Submitted Stories (Page 2)
Ryan's Crescent Hotel Experience
It's a hot spring night, I'm playing my latest game Mafia, and my cell phone is ringing off the hook. I ignore it as usual, but whoever is calling is being very persistent. I finally give in, and answer. It's Reggie, and the first words out of his mouth are "Dude! Don't make plans for the last weekend in May." He goes on to explain that they have a surprise birthday trip planned for me. He won't give me details. Only that we'll be staying the night somewhere haunted, and I won't want to stay alone, so bring a friend. I'm very intrigued now, and agree not to make any plans. I turn off my game and head to my apartment balcony to smoke, and try to figure this surprise out. It wouldn't take me long. 20 minutes later Reggie and my brother Free show up at my door. They can't stand the suspense anymore than I can apparently, and drop the surprise. It's the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. I've never heard of it, which is odd because I've been to Eureka a lot in my life. They show me the website for the hotel, and then I'm well beyond intrigued. I'm ecstatic is more like it, and can't wait to go. The place looks perfect. A Victorian Era Mansion turned hotel. We head to the living, break out the bottle of crown royal as is customary with our visits, and the rumors about the place start like wildfire. Most of them untrue, but scary none the less. That night I could barely sleep just thinking about the place. I was already obsessed with it. All my life I'd searched for proof of paranormal activity, something, anything to show that this passion of mine wasn't a lost cause. I'd made up some stories for fun, but in truth never experienced a thing. This was going to be my chance I hoped. I might finally find those elusive ghosts I'd so desperately searched for my whole life.
May came quickly and the group was set. Reggie & Christin, Free & Christy, and Whitney and I. Christy and I shared an interest in the paranormal, and it turns out this trip was her idea. I couldn't thank her enough, and she had also paid for my room (not cheap btw). Whitney was more of a skeptic, as were Free and Christin. Reggie on the other hand was terrified, though he wouldn't admit it. He was a believer like Christy and I, but had no interest in having a paranormal activity. The 3 hour drive was like any other. Normal. Where we were going still didn't seem real. We had only seen pictures, and it was like we were all just taking a drive through the Ozarks. And this is how it always goes I would find out later. You don't really get a sense of the Crescent Hotel until your standing there in front of it. As we took our last street, Crescent Drive no less, up to the highest point of the town the hotel slowly came into view. No one said a word. We parked and gathered our luggage, exchanging a few words here and there. The feeling of seeing this place up close is indescribable, and you'll just have to experience it for yourself. Over 100 years of history are looking back at you, literally. The place feels beautiful and terrifying all at once. As we entered the main lobby I was stunned at how well kept it was. Nothing had been changed, and the hotel kept that 1886 charm. While Christy checked us all in, Whitney and I began to wonder around the lobby. The first thing that caught my attention was an old stone fireplace in the middle of the lobby. It had a marble plaque above it with an inscription that must have been from the hotel's architect. It mentioned a lost lover that would come home to him when the seasons changed to autumn. Ok, now I'll admit it. I was freaked out. I'm still angry with myself about this, because I never grabbed my notebook and wrote down this eerie poem.
Next, Whitney and I noticed an old pipe organ. It also had and inscription as being the only one of its type. Some weird steam powered organ, I really don't know specifics. It had been invented by someone named Dr. Norman Baker, and only 2 were still in existence. Directly across from this was the old desk of Dr. Baker kept perfectly intact, just as he had left it. Who was this guy I started wondering? Why was his stuff all over the lobby? We would all find out later. Finished checking out the first floor, Whitney and I headed back to the main lobby to find the rest of the group already gone. We took the elevator up to the 3rd floor. This elevator was very old too, and kept making noises that sounded like it would plummet at any moment. On the ride up I noticed a framed black and white picture of Dr. Baker entertaining his patients with and old movie. One of those projector types from the 30's. I asked the elevator attendant about this and he mentioned that the hotel was a Cancer Treatment facility during Baker's years. He said that if we wanted to know more we could take the ghost tour which ran at 10pm. When we finally reached the third floor our group was waiting on us. Already, they believed they had experienced something strange. They said they had seen a man wearing a very dated suit, and top hat in the lobby. As they took the elevator up he was walking down the hallway just as the door swung open. They claimed he had disappeared as they gave chase after the guy. I immediately thought this was bull, still do. Ask Reggie or Free though, and they stick by this story to this day.
