Built in 1886, there have been hundreds of tales of paranormal experiences at the Crescent Hotel & Spa. Given its history, it’s not surprising. Besides being a popular mountaintop resort, the hotel has served as both a girls’ college and a cancer hospital–where “Doctor” Norman Baker claimed to have the cure for cancer. Announced as America’s Most Haunted Hotel by the likes of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, an abundance of extraordinary experiences have always attracted the attention of paranormal investigators who have traveled to the property to study and research the hotel’s supernatural activity.
Famed tales include:
• Room 218, where Michael, an Irish stonemason who fell to his death when building the hotel is known to hang out.
• Theodora, a cancer patient is known to be seen fumbling for her keys outside Room 419 as well as tidying up for guests when they leave the room.
• Breckie, a 4-year-old child of Richard & Mary Breckenridge Thompson who died in the hotel due to complications from appendicitis. He has been seen throughout the hotel often bouncing a ball.
• Dr. John Freemont Ellis, the hotel’s in-house doctor circa the late nineteenth century is most often seen–or his cherry pipe tobacco is smelled–near his office which is now room 212.
• Morris, the famed hotel cat, was known as the Hotel General Manager for 21 years, and later buried on the hotel property is regularly seen and heard.
While the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs has many ghost stories of the past, what makes it America’s Most Haunted Hotel is the activity of today and the throngs of paranormal investigators who study throughout the year and who travel to the property each year in January to share findings.
Many paranormal investigators have come to believe that limestone has a special ability to absorb and release electromagnetic and psychic energies. Crescent Mountain, the hilltop the hotel sits on, is predominantly limestone. The massive eighteen-inch-thick stones used for the body of the hotel were made of limestone as well. These factors may very well contribute to the abundant paranormal activity the hotel guests’ experience.
Part of the Mystery Unsolved
A recurring phenomenon happens in a spot on the 3rd floor where the hotel connects to an “annex” built onto the hotel when it was a hospital. The area has been said to be a portal to the other side. Multiple guests have grown faint, with a few passing out briefly, at the same stop on the nightly ghost tour with no reasonable explanation. The occurrences go in spurts, many happening over several weeks or months, and then none for some time. Guests suddenly turn pale, falling against and then sliding down the wall in a faint. Although the loss of consciousness does not last very long and complete recovery is immediate, it tends to further substantiate the hotel’s legendary supernatural connection to the paranormal.
Reports Continue from the Days of Being a Hospital
“There has been quite an uptick in activity in the morgue. I think we have stirred things up a bit with the discovery of the remains” says Debra “The Duchess”, manager of the nightly ghost tours referring to the 2019 uncovering of a secret bottle grave of the Crescent’s most infamous resident owner, Norman Baker. A certified archeological dig found hundreds of bottles of Baker’s “secret formula” as well as jars containing “medical specimens” that had been surgically removed from patients.
A dark figure has been seen recently in the morgue and there has been an increase in cold spots and reports of people being touched.
Throngs of Amateur Investigators
Year-round, the hotel hosts paranormal thrill-seekers. Over 35,000 of these ghost hunters will take the tour annually. This interest has spurred an entire community of paranormal enthusiasts who participate in a Facebook group called The Crescent Hotel Ghost Tours. Over 5000 members from across the country have shared thousands of their photos and paranormal experiences while visiting the hotel.
Researchers Meet Every Year to Study Findings
Annually, the hotel hosts a conclave (Eureka Springs Paranormal Weekend), to bring together interested investigators of all experience levels with nationally known paranormal investigators for overnight ghost hunts and to seek answers. One weekend became two weekends as headliners for the weekends’ best-selling author Larry Flaxman and founder of the Ozarks Paranormal Society, Dave Harkins found both the evidence of the paranormal and the interest level of amateur investigators more than could be served in one weekend.
Flaxman noted what draws so many ghost hunters back to the hotel, “The rich history of the Crescent Hotel, including the unscrupulous acts of Norman Baker and the physical, emotional, and mental pain of his cancer patients who occupied the Crescent during its time as a hospital, has left an indelible mark. Hauntings are common in locations where there has been extreme trauma and tragedy and the long history of tragedies at this property has lent itself to producing an environment highly conducive for paranormal activity and making the Crescent Hotel America’s Most Haunted Hotel.”
Evidence of the haunting came to the forefront at the 2021 Paranormal Weekend, as a full-body apparition was captured on camera with the help of a ghost hunting tool called a laser grid that creates pinpoints of lights. If a light or group of lights are missing it’s because they are being blocked by something. The picture was taken during an investigation by an amateur investigator in the Crystal Dining Room. A figure had often been reported in this location sitting on the window sill waiting for someone and now that has been backed by evidence.
Is the hotel really haunted? Numerous people believe it is. According to many, it is considered the most haunted hotel in America. There’s only one way to find out for sure. Book a stay at the Crescent Hotel and join the community of paranormal investigators.