Casper and Jasper, the two cats who currently reside at the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, enjoy the company of the many guests who check in to the popular retreat in Eureka Springs, Arkansas– as well as the companionship of those who never checked out, including one friendly feline phantom who continues to roam the halls of the architectural wonder dubbed America’s Most Haunted Hotel.
The Story of Morris the Cat
The Crescent had many lives before its latest incarnation as a luxury hotel. Once a health resort for wealthy patrons, an institute of higher learning for young women, and a hospital for cancer patients, several spirits from the venue’s early days linger on, including a nurse named Theodora who likes to keep Room 419 tidy, and Irish stonemason Michael, whose wicked sense of humor has lived on long after his earthly form perished while at work on the structure. Since October 1994 these and the hotel’s other non corporeal beings have had a preternatural purring pal to play with– a cat named Morris.
Temporary lodgers staying at The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa need only look in the lobby to find a loving memorial to the orange tabby, who passed away at the age of 21. Below an oval portrait of the charismatic kitty is a poem written in his honor, which reads in part:
“In memory of Morris, the resident cat at The Crescent Hotel.
He filled his position exceedingly well.
The General Manager title he wore,
was printed right there on his own office door.
He acted as greeter and sometimes as guide.
Whatever his duties, he did them with pride.
He chose his own hours and set his own pace,
The guests were impressed with his manners and grace.
Upstairs and down he kept everything nice.
They might have had ghosts,
but they never had mice.”
Casper and Jasper, who greet guests today at The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa:
Morris moved into The Crescent in 1979 and called the place home both when the elegant edifice was in disrepair and closed to travelers, and when it entered into its latest stage of its life. Many resident cats have followed in Morris’s paw prints after his passing, but as of yet the orange tabby is the only supernatural presence with paws (other than a former hotel owner’s St. Bernard) who has decided to remain on this earthly plane.
The 1886 Crescent Hotel Ghost Tour
The tales of those who reside alongside Morris in the spirit realm, including Theodora, Michael, the figure known as the Girl in the Mist, the Victorian vision who occupies room 3500, and more are told on the Crescent Ghost Tour, a family-friendly visit into the hotel’s past.
Cats and Dogs Welcome
A pet-friendly hotel, well-behaved cats and dogs can stay with their humans for a $25 fee per night. (For dog lovers, the hotel offers a Fun for Fido package complete with doggy treats, a dog bowl and 20 percent off of pet products old in the New Moon Salon, and guests can take their tail-wagging chum on the Crescent Trail across from the hotel, which leads to Harmon Park’s Bark Park.) So if you book a stay at America’s Most Haunted Hotel and hear the faint meow of a cat that’s nowhere to be found, it might just be Morris popping in to say hello!