Haunted-Hotel Marketing Scares Some, Profits Others

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Embarking on a ghost tour given year-round at The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa in Eureka Springs, Ark., participants are taken on a tour of the hotel while given a history lesson.

The hotel, which opened as a luxury resort for the very wealthy in (surprise) 1886, was later closed and reopened as a girl’s finishing school. People are taken to Room 218, the hotel’s most haunted room, where it is thought a young mason named Michael fell to his death as the building was being constructed.

Another story includes a young student of the girl’s school who was thought to have jumped or was pushed from around the fourth-floor balcony. The eager audience is told a local policeman even saw an apparent apparition jumping one night around 10:30.

It is its’ third incarnation as a cancer treatment hospital in the late 1930s to the 1940s which gives fodder for many of the ghost stories.

“Dr.” Norman Baker, who wasn’t a doctor at all, told the wealthy he could cure their ailments. Instead, it is thought that up to 300 people died at the hotel and some may even be buried on the property.

Phantom nurses have been spotted pushing gurneys and a woman thought to be a patient is often seen in period clothing outside of her room on the fourh floor fumbling for her keys. The ghost tour ends in the basement in what was the morgue, where ghost seekers can even be shut in the “cold” room, a once refrigerated locker used to store corpses.