Well known for its ghostly sightings, the lavish Victorian-era Crescent Hotel & Spa, in charming Eureka Springs, Arkansas, provides visitors with much more than just a Halloween haunt. Guests agree any time of year is an excellent time to give yourself a treat with a stay at the lovely, and luxurious, Crescent. But if you like the idea of combining a holiday, with a little hair-raising haunt, chances are you’ll have a few of your own ghost stories to tell after a visit to the Crescent.
Overlooking the vibrant Victorian village of Eureka Springs, the Crescent was built in 1886 as a resort for the crowds of visitors seeking the healing waters of the springs. For twenty or so years the elegant, stately Crescent pampered people at the popular health resort. Eventually the popularity of the springs faded, as did the Crescent, and it was closed. During the years ahead the Crescent would become a prestigious boarding school for young women, only to close once again in the 1920s.
By the late 1930s the Crescent was transformed into what was suppose to be a health resort to heal those inflicted with cancer. Dr. Norman Baker, a self-proclaimed doctor, promised a “six week cure for cancer.” Needless to say few if any patients were cured but rumors have it that many patients died unseemly deaths at the hands of Dr. Baker. It is these “shadow people,” that are seen, and heard, on a regular basis, haunting the hallways and guest rooms of the present day Crescent.
Dr. Baker’s health resort only lasted about ten years when he was sentenced to do time in Leavenworth. By the mid 1940s the Crescent was once again purchased by investors and transformed back into the glamorous, and elegant, “Grand Old Lady of the Ozarks,” that sits perched above Eureka Springs today.
For those who want to experience a close-encounter with the ghosts who have unfinished business and roam the hallways, the Crescent offers a ghost tour. Visitors hear tales of the various ghostly spirits that haunt the hotel, and are guided through the hallways, public rooms, and even into underground passages, and finally end up in the basement morgue. One visitor during our tour sighted a red flashing orb. The tour leader informed us that red orbs mean a ghost is upset. We were happy to emerge from the basement and far away from the morgue.
After a lovely meal in the elegant Crystal Dining Room, a few of us headed up-stairs to Dr. Baker’s Lounge. A view from the balcony that overlooks the beautiful valley and the town of Eureka Springs is magical. We had been told at dinner that guests often capture orbs when they take photos down into the stairwell. Sure enough, one of our group took several shots on her digital camera down into the stairwell, and in one image was a glowing white orb, while in the others was nothing. Spooky!!!
If ghosts aren’t to your liking, and you’re more interested in spa treatments, the New Moon Spa & Salon located on the garden level of the Crescent will be sure to please. In the New Moon you’ll find world-class spa and salon services. You can choose a half-hour massage or a 3-day spa package. Surrounding the Crescent you’ll find acres of gardens, and walking trails. The historic district of Eureka Springs is home to over 100 restored Victorian shops, restaurants, and galleries, all walking distance from the Crescent. The Eureka Springs Trolley Service can take you just about anywhere you need to go.
This area of Arkansas is an absolute delight to visit. For more info: www.crescent-hotel.com, or call 1-800-342-9766. For info on the Eureka Springs area visit:www.eurekasprings.org.