Christy gave us our key and everyone settled into their rooms, planning to meet at the bar on the 4th floor in an hour. Whitney and I were in 312 and it was nothing short of amazing. It had a parlor area with an antique desk, and the classic four post bed from the time period. It also had an old closet painted green, and securely closed. Something felt strange about it and both of us felt it. We ignored this and opened the double doors to the balcony. Now this was breathtaking. The balcony was huge, and was shared with 3 adjacent rooms. This was going to be a fun night, I could already feel it. Whitney showered and I checked out the room some more. There was no TV which made the place feel even more authentic. Christy had defiantly picked the right room for us. An hour later we headed up to the bar, marked by a sign that read Dr. Bakers lounge. Again with this Baker guy. I kept wondering what was so important about him. We all ordered drinks, and went out to the bars balcony which overlooked the whole of the Ozarks, and the hotels garden below. In the distance we could see the Christ of the Ozarks statue facing directly towards the hotel. This was comforting, or strange, I couldn't decide. I mentioned the ghost tour and everyone agreed. After getting intoxicated we all went to Whitney and I's room that we kept bragging about. Upon entering we noticed that the locked closet door was wide open. I asked Whitney if she had been into it. Of course she hadn't, neither of us had used it which was a frightening prospect. The rest of the group didn't believe us, just as we had not believed their story. I closed and locked the closet, making absolutely sure it was fastened tight.
We all hung out in our room waiting for the ghost tour, and downing shots of whiskey we had brought for ourselves. The atmosphere at this point had become fun and not scary at all. This was about to change. It was getting close to 10 so we headed to the 2nd floor where the tour began. Whitney told us all to wait a second because she had forgotten something. I gave her our room key and we all waited. Then I hear Whitney screaming my name. We all run into the room, and again, the closet door is wide open. Of course we're all suspicious of Whitney first, but she swears it was like this when she entered. So once again, I close and lock the closet. Reg and Free check it as well, and are satisfied. If it's open again when we get back from the tour, something is up. We meet up with the ghost tour group on the 2nd floor where there is a small group and 2 tour guides. One looks like he's about eighty years old and a ghost himself. Luckily we get the dark haired attractive tour guide as they split the group. Group 1 heads down to the basement, and group 2 (us), heads up to the 4th floor. Our guide stops us at Dr. Baker's suite which leads up to the 5th floor. It's a locked door that we won't be entering, and apparently the whole floor belonged to him when he lived here. The tour guide starts her normal monologue about her beliefs in the paranormal, and that this tour is not fixed to scare you so if something happens it's legit. She points out that this is rare, but does happen, and not to be frightened. A ghost will not hurt you. At this point Reggie stops her, and asks what if he wakes up with something floating over him while he's asleep. Could this happen? The guide smiles, and christen clearly embarrassed whispers something to Reg. The guide again assures him not to worry; no physical harm will come to him. Reggie pushes the question again, and the guide says that anything's possible, but she seriously doubts that would happen. Reg and christen have another exchange of words, and we're all laughing at this point. He's becoming the comic relief of the group.
The guide introduces us briefly to the legend of Dr. Baker while we stand at his door. During the late 30's he bought the hotel and converted it into a Cancer Treatment Facility. He also remodels the hotel, installing hidden passageways, and even had a rotating bookshelf in his office with a switch that opened the shelf to reveal 2 fully loaded Tommy guns. She explains that Baker, while a genius, was a little eccentric to say the least. His reasoning for creating these ingenious passageways were for his quick escape should the Medical Association come after him. Baker believed he had found the cure for Cancer, and that "they" wanted it. Our guide leads us down to floor 3 telling us we'll get back to Baker later. She takes us to room 313 first, right across from Whitney and I's room. Here she explains that this room wasn't haunted until a group brought in an Ouija board to perform a séance that went horribly wrong. They checked out early and the room has had a demonic presence ever since. Whitney and I are thinking, great we have a demon next door while Reg is laughing at us. "Does anyone rent this room?" I ask our guide. "You can, but we don't recommend it."
The tour continues in this fashion. Our guide hits all of the haunted rooms on the 3rd and 2nd floors. She also tells us about a nurse who is often seen pushing a gurney with a covered body on the 3rd floor, and this puts us all on edge. Up until this point Reg thought he was safe because his room hadn't been mentioned. She takes us through the lobby and out the back double doors to the huge porch outside. She explains that before we head to the basement she need to finish the story of Dr. Baker. Finally, I'm thinking to myself. The days of Dr. Baker were horrible and atrocious. This was no treatment facility. It was more like an experimental facility. Dr. Baker drew in patients from all over the country with his claims of having the cure for cancer. There was even a well documented case where he performed an operation in town on a patient with brain cancer. Baker opened the patient's cranium, applied his "cure" to the patient's brain, closed the cranium and took him back to the hotel. The people in town were amazed, and really believed he had cured this man. The patient was brought to the basement which held the asylum rooms, and died with no treatment. In fact, this was what happened to most of the doctors patients. He performed experiments on them, and if their prognosis was bad they were sent to the asylum. The guide explained that there may have been more of these rooms on the upper floors. One of the owners who had purchased the hotel in the 70's was staying the night in a suite on the 2nd floor. She awoke to agonizing screaming as if someone was being tortured and saw blood splattering all over the walls. She freaked of course, and ran to the lobby. Some of the staff went to her room and checked it out. It was empty. Our tour guide let us in on another good story during the 70's. Some staff were working late in the lobby, preparing everything from the grand opening of the new hotel, when they saw a man in an old 30's era suit walk into the lobby bar. One of the staff members went to check it out, and found the man sitting at the bar starring into space. The staff member asked if he was okay, if he needed help. With no response he went back to call the police. Curious, another staff member went back to check this guy out. He was gone.
