Hot Springs, Arkansas is a city in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. It’s known for its naturally heated springs, a powerful crystal vortex, speakeasies of the past, beautiful bath houses, gambling and gangsters. Hot Springs has a colorful past.
I moved to Hot Springs in 2016 and had only lived there for a few weeks when a friend and I decided to have dinner at Hot Springs’ oldest bar, The Ohio Club. The bar was built in 1905 as a bar and casino and its beauty and history have been preserved through the years. It was visited by many celebrities. Al Capone, Bugsy Segel, Bugs Moran, Lucky Luciano, just to name a few of the gangsters and it was also visited by many Major League Ball players in the early 1900’s. Babe Ruth loved visiting Hot Springs.
The Ohio Club 2017
The Ohio Club 1908
Hot Springs has underground passages that were built in 1884 as a water overflow for the many bathhouses in the city. When the tunnels were not being used for water, they were used as secret passages back when Hot Springs was a popular hangout for big name mobsters. Al Capone used the secret tunnels to get to The Ohio Club which was a brothel and gambling house at that time. He stayed at the infamous, Arlington Hotel and used an underground passage that went directly from the hotel to, The Ohio Club.
The Ohio club is a beautiful place even today and the energy of the past is present and palatable throughout the historic bar. In the upstairs part of the bar, which used to be where the casino was located, there are now old tables were one can sit, have dinner or a drink and listen to a live band. This is where my friend and I sat most of the evening enjoying the beautiful old historic bar and listening to a band playing Eagles songs.
The table where I sat at, The Ohio Club
I visited the women’s restroom a few times and noticed two doors directly across from the restroom. The doors are not hidden but not clearly marked as doorways either. Both doors are covered with the same wallpaper as what’s on the walls. The wallpaper simply continues right over the two doors as if to hide them in plain sight.
I am a sensitive person. I feel and notice energies around me easily. I could sure feel strong energy near the two wallpapered doors. These were no doubt the doors used to enter The Ohio Club from the secret underground passages in downtown Hot Springs.
After a fun night we left The Ohio Club to go home. My car was parked in a public parking garage and there are public restrooms in the garage. Before going to my car I went into the women’s restroom. Upon entering the restroom I noticed I was the only one in the restroom. All the stalls were empty and the doors were open.
The public parking garage in Hot Springs, Arkansas
I was washing my hands when I felt a strong energy pass by me. It really scared me. It was strong and wanted to be felt. It wanted me to notice it.
The toilets in each stall were the kind that flush automatically when something passes by the sensor. Still at the sink I heard a toilet flush. Normally I would pass off a toilet flushing by itself as an issue with the sensor but on that night, I knew it was more. I knew that something had passed in front of that toilet sensor intentionally. As I looked into the mirror above the sink I saw the door to the stall slowly open. I could see nothing inside the stall as the door fully opened. All the stall doors were open when I first entered the restrooms. I know that because I checked and there was not another person in the restroom the entire time I was in there. I got out of there quick!
Over the next few days I began experiencing paranormal activity in my house. I heard kitchen cabinets being slammed closed very loudly several times a day. Items disappeared or would be found in a different part of the house. My personal items, especially hair combs simply disappeared! I kept my hair brush and comb in a small drawer and always put them there. When the combs started disappearing I took the drawer out of its slides and checked every inch around the drawer to see if my comb had simply fallen out. At least ten combs disappeared over the next few months. I never found one of the missing combs while I lived there or even when all of my things were packed to move out of the house. The combs had simply disappeared.
What actually drove me to sell my house and move away from Hot Springs entirely was the music and laughter that I began to hear at night. As I lay in my bed, almost every night, after all the lights went out and the house was quiet, I heard music and laughter that sounded like it was coming from a lot of people. It reminded me of an old black and white movie where the people go to a big Hollywood dinner club and a band is playing on stage. It was as if I had a speaker close to my ear. This kept me up at night and made me question myself and even my sanity a little to be truthful. I took a lot of pictures in the house but only ever captured orbs in the photographs.
I decided to sell the house and move. The house had never felt like a pleasant space but now I was uncomfortable and I knew I would never feel a sense of well being or comfort there. I wanted to leave that house as soon as possible.
My daughter came to stay with me in the house to help me pack and move. I had decided to move back to the beautiful Ozark mountains in the heart of Arkansas where I had lived previously. The night after my daughter’s arrival we went to bed a little early since the movers were coming the next morning.
I laid in my bed in the dark listening to a party again that night and wondered if my daughter would hear or feel any of the strange energy and sounds in the house. She is a sensitive person too and she was sleeping just down the hall in the guest room.
The next morning I asked my daughter if she had heard anything the night before. I didn’t tell her about the nightly party I had been hearing. She said that it took her a long time to go to sleep because it sounded like someone was having a party in the neighborhood. I knew that no party had been going on in the neighborhood. She was hearing the “ghost party”. I was surprised and very relieved that she too was hearing this ghostly party that I had been hearing almost every single night.
I told my daughter that I believed a presence, or ghost, had followed me home after my evening at The Ohio Club shortly after moving to Hot Springs. I told her all of the events of that night at the dinner club and how I felt when I passed those wallpapered doors at the club. I told her of the strange events at the public restroom at the parking garage and how now I experience cabinet slamming, missing combs and nightly party sounds in the house. It felt strange and awkward to tell, even my own daughter, that I believed a ghost had followed me home from The Ohio Club and was still present in the house.
We both went into separate bathrooms to take a shower and get ready for the movers. When I stepped into the warm spray of water inside the ceramic tile shower, the sounds of music, laughter and even clinking silverware were all I could hear. That sound was louder than even the water flowing from the shower head. I quickly finished what would be my last shower, of my last day, in that house.
My daughter came in to tell me that she too could hear the sounds of music and the laughter of people, almost echoing off the tile shower where she showered. Relief came over me as I was again assured that it wasn’t all in my head. My daughter is as sensitive to energies as I am and she felt the same thing that I did since she arrived the night before.
I was prepared for the house to be empty for some time while it was up for sale, after all, it sat empty and for sale for more than two years before I bought it. However, the house seemed to draw people now with its new presence. In the first few days when the house went online for sale, it had three offers. Two couples even started a little bidding war until they pushed the price up higher than I had originally asked for it. The couple that bought the house said that they felt drawn to it and were very excited to have the house.
After I moved out of the house I learned that it has a history. I learned that it sat empty for two years as the adult children of the previous owner tried to sell the house after his death. The previous owner was an elderly man with a portable kidney dialysis machine in the home that he depended on for his life. In a very bad winter storm the electricity in that area of Hot Springs was out for over two weeks before it could all be repaired and the man was not able to use his kidney machine. He died in the house and wasn’t found by his adult children for several days.
I couldn’t find any other history on the house but I knew intuitively that the man that had died there was not the person haunting that house currently.
A few months after moving away from Hot Springs I dreamed of a woman on several nights. It was the same woman each night. I would wake up from the dream, grab my journal hoping to write down all the details so I wouldn’t forget them, and suddenly forget every single part of the dream except the lingering vision of a woman from the 1930’s. The woman always wore the same silver dress in my dream. No matter how hard I tried, I only ever remembered what she looked like and I knew she was the ghost that still lived in my old house in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
She had followed me home from The Ohio Club that night and there she remained.