Valentine’s Getaway to Eureka Springs

One way not to miss Valentine’s Day is to Celebrate Early!

Travel to a mountaintop spa resort in Eureka Springs this Valentine’s. The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, has an early Valentines Weekend special just for you…
Stay 2 nights, enjoy a dinner for two in the Crystal Ballroom ($75) and experience our Sunday Brunch for two.
Starts at $275 plus tax. Valid Friday & Saturday, 1/31-2/1, 2/7 & 2/8.Check Availability.

The 1886 Steakhouse, inside the Crescent Hotel Crystal Ballroom, will be open for dinner Monday-Friday, 5pm-8pm.  A special Valentine’s Dinner will be served on the February 14th & 15th.  View the 1886 Steakhouse Valentines Day Menu here.  Reservations recommended: 479-253-5296

After dinner, be entertained with illusion and mystery during Intrigue Theater’s Valentines Weekend Show.  February 8th, 14th and 15th.

Intrigue Theater – An Illusionist and a Medium

This Victorian Show takes guests back to the Victorian era where they will witness a series of inexplicable mysteries performed by an Illusionist and A Medium.7:30 p.m. Doors to theater open

7:45 p.m. Pendulum Preshow
8 p.m. Show

General Seating $24.95.  Purchase Tickets here

Bring a little thrill during Valentine’s Weekend by soaring 200ft in the air with the Ozark Mountain Ziplines in Eureka Springs-OPEN Valentines Weekend! Visit the website: www.ziplineeurekasprings.com OR email for reservations at:  ozarkmountainziplines@gmail.com

 

If you have a sweet tooth, The 10th Annual Chocolate Lover’s Festival in Eureka Springs, is on Saturday, February 15th at the Inn of the Ozarks.

9am-3pm, Tickets $12 adult and $6 for children under 6. Purchase Tickets here.

 

9Saturday, February 15th, 2014 from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.

 at the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center 
207 W. Van Buren, Eureka Springs, Arkansas 72632.


Winter Things To Do In Eureka Springs

Couples often go on vacation to discover new things about a destination.  From April through November, they might visit Eureka Springs for the emerald green, forested Ozark hills of spring and summer or those same hills ablaze with fiery color in fall; playing on two area lakes or three magnificent rivers; or for some fun at man-made attractions unique to this village which has been recognized as one of America’s Distinctive Destinations.  But when winter comes, most couples escape to this extraordinary destination primarily for one three-letter word, spa.

Savvy winter travelers find that vacationing in Eureka Springs during these months offers them very attractive prices and packages.  Packages that not only include lodging but such mondo pampering services for individuals and couples as hot stone massages, duet massages, facials, and full body wraps that warm the body, mind and spirit.  Many add salon treatments to the regimen in order that their New Year’s “new look” resolution can become a reality.

Many of the more than the dozen or so professionally-operated spa facilities in Eureka Springs also offer such unique services as aromatherapy, body scrubs, facials, manicures, pedicures, self-heating mud treatments, plus the most popular Swedish and deep-tissue massages.  A complete list of local spas and services can be found at eurekaspringsspa.com.

For Winter Things to Do in Eureka Springs one might be interested in the following activities:

Ozark Mountain Music Festival-January 24th-26th

Indie Film Fest-January 23rd-25th

Arkansas Art Trail

Attractions

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge -Open Everyday 9am-5pm

Keels Creek Winery-Open Wed-Sun, Noon -5pm

Fresh Harvest-Open Wed-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm

Eureka Springs Historical Museum

Ghost Tours-Open Everyday, nightly tours starting at 8pm

Eureka Van Tours-2pm tours by appointment

Hellraisers, Hoodlums and Heated History Tour-Open Everyday at 11am

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art-Open Everyday except Tuesday.

Flickering Tales-Friday & Saturday, 11pm

Not Really A Door-Friday & Saturday, 10pm

Caves

Cosmic Caverns-Open Sat/Sun 9am-5pm.  After February 8th, 11am tours during the weekdays

Onyx Cave

Horse Back Riding

Dinner Bell Ranch & Resort-Open by appointment

Bear Mountain Riding Stables-Open everyday, rides from 10am-2:30pm

Outdoors & Other Things To Do

Eagle Watching Tours-January thru February 23, tours leave at 3pm by appointment

Hike The Springs

Photo Tours

Lake Leatherwood Hiking Trails

Birding

Black Bass Lake Trail

Shopping

Art Galleries

Pea Ridge National Military Park-Open Everyday 8:30am-4pm

Roaring River State Park

Hobbs State Park

For more information, one should go to eurekaspringsonline.com.

