon and the resulting evidence focused on room 545, two stories above the Palm Court atrium floor.

A painter from the late 1950s or early 60s and the hotel's current engineering facilities manager have reported strikingly similar tales about room 545. Both got cold chills on their way into the room so severe they never again attempted to enter. Interestingly, neither employee knew of the other's experience, or about room 545's connection to the Pink Lady. Another employee who has seen the Pink Lady several times over the past five years describes the apparition as "a real dense smoke - a pinkish pastel that just flows. It's a real gentle spirit, whatever it is."

The Inn's guests have also had encounters with the Pink Lady. In September of 2001, guest Mike Mooney read about the Pink Lady before traveling to the Grove Park Inn. At about 11:00 on the night of his arrival, Mooney went through the atrium to get a soda from the vending machine. No one else was in the atrium. Mooney describes the experience. "The room felt heavy when I walked in but I didn't think anything of it.

However, when I returned with the soda and passed the old bench chair, the hair on the left side of my body just stood on end and bristled. I also felt something tugging at my left ear as I passed the chair. I paused for a second but as soon as I went passed it, the hair went down and I ran like hell back to the room!"

Several years ago, Kathy J. Urbin of Blountville, Tenn., felt the Pink Lady. She traveled to the Grove Park Inn in January 1998 with her husband and two teenage daughters. She was awakened about midnight by what she thought were guests checking into the adjoining room and comforted herself by holding her husband's hand. "Implausibly, I realized that the hand I was holding was on my left side and that my husband was lying on my right side." Thinking that one of her daughters had been startled, Urbin turned to the left expecting to find one of the girls. To her complete surprise, no one was there, and, instantly, the experience of holding a warm hand was gone. Feeling confused by the experience, Urbin mentioned it to a front desk clerk and was told that no one was staying in the room adjoining hers. The clerk referred her to a book about the history of the hotel. After reading the book, Urbin concluded that she "must have held the hand of the Pink Lady herself!"

While the research left too much evidence to write off the Pink Lady as just a fantasy, there are no definitive answers - after all, the Pink Lady is a ghost.

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