ESP Weekend

He has a kind nature and authoritative tone. He speaks with skepticism and a hint of an English accent. His name is Keith Scales and he may be the last person you would expect to find directing ghost tours at the famous Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs.

The Crescent Hotel was built in 1886 and sits overlooking the Victorian village of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Widely acclaimed to be “America’s Most Haunted Hotel,” the Crescent has a rich, recorded history.  You can call it a mecca for ghost hunters and serious paranormal investigators.

Much of the hotel’s haunted history stems from a period in the 1930’s when a man named Norman Baker acquired the Crescent Hotel and opened a hospital. He promised society a non-surgical cure for cancer. Unfortunately, the Baker cure would not save the lives of many of his patients. Stemming from years of fights with the American Medical Association and numerous other issues, Baker would be judged a charlatan and end up in jail.

Keith Scales is the director of the wildly popular Crescent Hotel Ghost Tours. In fact Keith is the key to the Crescent Hotel’s ESP Weekend. “I love history and Shakespeare,” he confessed. A writer, actor and director, Keith moved from London to America when he was 26 years old. Passionate about Greek dramas and theater he found a home in the artistic town of Eureka Springs. His love of history makes him a valuable asset to the Crescent Hotel. Relentless research of one of the Crescent Hotel’s famous owners Dr. Norman Baker led Keith to eventually write and act in the hotel’s newest attraction, Midnight Theater. Keith’s endlessly inquisitive (and skeptical) nature has landed him coordinating ESP Weekend for 2012. “Just because we can’t explain or understand something does not mean that it does not exist,” he answered when asked if he was a believer in ghosts. It is one of the most interesting preoccupations in human history…to explain the unexplained.

America’s Most Haunted Hotel hosts ESP Weekend every January. It is an opportunity for those who believe in paranormal activity to gain full and exclusive access to the most famous sites within the hotel. For those who have a curiosity, it is a chance to explore one of the country’s most intriguing historic structures and learn about current trends in parapsychological investigation. Whether ESP Weekend attendees come armed with a camera, video recorder, or more sophisticated scientific equipment, they all discover a thrilling and entertaining weekend.

You only have to turn on the TV to realize pop culture’s fascination with the paranormal. From SyFy to Biography to the Travel Channel, each network has its own version of ghost hunters and psychics investigating legends and unexplained occurrences in front of the camera. This is more than just a passing fad. Investigations into the paranormal began as early as 1886 and have consistently had a firm basis in science. Although a worldwide interest, prestigious American universities likeStanford and Duke began critical studies of ESP and psychokinesis in the laboratory using experiments to collect quantitative data usingstatisticalapproaches in their studies. In the 1960’s the established Parapsychological Association took a large step in advancing the field of parapsychology when it became affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest general scientific society in the world. Today, the University of Virginia’s Department of Psychiatric Medicine and the University of Arizona’s Vertias Laboratory as well as the Institute of Noetic Sciences are scientific leaders in the field of parapsychology which include studies in a number paranormal phenomenon, including but not limited to:

  • Telepathy: Transfer of information on thoughts or feelings between individuals by means other than the five classical senses.
  • Precognition: Perception of information about future places or events before they occur.
  • Clairvoyance: Obtaining information about places or events at remote locations, by means unknown to current science.
  • Psychokinesis: The ability of the mind to influence matter, time, space, or energy by means unknown to current science.
  • Near-death experiences: An experience reported by a person who nearly died, or who experienced clinical death and then revived.
  • Reincarnation: The rebirth of a soul or other non-physical aspect of human consciousness in a new physical body after death.
  • Apparitional experiences: Phenomena often attributed to ghosts and encountered in places a deceased individual is thought to have frequented, or in association with the person’s former belongings.

The Crescent Hotel owes its reputation at least in part to the televised investigations and aired stories on popular shows like TAPS and Biography Channel’s My Ghost Story. The hotel also keeps a database of photos submitted by the guests who stay at the Crescent Hotel. See the photos guests have submitted by visiting America’s Most Haunted Hotel.

On a ghost tour, Keith takes people to the basement of the hotel and leads them back to the morgue, (built in the 1930’s and still intact). The history learned on the tour will make you wonder whether the medical methods used here were introduced before their time and based on unlocking the power of the human brain to heal or just nonsense? It is an area of investigation to this day. Keith extends an invitation, “come and spend a weekend at the Crescent.  Discover credible and rational explanations to the unexplained if you can.”

If you are intrigued by parapsychology and want to investigate one of America’s most reportedly active historic properties then consider attending ESP Weekend.Details here.

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