Tales of Hauntings and Exorcisms in One Small South Louisiana City
Crowley, LA (KPEL News) - Years of blood, sweat, and tears went into developing what would become the city of Crowley, Louisiana, in 1887. It grew out of the center of the downtown area where most of the buildings have stood since the late 19th to early 20th century. Tales of ghosts, hauntings, and even exorcisms abound, as is usually the case with historic structures still in use today.
One such building is what's still referred to today as the Egan Hotel. Built by brothers William and John, it opened with the start of the year 1914 and housed the hotel on the second and third floors. Quite a few businesses have operated out of the bottom floor. Restaurants, a bar, a barbershop and a pharmacy served patrons. The hotel ceased operations in 1966, and more modern proprietors do business on the ground floor now.
Incidentally, the Egan Company built the adjacent structure. To the immediate north and abutting that building is Crowley's oldest commercial building, constructed by Will and Arthur Hollins who were jewelers and watchmakers. The Egan buildings and the Hollins building sit on about two-thirds of the space facing North Parkerson Avenue, Crowley's downtown main street.
At scheduled times throughout the year, typically in the fall, the Crowley Main Street organization hosted Haunted History Alive Tours. A local archivist Claire Dore' invites guests to take a stroll along the four to five blocks of the historic commercial district, telling stories about each building and the secrets they hold.
Crowley played host to entertainment troupes and celebrities alike in the early 20th century. Reportedly less haunted than the Egan Hotel is The Grand Opera House of the South, a venue for vaudeville shows and speeches by politicians as a stop between New Orleans and Houston. The ghost of the builder, David Lyons, is said to still live in the beautiful building, one of the very few opera houses still in operation today. He and some friendly, but rascally, youthful ghosts are said to make mischief sometimes.
The lesser-known, but more haunted locale is The Egan Hotel. It boasted both hot and cold running water, a luxury back in that time, an attraction for such famous guests as Babe Ruth, Clark Gable, and the New York Yankees. If the tales are to be believed, it was also a meeting place for the Mafia.
Today, it's said that ghosts are the featured guests, not all of them benevolent. The hauntings prompted not one, but two exorcisms. Part of the ritual involved hanging small medallions over the doors to rooms in which suspected grisly crimes occurred.
Paranormal enthusiasts, Louisiana Spirits, investigated the reported hauntings of the Egan Hotel. They explain that at least three murders were committed in the hotel. A boy and his father were reportedly murdered, and a woman was allegedly killed by her husband.
The blog Haunted Nation wrote in 2016 that the group had been allowed to conduct an investigation at the facility under one condition by the owner, who is a devout Catholic:
We conduct our investigation then the owner would have it blessed one last time, never to let anyone investigate it again.
Both accounts of the investigation noted EMF spikes and strange lights captured by video equipment. Interestingly, the attached video is unavailable now.
If the history of downtown Crowley and its beautiful buildings intrigues you, but you aren't up for a haunted tour, daytime strolls with the historical narrative are available. Contact the Crowley Main Street office through Facebook for details.
The Grand Opera House of the South has been restored to its former glory, and the Egan Hotel is currently undergoing renovations. The owners aren't allowing any on-site tours or paranormal investigations, and they hope to reopen it as a boutique hotel once the renovations are complete.
Would you stay there?
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