(Photo by Edward Robison.)
Eureka Springs is ground zero for Halloween fun. During the entire month of October, this Victorian-era town claims to “deliver more thrills and chills per square mile than any other town in America.” The not-for-the-faint-of-heart fun includes ghost tours, haunted theatrical shows, zombie parade, cemetery tours, séances, haunted hotels, and more.
“[The events are] a little more on the sophisticated side,” says Sean-Paul, creator of Intrigue Theater, a Vaudeville-era show of magic and mystery. “It’s ghost tours and haunted shows, not just a bunch of dark rooms with people jumping out at you.”
Illusionist Sean-Paul and Medium Juliane Fay, through their show Intrigue Theater, take guests back in time for a Victorian, turn-of-the-century experience in traditional mentalist performances like seen in the movies The Illusionist and The Prestige. “We always strive to portray that era,” Sean-Paul explains.
Eureka Springs naturally represents it too with the finest Victorian architecture and haunted history, making it a backdrop hailed straight from the Victorian/Edwardian golden era of ghost stories and spiritualism.
So this October, start with a stay or visit to America’s Most Haunted Hotel, the Crescent Hotel, built in 1886 and perched on a hilltop overlooking the town. Here you’ll find the popular Crescent ghost tour, which starts at the top floor of the building and works its way down to the basement, where you’ll find the morgue of the notorious Dr. Baker from the building’s years as a cancer hospital. The autopsy table is still there. Famous spirits at the Crescent include Michael, the Irish stonemason who fell to his death while building the hotel in 1885; Theodora, the cancer patient of the Dr. Baker who seems to need help finding her room key; and a mystery patient in a white nightgown who appears at the foot of your bed in the luxury suites. These tours are scheduled nightly in October. Buy tickets at www.AmericasMostHauntedHotel.com.
Visitors to The Halloween City can also enjoy Basin Spirit Tours at Basin Park Hotel in the heart of downtown. This guided ghost hunt starts on the roof of the eight-story hotel and proceeds in stages to an underground cave. It ends with a chilling ghost story told by candlelight, plus a sample of spirits of a different kind for those 21 years of age and older. For more information, visit www.SpiritsOfTheBasin.com.
Leaning away from ghosts and floating orbs (take your camera) that are sometimes purported to be seen on the haunted hotel tours are the historical experiences of Voices of the Silent City and Haunted Eureka Springs Ghost Tours. In the former, costumed Eureka Springs residents play the roles of some of the citizens of the town now buried in the cemetery, where the living history presentations take place. The Haunted Eureka tours involve both a shuttle bus and some walking to explore more of the town’s haunted locations.
“Our Intrigue Theatre show will be the regular show through the month of October but using some Halloween segments within it,” Sean-Paul explains.
Details and ticket information for all of the events can be found at www.TheHalloweenCity.com.
Additionally, it’s a beautiful time to be in Eureka Springs and the Ozarks Mountains because of the great weather and fall foliage. For more information on things to do and places to stay, visit www.EurekaSprings.org.