Inn At Carnall Hall
The spirit of Miss Ella Carnall is here to welcome guests.
This spirit is seen sitting on beds in several rooms!
Described as “A boutique hotel rich in history yet modern in the ways of comfort & cuisine;” and as “The University’s Front Porch.”
“Discover a welcome meeting place for visitors and locals alike, where relationships are forged, old friends reunited, and new memories made in a charming setting right on campus.”
The 2018 renovation was a step into the sleek, modern design of an up and coming boutique hotel but still has some of its historic charm. The front porch was rebuilt, the pine floors were refurbished and the staircases were restored to their original glory. While the rooms have modern beds, with a rounded wooden headboard, there is a piece of antique replicated furniture in the room. Design is minimalist yet practical with all the amenities needed and desired.
The hotel has something for everyone’s budget. Below are some of the choices available.
Double Queen Rooms are described as being spacious and being “comfortable residential retreats” with two “plush” Queen beds and amenities their guests expect in a room. Some even have “spacious seating areas and work desks.”
King Guest Rooms – Apparently are a nice blend of old historic with modern design. “Our Accessible King guest rooms offers combine old-world accents with standard room comforts with a King Bed and writing desk.”
The descriptions of the Junior State Room and Senior State Room found on their website sure are inviting.
Junior State Room – “A BEAUTY FOR BRIDAL PARTIES”
“Perfect for bridal party get-togethers and private receptions, our elegant Junior State Room is furnished with a king bed and features a separate seating area with upholstered furnishings, hardwood floors, and a refrigerator. Adjoins our Senior State Room.”
Senior State Room:”BY EXECUTIVE ORDER: MAKE IT A VIP STAY”
For special occasions and events, the Senior State Room offers a lot for the money. “Our most luxurious suite, the Senior State Room’s hardwood floors and historic details add a layer of warmth and elegance to your stay. Highlights include a separate living area with sleeper sofa and bar, plush king bed, and plenty of space for entertaining. Adjoins our Junior State Room.”
Plus, special events are also held here, like many hotels offer to bring in more funds; really putting their hotel to work. The redesign of this hotel makes the areas needed for special events upscale and very inviting. This renovation draws in new business that helps to bring in funds to help the coffers to cover expenses, maintenance and for projects.
The hotel’s restaurant, Ellie’s Table is described as being “equally suited for unique occasions and relaxed comfort.” People are invited to come and have a “genuinely handcrafted, conversational dining experience,” enjoying “interesting twists on modern American favorites.”
Lambeth Lounge is definitely an upscale bar aimed at alumni and others who enjoy “comfy leather sofas and plantation shutters setting the scene for laid-back Southern elegance.”
Many people on campus and in the community like to come here to unwind from stressful days “over signature cocktails, fine wine, scotches, and light meals.”
By 1904, attendance at The University of Arkansas had sky-rocketed creating an urgent need for more buildings. One of six of the new buildings constructed was the first women’s dorm in Arkansas. English Professor Ella Howlson Carnell led the charge to build this much needed residence for women. Carnall Hall opened its doors in 1905 to young women pursuing an education here. It was named in memory of the main leader for this project, English Professor, Miss Ella Howlson Carnell, who died suddenly of Typhoid Fever just before this dorm was opened.
Carnell Hall remained a dorm until 1966, when new dorms were built. It was empty but not for long.
In 1967, this lovely historical building became home to the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity for ten years, until 1977. Hopefully, they didn’t tear it up too much. After the Phi Gamma Delta’s moved out, U of A offices and classrooms moved inside by 1982. About this time, this structure was registered on the National Register for Historic Places.
By 1991, this beautiful structure could no longer be used, needing major repairs, and there was no money to do so. They were not even willing to take out a loan
By 2001, this beautiful historic building was a creaky fixer-upper opportunity needing a boatload of money; too much for any public institution to renovate and restore. Uh Oh! Its demolition was in the cards. However, this building was a beloved landmark for the community and others interested in historic structures; even creaky ones.
It took the passionate efforts of those who cared in the community as well as preservationists who formed public and private partnerships to buy the structure from the University of Arkansas and renovate and restore this historic building. It became a labor of love for all concerned.
