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A “Haunted” Guest Post by Tracy Morris

photo of Tracy MorrisI’d love you all to welcome friend and fellow author, Tracy Morris to Taking the Scenic Route. She’d like to take you on a little trip to a haunted hotel, the setting for her novel, Tranquility. Thanks so much for stopping by, Tracy and take it away!

The ever-so-haunted Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs has been a Victorian Resort and health spa, a private school, a cancer hospital, a women’s college and more recently, it’s been tuckerized into the setting of my murder mystery, Bride of Tranquility.

The 1880’s saw a boom in rural health resorts, such as the famous Battle Creek Sanitarium run by John Harvey Kellog.  During this time, tourists who could afford to leave populated areas fled the “unhealthful, noxious vapors” of urban living for the healthful air of the countryside.

The builders of the Crescent Hotel hoped to ride that tourism boom all the way to the bank. The hotel earned its first ghost during construction, when an employee fell from the roof and landed in the second floor area. The place where he landed, now room 218, is said to be the most haunted room in the building.

Eventually, after the health resort fad ended, the building became a women’s college. During this time, legend says that a lovelorn young girl threw herself from one of the hotel balconies. But more ghosts were yet to come.

In 1937, a snake oil salesman Norman Baker turned the building into a cancer hospital. Baker claimed that he could cure cancer without resorting to surgery thanks to a secret concoction that may have included ground watermelon seeds. Records show that no one died due to Baker’s treatments. However, local rumors paint him as a quack at best, and a mad scientist at worst. 

When the current hotel opened, guests and staff alike reported sighting ghosts throughout the building. These ghosts include the stonemason, a girl who jumps from the balcony, Theodora – one of Baker’s patients, nurses pushing gurneys, and possibly Dr. Baker himself.

The hotel’s owners theorize that the mineral water running beneath the hotel may be the reason for the infestation of restless spirits. Or perhaps the owners are peddling their own form of snake oil to attract guests. Whatever you believe, the story makes for good reading.

About Tracy: When Tracy S. Morris was four years old, she wrote her first “novel” in crayon on the back of a newspaper and gave it to the post man along with an antique silver dollar so that someone could turn it into a novel. She is still waiting to hear back from her publisher.

On a good day, Tracy has photographed two of the Presidents of the United States, taken a hot air balloon ride and met two of her favorite sports legends from separate sports. On a bad day, she’s been dragged behind a speedboat on an icy lake in freezing rain. She’s been a photographer, reporter, writer, fencer, historian, costumer and gardener. She is a black belt in taekwondo, and a self-confessed kamikaze speller. In 2012 she assumed her most challenging and rewarding role: Mommy.

Tracy’s first novel, Tranquility was published in 2005 by Yard Dog Press. It was the runner up for a Darrell Award for Best Midsouth Science Fiction in 2006. Her second novel, Bride of Tranquility was published in 2009. It was a finalist for the Darell Award in 2010. Both books were picked up in eBook format in 2010 by Baen Books.

When she’s not writing, Tracy goes by the name Tracy Godsey.  She lives with her husband Ryan, daughter Issa Belle and two shiba inu dogs. Ryan is a computer programmer for Tyson foods and administers her blog. The dogs do their best to avoid Issa.

cover of TranquilityKindle version of Tranquility and  Bride of Tranquility  My publisher is Yard Dog Press  (where you can buy both books in trade paperback)
My website  And my two podcasts are Lunch on Fridays http://www.lunchonfridays.com  And the Yard Dog Press Audio Roadshow, which can be found at my homepage.