TV Shows Highlight NE Nebraska Hotel Ghost Stories | State and Region
CROFTON, Neb. (AP) – Ghost stories and other spooky happenings go hand in hand with old buildings that have seen their share of history.
The Historic Argo Hotel Bed and Breakfast in Crofton has been around for over 100 years, and there are probably hundreds of ghost stories to go with it.
For years, guests and employees of the historic hotel have reported strange sounds and sightings: mysterious laughter and music, glasses falling for no apparent reason, and strangers disappearing at second glance.
Often, there is no proof to provide to skeptics.
Argo Hotel owners Frank and Megan Marsh opened their historic property this summer to paranormal investigators from “Ghost Hunters,” a TV show that explored haunted sites for 14 seasons. What they found inside the Argo is, well, haunting.
Before disclosing their findings, a little about the Marshes and the Argo’s colorful past.
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The Argo Hotel opened in 1912 when Crofton was a booming railway town. The boom passed, but the beautiful brick Argo persevered, remaining viable as a medical practice and, since 1994, various forms of bed and breakfast and restaurant run by different owners.
The Sioux City Journal reports that it was also once a sanatorium offering medical treatments – some of them experimental, if old tales and rumors are to be believed. You see where this leads.
Les Marais knew nothing of the Argo’s many ghost stories when it was purchased in 2018.
“I don’t think it would have bothered us. Back then, I would have laughed at them,” Frank said.
Historic carpenters, Frank and Megan buy, renovate and sell historic properties, moving from project to project. It didn’t take long for them to become familiar with the strange events that had long been rumored to be happening inside the Argo.
While unpacking the first night they moved in, Frank and Megan started arguing in the downstairs dining room. As their voices rose, they heard breaking glass in the back bar. They stopped arguing to investigate, finding a glass that had fallen from a wine rack and shattered.
A week later, while Frank was working on the building, the city police officer stopped by to introduce himself, informing Frank of the hotel’s haunted reputation.
“He said, ‘Did you see anything? ‘” Frank said. “I said no. He said, ‘You will.’
As they remodeled the Argo from the ground up, the Marais operated it as a traditional bed and breakfast, with its nine guest rooms available on weekends from April 1 to November 1. 1. On many occasions guests have reported hearing carousel or circus music in one of the rooms. So many guests in the honeymoon suite reported the bathroom door opening and moving that Frank eventually removed the door and replaced it with a curtain.
So when a producer of “Ghost Hunters” emailed the Marshes in early spring asking if they’d be interested in being featured, they were up for it, thinking the publicity might be good for business and help them find a buyer since they would put the Argo, its complete restoration, up for sale.
“We decided it would be good press no matter what. For us, it was about spreading some of those stories,” Frank said.
In late July, the “Ghost Hunters” team of Jason Hawes, Steve Gonsalves, Dave Tango and Shari DeBenedetti, along with guest investigators Satori Hawes, who is Jason Hawes’ daughter, and her husband, Cody Ray Desbiens, are arrived in town with about 20 crew members.
They interviewed Frank and Megan, past guests, employees, and other people in town. They installed their instruments in the Argo, then cut the power and spent a few nights inside.
In the 42-minute episode, the Ghostbusters are seen staking out the first and second floors and the basement speakeasy, looking for evidence of spirits.
In the suspenseful show, they are seen making contact with the deceased husband of a former employee, who was never seen but communicated through a series of knocks in response to questions, ultimately telling them to do let his wife know he was fine.
Investigators heard a few strange sounds and jumped up after feeling something brush past them. Lights on their instruments seemed to indicate the presence of a long-dead woman in the hotel.
Perhaps to prevent show secrets from being leaked ahead of time, the crew told the Marshes none of this when departing after five days at the Argo.
“We thought they hadn’t found anything. When we watched the show, it was a totally different story,” Frank said.
Frank and Megan learned of the findings along with all other viewers when the episode first aired January 8 on the Discovery+ streaming service.
“If there is paranormal activity, then there definitely is at the Argo,” Frank said of the Ghostbusters’ final verdict.
Frank hasn’t totally bought into the idea of ghosts in the building, but enough weird happenings are going on to keep his mind open. Occasionally, one of the Argo’s extremely sensitive motion sensors will sound, but when Frank checks the video monitor, no one is there.
“And then you’ll see a dust devil as if someone had crossed over,” he said.
It’s enough to keep him and Megan from talking about paranormal activity.
“We give him full credit,” Frank said.
The episode “Ghost Hunters” will likely bolster the Argo’s ranking as Nebraska’s number one haunted hotel, though the swamps only market its turn-of-the-century atmosphere, not its otherworldly qualities.
“They did a great job,” Frank said of the show. “I felt we were very well represented.”
Any regrets about being on the show? Not a lucky ghost.
For additional copyright information, see the distributor of this article, Sioux City Journal.