Later that night, the same staff who had gone back to work heard a phone ringing in the lobby that was connected to an old switchboard in the basement. Problem was that switchboard hadn't worked in decades. They wisely left this one alone, even though the phone continued to ring. Our tour guide explained that the man seen in the lobby was likely Dr. Baker, and that he is often seen pacing around the lobby. She continued to tell us more about him. Baker would forge patients letters to their families telling them how well they were doing, and how lovely the town was. That they might stay here. In truth, these patients were dead. Questions started like wildfire in our group. How could he keep this secret? And how long had he gotten away with it? She reminded us of the time period. No internet, no cell phones, no gadgets for help. And Baker wasn't about to let a patient leave the hospital. But what about family members who came to visit? Most of the patients came from far away states, and travel in those days was expensive. This is also during the time period of the Great Depression. Baker got away with this for 4 years. It began to rain softly, and the group was taking all of this in. No wonder the place was haunted. Our time to think things over was brief. "Ready to see the basement?" our guide asked. She knew that we were all understandably scared now, so she tried again to reassure us that ghost will not harm you. Then she mentioned 2 ghosts we might see in the basement. One was janitor from an unknown period of time, that when spotted immediately ran away as if it were afraid of people. The second was a playful small child, again unknown time period that liked to tug on peoples shirts and generally annoy them. We started our descent through the lobby and into the basement.
Now at this point Whitney and I are excited, Free and Christin are still skeptical, Christy is calm, and Reg is terrified. We reach the basement and pass the spa area which isn't scary at all. We take a turn to the right and this is scary. A long hallway that leads to the basement with doors left and right that were once the asylum rooms (currently these are no longer there, and were converted for more spa rooms). There had to at least be 20 of them, with doors of all different sizes. Dr. Baker defiantly was crazy. I grabbed the handle of one of the smaller doors to have a look, and Reg yelled "Dude! Don't mess with that I'm serious! Leave it alone." It was locked anyways, but Reggie's fear was reaching its boiling point and would explode soon. We took the long walk down the hallway, our guide in the lead, and down some stairs into the basement. Ok, I'll admit it. Yes, I was terrified now, even being a ghost hunter. There was no lighting down here, just a few old light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. The basement is broken into 2 parts. A laundry room, and then the morgue. As we approached the morgue It was pitch black and our guide disappeared momentarily in the shadows. She twisted a light bulb and we all gathered around her. It was time to finish the Baker story. Free suddenly turned around and faced me. "Stop messing around dude." I didn't know what he was talking about. I would find out later something was tugging on his shirt. The guide pointed out the old embalming table, and a metal freezer that was locked up tight and no longer used.
"This is where Baker moved the dead. He piled them up in the freezer, and when that was full he burned the bodies outside in the furnace. Baker used the embalming table to remove organs of interest to him, and some of these were found in jars when the place was renovated in the 70's. There's no way of knowing how many he killed, since most of the bodies were burned in the furnace. Dr. Baker was finally arrested in the late 30's for tax fraud, of all things, and the building was shutdown. He never confessed to any of the murders, but the irony of his legacy is that he died of cancer. Some have said that he had it all along, and his experiments were an effort to save his own life."
