Supernatural Frights in the Natural State

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Supernatural Frights in the Natural State

Sophie Burke, Contributing Reporter

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        Halloween is just around the corner, but for some, a single day in October is not enough time to fully celebrate all things creepy. Some watch shows like “Dark Tourist” or “Ghost Adventures” in their free time. For those who want a more first-hand experience, haunted attractions and paranormal hotspots are a must-see. Luckily for the “Halloween everyday” types here in Arkansas, there are many different opportunities to be spooked.

     Magic Springs is an amusement and water park located about an hour from campus in Hot Springs. Every weekend during the month of Oct., however, the theme park changes its name to Magic Screams and hosts haunted houses, creepy contests, and even shows movies. According to the official Magic Springs website, Magic Screams is for all ages and has different events catered to adults, teenagers, and small children. This makes it a good family-friendly option for those who want to get their spook on but also need to babysit. 

     “A lot of people take their babies,” said Tess Wagner, a freshman psychology major. “Little kids do it. It’s definitely fine for the young ones.”

     For those looking for a more “grown-up” fright, the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs could be the place for you. The Crescent has been visited by both the “Ghost Adventures” crew and the paranormal investigators from “Ghost Hunters”, and both found evidence of paranormal activity. The Crescent calls itself “America’s most haunted hotel”, and many paranormal sightings have been reported there. Nightly ghost tours require a ticket, but they are offered to everybody whether they stay at the hotel or not. Beginning at 8 p.m., tour guides take guests on a journey around the Crescent, sharing the history of the college-turned-hospital-turned hotel.   

     The tour showcases different hotspots, such as the morgue in the basement and the rooms classified as “active”. The active rooms are aptly named because each room has a certain spirit (or group of spirits) that haunt it. These rooms are available to book for a night for those brave souls willing to spend the night in a haunted hotel. Just a fair warning for those who do: things can and will go “bump” in the night. 

     “I heard furniture moving above our room,” said Donna Price, who stayed in room 306 last weekend. “There was a party going on, but it was two floors above us, so I don’t think I would have heard it if it were them.”

     Outdoor haunts are also things that AR has plenty of. After all, we are the natural state. One of these haunts, for those courageous enough to brave both the elements and a ghost, is the Gurdon light. Located on railroad tracks in Gurdon, this eerie light is said to be the product of the untimely death of a rail worker. According to encopediaofarkansas.com, sightings were recorded as early as the 1930s when the alleged death occurred. The spot gained national attention, and ended up with a 1994 episode of “Unsolved Mysteries” dedicated to it. It’s apparently a popular place around Halloween, so you might not be alone with this particular ghost. 

     Whether you prefer outdoor, indoor, kid-friendly, or adult-only frights, Arkansas has a place for you.