Autumn is here, and with it comes changes in the vegetation, a shift towards colder weather, and pumpkin spice as far as the eye can see. It’s also a time to celebrate our spooky history, and Arkansas has that in spades. Many major cities have a spot reputed to be haunted, and there are mines, asylums, and roads scattered through the state that have at least one creepy story. Here are five haunted spots in Arkansas that you can visit, and maybe experience a creepy encounter for yourself.
Go Ghost Hunting in Arkansas
Peel Mansion, Bentonville
U.S. Representative Samuel Peel built this vast Bentonville estate in 1875. At the time, the 180 acres was full of apple trees, where the Peel family children would play day after day. Today, Peel Mansion is a museum in the middle of a small, modern town. Visitors to the mansion claim to hear piano music in the home when nobody is playing one. The prevailing theory is that Samuel Peel and his daughter, Minnie Bell, remain in the home, and enjoy one another’s company with some accompanying music.
The Peel Mansion is available for tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday, March–December. $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 6–12, and free for those 5 and younger.
Clayton House, Fort Smith
This one-time Union Army hospital was built as an antebellum home in 1852 by Mr. Sutton. It was abandoned by him when the Civil War became a threat. After the war, William Henry Harrison Clayton bought the house. He doubled its size and transformed it into a Victorian Gothic Italianate. Mr. Clayton lived with his family there until 1897. Mr. Clayton’s twin brother, John K. Clayton, was assassinated in 1873, and many claim to have seen a figure similar to John roaming the halls of the Clayton House. The ghost is described as a tall man, dressed in black, donning a hat and angrily moving about. Another apparition occasionally seen is described as a woman in a brown dress. Some don’t see either figure, but claim to hear footsteps, boot stomping, and door slamming around the house at odd hours.
The Clayton House is available for tours from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. $6 for adults, $5 for seniors 65 and older, $3 for ages 6–17, and free for children under 6.
Allen House, Monticello
On Christmas 1948, Ladell Allen committed suicide. Caddye, Ladell’s mother, sealed off the room where she passed. Years later, when the room was reopened, cyanide and letters of suicidal intent were discovered. Additionally, visitors to the house began to experience odd paranormal events, including the ghostly figure of a woman standing in Ladell’s bedroom window. The owners eventually had a paranormal investigation conducted on the premises, and over 40 electronic voice phenomena were recorded, leading some websites to list the Allen House as one of the most haunted houses in America.
The Allen House is available for tours year-round for groups of six or more. $10 per person. Interested parties can learn more by contacting the owners at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Basin Park Hotel, Eureka Springs
There have been reports of strange events at the hotel since it opened in 1905. While no origins have been directly tied to the reported haunting, some believe it is due to the Perry House, which burned down in 1890 where the hotel now stands. Several ghostly entities have been encountered over the years, including a little girl in a yellow dress and a young woman with long blonde hair. Some guests have claimed to see orbs on specific wings of the guest floors, and human-shaped shadows and phantom faces in the ballroom.
The Basin Park Hotel is available for tours every day at 10:30 p.m. $19.75 per person.
Crescent Hotel, Eureka Springs
The Crescent Hotel opened on May 20, 1886, with papers of the time labeling it “America’s most luxurious resort hotel.” The hotel eventually failed, and the building was used off and on as a college from 1908 to 1934. It was once again a hotel in 1946, changing ownership again and again until 1997, when Marty and Elise Roenigk bought the property, planning to restore it to its original form. The hotel opened again in 2002, and spooky sightings became commonplace.
Spooky reports include a red-haired Irish stonemason, hands coming out of bathroom mirrors, the spirit of a nurse dressed in white pushing a gurney, a doctor in a purple shirt and white linen suit looking somewhat confused, phone calls from the otherwise empty basement, a ghostly figure who calls herself “Theodora,” a gentleman dressed in formal Victorian clothing, a Victorian bride and groom in the dining room’s massive mirror, a small boy skipping around, and many more.
The Crescent Hotel is available for tours daily. $27.50 for adults and $15.00 for children 15 and under.
Don’t Be Haunted by an Insurance Lapse
Haunted places are scary, but being in a car accident without insurance is scarier. Make sure you’re covered by contacting a Farm Bureau Insurance agent using our Agent Finder.