Known as the “Symbol of Hospitality” for the State of Arkansas, the Crescent Hotel sits high on a hill in Eureka Springs overlooking beautiful gardens below and a vista of the beautiful hills of Arkansas.
The Crescent Hotel’s ghost tour begins with a brief history of the building, which first operated as a hotel from 1886 to 1901. The Crescent was an exclusive, year-round hotel during the Victorian years and provided a grand and gracious offering of southern hospitality to many of the elite of that era.
The hotel featured a hundred sleek horses for the pleasure of the guests seeking the early morning pleasure of sight-seeing along the trails of Eureka Springs. Elegant ladies in long skirts, hats and veils riding sidesaddle alongside fashionably dressed gentlemen enjoyed taking in the sights and sounds of the morning.
The hotel was later used as the Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women for a few years and later reopened as a Junior College.
The lounge and balcony on the fourth floor offers the finest view in Eureka Springs and is the proposed site of the falling death of a young lady that was attending a conservatory for women, that was located at the hotel in the 1800’s.
The tour then takes you through the hotel and recounts the number of rooms that are haunted in the historic hotel. The location of room 218 was the area that Michael, an Irish stonemason fell to his death while working on the roof during construction of the hotel. Michael’s ghost is reported to bang on the walls, turn the lights on and off and turn on the TV in the room.
You will be introduced to the ghost of Theodora, a beautiful young lady, who was a student of the Conservatory and was said to be pregnant. She died as the result of a fall from the fourth floor balcony. Rumor has it that she jumped from the balcony, although some say she was pushed. Her ghost has been seen at various locations on the famous balcony.
Another popular sighting is that of a mustached and bearded man dressed in the formal clothing of the period often seen at bar in the lobby or at the foot of the staircase. He is believed to be Dr. Norman Baker, the infamous doctor who claimed to cure cancer while quietly murdering his wealthy patients and creatively disposing of their bodies within the walls of the hotel. He occupied the hotel in the 1930’s, opening it as a health resort and hospital, offering his ostensible “cure,” which consisted mostly of “natural spring water.”
The ghost tour will take you all throughout the hotel and you will be shown the various areas were ghosts have appeared. You will visit the hallways and various rooms where ghosts have been sighted and to the old basement morgue. You will be told many stories relating to the various ghosts that have been reported by guests of the hotel.
Be prepared to observe a sighting or see orbs on the photos you take. You might experience a necklace being unlatched in the basement as one of our companions did. Or you might feel the electricity-like presence of ghost-like energies. You will also be encouraged to take the pictures, so have your camera ready.
Source: Personal experience, www.crescenthotel.com