Sleep With A Ghost -Guaranteed

SLEEPING WITH A GHOST... ...is guaranteed during the month of October at America's Most Haunted Hotel as every room -even Michael's Room 218 (said to be the most active room in the hotel)- will have a "ghost" on the bed welcoming guests as they enter.  [1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, Eureka Springs, Arkansas]

SLEEPING WITH A GHOST…
…is guaranteed during the month of October at America’s Most Haunted Hotel as every room -even Michael’s Room 218 (said to be the most active room in the hotel)- will have a “ghost” on the bed welcoming guests as they enter.
[1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, Eureka Springs, Arkansas]
—o o o o o o—

(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) — “America’s Most Haunted Hotel”, the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, is giving overnight guests during the month of October a guarantee that they can sleep with a ghost.   The ghost of the guarantee may not be of the paranormal kind but a “ghost” nonetheless.

“When guests check in to the 1886 Crescent Hotel, the question most often asked when handed their key is ‘Is there a ghost in this room?’  Well, during the month of October, Crescent front desk clerks can cheerfully answer ‘Yes!’,” said Jack Moyer, hotel vice president and general manager.

The 1886 Crescent Hotel, a proud member of Historic Hotels of America, has been featured on nearly 10 nationally syndicated paranormal television shows in as many years and is regularly listed at or near the top of all haunted hotel lists found online.  “USA Today has featured our hotel in full-page articles twice and NBC’s Today Show has mentioned our property on numerous Halloween versions of their morning broadcast,” Moyer added.  “However, the best national exposure of our ‘guests who check out but never leave’ was when Syfy’s highly popular Ghost Hunters program captured a full body apparition here on their thermal imaging camera while conducting an on-site investigation.  They called it ‘the holy grail of ghost hunting’.”

Throughout the years, many guests have reported seeing, hearing or feeling an apparition in their room during their overnight stay at the 1886 Crescent.  Some have even described those sensations in or around the bed while sleeping.

“It was the frequency of these random encounters that encouraged us to offer every overnight guest during this October such an experience,” explained Moyer, “even though in a somewhat whimsical manner.  We will be decorating each sleeping room with a cute, cuddly, three-foot by two-foot by one-foot white plush ghost to hang on to during the sleeping hours.  A paranormal security binkie has never taken a more delightful form.”

Moyer concluded, “As an added bonus, if any guest wants to take home one of these snuggly ghosts, they will be available in our hotel gift shop.”

For more information, one may go to CrescentHotel.com and AmericasMostHauntedHotel.com .

HI-REZ IMAGES>>>

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SIDEBAR

The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa has announced that on Friday and Saturday nights during October they will be expanding their nightly ghost tour offering.  The regular nightly tour, which takes patrons from the hotel’s fourth floor down five flights of stairs to “the morgue”, has added an “all of the stories, none of the stairs” tour on Friday and Saturday nights only at 10, 10:30 and 11 o’clock.

For more information, one may go to AmericasMostHauntedHotel.com.

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Cabin Fever? Spring Break is just around the corner

Cabin Fever? Spring Break is just around the corner in Eureka Springs, AR.

As Spring Break approaches, a variety of travelers -moms wanting to bond with their daughters, couples looking for a romantic escape, ladies dying for a post-winter girlfriend spa getaway, and grandparents looking for an interesting and safe place to take the grandkids while school’s out- will once again be pointing their mouse to Eureka Springs online as they begin planning for that special March diversion.  This quaint Victorian village of 2,000 tucked away in The Arkansas Ozarks has played host in March to many suffering from “cabin fever” or simply looking for an relaxing respite from the ordinary, everyday rote and regimen.

“Research shows there are five major reasons why people visit Eureka Springs during spring break,” stated Bill Ott, director of marketing for two of the town’s historic hotels, “Those reasons are as follows: not too far away, one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations, variety of things to see and do, a village you can call your own, and Eureka Springs has a very favorable cost-to-value ratio.”

Not Too Far Away – For those who live within the ellipse formed roughly by connecting the metropolitan areas of Kansas City, St. Louis, Memphis, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Wichita they are at the most a little more than a five-hour drive from Eureka Springs.  Much of this sojourn from all of these cities is along scenic highways.

One of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations – For those planning a Spring Break getaway but are not familiar with Eureka Springs, take heart.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation is quite familiar with it.  In fact, the NTHP describes it as “an appealingly unconventional Victorian village tucked in the hills of Northwest Arkansas, surrounded by miles of lakes and rivers.  In the 1850s, its early visitors were attracted to the magical waters of its miraculous ‘Great Healing Spring’.  Today, tourists come to enjoy its downtown Historic District, thriving community of artists and writers, and independent Ozark Mountain spirit.”  In fact, the entire town of Eureka Springs is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.”

Variety of Things to See and Do – In addition to the inherent cultural and enchanting heritage aspects of this “hidden village”, Eureka Springs offers Spring Break-ers a plethora of other activities and attractions.  “Ladies coming in March for girlfriend getaways or as a mother-daughter duo, seem to gravitate to the numerous spas in the area, as do romantic couples wanting that added intimate ‘memory chip’ of a duet massage,” said Ott.  “Surrounding spa treatments, ladies find the unique, non-chain store shopping exciting and rewarding.”  All of this frenetic and fun activity creates a hunger that the numerous quality, locally owned restaurants and eateries can easily sate.  “When it comes to adults with kids during Spring Break such uncommon attractions as hotel ghost tours, a trip to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, a peek at Eureka’s ‘underground’, and hiking the urban trails of a city that time forgot -to name just a few- will fill a Pinterest page and require the telling of tall tales once home as an expanded follow up to Twitter tweets.”

