Spooky Happenings in Arkansas
The haunting of a hotel and a private house
The Crescent Hotel and Spa is located in the crest of West Mountain in the town of Eureka Springs. Eureka Springs is home to natural bubbling springs thought to have healing powers in the 1800s. This huge white granite five-story hotel resembles a very large French chateau. A massive fireplace dominates its extensive lobby. The dining room can feed 500 people at one time. Outside there are 26 acres of lawns, gazebos, lovely gardens and tennis courts making this resort hotel popular with wealthy people.
The exclusive Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women was opened by A.S. Maddox and J.H. Phillips in 1908. During the summer they used it as a summer resort hotel until 1924. The hotel became a Junior College from 1930 – 1934. Then until 1937, it was leased by different people for the summer resort season. In 1937 a strange man who professed to be a doctor from Iowa by the name of Norman Baker, bought the hotel. He opened a hospital and a sort of health resort, saying he could cure such diseases as cancer simply by having his patients drink fresh spring water. In 1940 he was convicted of defrauding the public and sent to prison for four years. Afterward, the hotel was closed until 1946, when new investors reopened it as The Crescent Hotel and reestablished it as a resort hotel, and it has been open ever since.
The Haunting of Room 218
Several entities make this hotel their home. According to psychics they like to congregate in the dining room from time to time and at night cold spots can be felt in the room. There is an entity named Michael, who may have been an Irish stonemason or a Swedish carpenter. This gentleman fell to his death here during the time the hotel was being constructed 1884 – 1886. He died in the second-floor area, which is now Room 218. Those that have seen his apparition describe him as a muscular man in his early 20s, with blue eyes, a bushy blond beard, and long, blond hair. In Room 218 he enjoys playing tricks with the lights, the T.V., and pounding loudly on the inside of the stone walls. While staying in this room people have heard strange noises and felt strange sensations and some have felt a presence watching them. On the second floor while a maid was trying to pull a laundry cart out of the storage room Michael held onto the end of the cart, hindering her efforts. When the maid scolded him and told him to let go so she could get on with her work, he did.
Another entity who enjoys being around Room 218, near the lobby staircase and the lobby itself, is a gentleman wearing Victorian clothing, including a frock coat and frilled shirt. His face has been described as having a waxy pallor and he has a black mustache. Mr. Feagins a former owner of The Crescent Hotel first saw this entity near the lobby staircase and then it just vanished into the air in front of Mr. Feagin's eyes. Later sleeping in Room 218 he woke up in the middle of the night and saw the same apparition at the foot of his bed. The entity was glowing in the dark and grimly staring at him.
One time after the bar had closed this particular apparition was sitting at the bar in the lobby. An auditor came in to get a drink of water. The entity was so life-like that the auditor spoke to him. The apparition stared straight ahead and ignored the auditor. When the second auditor came into the bar he also spoke to the entity also getting no response so they both decided he was drunk and left him alone. Walking away one of the auditors looked over his shoulder and saw that the figure had vanished. Looking around the lobby they saw no one then suddenly the apparition appeared above them on the second-floor landing, looking intensely down at them. One of the auditors began climbing up the stairs, and again the figure vanished. Suddenly the auditor felt something not seen physically firmly escort him back down to the lobby. He was shaken but unhurt and told this to the hotel manager.
There are moments when the door of Room 218 shuts itself after someone has opened it with the room key. A salesman sleeping here was awakened by an entity shaking him and trying to push him out of bed. Early on a Sunday morning, a desk clerk was startled when the French doors on the lobby’s east side which were locked flew open, and a blast of cold air raced through the lobby blowing papers about as it blew past the reservation desk and out the exit doors. These French doors are located directly under Room 218.
The entity of a nurse dressed in white pushing a gurney down the hall has been seen on the third floor. In Room 424 a couple was scared out of the room by a male entity that walked into the room through the closed door and proceeded to the bathroom. The ghost of the false doctor Norman Baker has been seen in the area of the basement recreation room and near the steps leading up to the first floor. Before the switchboard was replaced, desk clerks would get phone calls from the locked-up basement recreation room. After one such call, a desk clerk decided to investigate the basement. The clerk found the phone in the basement room on the hook and felt a strong presence in the room with him. He quickly locked up the room again. After five minutes, another call was received, and it was clear who the caller was – the “doctor.”
So come for a relaxing stay, visit with those who await you, and maybe it’s time for a check-up.
The Ghost of LaDell
The Old Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas is a private residence. It is a large four story gothic Victorian house built at the turn of the century 1900. A wealthy farmer Joe Lee Allen built it for his family and they lived there until the 1950s. After that the house was converted into apartments housing college students attending the University of Arkansas. In 2002 it was once again a private residence.
In 1940 one of Allen’s daughters LaDell killed herself by drinking cyanide. Finding no peace in death she haunts the upper floors of the house and occasionally the downstairs. However the current owners haven’t given parapsychologists permission to investigate.
Over the years different tenants have reported ghostly incidents. One couple trapped her apparition in a closet. While they were struggling to close the door the entity giggled. A doctor living in one of the apartments took a picture of the dead girl’s apparition reflected in a mirror. While living there author Carol Wilson based her book “Scent of Lilac” on the incidents with LaDell that she personally experienced. From the upper floor apartments footsteps, noises and moans have been heard bringing the police to look for prowlers which of course are never found.