Ozark Mountain Music Festival

 Eureka Springs, Arkansas

January 24/25/26

13 Acts/3 Days

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January might be a little chilly outside, but it is not too cold for the First Annual Ozark Mountain Music Festival to be held INDOORS at the Basin Park Hotel on the last weekend of January.

Touted as Eureka Springs’ next great festival, the Ozark Mountain Music Festival will focus around Bluegrass/Indie Folk with a festival lineup that includes multiple stages and lively music all day long, just indoors. Jack Moyer, Manager of the Basin Park since 1996 commented,  “The Basin Park Hotel has always been at the edge of all great music start ups from the Eureka Springs Blues Festival, New Years Eve with Jimmy Thackery,  Eureka Springs Mardi Gras, The Cate Brothers,  Chris Duarte or when the “the Band” reunited to play a ten-year reunion show in the Barefoot Ballroom.  We are excited to host this ‘next great thing’ with the start of the Ozark Mountain Music Festival to which we expect will be an annual event for many years to come.”  Moyer went on to say a key to establishing the event will be both in providing great music on multiple stages,  using regional talent whose genre is mixed with Bluegrass, Rock and Folk and inventing a path where the festival style atmosphere makes the Basin Park Hotel abuzz with activity while attendees enjoy all access passes, overnight at the hotel and a have an atmosphere that encourages eating, drinking and dancing in one central location, an indoor festival grounds per se.

The Ozark Mountain Music Festival will begin Friday, January 24th at 6PM and will continue with at least 11 acts until Sunday’s Bloody Mary Morning Show.  Passes will be affordable and will feature regional favorites HonkySuckle, 3Penny Acre, National Park Radio,  and SxRex as well as other acts contacted and to be announced soon.

Ozark Mountain Music Festival Room Packages:

Friday 1 Night OzMoMu Package (1/24)
1 night stay at the Basin Park Hotel
2 Passes on Friday only
Breakfast for Two

$119-$194. Valid 1/2.  Check Availability. 

Saturday 1 Night OzMoMu Package

1 night stay at the Crescent Hotel
2 Festival Passes for Saturday
Complimentary Shuttle service between hotels

$169-$349. Valid Saturday, 1/25.  Check Availability.

3 Day Festival All Access Passes are $45 per person.  BUY HERE.

Friday ONLY Day Passes are $15 per person.  BUY HERE.

For further information call 877-643-4972.

Schedule Includes:

Friday, 1/24

6PM  Barefoot Ballroom – 3 Penny Acre
8PM
 Ozark Room –  Wink

10 Pm Barefoot Ballroom  - Honky Suckle

Saturday, 1/25
Balcony – Hogscalders

2PM Ozark Room —   Pearl Brick
4PM
 Ozark Room — Tyrannosaurus Chicken

6 PM Barefoot Ballroom – SxRex
8 PM
 Ozark Room  –   Ben Miller Band
10 PM  Ballroom  -
 National Park Radio
MIDNIGHT JAM – Ron Landis and Chuck

Sunday, 1/26
NOON- Bloody Mary Morning Show Ozark Rooms — Handmade Moments

basinhoteljan14

Ghost Hunt in January

AMATEUR GHOST HUNTERS GATHER IN EUREKA SPRINGS

At last count, there are currently 49 regularly scheduled television shows being broadcast each week across the country that deal with ghosts and/or the paranor1235963_766501886712789_1509974153_nmal.  As good as these shows may be, to the ghost devotee sitting at home and watching, this is passive, second-hand paranormal investigation at best.  However, the weekend of January 3-5, 2014, ghost hunting becomes active, first-hand and personal here at the historic 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa during the annual ESP Weekend.

