Ever since the Basin Park Hotel opened its doors here in 1905, tales of the paranormal have coursed through the hallways of this seven-story structure. Some say it is due to the hotel being built on the “grave” of the Perry House, the original hotel on that plot of real estate that burned to the ground in 1890. Others say it is because of the mystic quality of the original “healing spring”, sacred to the Native Americans who first discovered it, located in the city park adjacent to the hotel. The origins of the hotel’s ghosts are as mysterious as those phantoms themselves, each a mystery to be solved.
“When the Roenigks first purchased this historic hotel in 1997, locals shared tales of the spirits reported to dwell inside the Basin Park,” said Jack Moyer, hotel general manager since that purchase, “and Marty and Elise agreed that these mysteries needed to be solved. And what better source of verification than our guests themselves. That’s what our Ghost Adventour is all about.”
Mysteries unresolved include the reoccurring orbs that are seen on the guest floors, especially those wings of the hotel that abut the ramps to the limestone bluffs behind the hotel; the human shaped shadows seen in the Barefoot Ballroom; and the large faces that appear on the inside of the stained-glass windows in the ballroom’s foyer. The most intriguing mystery is what caused the marks around the throat of a tour guide in January of this year.
“A well-known national paranormal expert and his wife were granted access to the Barefoot Ballroom for a private investigation,” explained Keith Scales, manager of the paranormal tours at both the Basin Park Hotel and its sister property, the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. “After the group had seen several moving shadows and experienced numerous temperature fluctuations, one of our tour guides during an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) session started feeling pressure on his throat. The pressure increased causing him to cough, unable to breathe. He scrambled to his feet and left the ballroom hoping to ‘escape this grasp and get some air’.
“When he returned to the ballroom he pulled down his turtleneck to a have the others in the room check his neck. There they saw red marks encircling a white area at the front of his throat as though two hands had tried to choke him.”
“It is these kinds of mysteries that we are asking our guests and Adventour patrons to help us solve,” Moyer noted. “We would like to have solved the mysteries of the who, the where and the why these spirits that reside in the 1905 Basin Park Hotel,” Moyer said. “Our Ghost Adventour has been designed to be that solving platform.”
Scales added, “The Ghost Adventour of the 1905 Basin Park Hotel is designed to combine the thrills of a ghost tour with the adventure of a paranormal investigation. Patrons learn the stories of the colorful characters who stayed, worked, died, and perhaps remain inside the walls of ‘the people’s hotel’ while participating in a guided paranormal investigation. This investigation takes tour guests from the hotel’s rooftop to the underground cave that stored bootleg whiskey during the years of prohibition.”
“And, it seems like the more people that tour, the more differing encounters are reported. A true mystery,” Moyer concluded. “We hope folks will help us continue to solve these mysteries. We kind of think of these efforts as a paranormal census of the 1905 Basin Park Hotel.”