Sunday, October 12, 2008
Southern Ghosts Part Two - The Crescent Hotel, Arkansas
It is said to the "America's Most Haunted Hotel."
Rising from a mountaintop in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, this beautiful historic inn is well worth a visit just for its unique history and spectacular views. But if you enjoy a good ghost story, then it is definitely for you.
Construction on the Crescent Hotel began in 1886 and it operated as a hotel for its first 15 years, catering to visitors that came from across the nation to "take the waters" of the springs and spas of Eureka Springs. Many believed the natural mineral water held curative powers and the Crescent provided them a place to stay in style while they visited the resort community.
Hard times fell on the community, though, and the Crescent fell into disrepair. Then came the era from which most of the ghost stories originate. The Crescent was acquired by Norman Baker or, as he liked to term himself, "Dr. Norman Baker."
Baker was a former mind reader that also claimed to have developed a cancer cure. He set up shop in the Crescent Hotel, inviting patients across the country to come and partake of his "cure." Many died and the hotel became notorious for the strange goings on there. Baker was ultimately indicted for mail fraud and spend many years in Federal prison before retiring to Florida.
According to local legend, though, many of his patients still linger in the halls and rooms of the Crescent Hotel. The hotel is notorious for its ghost sightings and has been the focus of numerous investigations, some of which have produced video and photographs of strange figures and other unusual things.
To learn more about the Crescent Hotel and Eureka Springs in general, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/eurekaindex.