ESP (Eureka Springs Paranormal) Weekend returns to the Crescent for the third consecutive year allowing those “everyday citizens” who have hunted or would love to hunt for ghosts and pursue those entities in a place they have seen often on television.  This year, the ESP event will again feature an expertly-guided, behind-the-scenes quest for evidence in “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” but will also include a one-of-a-kind investigation of its sister hotel, the 1905 Basin Park Hotel, a very “active” location with unique stories of its own.ch & bph

“With the inclusion of the Basin Park Hotel into our investigation, it will make ESP Weekend one of the largest ghost hunts in the country,” said Keith Scales, director of Crescent Hotel Ghost Tours.  “This huge, history-making, three-day, hands-on investigation puts the tools of a paranormal investigator into the hands of our participants but is only part of this much anticipated weekend.

“We are also including an introduction to ghost hunting and training at nearbyIntrigue Theater, an up-close look at the Crescent Hotel during a special ghost tour, and unprecedented 970377_644400075594942_660437743_n24-hour access to known highly-active spaces such as rooms 218, 419, 3500 and ‘the morgue’.”

One of the most popular aspects of the past two ESP weekends was the expert assistance and advice from renowned professional paranormal investigator Larry Flaxman.  This year Flaxman will be leading the ghost hunt in both the Crescent on Saturday night and the add-on Basin Park investigation on Sunday night.

“The Basin Park Hotel hunt should prove to be the most hair-raising ghost hunt Larry (Flaxman) has ever led,” added Scales.  “Hotel management is not allowing any overnight guests at the Basin Park on that Sunday night.  There will no guests, no staff, and no electricity.  The hotel will be closed, vacant and dark to generate the best possible setting for close encounters of the ghostly kind.”

The full ESP Weekend Experience includes a welcome reception, an Intrigue Theater production plus ghost hunter training, a ghost tour, a Crescent ghost hunt led by Flaxman, an “all access pass” for 24-hour unfettered access of the entire hotel, room accommodations for two nights, in-house food credits, gifts and more, plus the opportunity to add on the Stay-over Sunday which features the history-making “closed, vacant and dark” Sunday night exclusive ghost hunt and investigation of the 1905 Basin Park Hotel also led by Larry Flaxman.

For more information and reservations for the 2014 Eureka Springs’ Paranormal (ESP) Weekend, one may go to americasmosthauntedhotel.com or check availability on packages here:

2 Night ESP Weekend Package, click here.

1 Night ESP Weekend Package, click here.

 

New Years Eve Celebration

New Years Eve Chef Showcase Dinner-December 31st, 2013
Enjoy a celebration of food, champagne and wine as you ring in the New Year. Dinner served from 7pm-11pm with live entertainment by Swing and a Miss.  Music continues from 11pm-12:30am with Swing and a Miss along with a guest appearance from Intrigue Theater who will do some close up illusion.
Time: 7pm.  Reservations recommended by calling: 479-253-9652

Christmas at the Crescent

______________________________

“Christmas At The Crescent” Has

Become Eureka Springs Tradition

 Christmas time at this Historic Hotel of America has become one of The Ozarks region’s most popular winter holiday traditions.  Part of that tradition is the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa’s week longCHF_8859 schedule of activities for visitors, residents and guests which is called “Christmas at the Crescent”.  This year’s yuletide celebration at this mountaintop spa resort runs from December 7 through December 13 here at 75 Prospect Avenue on the Historic Loop.  It is all part of the full, nearly month-long calendar of seasonal events planned here at one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.

            “When we first started this annual event 13 years ago it consisted of a live Nativity scene, wonderful decorations, Santa’s Brunch and free holiday movies for our guests,” said hotel General Manager and Vice-President of Operations Jack Moyer.  “The crowds were small that year but everyone who attended had a great time.  So much so, it encouraged us to expand our holiday decorations at the property and build up events during this week not only for our hotel but to also impact the holiday season for the entire community of Eureka Springs.”

            One such community-wide event is the Lighting of the Christmas Forest on Saturday, December 7 at 6 p.m.  More than 30 trees willDSC_0030 adorn the holiday focal point of the hotel’s nearly 15 acres, The East Lawn.  Each tree will be uniquely decorated one to the other since each tree represents a different local and area charity.

