Thursday, May 21, 2009

Basin Park Hotel Investigation

The Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a destination that's been almost tailor-made for paranormal investigators. Besides the fact that this hotel is marketed as being the 'sister hotel' to the infamous Crescent Hotel, the place openly accepts--and promotes--the fact that it, too, is a haunted location. They offer a ghost tour conducted on the premises and you can book your room there as part of their 'Paranormal Pair' package that will allow you to stay at the Crescent and Basin Park for one significantly lower price than if you had booked the stays separately.

But is the Basin Park really haunted?

I took the ghost tour offered at the hotel--it seemed necessary if for no other reason than to identify the 'hot spots' of the place. Information regarding the haunting at this hotel is few and far between, so the more I could learn about the place, the better. During the tour, I learned that I was staying in one of the 'haunted rooms' there (this wasn't news to me, I had asked for the room with the most activity) which is Room 307. Other rooms that reputedly experienced a lot of activity included Rooms 308, 407, and 408 (an interesting fact since they were essentially the same two rooms on two different floors and located directly above/below each other).

Stories involving entities there included a man in a cowboy hat known to walk through rooms (into the walls no less), children who played in the hallways, and a female spirit that is said to visit patrons in the before mentioned rooms. She is known to move things around, to talk during the night, etc. It was with this information that I retired to my room ready to investigate.

Over the course of the night, I took several hundred infrared photographs (they revealed nothing), kept several EMF detectors going (including a cell sensor, a K2 and an analog Gauss Meter), and I ran a constant audio recorder--which actually produced a couple of interesting things...

Once I bedded down for the night at a pretty late hour I had not experienced anything paranormal; there were no significant spikes on any of the EMF meters, no strange sounds or sights, and nothing that would suggest that anybody or anything was in the room with me other than myself! Once I fell asleep though, I found myself waking up at almost regular fifteen minute intervals. I didn't realize what was causing this until I listened to the audio. It seemed that as soon as I started getting into some sound sleep, something would make a loud thump or bang in the room, waking me up. This is an example of this happening (there were eight instances of this caught on audio).

Review of the audio would also produce a couple of other nice pieces of evidence. While I was away from the room grabbing some dinner before my ghost tour, the recorder actually captured the sounds of somebody walking through my room--creaky floorboards and all. This was one of the occurrences that was specifically mentioned during the tour. It was especially odd because nobody else was staying in that part of the hotel (I visited during December and there were few to no guests in the entire place at all) and there is no indication of a door to the room opening/closing prior to or after the captured sound.

The last thing that was caught, was the brief sound of a voice coming from within my empty room (this actually happened while I was on the tour). Though it's not enough to tell definitively whether or not the speaker is/was a female, it is arguable.

So, again, is the Basin Park really haunted?

Probably so. Who am I to argue with the experiences of those who work and live in the hotel on a daily basis? Other than the audio I recorded, I caught nothing that would suggest the place has a lot of activity--but then a lot of hauntings are subtle things. They're not all about an apparition appearing before you and yelling, "Here I am!" Sometimes we have to pay attention to see and hear what's going on around us.

I personally look forward to revisiting the Basin Park Hotel in the future at some point and investigating the place again--hopefully more thoroughly and in more locations than just Room 307.

Posted by: Rich Newman
Contact Rich at