Across the United States, the unusual finds its place in homes and hotels with storied pasts -- places where the spirits of previous inhabitants and guests still linger. Take a look at five hotels which we think you’ll find more appealing and spine tingling than any of the theatrical haunted houses you might be considering visiting this Halloween.
1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa; Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Built: 1886
If you don’t scare easily, stay a night in the Crescent Hotel’s room 218, which, before it was a room, was the spot where a young stonemason named Michael landed after falling to his death from the scaffolding during the hotel’s construction. The hotel’s director of marketing and communications, Bill Ott, says the reports of weird activity in the room include finding clothes that were once hanging in a heap on the floor instead, difficulty opening and closing the room door, and eerie images of Michael reaching out through the mirror.
But don’t worry -- although the ghosts (yes, the hotel is home to others besides Michael) are sometimes mischievous, none of them are harmful. “We say that all of our ghosts are Casper-esque,” explains Ott.
The hotel’s darkest era was during the late 1930s, when it served as a hospital run by Norman Baker, who claimed to be a doctor but unfortunately had no medical training and no medical license. Legend has it that many, many atrocities occurred at the hospital during this time, including experimental surgeries and painful deaths at the hands of Baker. In fact, it was in the basement (which was the hospital’s morgue) that the Atlantic Paranormal Society investigators from the television show Ghost Hunters saw the “holy grail of ghost hunting,” a full-body apparition. We dare you to try and see one yourself: Every night at eight p.m., clairvoyants take guests on a ghost tour that includes the basement. Tours are offered on a first-come, first-served basis; $18 for adults and $7 for children under five. Rooms from $149. (877) 342-9766, www.crescenthotel.com