            “Not only is our Christmas Forest a sparkling sight to behold, visitors to the forest can ‘vote’ for their favorite tree.  At the end of the ‘election’ on December 31, each tree’s ‘votes’ will be donated to that charity.  Additionally, the top three vote-getters also receive a nice cash prize donated from the hotel,” explained Moyer.

            Also on Saturday Night from 3 – 8 PM, the Crescent Hotel will participate in the annual Preservation Tour of Homes by opening up the iconic Manor house of Lookout Cottages Estate.  The Preservation Tour of Homes, often attended by over 2,000 visitor helps to fund preservation efforts around Eureka Springs including last year’s benefactor, Crescent Spring.

            Santa arrives at the hotel on Sunday, December 8 when he is the star attraction at Santa’s Brunch.  The two elements that guests are suggested to bring to this feast of holiday culinary delights areDSC_0095 a large appetite and a camera.  While eating to their hearts’ delight guests also getting a chance to sit on Ol’ Saint Nick’s lap for a chance to capture a photographic lifetime memory.  Santa has been known to balance an entire family on his red velvet knees for that just right shot.  Brunch is served from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. while Santa will be poised for photo ops from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

            Each weekday, the hotel’s activity department creates a festive to do, while at noon during this special holiday week, the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom swings open its doors for hungry patrons and school groups ready to perform for those enjoying a mid-day repast.  Bands and choirs from local area middle and high schools present medleys of festive tunes that always bring back happy holiday memories from years gone by.

            For those holiday travelers who long to return to the 19th century and the days of Charles Dickens, the Eureka Springs Readers Theater troupe presents a rousing adaptation of “A ChristmasPhoto by Purdy Art Co. Carol” following a Dickensian-themed feast.  This “Holiday Feast with Charles Dickens” is a Tuesday night affair, held December 10th in the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom.  Reservations are recommended since seating is limited.  Dinner is served at 6 p.m. followed by the performance.

            Thursday night, December 12th  will utilize that same hotel venue but this time it will be filled with the polished holiday musical stylings of The Ozarks Chorale, a popular vocal ensemble that has performed in New York City’s prestigious Carnegie Hall.  A dinnertime concert entitled “Sounds of the Season” isPhoto by Purdy Art Co. planned at 6:30 p.m. as the executive chef offers up its special “Tastes of The Holidays” menu accompanied by one of the largest wine cellars in the state.  Reservations are not required.

             “One great outcropping from our hotel’s annual event has been the evolution of the community pulling together to expand Christmas lighting throughout the town as well as make this week and the days surrounding it a true Christmas festival,” added Moyer.esxmasparade

            Under the sponsorship of such organizations as Eureka Springs Downtown Network and the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, such delightful holiday events as the night-time downtown Christmas Parade, Santa In The Park, Preservation Tour of Homes and festive shopping enhancements make historic Downtown Eureka Springs a winter wonderland.

                        “The Christmas season has become huge here in Eureka,” Moyer said.  “Starting with Christmas parade Friday December 6th and continuing through Christmas at the Crescent and the Sweet Treats Christmas Tour the first two weeks of December are filled with holiday spirit and events.  So many in fact this two-week celebration is now known as the ‘EurekaSprings.com Christmas Festival’.”

“Our ‘Christmas at The Crescent’ this year will allow our guests to ‘Live The Legend’ here at our hotel, the symbol of Arkansas hospitality since 1886,” concluded Moyer.

For more information on “Christmas at The Crescent”, one should go to ChristmasattheCrescent.com.

 

Holiday Season in Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs Offering “WOW!” This Holiday Season

Are the gifts you buy for your loved ones every year kind of like a plate full of chocolate chip cookies?  Sweet.  Tasty.  Nice… but nothing “WOW!”  That can all change this year when holiday shoppers 484152_550898464923607_1894183831_nsojourn over to Eureka Springs.  There they will find “WOW” (“Wonderland Of Wonderful”) gifts.  Dozens of eclectic shops and galleries are this Victorian village’s trademark.  Inside these twinkling shops and galleries holiday shoppers will actually find those one-of-a-kind gifts.  The kind of gifts that will have the recipients audibly saying “WOW!” after the wrapping paper has been frenetically ripped away.

