Haunted Sites in the Ozarks


(Eureka Springs, Arkansas) — In the fall of the year, thousands flock to the south region of The Ozarks to see the fall color, enjoy the absolutely perfect weather, and to maybe experience a close encounter with the paranormal.  This region definitely has a plethora of “spirit-filled” locations with Eureka Springs (AR) as the epicenter.  The perfect location to serve as the hub for leaf-peeking and ghost-seeking.

There is no doubt that the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa is the crowned jewel of this ghostly region.  With more than 20 nationally and internationally aired television programs with the Crescent as its subject, it has been aptly named “America’s Most Haunted Hotel”.  Nightly ghost tours allow visitors a chance to perhaps meet such infamous former guests as Michael, the Irish stonemason; Theodora, the patient-employee when Norman Baker ran the hotel as a cancer-curing hospital; charlatan Norman Baker himself as he guards his “morgue” and pickled body parts, both on display in the hotel’s basement; and many, many more “guests who checked out but never left”.

Not to be undone, the Crescent’s sister hotel, the 1905 Basin Park Hotel, is also a hotbed of specters.  The Basin Park was built upon the footprint of the old 1881 Perry House before it burned to the ground.  The characters that overnighted in these properties have made themselves known quite often in the halls and in the ballroom of this downtown property.  Patrons become paranormal investigators on their tour utilizing the latest in equipment that professional ghost hunters use.

Even though it is fun to explore for ghosts themselves, a most popular draw for visitors to the area is a sojourn over to the Buffalo National River.  Not only is this one of the most picturesque areas in The Ozarks south region, it is also home to the ghost town of Rush, Arkansas.  This 1,300-acre historic mining district once was a thriving community built around mining the lucrative motherlode of zinc.  Visitors can hike the abandoned roadways, wondering who might have lived in the numerous abandoned structures and homesites left abandoned when the entire population disappeared upon the closing of the post office in the 1950s.  This “must-see” lost-but-not-forgotten city can be accessed near the Yellville/Buffalo Point area located less than two hours from Eureka Springs and only 15 minutes from the beautiful Buffalo River itself.

To enhance one’s spooky fall Ozarks’ visit, autumn thrill-seekers can take advantage of the “Paranormal Pair Package” which includes two nights lodging: one in the Crescent with two ghost tour tickets included and one night in the Basin Park with two paranormal investigation tickets included.  For more information, go to https://crescent-hotel.com/blog/paranormal-pair/ .

Other nearby paranormal points of interest that could be included in an Ozark daytrip from Eureka Springs are:

Prairie Grove Battlefield – Marked tour pathways have long been known for walkers to hear battle sounds left over from the conflict between “the blue and the gray”.  This site is located southeast of Eureka Springs off U.S. Highway 62 in the community of Prairie Grove, AR.

Tilly Willy Bridge – Ghosts are said to still wander near this site of a gruesome auto crash that cost all of those in that car their lives.  These spirits reportedly leave handprints on visiting car windows under foggy conditions.  Located southeast of Fayetteville, AR on Highway 69/Wilson Hollow Road.

Ghost Mountain – Especially on a full moon night, the wailing sounds of a woman and her ailing baby, who were killed when the husband/father came home in a blackout drunk and tossed both into their water well, can be heard.  This macabre site is located just southeast of Fayetteville’s Drake Field airport.

War Eagle Mill – Owners of this still-operating gristmill often hear tales of patrons’ encounters with a Confederate soldier who patrols the grounds, as well as stories of poltergeists who roam the interior of the historic structure who not only move items in the store but throw things as well.  This unique structure and riverside locale is located just off Highway 12 on War Eagle Road.

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