This was a terrible story, and standing there where this all went on I felt sick. I felt horrible for the people who suffered here, and was happy that Baker suffered in the end. I snapped a picture of the embalming table with my digital camera, and the tour was over. On our way out Reggie had followed one of the other guests on the tour into the bathroom. Like I said, his fear had reached critical and was about to explode. I went into the bathroom just because I had to take a leak. When I came in I see Reg with a very angry look on his face. He's staring down this guest who is trying to use the urinal. "You alright Reg?" I asked. He didn't say a word. Now this guest is starting to feel very uncomfortable, and finally Reg says "Do we have a problem?" The guy is dumbfounded, and so am I. Now the guest is scared, because Reg is a pretty intimidating guy when he wants to be. "I just wanted to make sure you and I don't have a problem." The guest, in a shaky voice says no and hurries out of the bathroom. It was hilarious, and I felt sorry for the poor guy. Reggie needed to do that to feel stronger I think. Fear makes you do strange things. With this incident over we head back to Whit and I's room, making fun of Reggie the whole way. When we enter the closet door is wide open again. No freaking way I'm thinking. Reggie goes to get both of the tour guides to get some info about our room. While I'm exchanging theories with the attractive tour guide, the rest of the group is telling the 80 year old guide about the closet. "Oh yeah, this room. I've had a lot of problems here." He tells us he was painting the room one day and something kept opening the closet door. Just tell it to go away, he's harmless the guy tells us. "Don't go provoking him either." Which of course we would be doing later.
Starving we decided to go into town for dinner. Again we lock the closet door, turn the lights out and head to the car. I stop outside and take a picture of our room. We get into the car and I power up my camera to check out some of my pictures. The first one to catch my attention is the embalming table. In the mirror above it, I see Christy's reflection and behind her what looks like a nurse. No one was behind Christy when we were in there so I'll definitely take a closer look at this one on my computer. Then I flip to the shot I just took of our room. "Oh no way, stop the car!" I yell. In the picture, not only is the room light turned on (which was left off) but there is a figure standing at our balcony door. I show the group and look up at the room from the car. The lights are off, and no one is there. We all talk about this over dinner and decide to do some provoking when we get back. The picture is a really good piece of evidence, but we want more. We rush back to the hotel, and back to room 312. The closet door, wide open, but we're getting used to it now. We start drinking heavily again, and get ready to try and draw this thing out. At first we leave the lights on. Whitney sits in the parlor chair, I'm in the bench by the room door so I can keep an eye on the closet, which is closed and locked again. Free is closest to it. Their all on the bed with Reggie the farthest away, Christy and Christin in the middle. Reg does most of the provoking, but nothing happens. We decide to turn the lights off, and with the curtains drawn on all of the windows its pitch black. We can barely see each other. We all lay there, Reggie farts to keep us entertained, but eventually we all get tired and stop talking. It had been about 45 minutes when all of a sudden a loud crash comes from the closet. Everyone screams, and I turn the lights back on. The closet door had opened so forcefully that it crashed into the wall and came back where it stood halfway open. It even left a dent in the wall it had opened so forcefully, and the lock was broken now.
Everyone had enough of this, and we all left the room. Free and Christy went to bed, which just left the 4 of us. Whitney went back down into the lobby, and the other three of us were wandering the halls looking for the nurse ghost. We hear Whitney yelling at us from the spiral stairwell from the lobby. We head down, and she's telling us Baker's organ just started playing by itself. We just thought she was drunk, but the night attendant told us it does this often during the night. I walked up to the organ to have a look with Whitney. Reggie was still talking to the night attendant about the organ, when it started to play. We all froze, well except for Reg who was running for the front door. I couldn't believe my eyes. Dr. Baker's organ was playing by itself; even the keys were being pressed. It took Christin a while to convince Reggie to come back inside. That the organ had stopped playing. Finally he came back in, and we all went our separate ways to try and get some sleep. The sun would be up soon, and checkout was at 11. When Whitney and I got back to our room the closet door was still cracked open and hadn't moved. Maybe the ghost was finished us.
The next morning we were all exhausted. It had been one hell of a night. I had finally had a brush with the paranormal, and I knew as soon as we walked out the door that I'd be back again.
It's now spring of next year, and I have my room booked for the last week in May. That seemed to be an active week last year, so why not try it again. I book room 301 under the advice of hotel staff I've been talking to. They say it hasn't been active to their knowledge since the hotel opened, but has recently started "waking up" so to speak. Its perfect and I take it for a Saturday night. There is a problem though in that no one wants to go with me. 301 has an adjoining room, and it would be fun to take a group again. Whitney backs out, Reg, Free, all of the last group. So I'm having coffee with Matt at a Denny's one night (its Muskogee folks, no Starbucks), as is our custom, and I tell him the story I just told you, the reader, whoever you may be. Matt's interested in the paranormal, but he's not buying that this place is haunted. This couldn't be more perfect I'm thinking to myself. There's a theory in the ghost world that if you pay them no mind their more likely to show themselves. On the flip side, if your looking for them their much less likely to make an appearance. What this means for me is that a skeptic is bait, and Matt agrees to go.
