Medical Specimens Found Buried on Grounds of Reputedly Haunted 'Crescent Hotel'

The first specimen was discovered by Crescent Hotel landscaper Susan Benton on February 5th.  (KOLR10 / YouTube)

The first specimen was discovered by Crescent Hotel landscaper Susan Benton on February 5th. (KOLR10 / YouTube)

A groundskeeper at Eureka Springs’ reputedly haunted Crescent Hotel in Arkansas made a startling discovery recently when she stumbled upon a bottle filled with a strange fluid on the hotel’s grounds.

"I really didn't have any idea what was going on, until I picked up the first bottle that had a clear fluid in it, with something in it," Crescent Hotel landscaper Susan Benton told KOLR10.

The Crescent Hotel was used by conman Norman Baker to treat cancer patients from 1937 until 1939, when he was arrested for fraud.

Baker’s fraudulent—and expensive—cure for cancer consisted of injecting his patients with a mixture of clover, corn silk, watermelon seed, and water

500 bottles have been found so far, filled with what is speculated to be medical specimens and related fluids from the hotel’s unusual past.

"We have this displayed in the hotel, where we do the tours, so I see this everyday," ghost tour manager Keith Scales said of the bottles, which match those from a display kept in the hotel. "Some of the bottles are medicines. Some of the bottles are...medical specimens. What he claimed were tumors that he had taken out of his patients—put in alcohol or formaldehyde and kept in bottles as evidence that his cure was working." 

“Legend says that when new hotel owners, several owners removed from Baker’s days, purchased the hotel in the 1960s, numerous bottles of medical specimens and 'cures', were found in the morgue area. That legend goes on to say that these ‘60s owners, 'got rid of' all of those bottles...that Baker left behind upon his arrest in December 1939. No one ever quite knew as to where exactly those bottles had been 'dumped',” said an article in the Crescent Hotel’s blog.

Archaeological evidence points towards this find being the morgue’s legendary missing bottles.

"You have these lined walls here that they actually did do hand excavating to actually dig a pit first," archaeologist Jared Pebworth said. "So, they were thinking about how they were going to get rid of their trash instead of just coming up here to the hillside, throwing it down the hillside."

Touted as ‘America’s Most Haunted Hotel’, the Crescent Hotel was featured on the Syfy Network’s popular paranormal reality show Ghost Hunters, and guests have reported a multitude of paranormal events while onsite; including, according to the hotel’s blog, "suddenly turning pale, falling against and then sliding down the wall in a faint" due to a "portal" that exists in a vertical line above the morgue where the recently found specimens were reportedly kept.

Also found in the recent discovery was badly damaged 16 millimeter film, and a bone saw believed to have been used by Baker on his patients.

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