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Eureka Springs Magical Mystery Tour

Crescent Hotel, Eureka Springs AR
Is that a ghost peeking out the window?


OK – so it wasn’t a magical mystery tour, but it was a ghost tour, so I was close. One of the joys of traveling with people is that they’ll inspire you to do things you wouldn’t do on your own. By myself or with my husband, The Crescent Ghost Tour would not have been on my agenda.  But if Deb wanted to go, well I was in.  After all, she was willing to do all the things on my list.

The History of The Crescent Hotel

The Crescent Hotel has quite  a spooky history, but I didn’t realize that when I signed up for the tour.  I knew the hotel was linked to the springs and figured rich folks from the past would come there for the waters, but I didn’t know about Dr. Evil. (He called himself Dr. Ellis, but I think Dr. Evil is more appropriate.)

See, the guy who built the hotel made it one of the grandest hotels of his era, but taking the waters of Eureka Springs proved to be a seasonal event.  To keep the hotel running, it became a women’s college in the school year, but even that wasn’t enough when The Depression hit.  The Grand Old Lady of the Ozarks became an empty shell.

Guide, The Crescent Hotel Ghost Tour, Eureka Springs AR
This is not Dr. Evil. This was our tour guide.

Once The Crescent Hotel fell on hard times, a less than gallant gentleman paid a mere pittance for it and set up one of the most awful places I’ve ever heard of in my life.  He claimed to be a doctor who had discovered the cure for cancer, but he was no doctor and he didn’t have any cures, either.  Still, people were desperate and paid magnificent sums to come be tortured with injections from huge hypodermic needles several times a day.  And if you didn’t like that, Dr. Evil would move you to the wing behind the iron plating so the other “guests” wouldn’t hear your screams.  No wonder this place is haunted.

It’s estimated that about 200 of his “patients” died in the three years he managed the house of horrors.  Finally, he was arrested for mail fraud.  Seems it was OK for him to claim he could cure cancer.  He just couldn’t send out letters through the mail claiming he could cure cancer.  The day he was arrested, all the patient files burned, but noone knows how. There’s a mystery for you.

Creepy Crescent Conditions

Anyway, The Crescent Hotel is now living a new life, but it can’t get away form the past.  There’s an abnormal number of things that seem to go bump in the night. They’ve even had T.A.P.S. from the SyFy Channel  in to check things out.  The link will take you to their very paranormal experience.

So if you can’t get rid of the ghosts, then you should capitalize on them – hence the nightly ghost tour. The ghost tour takes itself rather seriously.  They introduce the history of the town and the hotel.  Then they show you the T.A.P.S. video along with other things like photographs of orbs and pictures of unexplained apparitions.  If you’re the least bit bothered about things like this, expect the hair to stand up on the back of your neck.

registration desk, Cresent Hotel, Eureka Springs AR
The registration desk in the lobby. Some of the guests have overstayed their welcome.

I approached the tour with an open mind, because I don’t think we’ve found the answer for everything, yet.  I don’t think that every time someone gets spooked it’s the dead coming to haunt them, but there are things we can’t explain.  However, even if there were ghosts at the Crescent, they weren’t going to come out on our tour.  We had a very obnoxious drunk on the tour and she mistakenly believed we were more interested in her encounter with Abraham Lincoln earlier in the day,  (Lincoln never visited the hotel) than we were in our tour guide.

Anyway, that’s the background.  Next week, I’ll tell you about the tour.

3 thoughts on “Eureka Springs Magical Mystery Tour”

  1. Jane – I must admit Dr. Evil does indeed look evil. How can anyone prey upon cancer patients, especially those that are grasping at anything, for a cure. Before we made the move to Conway, one of the cities I investigated was Eureka Springs – mainly because of all the artistic outlets – but I’ve been reminded so many times sincee we moved here that I didn’t really make that decision. Fun post. How’s your mom?


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