When shopping in this Dickensian setting, holiday visitors will find themselves actually smiling, enjoying the execution of this required annual task.  Many will chuckle upon realizing that the humming of a tune about Santa Claus coming to town is escaping from behind their smile   This is the pre-Christmas 12-4-10 069experience being offered unassuming holiday celebrants once they have arrived in Eureka Springs, the authentic holiday town.

“If we hear one thing repeated by those who holiday shop in Eureka Springs is that it is fun and authentic holiday shopping experience,” said Amanda Haley, board member for the Eureka Springs Main Street Program (ESDN).  “What organizations like ESDN, the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce, 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, and others do is to then work hard to embellish these three magical Christmas shopping weekends with festive, experiential activities and events.

“During these weekends, visiting shoppers might find themselves passing a ‘living window’ or nibbling on a hot S’more while the sounds of Christmas carols surround them in the park.  They can also couple their holiday excitement with a spa-like time of relaxation for what we locals are calling jubilee rejuvenation in one of America’s Distinctive Destinations.”

For those who enjoy the words, “I’m just looking.” there are two special events just for them.  Spectators line the streets early for a good view of The Ozarks’ most festive holiday parade the evening OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAof December 5.  Sponsored by Arvest Bank, this multi-unit spectacle in motion brightly winds its way along Eureka’s historic loop from the Carnegie Library through downtown past Basin Spring Park.  The other “observers only” occasion is the next day on December 6.  The Eureka Springs Preservation Society’s “Holiday Tour of Homes” each year welcomes more than 2,000 sets of eyes to see not only beautiful turn-of-the-century homes but homes gaily decorated.

“Many people can spend one of these three holiday weekends adrift somewhere in a concrete city circling a shopping center or big-box store looking for a parking place only to feel like, once inside, a sardine in a sea of humanity,” noted Haley.  “Here in Eureka our ‘seafood’ is served as an entree, not herded into a never-ending check-out line.

“Visitors complete their Eureka holi-day weekend relaxed, not frazzled, which makes that seafood or steak served in one of our highly-acclaimed, non-chain restaurants even more pleasurable.  Only one thing left to do, travel a block or two and sleep in a bed turned down ‘just for you’ waiting for those dancing sugar plums to appear.”

It is said when you add up all the shops and galleries of downtown, uptown and outlying areas, this nineteenth century Ozark hamlet festooned in its holiday finery, boasts more than 100 retail 481837_550895701590550_1277496998_nbusinesses.  “And none are more than a few steps, a few minutes away one from the others,” Haley explained, “with no fear of getting ‘mall’ed!”

To pluck just one from “the 100” to serve as an example of what shoppers can expect when holiday shopping in Eureka Springs: Iris At Basin Park, located downtown at 8 Spring Street, adjacent to the 1905 Basin Park Hotel.  This typically eclectic Eureka Springs combination art gallery/gift shop features the work of about 150 American artists, many local.  Some of their art is wearable, hangable, has a utility or is just fun to display in that special focal point in a home or office.  A wide variety of items in a full range of prices allow shoppers with any size budget to come away with a treasure to wrap up and place under the tree; guaranteed to produce a “WOW!”

For more information about ways to enjoy Eureka Springs these three special weekends of the holiday season, one should go to Eureka Springs’ shops and galleries, ESDN Christmas Events, Greater Eureka Springs Chamber’s Calendar of Events, Christmas At The Crescent, or simply go to EurekaSprings.com.

 

Thanksgiving Day Buffet

Thanksgiving Day Buffet begins at 11am and continues until 3pm, with dining in The Crystal Ballroom and The Crescent Conservatory.

Reservations are Recommended 479-253-9652

Menu

Oven Roasted Turkey

Rosemary Pork Loin

Holiday Glazed Ham

Carved Roast Beef

 

Green Bean Casserole

Brown Sugar Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Holiday Corn

Seasoned Whipped Potatoes & Giblet Gravy

Peel & Eat Shrimp

Fruit Display

Cheese Display

Assorted Chef Made Salads

Rolls & Butter

Cranberry Sauce

Pumpkin Pie

Pecan Pie

Assorted Cakes

Chocolate Fountain with goodies to dip

Champagne Served from 11am to 3pm

$27.95 for Adults – Children 5-12 years old $12.95

*Our in-house guests will be able to enjoy a light Continental Breakfast from 8am to 11am in the Skybar, located on the 4th floor.

