Photo Credit Redditt

Bartender that works at Basin Park Hotel took this picture of the child ghost in the hall that many have reported seeing....

Yes, it is haunted....

It was around Christmas time 2021 and Kathy had always wanted to stay in a haunted hotel overnight. Anyone that knows me...knows that I am Shaggy when it comes to ghosts, scary movies, and haunted houses. I literally get "ghost" myself at the slightest bump in the night or unexpected "scare" and I run. Fight or Flight is strong with me! I often tell people if you see me running it's because I don't have to be faster than whatever is chasing me....I just have to be faster than you! There is no shame in my game. To truly understand what an incredible sacrifice I made in going to the Basin Park Hotel and staying overnight I need you to understand just how much of a "coward" I really am!    

I took our family to a haunted trail in Wisconsin and my daughter was about 8 at the time. Our other two kids Josh and Emma are not afraid of anything; but Brooke is a lot like me and that she can live without the need to be scared for her adrenaline rush. No, we like to go fast!  We have a "need for speed" instead.  We start out on the haunted trail as we walk through the woods in a group and Brooke is clinging to me. I am constantly having to remind myself that these are kids in costumes and that the small terrifying clown with the plastic knife is just that...a small little kid in a costume with a plastic knife. However, Brooke was not having any of it and I said, "you know what she is scared and I sure do hate to miss going through this with you guys but I don't want her to have about I take her and we will meet you at the end?" Feeling proud of myself that I have masterfully saved face and my daughter thinks that I am her hero for getting her out of this; I take her back up to the hay bales and we wait for them at the end of the trail.  I was in the clear happily enjoying my funnel cake or so I thing I know my son comes up to me at the end and says, "they gave us free tickets so that you can come back through with us!!" He was so excited and I was NOT; but I faked it well enough and said, "Great, I can't wait!" My mind is running at warp speed because at this moment my kids don't know what a complete and total coward I really am!  My anxiety is through the roof and now I have to go back when I thought I had gotten out of it.  I did okay although my hands were clinched in fists as I made my way through the haunted woods. Now, we have combined the two things I hate more than anything.....pitch black darkness and woods!  We walk through this one section and the one thing I cannot handle is to be grabbed on or toughed. We are walking in darkness and can only see maybe a foot in front of us. There were kids grabbing at your shirt as you walked through the burned out school bus section. I literally ran over people to get out of that area and on to the next. I am clearly NOT okay! There was this clown and I hate clowns with a passion; this clown was like a ninja clown or something and stalked me through the whole trail.   I turned to look around me to get my bearings and this clown was right at my shoulder pacing my every step.  Now, to make matters worse, I am short, so this clown is hunched over my shoulder as if to mock my shortness and I am doing an okay job with keeping myself relatively cool so I don't look like a wuss in front of my kids. The clown taps me on the shoulder and when I look it wasn't the clown; No, it was a very large individual wielding a scythe that looked plenty real to me.  I am at an all time panic but I was close to the hay bales which meant I could see the end of the trail and my daughter Brooke waiting for me at the end. Now, the idea was to put on a brave face so that Brooke would go through the rest of the haunted trail and not be scared. That was until I heard the chainsaw start up and I didn't even look to see where it was coming from as I felt the ground beneath me leave my feet as I sprinted, no, RAN FOR MY LIFE until I reached the end of the hay bales and I left the rest of my family behind. Again, I don't have to be faster than what is chasing me; I just have to be faster than you!  As everyone around me is laughing at this fool (me, I'm the fool) running away from the chainsaws; I see my daughter and she runs up to me and she is now comforting ME!!!  My two older kids are dying laughing as I am struggling to catch my breath; but my daughter, Brooke pats me on the shoulder and says, "it's okay to be scared."  My daughter is now giving me the same advice I gave her earlier as we walked out of the haunted trail. 

I have yet to live that moment down and it is often my kids' favorite story to tell at Halloween. Now, fast forward a couple of years as I am really trying to go more outside of my comfort zone and do the things that Kathy enjoys and of course, she enjoys all things "scary."  

I decided for one of Kathy's Christmas presents that year I would book a surprise stay at the Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I was so proud of myself because this was the most thoughtful surprise I could do for her and it is so outside of my comfort zone that she would never expect it.  It was a cold Friday night and I told her to pack a bag we were going on a trip to Eureka Springs. We packed our overnight bag and off we went for our Ghost Adventure! She was so excited when she seen me pull into the lot for the Basin Park Hotel and we rode the shuttle up in the cold. My uneasiness began with the first steps into the lobby and stepping up to the check in window. I know I should have been excited when the hotel clerk said, "We have good news, we have upgraded you to a suite on the spa floor for no additional charge."  Kathy was ecstatic and I was well, less enthused would be putting it mildly. I faked a smile because again, we are way outside of my comfort zone and all I can think is.....Hmmm, isn't this how most horror movies involving hotel rooms start with an upgraded room!  My mind immediately flashed to the Hotel Cortez from American Horror Story when she handed me the key to our room. I looked at Kathy and her eyes were dazzling with delight as she too thought of American Horror Story Hotel; clearly her reaction and my reaction were completely different. My eyes were wide and affixed and taking in all of my surroundings and making sure I know where the stairwells are and every single exit as we made our way to the elevator to make our way to the spa floor. The hotel was being remodeled and when we got to our room there were no other guests staying on this floor. The hotel was pretty much empty and we had the whole floor to ourselves. We walked into our room and the accommodations were lovely, the comforter on the bed was the right length so that I could easily mummify myself as is my practice when I watch anything scary or happen to have an uncomfortable feeling. This is a practice I adopted early on in my childhood as to perpetuate my belief that if I can't see it than it's not really there.  We look around and then we check out the bathroom which has been recently remodeled and I turn on the bathroom light and I can see behind the mirror and I have to admit that took me by surprise. I called Kathy into the bathroom and said, "tell me I am not seeing things and that you can see the construction behind this mirror?" She smiled and said, "what are you talking about?  I just see myself in the reflection of the mirror!" as this grin comes across her face as she tries to look serious but can't keep it up as she breaks out into laughter.  "That is so not funny!" I exclaim as I lay out my rules for this evenings stay.

