The Basin Park Hotel has the distinction of being one of America’s most haunted hotels and is featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Located in a quiet and sometimes sleepy part of Arkansas, the owners of the hotel believe so strongly in its resident ghosts that they offer haunted tours for guests interested in learning more about the hotel’s history and its haunted past.
Most believe that the ghosts of the Basin Park Hotel date back to the turn of the 20th century and even earlier. Men and women flocked to the region during the 1880s because of the so-called healing properties of the local waters. They built small boarding houses with rooms that guests could rent while healing themselves. The Basin Park Hotel sits on top of the charred remains of a former private home that belonged to one of the town’s earliest settlers.
The former owner’s wife might be the woman spotted walking inside the building and along the hotel grounds. Described as having pale blonde hair and dark blue eyes, she never seems to bother anyone but clearly isn’t happy. Witnesses rarely describe the woman as smiling, and many find her presence deeply unsettling. Her appearance is in sharp contrast to the little girl also spotted on the grounds. Usually described as a girl between the ages of five and eight, she wears a bright and cheerful yellow dress and always wears her hair pulled back in two pigtails.
Though not everyone believes that orbs indicate the presence of ghosts, the Basin Park Hotel is home to plenty of strange and unusual orbs. Guests sometimes report seeing what looks like tiny and bright lights following them around, and others spotted larger and smaller orbs both inside and outside of the hotel. Photographs taken at the hotel show multiple orbs as well.
Many different paranormal groups came to the Basin Park Hotel to conduct research over the years, and many of those groups picked up voices on recorders, electromagnetic spikes in rooms on the second and third floor and other proof of ghosts. Some believe that a few of its ghosts date back to the 1930s, when the hotel operated an illegal gambling parlor and served as a speakeasy. Regardless of where the ghosts come from or who they are, many guests leave knowing without a doubt that the Basin Park Hotel is haunted.