*The Sky Bar Gourmet Pizza will be open from 11am for beverage service only until 6pm, then there will be food service from 6pm to 8pm.

Halloween Night Event

Special Intrigue Performance & Halloween Night Seance at America’s Most Haunted Hotel!

 

2nd Annual Halloween Séance at the Crescent Hotel presented by Intrigue Theater’s Sean-Paul and Juliana Fay.  Once again they will try to reach across to “the other side” but instead of Houdini, this year’s target will be a former guest, patient and/or student utilizing artifacts from the hotel’s colorful 127-year history. The evening will also feature some grand new experiments seen for the first time that evening: hypnosis and mind reading performed on members of the audience.

Click here for Tickets to this Exclusive Event!

What the Spirit of Harry Houdini revealed to Eureka Springs.

Last year Intrigue Theater and the America’s Most Haunted Hotel produced a series of events to celebrate the Spirit of Harry Houdini.  It began when Sean-Paul the Illusionist re-enacted one of Houdini’s most famous escapes – He hung upside down  in a straight jacket from the roof of the Crescent hotel.  Two weeks later he was handcuffed and crammed into a 65 gallon galvanized steel milk can that was filled with water.  In less than 2 minutes he had freed himself, but in reality it was a very close call.Sean-Paul the Illusionist performing Houdini Stunt

Harry Houdini died on Halloween in 1926 – but before he died –  he promised his wife Bess – if he could – he would give her a sign from the other side.  Every year since Houdini’s death –  all across the country -magicians and fans of the escape artist  have gathered on Halloween night – to see if Harry would make good on his promise.

Last year, Sean-Paul’s’  Two Houdini Style stunts helped set the stage for the big event on Halloween Night.  Sean-Paul and his INTRIGUING partner – Juliana Fay – conducted a Houdini Séance in the Crystal Ballroom of Crescent – America’s most Haunted Hotel.   They believed that the Crescent Hotel would be as good a place as any to get a response from Harry.

“Harry was a no show”, says Sean-Paul, “but we did get a response of some kind, regarding the number 218″  immediately when the number 218 was revealed on a chalk board – people in the room jumped up and believed that it was a sign not from Houdini but from Michael a worker that helped build the Crescent but fell to his death in what became room 218.

Seance in the Crescent Hotel on Halloween night

Almost 200 people packed into the ballroom on Halloween of 2012

This year the Crescent has invited Sean-Paul and Juliana Fay back on Halloween night for another attempt.  This time Harry will not be the target but rather the residence of the Crescent.  This year will be especially interesting as this is the year  the Crescent has worked very hard to restore the old morgue in the basement and in doing so has found some artifacts that might be useful during a séance.  The items include several room keys that date back to the first time the building was used as a Hotel, as well as a front desk bell.  Also to be featured on Halloween night is a funeral Log (from the Cancer Hospital era) which will be brought  to the event on Halloween night.  No-one, including Sean-Paul and Juliane will be able to see it before that time.

The evening will also feature some brand new experiments tohoudini seance Intrigue Theater and will be seen for the first time that evening.   Sean-Paul will really push the human potential with some incredible hypnosis performed on members of the audience.   Juliana Fay has recently tried to break through to see furthur into the minds of those in the audience.

 ”and when it sells out – there will be no more tickets sold.”

Finally, the biggest problem of the event last Halloween was that the room was packed and it was difficult for many people to see.   This year to keep that from happening again the Crescent is doing two things: first there will be a smaller number of tickets sold to the event, and when it sells out – there will be no more tickets sold.  Also – the room will be structured differently so that everyone will be closer to the activity.   Regardless of what happens on Oct 31st – it is hard to imagine  a more perfect way to spend Halloween night than a Intrigue Theater séance at America’s most Haunted Hotel.

Click here for Tickets to this Exclusive Event!