Rule number 1:  I will probably most certainly not sleep tonight as I will be keeping vigil under the safety of the comforter. (Yes, I had a blanky that I kept with me when I was a child and my mom would take me to watch horror movies with her and my brother if she couldn't find someone to watch me.) 

Rule number 2:  We had to find something funny on television to watch as I refused to watch anything scary while we stayed in one of America's most haunted hotels. 

Rule number 3:  No jumping out or intentionally trying to scare me or all bets are off and I will leave you in this room by yourself! 

Rule number 4: All lights and TV must remain on at all times! 

Once the rules were established and agreed upon we set out to enjoy our time in our room at the Basin Park as we channel surfed the tele to find something that met my strict "has to be funny" criteria. We settled on South Park. South Park is an animated show geared towards adults that is irreverent and hilarious at the same time. We agreed that this would be the best show for us to watch given my criteria. I looked out at the dreary streets through the window and wondered just how many people have had paranormal experiences here before as I prayed that our night would be uneventful. It was about 2:00 in the morning when I heard it the first time. I peered out from under the comforter and looked around to see if I could see anything. I didn't; but I heard it again. It was the sound of children running up and down the hall as if they were playing. I could hear their footsteps as they fell on the floor down the hall. The second time I heard it, I looked over and Kathy is fast asleep and I am NOT!  My eyes became large and affixed toward the door where I could hear the running footsteps and I bravely left my pillow fort that I had made for myself and went to the door. I opened the door just a crack to look down the hallway and all was quiet. I didn't see anything and it seemed that maybe playtime was over; so I retreated back to my pillow fort and back under the covers my head went. I tried to concentrate on my cartoons to no avail because that's when I heard it....children's laughter. It was a playful laugh and nothing maniacal or malevolent; but it was most assuredly children laughing. I didn't wake Kathy up because no one wants to be accused of hearing things or it's all in your head. I just sat there under the blanket peeking out to watch South Park trying to take my mind off of my experience and waiting until daybreak when we could check out. This went on all night long until I couldn't take it anymore. I put on my brave face when the sun came up and shined it's glorious light into the room waking Kathy up from her luxurious slumber. (I had never been more envious of someone as I did not sleep at all) I had our bags packed and ready to go at daybreak. The first inkling she was awake I was pushing her out the door but to my surprise she was ready to go as well.  We didn't speak except to ask if we had gotten everything because we didn't want to leave anything behind.  Instead of taking the shuttle back down the hill to the car we decided to walk it and neither one of us said a word to the other one until we got in the car. I turned the ignition and I looked at Kathy and I said, "Okay, you may think I am crazy but did you hear anything last night before you fell asleep?" She looked at me and she said, "I wasn't asleep, I kept hearing footsteps like children running up and down the hall and then it sounded like they were giggling. I didn't want to say anything because I had hoped you didn't hear it because I know how you get and you looked like you were sleeping and I sure didn't want to wake you since I asked for this and I know how you are."  

I looked at her and the only words I could say were, "Thank God, it wasn't just me!" 

"You heard it, too!" she exclaimed!  

"Yeah, I thought you were asleep!" I looked in disbelief as I realized that she had done the same thing I did; as neither one of us wanted to admit to the other that we were both freaked out and neither one of us had slept the entire night. It was the last time she ever asked to stay the night in a haunted hotel. So, yes, in my opinion, it is haunted!  Now, on this instance my experience was more like a Casper the friendly ghost and the children we surmised were merely hanging out and watching South Park with us because they literally giggled every single time they killed Kenny on the show!  

I did have a different experience with an old Victorian House we rented in Cameron, Wisconsin and to this day I can clearly hear this malevolent spirit yelling in my ear in the middle of the night to, "Get Out!"  It was this same house that we heard a noise in the kitchen and our dog Jack sat at alert and just stared in the direction of the kitchen.  It unnerved me enough to grab my golf club and go check it out. I didn't see anything but one of the glasses from the dish drainer had been moved from the holder and stood straight up without any "human" involvement. Thus, ended my poltergeist experience and I hauled my happy little self back home to Arkansas! You literally don't have to tell me twice! 

We would love for you to share your ghost stories as we celebrate Friday the 13th in October!  

JL Owens, Author (resident "fraidy cat" aka "Shaggy" wielder of the golf club)

Posted by Adkins & Associates Real Estate on


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Let's not forget about our trip home from Chicago! We decided to check into a hotel for the night, and as we checked in, we are told that they have just renovated the hotel. (Seems to be a theme with us) Once we got settled in for the night, we placed some coins in the center of the table and thought no more about them. As we were sleeping, I started hearing the coins slowly slide one by one from the center to hear them fall onto the floor. I slowly peeked out from under the covers after the last one hit the floor, and there was not a soul to be seen. Jen was fast asleep (or so, I thought), so I tried to put it out of my mind and try to get some rest. The next morning, as we were getting ready to leave, she found the coins on the floor and asked if I had placed them there trying to scare her. I then explained that I had not and that when I woke up from the sound of them falling, there was no one there moving them. She laughed and said it must have been our family watching over us and playing tricks on us. Looking back, I see that she was just as scared as I was but was trying to be strong for me. With our family, I must say there is never a dull moment

Posted by Kathryn Owens on Friday, October 13th, 2023 at 10:00am

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