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Tucked away in the Arkansas Ozark mountains lies the quaint tiny town of Eureka Springs. Hidden here is plenty of history, dazzling charm, and what is said to be America’s most haunted hotel.
This haunted hotel in Eureka Springs is called the Crescent and the ghost stories told by the local residents and the employees that work there are captivating and spine-chilling.
Even with its “creepy” reputation, Eureka Springs invites you with a warm, small-town welcome. The residents are just as inviting and wonderful and accept you with open arms.
The Crescent Haunted Hotel in Eureka Springs
The main attraction to this otherwise welcoming town is the historic, and very haunted, Crescent Hotel. Built in 1886, this beauty is perfectly situated at the top of the Ozark Mountains, nearly 2,000 feet above sea level.
Over the years, the Crescent Hotel has gone through a few changes in ownership, but the most mysterious of them all was Norman Baker.
After purchasing the hotel in 1937, he opened the Baker Hospital inside the Crescent, despite having absolutely no medical background. Yet, he believed he had the cure for cancer.
He ended up building an addition onto the hotel to house the hospital, establishing the morgue and a cadaver cooler in the basement.
Thousands of people from all over the world were drawn here to receive his “miracle” treatment, but sadly most ended up dying. The patients who didn’t die at the hospital were deemed cured by Baker and sent on their way, only to die hours later after being discharged.
He performed experimental tests on them, injected his secret concoction into their tumors, and ultimately caused them more pain and torture to feed his own ego. Eventually he would be caught by police and charged with creating this hoax, among other charges he’d been escaping from his past.
In 2019, employees of the hotel unknowingly dug up jars containing odd specimen and liquids. These were confirmed to be the mysterious human specimens Norman Baker collected for his studies and the “medicines” he created for his patients.
The Ghosts of Crescent Hotel
If you visit, the ghost tour at the hotel is a must. Learning about the spirits that haunt this place and their stories is fascinating. The second floor is the most haunted at the Crescent and is home to the popular ghost, Michael. His story begins all the way back in 1886, when the hotel was being built.
Michael was young, said to have been about 17 years old, and was a hired builder. Rumor has it that Michael was a big flirt, which would ultimately lead him to his tragic death. While working on the roof above, he spotted a few girls down below and decided to show off. He began dancing for them, lost his footing, and fell to his death into room 218.
Room 218 is the most requested room simply because it’s the most active room. Michael is known to pick on men who stay there and flirt with the women who do. He’s known to pull covers off of men in the middle of the night and disturb their sleep, and one guest even claimed he opened the shower curtain on her while she was showering.
Although Michael likes to poke fun, all of the recorded encounters surrounding him have been just that, all in good fun.
The other ghost that haunts the second floor does not have a name or an identity, but she is said to manifest near the doors of the old hospital wing. Dressed in a nurse’s uniform, guests see her pushing an old medical cart down the hall way.
Some have even tried to interact with her by stopping her and asking her questions, but she never responds. The employees of the hotel think she was one of Baker’s nurses, but no one truly knows who this mystery woman is.
The second most active ghost at the Crescent haunted Hotel is a woman named Theodora. Her story began when she became a live-in resident in room 419 during Baker’s hospital hoax; however, it is unclear if she was a staff member or a patient.
The guests and employees consider her a “picky” ghost, meaning she chooses who she likes and dislikes. She is notorious for tidying up after the ever-intruding guests that choose to stay in her room and will even fold your clothes and pack your bags for you.
One night a few years ago, a couple decided to stay in Theodora’s room the night before their wedding and ended up getting into a fight. The soon-to-be husband and wife left the room and headed in opposite directions to cool off for a bit.
Once they returned, they realized they couldn’t get back into their room and the door felt jammed. Turns out, Theodora decided she didn’t agree with their fight and took it upon herself to pack their bags and set them up against the door, according to the couple.
Walking Main Street in Eureka Springs
When you need a break from the ghost-hunting, a stroll through downtown Eureka Springs, Arkansas along Main Street offers its own quirks, as well as some beautiful scenery.
The shops and restaurants line this street, which immediately take you back to a simpler time. All of the shops are owned locally, the coffee shops have character, the streets are curvy and unique, and the locals are undeniably friendly.
In the heart of downtown is Basin Spring Park where the town was founded. Most of the original landscape is still showcased in this tiny park, but a few elements like steps and drinking fountains were built into it. The centerpiece is a big water fountain in the middle that is fed by the natural springs below.
Where to Dine in Eureka Springs
The Grotto Wood-Fired Grill and Wine Cave is an amazing experience. The restaurant is built into the landscape and you descend into the caves as soon as you walk through the doors.
With the dim lights and the cave rock surrounding you, relaxation and comfort become the only thing on your agenda. The wine options are endless, the steak is cooked to perfection on the wood-fired grill, and the desserts are divine.
Skybar Gourmet Pizza is located on the fourth floor of the haunted Crescent Hotel and is a perfect spot to grab “the best pizza in Eureka Springs.” The view from the outdoor seating is breath-taking as it overlooks a wide view of the Ozark Mountains.
Balcony Bar and Restaurant is a charming little lunch spot and also has outdoor seating on its balcony. Located on the second floor of the Basin Park Hotel, it is also said to be haunted.
Book This Trip
Ready to experience the haunted hotel in Eureka Springs and all that this historic town has to offer? You’ll want to book your stay at The Crescent Hotel, the Basin Park Hotel, or book through VRBO. Then, you can find more haunted sights, local restaurant reviews, places to shop and more through Travelocity and TripAdvisor.
Purchase tickets for the ghost tour at The Crescent Hotel here – the tours run daily. Reserve your massage at the New Moon Spa located in the basement of the Crescent here. This will also give you access to the spa pool and other amenities.
Author Bio: Brei is a lover of all things travel and is currently a student at Penn State. When not traveling or writing she enjoys coffee in the morning, reading a good book, chasing sunshine, and relaxing with her boyfriend and dog.