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 The Crescent Hotel

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Curious Newbie

Number of posts : 10
Location : Ozarks, USA
Registration date : 2008-10-21

PostSubject: The Crescent Hotel   Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:26 am

In spite of the many ghost sightings reported by hotel guests and employees over the years, the historic Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, stays booked solid throughout the tourist season. Even room 218, where many strange events have been reported, is filled every night in this leading Ozark tourist mecca.
Completed in 1886, the Crescent, often referred to as the "Grand Lady of the Ozarks", has had many owners and served not only as a hotel but also as a college and a hospital over the last century. From 1908 to 1932 the Crescent served as a junior college for women from September through June and as a hotel during the summer months only. In 1937 the hotel was taken over by Norman Baker who converted the facility into a cancer hospital. Claiming to cure cancer in promotional literature he mailed throughout the nation, Baker was charged and convicted of mail fraud in 1940. The hospital was then abandoned, and the building deteriorated badly while it was unoccupied during the years 1940-1946. In 1947 a group of Chicago businessmen acquired the facility, restored it back as a fine hotel, and promoted the Crescent as "A Castle in the Air High Atop the Ozarks."
In 1972 the hotel was acquired by two Wichita, Kansas, investors. Much of the hotel's original magnificence and Victorian elegance was revived under this new ownership. Now operated by Riverview Management of Arkansas, Inc., the Crescent is one of the Ozarks leading tourist hotels and expects the 1985 season to be its best ever.
Cecil Walker, a native of Eureka Springs, retired in 1984 after serving many years as the group and tour coordinator for the hotel. Although he never personally saw one of the hotel's ghosts, he recalls many terrifying experiences several hotel employees and guests reported over the years.
Robert Feagins, one of the former owners, reported seeing ghosts twice while associated with the hotel. Once, in the main lobby during the off season, he saw a man standing near the staircase in an 1890-style black suit and frock coat. As he stared at him, "he simply melted away into thin air," he explained. His second experience was when he woke up in his room at the hotel at 2 a.m. and saw the figure of an old man glowing in the darkened room. The figure melted into the three-foot thick stone walls when he approached the old man.
Several employees over the years have reported seeing the likeness of a 20-year-old Swedish carpenter who was killed during the hotel's construction. Glenda Camp, who worked as the hotel's laundress in the basement, often mentioned that the ghost appeared to her so often he became a nuisance.
In July of 1978 a female guest from Kansas City reported leaving her room and seeing a nurse pushing a hospital patient-trolley down the hall. Watching a few moments in amazement, "it finally vanished into thin air", she explained. Sightings of nurses being seen in the halls have also been reported by other guests over the years.
Reports of seeing a young college girl dressed in clothing styles of the 1930's running up the stairs have also emerged. This resulted in the unsubstantiated story of it being the ghost of a girl who had committed suicide by jumping from the hotel's balcony while she was a college student there in the 1930's.
Room 218 first was brought to the management's attention by an architect who was staying in the room with another gentleman in 1974. Suddenly awakened, he felt someone trying to push him out of his bed, although his roommate was asleep in another bed in the room at the time. Since then other guests have reported lights turning off and on mysteriously, windows opening, doors closing, and footsteps being heard in the room. A night clerk once reported hearing footsteps and the bathroom toilet flushing in room 218, which was directly above the clerk's desk. Realizing he had not rented the room that evening, he went up to check and found no one in the room.
A night boy working the Crescent once reported a spot of cold air seemed to always be found in the second floor hall. Further investigation found the cold air seemed to flow from room 218.
Cecil Walker recalled that the many stories about room 218 prompted a professional ghost hunter to come to study the room. Renting 214, 216, and 218, the man set up infrared cameras and recording devices in an attempt to capture some unusual activity around the room. Nothing of value was found.
Gary Jeffries worked for awhile as the hotel's night auditor. He reported seeing a fog like figure of a man on the second floor landing. Leaving the clerk's desk to investigate, when he ascended the stairs he found nothing. As he turned to go back he was suddenly pushed by unseen hands down the stairs. Understandably, Jeffries refused to work any longer at night at the Crescent.
Anyone who has had the opportunity to vacation at the Crescent would attest that very few hotels in America are more delightful. All want to return. It is therefore understandable, perhaps, that the spirits of long departed guests of the hotel may also seek to find their way back on occasion. Their presence, whether real or imaginary, further contributes to the charm of our "Grand Lady of the Ozarks".


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