Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Crescent Hotel

With things going well on the Ghosts of War front (the movie we are shooting about haunted Civil War sites), I took a break this past week and went on a mini-vacation to the infamous Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I also crashed for a night in another haunted, but lesser known, place there called the Basin Park Hotel, but I'll save that story for another day.

While at the Crescent, I managed to get a night in the, reputedly, most haunted room there: Room 218. This is the place where a worker supposedly fell to his death during the construction of the hotel. Legend says that his name was Michael and that he is often seen in that room. I also took the ghost tour there which allowed me to visit several other haunted locations in the hotel--primarily Room 419 that is known as Theodora's Room (this is the location that Grant of TAPS had his laptop moved on the show Ghost Hunters) and the basement/morgue area and infamous 'Locker #2' ( where an apparition was caught on a thermal camera--also of TAPS fame).

During my evening at the Crescent, I went through three audio recorders; the fresh batteries were continuously drained over the evening. The second victim was my Sony Nightshot camera. After a mere forty photos, it also went dead in the room. At this point, since I had provided whatever entity was in Room 218 with more than enough energy, I went on guard for literally anything to happen! It wasn't long before something did...

I was sitting on the bed with my cell-sensor EMF detector and a red-lens flashlight when the lamp beside the bed began to move. At first it was very slight, then the lampshape started violently shaking. This lasted about ten seconds. Soon, the sounds of very faint whispers started coming from the area of the dresser/chair at the end of the bed. Those, too, faded away pretty fast. Firing up an audio recorder with my last batch of batteries, I decided it was time to crash.

Over the course of the remainder of the evening, though, Michael wasn't finished. He decided to torture me over the rest of the night by banging a set of shutters that was inside the room against the window (the window is actually a set of doors that lead out onto a massive balcony overlooking the Ozarks--the shutters are inside the room so you can shut out the light if necessary). Sometimes the bangs were low and only captured on audio (but not waking me), sometimes the bangs were extremely loud bringing me quickly out of my sleep. I recorded six sets of bangs on the audio recorder, which fortuitously managed to record almost three hours of audio before also going dry on me.

It was definitely an interesting evening. Two other things happened there as well.

The first was early in the evening when I went to the upstairs bar in the hotel (named after Dr. Baker, the resident quack that operated there in the early 1900's). While standing in a small corridor just off the main hallway to look at a menu, I saw a black shape (about the size of an entire person) shoot by the end of the hall. I quickly went to the area of the mass and saw there was nobody there. This was a great start to my evening there!

The second thing happened the morning after my night in Room 218. I was on my way to the front desk when I noticed the room next to mine (216) had a towel and a strap from a bag hanging out of the bottom of the doorway into the hall. I went downstairs, loaded out some bags, and mentioned this occurrence to the bellhop. He said nobody was staying in Room 216, but his look said, "Yeah it's weird. What's new?." I shrugged and went back to my room for the remainder of my gear. When I passed 216 again, the strap was no longer there. Somebody or something had jerked it back into the room. Could this be the same spirit that moved Grant Wilson's bag against the back of his bedroom door at the Crescent? Who knows?

After reviewing my audio from our night there, I had several good EVP's and, of course, crystal clear audio of the banging of the shutters in the room! Take a listen...

EVP1: This was captured in Room 218 while nobody was there (we were actually at dinner). It is a female voice.

EVP2: This was also captured in Room 218. Again, we were out of the room--this time taking a ghost tour of the hotel. It sounds like a male voices says one word (one syllable), there's a pause, then he says, 'Hello.' Male voices in this room are usually associated with Michael.

EVP3: This was captured in Room 218 during the period I was awake and 'on guard.' The lamp had just moved and I was starting to hear something from the far corner of the room. It sounds like a voice.

EVP4: Another voice captured in Room 218. This one is definitely a female.

EVP5: This is not an EVP, actually. This is live audio as I most definitely heard it a number of times! You're going to hear an extremely violent and loud bang of the shutters in the room. You'll hear me wake up and ask, 'What was that?!' Listen here.

Visit the Crescent Hotel, get Room 218, and you will not be disappointed! The video below is a quick tour of that room--you can see where the lamp is that shook, the window that had shutters banged against it, and the chair that seemed to emanate whispers during the night. Cheers!

Posted by: Rich Newman