Join me, Kala Ambrose, Your Travel Guide to the Other Side as I take you through the spectacular Haunted History this Fall exploring two of my books: Ghosthunting North Carolina and Spirits of New Orleans sharing what I experienced personally as a psychic medium and my research into the reports of supernatural activity in each location. Along the way, we’ll shop, dine, stay and party at the most delightful places in North Carolina and in New Orleans.
Last Halloween, I had the wonderful opportunity to do a book signing of Ghosthunting North Carolina at the beautiful Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC, where I discussed the Pink Lady ghost who resides at the Grove Park Inn.
The Grove Park Inn has been home to many American luminaries and politicians throughout the years. During the summers of 1935 and ’36, author F. Scott Fitzgerald resided in Room 441. Celebrity guests include Harry Houdini, Will Rogers, George Gershwin, Thomas Edison, Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Ford and ten U.S. presidents – William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, George H. W. Bush, William J. Clinton and Barack H. Obama.
Chapter Twenty: The Gentle Touch from the Pink Lady at the Grove Park Inn, excerpt from Ghosthunting North Carolina by Kala Ambrose:
“An enchanted life has many moments when the heart is overwhelmed with beauty and the imagination is electrified by some haunting quality in the world or by a spirit or voice speaking from deep within a thing, a place, or a person.”-Henry Louis Mencken
In 1998, I first visited the Grove Park Inn in Asheville. I had not previously heard of the Inn until some of our neighbors invited us to tag along with them for a weekend there. We arrived at check in to find that we all had rooms in a part of the hotel called the Main Inn.
The Grove Park Inn is a stunning hotel built from granite quarried from the surrounding mountains. The granite has a mixture of quartz crystal inside. Quartz crystal can hold energy and amplify this energy at a greater level. An example of how this energy can be magnified is the vortex that Gary Spivey opened at the Star Hotel, connecting with the quartz crystal in the land, which energized both the land and the crystals. Quartz absorbs energy and reflects this energy back outward. When quartz is in the stone of a building like the Grove Park, it radiates with the energy of the people who work and visit the Inn.
Whenever I visit the Grove Park, I have an “instant experience” which is very positive in nature. Each time that I enter the inn, I can feel the vibrational energy coming from the stone structure and it resonates with the happy energy of the many guests who have visited over the decades
A partial list of famous people, who have stayed at the Grove Park, includes: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Will Rogers, George Gershwin, Harry Houdini, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford. Presidents that have stayed at the Inn include: William Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and most recently, Barack Obama.
The Inn opened in 1913 and was the architectural vision of two men, E.W. Grove, who made his money selling an elixir called Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic, and Grove’s son-in-law Fred Seely. Grove found Asheville to be good for his health and the area inspired him to build a restful and rejuvenating inn. It took over four hundred men twelve months to build the inn, during which time they dragged hundreds of tons of boulders up the mountain using mules, rope, and pulleys. The result is spectacular; the inn is warm and welcoming and it blends into the natural surroundings. As my husband, son and I drove up to the entrance of the hotel; I fell in love instantly with the Old World charm of the stone buildings and rocking chairs waiting out front to greet guests.
We entered the Great Hall, which is over one hundred and twenty feet long with ceilings soaring over twenty-four feet high. At one end of the Great Hall are doors leading out to the Sunset Terrace with spectacular views of Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Two enormous fourteen feet tall fireplaces in the Great Hall immediately drew our attention.
At check- in we were given our keys and, to our surprise, we were directed to the elevator attendant standing by the fireplace. My husband and I looked at each other, both thinking the same thing– elevator operator by the fireplace? We approached him and asked him to direct us to the elevator. Like something out of a Harry Potter movie, he led us to a door located in the fireplace. The elevators are hidden inside the chimneys of the stone fireplace! The operator rode with us, pushing the gate closed and working the elevator up to our floor.
The elevator door opened to our floor and we stepped off into the Main Inn, entering an area called the Palm Court Pavilion. It was a nice open space to lounge with chairs and tables set with reading lamps. The décor made me feel like I was stepping back into the Roaring 20’s.
We were tired after traveling across the state of North Carolina. We settled in that evening to sleep and I was awakened about an hour later by my son’s coughing. In his childhood he suffered from breathing problems and he was experiencing some difficulty that evening. I gave him his medicine and we sat up together for a while. He still wasn’t feeling better and the room felt a little stuffy, so I threw on my robe and took him to sit out in the Palm Court area. The air was lighter there than in our room and I took a book to read to him to calm him down while we waited for the medicine to kick in and help his breathing. We sat side by side and were relaxing and talking and I was stroking his head and speaking softly to him.
It was close to midnight and the Inn was dead quiet. I felt a sudden chill in the air and pulled my robe tighter around me. My son also felt the chill and he snuggled in closer to warm up. A few moments later, I felt someone around us and as I looked up from speaking to my son, I saw the ghostly image of a woman standing next to us. Not wanting to alarm my son, I remained quiet, observing her to see what she would do next.
At that time, my son looked up as well and saw the same woman. It wasn’t alarming to either of us, as her energy felt compassionate and sympathetic towards both of us. She stood next to my son and seemed concerned for him and reached out her hand toward him, as if she meant to stroke his hair along with me. She was with us for a few moments and then disappeared from our view.