In the days leading up to our trip, I begin to worry. If the hotel has an inactive night, Matt will walk away still a skeptic. Also, my story of the place will lose credibility. May goes by very slowly. I'm researching everything I can about the hotel, and ghosts. In the end though, there is nothing I can do. The last weekend in May finally comes, and Matt and I get packed and ready to go. Overnight change of clothes, etc, check. Camera and extra batteries check. Bottle of Jack Daniels, check. 10mg Lortabs, check. We get a good nights sleep, and leave around 2pm Saturday taking the scenic route. This will give us about a good 3 hours to reach the hotel. The drive is just like my last trip. Like you don't really know that your destination is in fact haunted. The trip is filled with our normal conversations, nin, tool concerts, why can't I get a date, that sort of thing. 3 hours in we're starting to get bored, but then we reach the Ozarks. Several peaks stretched out for as far you can see. The highest peak is Eureka Springs, with the Crescent Hotel Sitting right at the top. An eerie feeling crossed my mind here. I remembered what it felt like standing in front of this enormous Mansion, "A Castle in the Sky" Dr. Baker once called it, and thought "What if it already sees me? Knows I'm coming back?"
Now, yes, I understand how crazy that sounds, but again unless you've seen this place up close you really have no idea. There is just something about it that doesn't feel right. Matt was oblivious to what I was feeling, and I was a little spaced out for a moment. We reach Eureka and get lost which is not hard at all. Think of a town built into a mountain that's wrapped insanely around it. I mean seriously, the streets are a joke. To see for yourself, mapquest.com Eureka Springs and you'll see. Even with a map you get lost. We actually end up driving through town, turning around, and ending up in downtown. Matt finally notices Crescent Dr. and we take it up. And I mean UP. This is the steepest road I've ever seen. I missed the view last time as we had come a different way. At any rate, Crescent Dr. will lead us to the hotel. As we're crawling up this winding road the sun is starting to set, and tons of tree's are hanging over the road making it hard to see. For some reason we're talking about a radiohead song that was in the movie "Vanilla Sky" that I wanted the name of. "Oh yeah, I have it." Matt says and puts in Kid A. The song is "Everything in its Right Place." It will forever be etched in our minds as the creepiest song of all time.
Finally, a ray of sunlight hits us as we reach the top the mountain. And there she is. In my research I learned that Isaac Taylor, the architect, called the Mansion "The Lady of the Ozarks." It really doesn't matter what you call it. It's a scary and beautiful sight, and your mind struggles to decide which. "That's it!" Matt says. Oh yeah, he's feeling it already I can tell. We drive slowly up to the front where a staff member is waiting. Matt is half looking at the Crescent and half driving. The staff member directs us to overflow parking because there is a wedding taking place. We park, grab our backpacks and start our walk to the entrance. We don't speak at all. Finally Matt asks me where our room is. "It's in the Northeast tower. You'll like it." I don't mention what the hotel staff told me about the room. We walk through the entrance, 2 gigantic double doors, and I head to check in counter which still looks 1886, not modern at all. Matt I notice is checking out the lobby, seeing all of the sights I'd told him about. He comes over to the counter just in time to hear the check in guy say "You do know this room is active right now, right?" And he's not smiling, he's serious. I start smiling; this couldn't be going any better than it already is for my bait. Matt is not laughing, or amused whatsoever. "Enjoy your stay." He says and hands us our key. Another staff member takes us up to the room. While in the elevator I point the picture of Dr. Baker to Matt. He just kind of shakes his head in recognition. When we reach the 3rd floor its very familiar to me. The huge hallway that looks like it goes on for miles. Our guide leads us around a corner to the NE tower. It's a small, closet looking area painted all black. On the left is room 300, the door painted black, and our room on the right, 301, painted black. It's eerie, and weird too because most of the doors on this floor are painted green. Now I'm starting to get a little tense too. He opens the door for us; we tip him, and start checking the room out. An antique closet to our left next to the bathroom, a parlor chair and nightstand on the right. Then there is the sealed fireplace next to the chair. Sealed? Interesting, we'll check this out later. The King bed is place directly in the center of the octagon shaped walls, with 3 windows that all have their curtains drawn. To my amazement this time, a TV is in this room which seems to be a buzz kill. Then we check out our balcony. Two double doors open to a very small balcony. If you're afraid of heights you want to keep these doors locked.
