We all know of a place that piques our interest, that draws us in without even intending to. Well, that place for me is the maleficent Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This building seems like something that I would craft up in my dreams, but it was real. It was more real than anyone could ever imagine. With its gorgeous view of the village below, elegant Victorian style that made the place feel like a castle, and the warm energy around it, the Crescent drew in all types of people from everywhere, and still continues to do so. This place seems like a dream, but it holds nightmares of the past within its walls. This place is full of dark secrets of death, betrayal, and lies. It tells the story of a stonemason, a cancer patient, a crazy man known as Dr. Norman Baker, and more.
The construction of the building first started in 1884, after Improvement Company and the Frisco Railroad Company came together to build it. They wanted a place where people could come to receive the natural healing water. This healing water was the thing that first drew so many people to the small village-like town of Eureka Springs in the first place.
Even before the building was finished, it gained its first spirit. This spirit is known simply as Michael, an Irish stonemason who fell to his death in the room now known as Room 218. This room has has numerous reports of hearing Michael on EVP recordings, feeling the stonemasons’ energy, and even seeing his spirit. Because of Michael, this room is declared the most activate of the hotel. A few patrons have even checked out of his room during the night!
Soon after this incident, construction continued and they finally finished the building in 1886. Once it opened, business boomed up until people realized that the healing waters did not, in fact, cure their illnesses. When this happened, patronage dwindled outside the summer season, since the summer made the Crescent a beautiful retreat.
So, in 1908, they made a change. The hotel became a college for young ladies, named appropriately the “Crescent College & Conservatory for Young Women”. According to legend, the hotel gained a few more spirits during this time. One, in particular, is the spirit of a pregnant teenager who was either pushed or jumped from one of the balconies. Whatever happened, people have reported seeing her up on the balcony and down in the garden.
The college was open until 1934 when the fallout from the Great Depression finally reached the Crescent. These problems resulted in the Crescent returning to its hotel roots during the summer. It remained this way, year after year, until a man by the name of Norman Baker bought the hotel from the two companies who owned it. Norman Baker had a new plan, and he hotel would become a cancer hospital.
He got his hospital up and running within a year or two, and the Crescent became popular once again. Cancer patients from across the country came to his hospital. Even though everything seemed perfect for the Crescent, Baker hid a few gruesome secrets within the walls of the building.
For one, he didn’t have a medical license. He was tricking people out of their money and causing many deaths with his ‘cure’, a concoction of his own creation. with no actual medical basis People in his establishment were dying from cancer, but he managed to cover it up until he got caught for fraud for the second time. It was then Norman Baker fled, leaving the Crescent, once again, without an owner.
During the Norman Baker hospital period, the Crescent gained most of its deceased residents. One of those spirits, Theodora, who occupies Room 419. She was supposedly a cancer patient who was experimented on daily and died in that very room.
There is also a story of a nurse who pushes a gurney down the hall of the third floor. Everyone who has seen her claims that she goes from one end of the hall to the elevator, and then vanishes.
The final spirit that is most noticed from the Baker Era of the hotel is Doctor Norman Baker himself. He has been spotted at the bottom of the stairs and somewhere in the crystal dining room. There are many more spirits that haunt the place that are also from the Baker Era.
After Baker left the state, the Crescent Hotel was left abandoned until 1997 when Martin and Elise Roenigk bought the hotel and spent the next five years restoring the building to its Victorian splendor. They managed to have it back to its gorgeous state by 2002, and everything has been great for the building. Even the hauntings are a plus for the Crescent now.
I love the building and can say that I personally think it is haunted. I have taken pictures that have shown up with things that can not be explained. I have felt weird energies around me while being there. I have also had two or three experiences that could not be explained logically, but why let me tell you about the Crescent Hotel when you could just go and see it for yourself? Go enjoy the Castle In The Sky, now that the secrets are out, and see if you feel as I feel, a strong bond with the people who still resident in the Crescent Hotel of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.