The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs AR is perhaps one of the most actively haunted places in the country, and unexplained occurrences occur there on a regular basis. A recent email from a regular reader of this column described a decidedly inexplicable experience that she and her husband had there last September. Linda wrote:
"My husband and I discovered Eureka Springs shortly after we moved to this area in 2010 and have been regular visitors there ever since. It is peaceful, beautiful in all seasons, and the people we have encountered there are probably the friendliest bunch we have met anywhere. We had heard about the Crescent Hotel being full of ghosts but neither of us were believers in that sort of thing, or for that matter had given it much thought. But we had heard that it was a quite beautiful old building and on a Eureka trip last September we decided to drive up and get a closer look (we had seen it from a distance) and take a couple of photos.
"We parked in a spot where I could get a good picture of the front and I was pleased to see a woman in an older style dress (I’d guess 1920s or 1930s) walking across in front of the building, and assumed she was part of the staff dressed that way to add to the atmosphere, and the thought ran through my mind that she would add a nice touch to my photo. I saw her clearly on the view screen as I snapped the shot, but a few seconds after I lowered the camera I was looking right at her when she simply disappeared into thin air. There was nothing for her to go behind, she just vanished into thin air. I didn’t know my husband had been looking at her too until I heard him say, ‘Where did she go?’
"The first thought that went through my mind was that there are ghosts at the hotel and we had not only just seen one, but I had gotten a good picture of it. The strangest part came when I quickly brought the picture back up to view my prize. There was nothing there but the building; not even a blurry or hazy spot where she had been so clear on the same screen when I took the photo. When we got home we brought it up on the computer and went over it with a fine-tooth comb, but she simply did not show up on the image. Everything else is sharp and clear, but it was as if she had never been there. Yet both of us saw her so clearly that we thought she was a real, live person dressed to add to the atmosphere of the old hotel.
"Then the next month we started seeing your column on the newspaper website, and one of the first ones you wrote was about the Crescent Hotel. We have been debating ever since whether or not share our little adventure with you, but we finally had to tell someone who might be able to enlighten us on the subject. At this point we feel like we are caught between our former disbelief and the evidence of our own eyes. We talked it over and decided that we would give you permission to use our report in your column, with a request that you only use our first names. What we are hoping for more than anything else is for you to call us at the phone number below and tell us more about other similar experiences.
Linda and Nathan XXX
I have at this point made initial contact with the witnesses and my personal impression is that they are being completely sincere and honest concerning the events described. The Crescent Hotel remains a favorite topic not only for your truly but for many others as well, and additional reports from this well-known paranormal hotspot are certain to appear in future columns.
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(If you have had an encounter with any type of paranormal or unexplained phenomena, I would like to add it to my ever-growing files. Send me a complete account, with as many details as you can. Include your name and a telephone number or email address I can reach you at if I need more information. Complete anonymity, if requested, will be observed if your experience is used for publication. Send accounts and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.)