After checking out our room we head upstairs to Dr. Bakers lounge. We order our drinks and head out the balcony facing the hotel gardens. Its here I notice that Matt is having trouble keeping his drink still in his hands. That fear when you first come to the Crescent Hotel is setting in. He knows the history too which makes it worse. It's also not helping that the menu on the table has drinks like "Bakers Brain freeze" and "Bloody Baker." The sun has finally set, and we're relaxed now thanks to an alcohol infusion. We head back into town to eat. The hotel is usually quiet until around midnight anyways. We find an Italian restaurant just down the street. Funny thing about this place is that everyone inside is gay. (Insert the classic Seinfeld line here) But seriously, all of the staff is gay. We end up staying and eating like freaking bloodthirsty vampires the food is so good. We stay and have a few drinks when Matt asks the question "Do they think we're a couple?" which they likely do. "What, I'm not good enough for you or something?" I respond which leads to our last laugh of the night. Stuffed and drunk we go back to our room. It's around 10pm and we break out the bottle of Jack. We never touch the TV, and I'm actually loathing its presence in the room. The next 2 hours fly by, and we're not paying attention at all. I remember Matt was sitting in the parlor chair reading something about the town, and I was sitting on the bed reading a book about other historic hotels. It's completely silent, and midnight has passed unknowingly to us. Most of the guests are sleeping, and the hotel is seriously as silent as the dead. Until our balcony door starts moving. We both drop what we're doing and stare. It's definitely moving, and it looks like something is pushing from the outside in. As I approach it, one hand grabbing the bed, it stops. I open it and the balcony is empty. I close and lock the doors. Grabbing my camera I snap 2 shots of the door. I hand the camera to Matt and head to the bathroom, seriously scared. Unlike the closet door incident I saw this with my own eyes. Before I can even take a piss I hear Matt screaming "Dude! You have to see this!" It's the two pictures I took. One shows what looks like a face and the other nothing at. There's a problem though, was one of us smoking? We were both so scared we couldn't remember.
We start taking test shots with cigarette smoke that look nothing like our photo when it finally dawns on us; we have two shots taken with a delay of maybe 3 seconds. The second picture shows nothing but empty space. It's not solid proof, but combined with what we saw the balcony doors doing it is definitely strange. Now we're hungry for more, we want solid proof. Matt and I are very much alike in that aspect. We stay in the room and start hearing pacing above us. At first we think it's a guest, but why are they pacing like that. Matt calls down to the front desk. He shouldn't have. It's not a guest we're informed, that's not a room we rent out above you. "Let's take a walk" we both decide. We take our prized photo to the night attendant at the front desk and ask his opinion about it. He notices something we don't, and asks us to email it to him. Even if its smoke there are so many intricate shapes in the photo. A trail that almost looks like a figure eight, and two faces. With this is mind we head down to the basement. It's locked, and after what happened we don't want to go in anyways. So we take a walk around the hotel taking pictures of it. Matt notices a trail leading down to a statue, and we head that way. On the way Matt stops me, and I know why. I'm hearing it too. Footsteps behind us. Whatever it is, it's walking in unison with us. We finally reach the statue, and see that its part of an Old Catholic Cathedral. The church itself is small in size, but breathtaking. Its structure resembles medieval architecture. Matt snaps a photo of the statue, making absolutely sure neither of us is smoking when he did. Later this photo would prove to be our holy grail we were looking for. We continued on, and the church itself is not really scary. It feels separate from the hotel. A stone passageway leads down to the entrance with statues on the right depicting the crucifixion of Christ. At the bottom is a larger statue of the risen Christ. We found the two wooden doors at the entrance looked. Behind here was a garden with a Statue of Mary, and an Alter facing her. It was very calming, and we spent about an hour here just checking the place out.
We went back to our room exhausted. The sun would be coming up in a few hours, but now came the hard part. Trying to sleep in room 301. Before we crashed I flipped through the images of the church and stopped at the shot of the statue had taken. It was foggy looking, and the image had many faces. Make up your own mind about this one, but it's not smoke, and it wasn't foggy that night. Feel free to find what you can in the picture too, as I've found many strange looking figures. I showed Matt, but he'd had enough I could tell. I don't think either one of us really slept at all that night, and when we awoke and checked out we looked like the walking dead. Everyone was staring at us. Again, I left knowing I would come back soon, and Matt is now a believer that the Crescent Hotel is haunted.
This trip yielded the most evidence caught on camera by far. Feel free to comment on the pictures. Skeptic's comments are very welcome, as Matt and I both are still trying to figure these pictures out.
You know the drill by now. Its spring of 05, and again this trip will be different from the rest. My ghost hunting partner, Matt, is unable to go because he can't afford it. He has a significant other now, and let's face it, they have a tendency to drain your funds. I know a couple of people who want to go, but in the end decide to go alone. There were a couple of reasons for this. 1) To see if I had more experiences without distractions. 2) To see if I could handle this alone without being intimated by the place. If 1 turned out to be true then 2 would = a good test run for me. If 1 and 2 both = success, then I'm ready for ghost hunting alone. Confused yet? Good, me too so lets get on with pt. 3 of the Crescent Hotel Stories. Btw, if you've read all of these so far thank you very much. I hope you're enjoying them.