A Village You Can Call Your Own – Visitors say one of the most alluring qualities of Eureka Springs is that, due to its size, the community seems like it is an escape that is all their own, Ott explained.  “Eureka Springs is not like a Times-Square, frenetic and always packed with people.  To the contrary, Eureka’s smaller size and slower pace makes each little discovery -a hidden staircase, an eclectic shop, a restaurant with that one-of-a-kind dish, a never-felt-before massage technique, and so on- seem like a first-time find.  Those type of ‘eureka’ moments enhances their experience, transforming a simple vacation into an explorer’s escape.”  As anyone can see, especially during Spring Break, this exploration is enjoyed by visitors of all ages.  Kids love to wind their way through downtown with its century-old buildings.  Then, in just a few steps, they can go from urban to natural, forested hillsides complete with limestone bluffs and hiking trails.  Parents love it for their kids because both feel safe here; not something you can say about many popular Spring Break destinations,” Ott added.

Very Favorable Cost-to-Value Ratio – In this day and age of economic uncertainty, one thing is certain: Eureka Springs is an affordable destination. Room rates are unbelievably “pocketbook friendly” and many hotels and bed-and-breakfasts package lodging with attraction tickets, spa treatments and dining discounts.  These added-value packages allow visitors to better budget their Spring Break getaway.

Ott concluded, “You know winter is a memory when our hillsides are abloom with daffodils and jonquils and our sidewalks, shops, spas and restaurants are in blossom with the smiles of those who have discovered Eureka Springs again for what feels like the first time.  It’s an escape worth repeating,

For more information on Eureka Springs’ lodging, attractions, spas, restaurants, shopping and special Spring Break packages, one should go to eurekaspringsonline.com .

Renowned Crescent Comet Mabel Williams

From The Hardwood To The Hard Life:  The Life

Of Renowned Crescent Comet Mabel Williams

(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) – During the early 1930s, “guests” of what is now The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, a Historic Hotel of America located in Eureka Springs (AR), slept in the rooms… but they also went to class and some of them played basketball.  One of them played basketball very well.  In fact, Mabel Williams, of Jacksonville (AR), took her college team, the Crescent Comets, all the way to a national championship game in Wichita (KS) where they lost the title game by only one point to a team led by All-American Babe Didrikson.

But she and her fellow Comets did manage to win two other national championships for The Crescent College and Conservatory for Women in tournaments played in Dallas (TX).  Some say this championship team played like they had been playing together for years.  They had.

“My fellow Comet teammates all came to Crescent College, like I did, from Sparkman (AR),” Williams said.  “All 10 of us played for the Sparklers, our high school team, where we won three state championships.  Mrs. Engels who owned the hotel college offered our team a full scholarship to come to Eureka Springs and play for the Comets.”

“We loved it,” explained Williams.  “We had the entire fourth floor just for our team.  And even though the school was for rich girls, our team was accepted with kindness from the regular students.  We all loved it so.”

Williams righted a few Eureka Springs’ urban legends as well when she explained, “We never played in the hotel’s glass conservatory like some think.  We always practiced and played in the basement of Eureka’s City Auditorium where the boys played also.  In fact, our coach would make us run from the hotel to the auditorium every day for practice.”

It should be noted that their route from The Crescent Hotel, which sits atop Crescent Mountain, to the City Auditorium, located downtown in the valley below, was about a two-mile run.  The auditorium was also the site of many of the Comets’ tournaments as well.

“Most of our games however were in Oklahoma and Kansas,” noted Williams.  “And when you’ve got a bunch of girls from Sparkman, Yellville, Flippin and Hartman (AR) trips out of state were quite exciting… especially in the early ‘30s.”

Basketball wasn’t Williams’ only fond memory of her time at Crescent College, a finishing school for young women.  She also remembers the dances.

“It was marvelous,” beamed Williams.  “We got to dance in the lobby with all the other girls and we looked just as nice.  Mrs. Engels saw to it.  Before the college’s first formal, she bought each member of our team a formal gown from a fancy dress shop in Springfield (MO) so we could go and feel like we fit in.”

The years of 1930 to 1933 were filled with more than just basketball and dances for Mabel Williams.  This highly regarded offensive forward was a championship student as well.  Her studies in general curriculum earned her a degree allowing her the opportunity to become a teacher upon graduation.

Williams opted to stay at Crescent College another year after graduation but then the school closed due to hard times.  So “ol’ number 5” went home, got married, and started a family and a career in the height of The Great Depression… a transition she refers to as “from the hardwood to the hard life.”

Even though she was offered a chance to play basketball in Joplin (MO), Williams stayed home, raised two sons and began her career as a banker.  She began her banking career at First Jacksonville State Bank and then on to First Arkansas Bank and Trust where she was employed at the time of her retirement.

When asked if there is any one thing she cherishes most from her basketball days at Crescent College, Williams smiles warmly and simply says, “The friendships.”

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The Sparkman Sparklers team on which Ms. Williams played was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Dallas County Museum in Fordyce, Arkansas.