And boy, a boatload of money was spent to renovate and restore parts of the structure: $6.3 million dollars. The front porch and the first floor staircases were restored to their historic glory. In 2003, this historic structure reopened as The Inn at Carnall Hall. A year later, this beautiful inn became a member of the Historic Hotels of America.
In 2018, the inn was “reimagined” once again. Modern elements were “incorporated with the Inn’s historic past.” The areas that got this new envisioned look were a redesigned lobby, various social spaces, the restaurant called Ella’s Table, and the Lambeth Lounge for an elevated dining and bar experience.”
Elements of its historic design are mingled with all these modern redesigns is such a way that they co-exist together. Apparently, a spirit who was a major force behind the building of the original structure approves!
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
People who die suddenly sometimes hang around the structure they love the best in this world.
Brumder Mansion, WI (Spirit of George Brumder Senior likes to visit the mansion he nearly got to see completed but died suddenly of a blood clot before it was done).
Cabbage Patch Settlement House, KY (This settlement house was inspired byAlice Hagan Rice’s book, Mrs. Wiggs of Cabbage Patch. Rice was a social worker and philanthropist, who worked tirelessly for the poor. AS a spirit she is an encouraging spirit at this settlement house as she was when still alive).
Harper House, WV (While Mrs. Harper suddenly died, she was just about to move into their new dream home. As a spirit, she lives there now).
Inn At Carnall Hall, AR ( The spirit of Miss Ella Carnall missed out on the grand opening of the dorm she had worked so hard to get constructed. No matter, her spirit is here to welcome guests).
Spirits like to visit or reside in structures that are named after themselves, and/ or that were important to them while still alive.
Eldridge Hotel, KS (Spirit of Colonel Eldridge who helped to rebuild this hotel a few times, is thrilled that it is now named after himself!).
Aaron Burr Bed and Breakfast, PA (The Spirit of Aaron Burr visits a lot and enjoys this structure that was built on the exact spot where friends let him stay in their house during the rough times of his life).
Speed Art Museum, KY (Yes Indeed, the spirit of Mrs. Speed is still there keeping an eye on the living).
Inn At Carnall Hall, AR (The spirit of Miss Ella Carnall loves to stay here, enjoy the living and their activities and see to the guests as well as well as appreciating the structure).
One spirit thought to visit or reside is the spirit of English Professor Ella Howlson Carnell, who has long loved the structure that was named for her.
She is described as a friendly and calm spirit with a positive outlook, ready to help the living.
Spirit of Miss Ella has appeared as a full body apparition in several rooms.
In other instances, her appearance is in ghost parts; favoring the torso with no head or feet.
This spirit is seen sitting on beds in several rooms.
I bet that she was the first spectral housemother when this building opened as a dorm.
She still cares about men and especially women about to enter college.
Her unseen presence can also sit on a bed of a visitor making the indentation on the mattress, perhaps visiting a young person and family members who have come to look at the University.
With an eye for organization, Miss Ella likes to help by moving objects to better places in the rooms.
She likes to move up and down the hallways and staircases, sometimes floating as a seen apparition, or is felt like a cool breeze when there is no air conditioning on, or natural breezes present.
She probably crashes social events to enjoy the moments of happiness and family gatherings.
Perhaps she enjoys sitting in on university events and meetings too, keeping her hand in educational matters.
Since the building was built, her presence has been felt and seen and probably heard by students, staff, event participants, guests and maintenance folks.
As it is known who is keeping them company, no paranormal investigations are allowed. Why upset such a sweet and gentle presence?
Most Probably so! The spirit of Miss Ella Carnall has been experienced for around 120 years in this structure, creating a boatload of experiences for many people who resided, worked and stayed here as guests.
While I couldn’t find any hard evidence, it seems that she is still here, enjoying the building and people who use this structure in many positive ways.
465 North Arkansas Avenue,
The Inn at Carnall Hall can be found on the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville Ar. near the intersection of N. Arkansas Ave and Maple Street, in the middle of the Greek Fraternities. and University buildings on a large park-like property; over-looking the “Lawn of Old Main.”
- The Ghost Hunter’s Field Guide, By Rich Newman, Llewellyn Productions, pg. 25, 2016