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USA's 'Most Haunted Hotel' Where Hundreds Of Jars Of Human Remains Were Discovered

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USA's 'Most Haunted Hotel' Where Hundreds Of Jars Of Human Remains Were Discovered

We've all heard the stories about the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, with its history of serial killers, unexplained deaths, and rumours of paranormal activity, but have you ever heard of the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas?

Well, that hotel potentially outdoes any other in the United States when it comes to ghoulish goings on and murky history.

Many have even dubbed it 'America's Most Haunted Hotel'.

Why, you ask?

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Well, just look at it. Credit: Crescent Hotel and Spa
Well, just look at it. Credit: Crescent Hotel and Spa

Well, we could start with the 400-odd jars of mysterious remains discovered buried in the grounds, or the fact it used to be the experimenting ground for a notorious quack doctor who claimed he had a cure for cancer.

Better still, you could consider the countless ghost sightings that led two certified mediums to describe the hotel as a portal 'to the other side' and a 'dimension that holds the spirits of the dead'.

Best to start at the beginning though, right?

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Nestled within the picturesque Ozark Mountain Range, the Crescent threw open its doors to wealthy tourists, but it soon became too much to look after and fell into disrepair.

After spending a few decades as an educational facility, the building was bought up by Norman G. Baker, a rich radio personality who claimed that he could cure various diseases such as cancer using non-traditional medicine that allegedly included 'Formula 5, a concoction of alcohol, carbolic acid, glycerol, ground-up watermelon seeds, corn silk, and clover leaves'.

Norman Baker. Credit: Crescent Hotel and Spa
Norman Baker. Credit: Crescent Hotel and Spa

Baker would administer injections of this liquid at the site of the cancer in his patients.

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Unsurprisingly, it did nothing to help them.

In 1940, Baker - who never qualified in any medical capacity - was jailed for mail fraud, and the hotel was left dormant once again.

However, it seems that Baker left a few spirits behind him.

The hotel during the years of Norman Baker's ownership. Credit: Crescent Hotel and Spa
The hotel during the years of Norman Baker's ownership. Credit: Crescent Hotel and Spa
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Visitors to the hotel since then have reported seeing various ghostly apparitions, including spirits believed to be those of Baker's doomed patients, as well as a cat that used to live in the hotel, but was buried behind it.

More on what else was buried behind it later.

There have been sightings of a four-year-old boy that has been dead for around 100 years, a woman pushing a gurney, and another trying to find the key to her room.

Perhaps most famously, 'The Girl in the Mist' has been seen at around 10.30pm in the moonlight throwing herself from an eastern balcony into the garden.

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Mist gathers outside the hotel. Credit: Crescent Hotel and Spa Ghost Tours
Mist gathers outside the hotel. Credit: Crescent Hotel and Spa Ghost Tours

Her identity remains a mystery. Some speculate she could be another of Baker's patients, or one of the students from the building's past as a women's college.

The most grisly part of the hotel's past remains the discovery in a dumping ground behind the building.

When Baker operated the hotel as his sordid 'health spa' he advertised in the press that he possessed 'actual cancer specimens' that were 'preserved in alcohol'.

In those adverts, Baker was pictured in front of a wall of jars he claimed contained the amputated tumours of patients.

Some of Baker's jars in the hotel today. Credit: KATV
Some of Baker's jars in the hotel today. Credit: KATV

When new owners took over the hotel, local officials were told those specimens, that had sat in the hotel for years, were taken to a dump in the 1960s.

What they didn't realise was they'd been taken to a 'dump' behind the hotel itself and buried.

In 2019, whilst doing some landscaping, gardener Susan Benson uncovered the bottle dump.

The police and environmental agency quickly identified that it wasn't a crime scene or a burial site, so the archaeologists moved in.

A photograph of one of the 'ghosts' in the Crescent Hotel. Credit: 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa
A photograph of one of the 'ghosts' in the Crescent Hotel. Credit: 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa

At least 20 contained tissue - probably animal or human - floating in alcohol, and 100 other bottles that the alcohol had escaped from may also contain the same material.

The samples were sent to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as well as the state crime lab for testing.

It's possible there are hundreds more bottles in the grounds, too.

As well as the bottles, the scientists also found surgical tools and specimen jars that could prove that Baker was carrying out unlicensed surgery on patients at his 'hospital'.

Nowadays, you can visit the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa and see their museum, where some artefacts discovered are stored.

A ghoulish figure treads the hallways (actually just a dude in a top hat shot with a slow shutter speed). Credit: PA
A ghoulish figure treads the hallways (actually just a dude in a top hat shot with a slow shutter speed). Credit: PA

You can even stay the night, if you dare, because the building has been a functioning hotel once more since the later 1990s.

Of course, you could also take one of their ghost tours, if you want the chance to spook yourself out.

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, there's probably something incredibly sinister about the energy in a place like this.

Featured Image Credit: Crescent Hotel & Spa

Topics: US News, travel, Weird

Tom Wood
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