I book room 301 again and just wait for the day to come. I'm nervous about this one too. When I lay in bed at night I imagine myself alone in the hotel, and it scares the crap out of me. I'm also having strange dreams about the Crescent Hotel, but that's normal for me. What's out of the ordinary about them though is that they keep repeating, and playing out different scenes. In the dreams I keep following someone around the hotel, a women, dressed in a wedding gown. Every time I wake up I keep a log of what happened in each dream, but they add up to nothing. The night before I leave I pack everything. This time I'm taking my camera of course, and my notebook. Writing should give me something to do instead of just sitting around in my room doing nothing. Had I known about EVP's at this point I would have taken a recording device. Oh well, next trip I will. I oversleep the day of my trip, and don't end up leaving until 5pm. This sucks because I wanted to take some daytime pictures of the hotel. Again, maybe next trip. The drive alone is already different. I'm trying to listen to music, but my mind is all over the place. I know exactly what I'm about, and where I'm going. Already, plan 1 looks to be proving true. Once I reach the Ozarks it's a race against the sun to reach the hotel before nightfall. I want at least one picture. I reach town and the hotel just in time for one shot.
When I checked in the guy at the counter knows me by now. "Back again? Where's your friend this time." I fill him in on Matt, and he tells me 301 has been active ever since we left. I grab my backpack and head up to my room alone this time, not needing the escort guy. Their used to me here by now. I take the stairs up to the 3rd floor and back to the alcove with the 2 doors painted black. I unlock my room and settle in. It's hot as hell, and I crank up the wall A/C unit. I'm a little nervous about being here alone, but not as bad as I thought I would be. I feel right at home actually, and never want to leave. I grab my camera, deciding to take some pictures of the parts of the hotel I've missed in previous trips. As soon as I open the lens the batteries die.
Here's another ghost theory, take it or leave. First off, my batteries were brand new and the camera was fully charged when I took the outside shot on my way in. The theory goes that for a ghost to materialize it needs energy, and can draw from your batteries. Yet I didn't see or hear anything at all, so I'll call this one a coincidence. Either that or something is in the room and I'm not aware of it. Yet. With my batteries dead I go upstairs to Bakers Lounge like always for a drink. Now this is interesting. There are about 6 bridesmaids completely trashed and entertaining themselves. Now, if I were an aggressive guy I would have joined in on the fun, but I'm a shy guy so I pay for my drink and leave. I needed batteries anyways, so I drive back into town. There is some kind of Jazz festival going on downtown so I head there first for a few more drinks. Then I remember again, batteries that's why I came down here in the first place. I drag myself away from the bar, grab some batteries and a bottle of wine. I then stop at that awesome Italian restaurant Matt and I found that I can never remember the name of. It dawns on me that I'm avoiding the hotel during my dinner. So I go back to my room. No more leaving for a while. It's about 11pm and I start doing some writing about my trip so far. I take a break for a second, and open up my bottle of wine. It's nearing midnight, the witching hour at the hotel, and my nerves are a little on edge. And then it happens, total silence. It's after midnight and I'm just listening for a second. It's eerie how quiet it always gets at this time. There are no sounds at all, even the crickets outside go quiet. I noticed this when I stepped out on the balcony for a cigarette. There is no sound anywhere. I go back to my writing, and make a note of the deadly silence that falls on the hotel at midnight. I look up and notice some things in my room are out of place now. First, the bathroom door is wide open, and I had kept it securely snapped shut. I would have heard it open too because the thing creaked so loud. But that's not all. When I first checked into my room there was a chair by the fireplace that was in the way so I moved it over by the balcony. Its now back by the fireplace, and again, I should have heard this chair move.
