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Ghosts with the Most - The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, AR

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If you were a ghost in need of a place to live, you couldn't do much better than the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Formally known as the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, the historic hotel has beautiful Victorian flourishes throughout and sits at one of the highest points in the area, affording sweeping views of The Ozarks. It's no wonder that numerous ghosts call these impressive digs home.

The Crescent Hotel main entrance
The Crescent Hotel main entrance

Of course folks of the mortal kind love the Crescent Hotel too. They come to dine elegantly in the Crystal Dining Room, to get pampered in the New Moon Spa & Salon, and to explore the neighborhood in which the hotel is located, where more than 100 restored Victorian shops, galleries and restaurants await. And yes, many come in hopes of having some type of encounter with one of the Crescent's resident spirits.

The Crescent Hotel garden view
The Crescent Hotel garden view

The Crescent Hotel is often called "America's most-haunted hotel" and just about every television show that focuses on the paranormal, including "Ghost Hunters" and "Ghost Adventures," have conducted investigations at the hotel. The property served as the Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women for nearly 25-years in the early 20th century and one of the ghosts is presumed to have lived in that era. But a particularly ghoulish era for the property came later, from 1937-40 when the property housed the "Baker Hospital" and health resort. Run by a charlatan named Norman Baker, the "hospital" lured the desperate with promises to cure cancer and many other ailments. Baker ended up in Leavenworth penitentiary for his actions, but not before deaths and untold suffering occurred.

Original sign from the Baker HospitalOriginal sign from the Baker Hospital

Ghost tours are offered almost every night at the Crescent Hotel and on some days there are multiple tours. The tour begins in a room decorated with artifacts pertaining to the property as a tour guide explains some of the property's history and what you can expect to see and learn on the tour. The tour then proceeds to the hotel's hallways where stops are made at the doorways to some of the most-haunted rooms (rooms are usually occupied, by mortals, so doors are not opened.) Room 218 is said to be the most-haunted room, this because it sits on the site of where a stonemason fell to his death. We don't want to give away too many details here, but on the tour you'll also hear about how the ghost of a Baker-era nurse appears pushing a corpse-laden gurney (and you can actually hear the gurney's wheels squeaking), about the ghost of a young boy playing with a ball in the hallway, about the apparition of "Theodora" who introduces herself as one of Baker's cancer patients, and about guests who've seen hands reaching out from mirrors and blood-spattered walls.

The ghost tour begins in low light
The ghost tour begins in low light

The tour ends on a creepy note with a visit to the basement where Baker's morgue was located. Here you'll first learn more about the fake doctor (he also was a radio broadcaster, inventor and wannabe governor) before entering the actual morgue where artifacts from Baker's operation are on display. Creepiest of all here are jars containing substances that, considering Baker was a quack, may or may not be what they are labeled. Recently a large cache of additional jars was discovered buried on the property; takers of the VIP version of the tour will get to see this area.

Vintage wheelchair from Baker Hospital
Vintage wheelchair from Baker Hospital

Mysterious bottles and jars in the Baker Hospital morgue
Mysterious bottles and jars in the Baker Hospital morgue

Guests at the Crescent Hotel can request to spend the night in one of the most-haunted rooms, but this is a popular request so you need to ask about this well in advance of your planned visit. Contact the hotel by phone at (855) 725-5720 or book online athttps://www.crescent-hotel.com/

For information on other fun things to do in Eureka Springs go here.

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