|Yes, admit one nervous adult.|
My past two previous posts have told the tale of visiting the "Grand Old Lady of the Ozarks" as The Crescent Hotel is affectionately called. I signed up last Wednesday for the nightly ghost tour that was to begin at 8 PM. (Clint passed on the tour)
Glen, our ghost tour guide. He was excellent!
We were to meet at what was called the faculty lounge on the 4th floor. Our tour guide was Glen and there were seven of us on the tour. Glen presented an introduction about the Crescent Hotel and some of its history. Glen said some of us would get orbs in our photos. I didn't get any but Terri, one of the other guests, got several orbs in her photos. One in particular was a very large one near Glen, the very first photo she took on the tour. In its 124 year history, the Crescent is most known for what took place during the three years from 1937 through 1940. This dark time began with the arrival of a man driving a purple car... Dr. Norman Baker. Where does one begin to describe this man? He leased The Crescent Hotel for his hospital, he announced he had found a "cure" for cancer. For three years the Crescent was a cancer hospital.
|In 1908 The Crescent College and Conservatory|
for Young Women opened at the Crescent Hotel.
The cancer treatment options mentioned on the following sign, "knife, radium, x-ray, serum", have not changed in 73 years!
|In 1937 the Crescent was known as the |
Baker Hospital in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Our tour guide says 420 patients died at this "hospital". Baker would have the patients write their families letters stating they were almost cured and needed more money for further treatments. Dr. Baker also performed operations in settings such as parks and theatres. He would drill in patients heads, expose their brains and pour in his "cure" which consisted of ground watermelon seeds, brown corn silk and spring water. His days of being a vaudeville magician came in handy with these exhibitions and he drew large crowds.
|Glen shown here telling us about Theadora's room. |
This room gave me the creeps!
Dr. Baker was also involved in experimenting with organ transplants and saving body parts of the deceased patients and freezing them. Legend also has it that Baker hid bodies in the hotel until night time and would then burn them in the hotel incinerator. He attempted to keep the cancer deaths secret so the patients would not know they were not cured. He has also been accused of hiring people to sit on the veranda, drinking cocktails and playing cards so passersby would be impressed. Yes, this "health resort" gave the illusion of curing all our ills. It is estimated Baker brought in over 4 million dollars.
|Morris, a cat who had lived at the Crescent Hotel.|
He lived 21 years and his ghost is now seen roaming the halls.
The body transplants he performed were done to spread the word of his "cure". If a patient had a cancerous arm, Baker would amputate the arm and replace it with an arm from a cadaver. Baker would send a photo of the patient with the "cured" arm to the patient's family or better yet, have the patient write the family and announce he/she had been cured!
Dr. Baker was no medical doctor at all. As a matter of fact, Norman Baker had never set foot in a medical school. He was finally arrested in 1940 for mail fraud and served four years in Leavenworth.
|Mug shot of Norman Baker.|
Our tour guide showed us a photo from The New York Times that was of the yacht on which Norman Baker died. The story goes that Baker was at sea, a glass bottle that held his only "painkiller" was accidentally broken and he died a painful and agonizing death from liver cancer. "Karma"?, as our tour guide Glen suggested.
The freezer where "Dr." Baker stored body parts and bodies:
|I was freaked out at this stage of the tour ...|
|Locker # 2, site of figure captured |
by the TV show, Ghost Hunters. This site
is right outside the morgue.
|Photo from gossiprocks.com|
This image was filmed by the TV show, Ghost Hunters,
this was the figure right beside the locker # 2.
|The "table" in the morgue where "Dr." Baker performed|
what-ever-he-did to the bodies of the cancer patients.
A bronze sculpture picturing Michael at the bottom (face can't be seen in this photo)
with Michael's mother calling him up to Heaven. Michael, an young Irish brick mason,
possessed a special skill in a type of masonry called "dry stack". He fell
to his death and landed in what is now room # 218 while working on
the construction of the hotel. The stories abound on strange
phenomena associated with this room.
Never before had I experienced such waves of goosebumps and cold chills! I want to say I am a little less fearful of such things but still am not able to say it. As Terri, her husband and I were walking down the long hallway after the tour, Glen is locking up the morgue and says something to us. We stop and he is wanting us to "wait up" for him, Glen goes on to say he still gets creeped out by the morgue. ;-)
P.S. The hotel guest who had the room across from us, room #202, is known as a room there with activity. She did not know this when she booked the room. I had found it on Google that day and
told her about it when the subject came up. She asked Glen and he confirmed what I had read.