My son and I looked at each other with wide eyes and smiled. It wasn’t the first time that we had seen a ghost; we had experienced several paranormal events together in a haunted house where we had once lived in Florida. We headed back to our hotel room where my son jumped up on the bed to wake his dad and tell him the story. My husband couldn’t believe he had missed it all. He was surprised that he had slept through everything, but that’s what the fresh mountain air does for you, relaxes you into a deep sleep.
My son was still not feeling well, so we packed up and left early to get him back home. As we were checking out, I asked the people at the front desk if they had ever heard any reports of a ghost at the Inn. They asked me why and I explained what had happened with my son and I in the Palm Court. The front desk clerks crowded around to hear my story. They told me that I had seen the ghost of the Pink Lady, as she is known at the Inn.
The legend of the Pink Lady states that in the 1920’s, she fell, or was pushed from the hallway outside her room over the rail where she fell to the floor of the Palm Court Pavilion below. The room that she stayed in was 545 and there have been reports from people who stayed in the room of experiencing cold spots in the room and sometimes seeing her apparition.
Some paranormal investigators might think that the Pink Lady is a time loop energy imprint apparition, replaying her death over and over in the Palm Court, but that is not what we experienced. When she appeared to my son and I, she was engaged with us in the present moment and she was aware that my son was not feeling well. She stood by wanting to comfort him in a motherly way, just as I was doing.
The front desk employees told us that a few years prior to our visit, a doctor had stayed at the hotel and reported seeing her and that he had also reported that she seemed very welcoming to children.
Since that visit in 1998, we have returned to visit the Grove Park many times. We’ve celebrated Christmas at the Grove Park, as well as Thanksgiving and Easter. We’ve also visited many times to enjoy the inn’s new spa and I’ve been there for “girlfriend getaways” and romantic weekends with my husband and have wonderful memories with family and friends. Ironically, we never stayed again in the Main Inn, preferring the wings and sometimes the Club Floor.
But each time we visit we do hop on the elevator with our friends and spend some time in the Palm Court in the late evenings, hoping that the Pink Lady will visit us again.
I traveled again this past year to the Grove Park to conduct further research for this book on the Pink Lady, as well as to research any other paranormal activity in the hotel. I brought a video camera along in case she decided to visit with me. I didn’t see her during my visit and have come to the conclusion that she is really drawn to young children and that’s when she appears most often. I’ve never slept in her room on the fifth floor, but have heard from employees at the inn that many guests report feeing her presence in the room and are often awakened by her in the evening.
While investigating paranormal activity at Grove Park I heard some other interesting stories from the employees about the hotel’s nightclub called Elaine’s. It is said to be the most haunted spot in the hotel. We’ve been to Elaine’s Dueling Piano Bar during several of our visits and it’s always a very entertaining way to spend the evening. I’ve never seen a ghost or any sign of paranormal activity while there, but the employees report that the activity usually happens when Elaine’s is quiet and they are cleaning up the area the day after a long party the evening before in the club. Music is often heard playing inside Elaine’s club when no one is inside. Several ghostly apparitions have been reported to appear on the dance floor by the employees. They appear to be attending a party from decades ago as they are dressed in attire from the 1920’s and the music heard also appears to be from that time. Photographs taken at Elaine’s often show a large variety of orbs in photos, as the ghostly guests appear to enjoy being around the alcohol, the music, and the lively atmosphere.
A local TV station was once located in the building next to the Grove Park Inn and it is said that a ghost would often interfere with the equipment and enjoyed playing pranks on the staff. Some believe that the ghost is Alice, a servant who haunts the building, which originally was the Battle Mansion owned by Dr. Samuel Battle. Others believe that the ghost was the Pink Lady from the Grove Park who enjoyed visiting the grounds and nearby home. The ghost of Dr. Battle was also seen on occasion at the TV station. The TV station has since moved out of the Battle Mansion and the building was later demolished. New construction is ongoing on the site of the old Battle Mansion. It will be interesting to see if any haunted activity is reported during construction by the workers or by the new residents of the building.
The Grove Park Inn is a beautiful, warm and welcoming place to stay. I’m surprised that it doesn’t have more ghosts who check in and never want to leave.
Each week here in September on Kala’s Bohemian Blog, I’m sharing stories from my book, Ghosthunting North Carolina. If you are interested in more stories, please check out the Ghosthunting North Carolina book!
Noted wisdom teacher, author, intuitive, inspirational speaker, and host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show, Kala Ambrose’s teachings are described as discerning, empowering and inspiring. Whether she’s speaking with world-renowned experts on the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show, writing about empowering lifestyle choices, reporting on new discoveries in the scientific and spiritual arenas or teaching to groups around the country, fans around the world tune in daily for her inspirational musings and lively thought-provoking conversations.
Kala is the author of four books including the award-winning 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled, Ghosthunting North Carolina, The Awakened Aura: Experiencing the Evolution of Your Energy Body and Spirits of New Orleans: Voodoo Curses, Vampire Legends and Cities of the Dead.
A highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire, Kala writes for the Huffington Post, the Examiner, AOL, Yahoo and Fate Magazine and presents workshops nationally on the Mind/Body/Spirit connection including Auras and Energy Fields, Developing Enrepreneur Intuition, Haunted History and Wisdom Teachings at the Omega Institute, John Edward Presents Infinite Quest, Edgar Cayce’s ARE, the Learning Annex, LilyDale Assembly, and at her school, The Academy of Mystical Arts & Spiritual Sciences.