Grand Re-Opening of the MORGUE

Throughout the decades, members of Historic Hotels of America have celebrated re-openings of such hotel facilities as their restaurant, lounge, spa, etc., but only one HHA member has ever made plans to re-open their “morgue”.  Now, just in time for Halloween, the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, will celebrate the re-opening of its “morgue” throughout the month of October.

“Our morgue is one of those historic infamies that has made us famous in the world of the paranormal and those interested in that world,” said Bill Ott, the hotel’s director of marketing and communications.  “It wasn’t part of the original business plan of the Eureka Springs Improvement Company who built this mountaintop spa resort more than 125 years ago, it just turned out that way.”

The history of the Crescent includes years when it was something other than a hotel.  For example, from 1908 to 1934 the hotel -in the non-summer months- was used as The Crescent College & Conservatory for Young Women.  The depression caused the college and the hotel to close its doors but in 1934.  However, thanks to “the man from Muscatine”, the Crescent re-swung her doors open to much fanfare in 1937.

smallIn July of 1937, an established nemesis of the American Medical Association, Norman Baker of Muscatine Iowa, began his boldest undertaking of his greedy, imaginative career: The Baker Cancer Curing Hospital, “Where Sick Folks Get Well”, located in a familiar five-story limestone structure that sat high in The Ozark Mountains above a community known the world over for its miraculous stories of healing.  No longer did guests come to this building for vacation lodging.  Instead, for the next three years, it would be patients who would come to this one-time resort for a “promised” cure from their debilitating cancer only to find pain, suffering, loss of life savings, and often loss of life.  These were the unkept promises of a charlatan in saint’s clothing.

“It is the sad years and sad tales of the Baker Hospital that are the genesis of the Crescent Hotel’s morgue,” Ott explained.  “It was in the morgue where Baker used his large walk-in Morgue_Baker'sAutopsyTable_1886CrescentHotel&Spa_10x7cooler to store cadavers and body parts, and his autopsy table more for studying the cancers removed from patients in an effort to discover ‘what went wrong’ when a patient died hoping to stumble upon a cure.  Both of these gruesome artifacts remain intact as do the stories -and some would say the patients- that surround them.”

From the time of Baker’s arrest in late 1939 on charges of mail fraud followed by his conviction in January 1940, the Crescent’s morgue would sit dormant being used only for some storage by the parade of hotel owners and operators from 1946 to 1997.  A Crescent Hotel renaissance began 1997 when Marty and Elise Roenigk purchased the property.  They invested the time, love and dollars to return “The Grand Ol’ Lady of The Ozarks” to her nineteenth century grandeur.

“Prior to the Roenigks’ purchase, hotel owners would often hear reports of paranormal activity but put the kibosh on the public repeating of these stories thinking it would hurt occupancy.  The Roenigks took the attitude that if ghosts were a part of the history of this historic hotel, why shouldn’t those stories be told,” Ott noted, “and the Crescent Hotel Ghost Tours were born.”

Morgue_Entranceway_MiniTheater_1886CrescentHotel&Spa_10x7“The ghost tours, which have grown exponentially over the past 16 years thanks to exposure on national television programs and in national publications, have always included the morgue,” continued Jack Moyer, hotel’s general manager since 1997, “but until recently that space has had a dual purpose: maintenance area by day, eerie morgue by night.  But now, maintenance has been removed and the morgue readied for thrilling new discoveries by curious ghost tour patrons.”

The enhancement of the focal point of “America’s most haunted hotel” includes placards and photos -dramatically illuminated- telling the Morgue_Locker_FullBodyApparitionSite_TAPS_1886CrescentHotel&Spa_7x10Baker story; inclusion of a wheelchair from the Baker Hospital as well as other medical artifacts from that era; the addition of a micro-theatre; and easier access to the walk-in cooler, autopsy table and the locker made famous by The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) in a Syfy Network “Ghost Hunters” feature episode.  For it was in front of the “2” emblazoned locker that TAPS captured a full-bodied apparition on their thermal imaging camera, something they called “the holy grail of ghost hunting”.

“With the grand re-opening of our ‘morgue’,” Moyer concluded, “our guests and ghost tour patrons will have a brand-new experience in a grand ol’ Historic Hotel of America.”

For more information regarding the morgue and other paranormal facts surrounding the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, one should go to americasmosthauntedhotel.com.