My mind is racing now. Something happened in my room when I went out on the balcony. How did I miss it though? I should have heard all of it. I start writing again about what's happened, and then the fire alarms go off on the entire floor. I literally jumped straight up in the air. I walk out into the hall with the other guests that were awake now, and the alarms turn off. Then we hear the elevator alarm go off, someone's stuck in the elevator. Those of us awake rush to the elevator and the alarm stops. We hear the elevator going up to the 4th floor. I rush up the stairs to see what happened, and no one is in it. Everyone is freaked out from the 3rd floor, and some staff members came up and say it was an electrical problem. We all go back to our rooms. Not content with the explanation I call downstairs and get a different response. "We don't know what it was." And had it been a prank they would have known, as all hallways, the basement, and lobby are watched by cameras. I settle back into my room. I try speaking to the thing I'm now convinced is in my room. "Is someone in here?" Nothing. "Can you move the chair again?" Again, nothing. Then I get this bright idea to turn off the lights, pull all of the curtains, and lay in bed to see if it manifests itself again. The room is pitch black. I can't even see my hand in front of my face. I try again, "Is someone here? Is there something you want to say?" Now this was very stupid. Or smart, depending on how you look at it. I start to hear a gathering sound behind me. When I say gathering, it's like a sound that's struggling to speak. At first it sounds like someone taking a deep breath, and then a sigh. And then it actually verbalizes words. I freak! Jump for the lamp, miss and land flat on my face. I know what it said, but I don't want to think about it until I can see, I'm so freaked out. Finally, I find the lamp I had knocked over in my jump from the bed and turn it on. I'm breathing rapidly, excited and scared. I put the lamp back where it was, grab my notebook and write down what I heard. The voice sounded distant, it's difficult to explain. All I caught was a sobbing female voice, and the words help me…please God help me.
As soon as I wrote that down, I began to wonder if maybe this had been one of the asylum rooms from Dr. Baker's days. I laughed out loud over my reaction. If I had only stayed calm maybe I would have heard more. I'd had enough of my room, grabbed my camera, and went down to the Cathedral.
There I could calm down, think about what happened. Did it really happen? I was already wondering if I was just hearing things I wanted to hear. I had no evidence, and it sucked. I took some pictures of the church, and then took a seat next to the statue of Mary. It was very calming, and I even considered just staying there until sunrise. I snapped my last picture of the statue of Mary, and went back to my room to get some sleep. Sitting in my bed, flipping through my pictures, the one of Mary did look a little strange, but was likely nothing. I took it without flash, but my picture didn't pick up any of her features. Like someone put a sheet over it.
I powered off the camera, considered leaving the lights on, turned them off and got in bed. I was thinking there was no way I was going to fall asleep after what happened. I'm an insomniac as well, so I expected to just lay there until sunrise. But somehow, I fell asleep within minutes. The dream came back. Now, before I tell you about this dream here's a disclaimer. I'm very prone to night terrors, and have been my whole life. So that may have been all this was. I didn't know I was dreaming, didn't even know I had fallen asleep. My door was open, and I heard someone calling my name. I got out of bed and walked out into the hallway. It looked different. Everything was dark except for a few candelabra's here and there. I followed the voice down into the lobby, and into the dinning hall. It was some kind of social gathering. There were people everywhere, dressed in Victorian garb. Suddenly everyone lined up on the sides of the dinning hall. A women approached from the end of the hall, calling me towards her. It was the women from my dreams in the days leading up to my trip. The hall went dark, everyone was staring at me, and a light illuminated this women in her wedding dress that kept calling me closer. There was something devious about her I felt, but I kept walking nonetheless.
I walked right off my bed and landed flat on face for the second time that night. It took me a minute to realize I was dreaming. I was just surprised I had actually slept. Then I could see the sun rising through a crack in the curtains, crawled back into bed and slept until checkout. I didn't want to leave, and I was starting to love this place. I wished I had billions of dollars so I could buy it for myself. When I got home I let everyone read my journal. Some thought it was bs, some loved it. I was exhausted and crashed early that night, saving my picture review for tomorrow. That night I had my last dream of the Crescent Hotel. The devious looking women, still in her wedding gown, had led me up to the 4th floor. She was laughing and smiling as she went to the stairwell that went all the way down to the basement. She sat on the rail, and as I ran to stop her from jumping she leaned back and fell to the basement. It was the last I would ever see of this ghost in my dreams, if it in fact was one.
Is the Crescent Hotel really haunted? Yes. Unfortunately most of my experiences are like these stories, and I can't show you proof. The pictures will either convince you or not. The best way to convince yourself would be to take a trip there for yourself. Also, the tv show Ghost Hunters has a free episode on Itunes of their top 20 favorite spots. The Crescent comes in second, and they did catch something in the basement you might want to check out. I also thought I should explain my passion in the paranormal. No, I'm not crazy, it's just something I've always had an interest in. My dad used to tell me ghost stories when I was young, and when the story was over I always wanted more. I wanted to know if they were true. I'm passionate about this because I want to be able to say, yes, something does happen when we die. My hunting is grounded in my faith, which would be Christianity, but growing up my biggest fear was never of Hell. Well, ok yeah, Hell sounds pretty scary. But I also feared that what if after death we just ceased to exist. Its not that I've lost faith, but as we become adults keeping that faith strong becomes harder to do. It's something I'll never lose, but it doesn't hurt to fight one of my greatest fears. And that's why I search, and will continue to do so.
Submitted by Ryan P. (02/14/08)