When Jen and I stayed at the Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs a week or so ago, I had the opportunity to poke around a bit in the early hours of the morning while everyone else was fast asleep. I had heard rumors for years about the sixth floor, where the ballroom is located, and the paranormal activity associated with it. While I couldn’t carry a bunch of gear and do a full-scale investigation (no permission to do so), I do feel that there is something to be said for personal experiences, if you approach them with the right frame of mind and try to debunk what you might have experienced.
The story is, if you enter the ballroom in the early morning hours while it is still dark, sit down quietly against the wall and remain still, that eventually you will start to see shadows passing in front of the windows, hear the faint sound of voices in conversation, and the soft sounds of music, as if a party was going on. If you suddenly switch on the lights the sounds and shadows immediately go away. Always the curious one, I decided to see for myself, chocking the whole thing up to nothing more than urban legend or sounds from the street.
I sat down in the dark against the wall right next to the door, and sat there quietly for about 15 minutes, listening and watching intently. To my surprise, I started noticing movements in the room near the windows, as if someone, or several someones, were walking or dancing. As I watched the shadows I became aware of the sounds of both male and female voices engaged in hushed conversation, and even heard a very distinguishable laugh from what sounded like a few feet to my left. I sat there for about ten minutes, just taking it all in and trying to make sense of it. The streets were empty and quiet, as was the hotel itself, and I was the only one on the entire sixth floor. Just where the noise was coming from I had no clue. I slowly stood up and waited for a bit to see if the sounds would stop since I had moved, but they continued, just barely audible, but there regardless. I quickly switched on the light, like the story says, and everything immediately became quiet. I walked across the ballroom floor to the windows and looked out but there was nothing moving anywhere. I switched the lights back off as I left and wandered about the area near the closed bar and the elevators, stopping every so often to listen, but it was as quiet as could be, not a sound at all anywhere.
I decided to take the stairs back down, pausing at the top to have one last look around; nothing moving anywhere, no sounds at all. As I walked down the stairs, making the first turn halfway down to the fifth floor, I heard the sound of a door slam up on the sixth floor from where I had just come. I quickly ran back up the steps and looked around, but there was nothing, or no one, to see. I decided to wander each floor, stopping every so often to see if I could hear the sounds of conversation or music, but I never heard anything that was similar to what I heard in the ballroom; in fact, I didn’t hear much at all.
If you ever get the chance to check out the ballroom at the Basin Park Hotel, go do it. If you sit real quiet against the wall, you just might find yourself in the middle of a ghostly party.