1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa

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The Victorian 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa in Eureka Springs, Ark., hosts a wide variety of spirits. It is said that after the skeleton frame of hotel had been constructed in the 1880s that one of the Irish stone masons plunged to his death in what is now room 218. This room proves to be the most spiritually active room in the hotel and has attracted television film crews for decades because of the quantity and quality of the ghost sightings reported. Throughout the history of the Victorian hotel, employees have referred to this entity at "Michael," a classified poltergeist due to the nature of the unexplained activity. Guests have witnessed hands coming out of the bathroom mirror, cries of a falling man in the ceiling, the door opening then slamming shut, unable to be opened again. The intrigue of this activity had drawn guests to specifically request the historic accommodations of room 218 for the chance of experiencing something.

In the hotel's Crystal Dining Room, many employees have encountered playful spirits in Victorian dress. One holiday season while the dining room was closed, the grand Christmas tree and packages underneath moved from one end of the room to the other. The next morning employees found the tree and packages moved with chairs circling and facing the newly placed holiday symbol. Another time, employees returned in the morning to find the dining room in perfect order except for menus scattered throughout the room. Yet another time, a waitress looked into the huge mirror between the doors from the dining room to the kitchen and saw a man and woman in Victorian garb facing each other as in a wedding. The groom turned and made eye contact with the waitress and then the couple faded away. The waitress quit her position shortly after this incident. Another commonly reported paranormal activity is a man in Victorian clothing sitting at a table near the windows saying "I saw the most beautiful woman here last night and I am waiting for her to return." Many have recounted seeing apparitions in Victorian ball attire dancing around the room during the wee hours of the morning while the room was closed and dark.

In the 1930s, the haunted hotel in Eureka Springs became an experimental cancer hospital. "Dr." Norman Baker, claiming to be a licensed physician, examined cancer patients in the hotel's basement while charging unsuspecting families their life savings. Several apparitions from the hospital visit the hotel today. "Dr. Baker" has been seen in the hotel lobby. He is described as a man in a purple shirt and white linen suit matching photographs of the infamous entrepreneur. "A nurse pushing a gurney" residing in Dr. Baker's old morgue area is known to squeak and rattle down the halls of the hotel. A hotel maintenance man witnessed all the washers and dryers mysteriously turn on the middle of the night. The laundry room is located next to Dr. Baker's old morgue which still contains his autopsy table and walk-in freezer. Housekeepers report meeting "Theodora" in room 419. She introduces herself as a cancer patient of Dr. Baker's and vanishes after courtesies are verbally exchanged.


Image of the Morgue where Norman G. Baker's staff disposed of his patients' bodies. 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, Historic Hotels of America, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Steve Garrison, a cook at the hotel, swears he doesn’t drink on the job. In fact, he doesn’t drink, period. However, Garrison may have been tempted by two strange encounters in the kitchen of the haunted hotel’s Crystal Dining Room. One morning, while slicing and dicing vegetables, he looked up and saw a little boy with “pop-bottle” glasses, dressed in old-fashioned clothing and knickers, skipping around the kitchen. Another morning, Garrison flipped on the lights to begin the day’s preparations when “some or all of the pots and pans came flying off their hooks.”
The Crescent Hotel has so many ghostly tales to tell that tours of this historic place in the Ozarks are held throughout the year.

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