The Mineral Springs Hotel, Alton, Illinois, Dec 2019
Investigators: David, Mark, Angel, Brent, Lydia, Elaine, Jim and Vicki
Weather: Weather was cool
Time: 6:00pm - 2:30am
Alton, Illinois is listed on the most haunted towns in the USA, and based on prior experience; I would not argue! Although the hotel we stayed in back in 2010 was fairly new, it was exceedingly energetic with paranormal activity. In room 213 we garnered some class A EVPs, and in another room, things were even livelier, (Alton 2010).
It took 9 years, but I finally summoned enough courage to return to Alton. My husband Jim and I met up with my family members from Illinois (Brother David), Florida (Niece Lydia), Virginia (Brother Brent), Texas (Brother Mark with Angel), and even one that is currently living across the great pond, in England (Niece Elaine). Besides staying in that same hotel, we added an investigation of a site steeped in the rich history of Alton, the Mineral Springs Hotel.
Once a slaughter house located next to the Mississippi River, the hotel was built in 1913 when the owners discovered a mineral spring directly under the property. Many people believed there were substantial health benefits from these mineral rich waters, so they built this lavish 100-room structure with not just one, but two swimming pools. The main pool was touted as being the largest in all of Illinois, and was open to not only the hotel guests, but Alton residents. The smaller, more secluded pool was considered strictly for men with a considerably more secretive history. In 1971, the hotel closed its doors and fell into considerable disrepair. Since the turn of the century, the historic district of Alton has been undergoing revitalization and the street level section of the building is now being utilized as a mall with residential apartments.
We arrived around 6pm, greeted by Dave Nunnally who gave us one of the most detailed histories of the hotel I have ever had the privilege to hear! After concluding the backstories, he took us on a tour of the property; I was astounded by the sheer size of the building. From Hanover Street it appears to have only a street level and upper level, but because it’s built into the side of the bluff, there are actually four additional levels, which I can only describe as a ground level, a basement level, a sub-basement, and the location of the original mineral spring well itself, a sub-sub-basement? Confusing I agree, and I’m probably not counting everything correctly.
The main pool located on the ground level had a history of at least one drowning, a young man named Clarence who is purported to still be there. The Men’s pool, below the ground level, is reported to have activity as well, (especially when males are present). Both pools were long ago drained and instead of water, they now have chairs placed in them for investigators. Mr. Nunnally also included the names of the spirits and the various locations they believe haunt the hotel. After wrapping up the tour, he left us on our own to commence with our investigation.
The large pool, steeped in darkness and an eerie atmosphere, certainly seemed to have something going on. While I was walking around it early in the investigation, I felt certain someone was behind me and stunned when I turned around to find that no one was there! Later in the evening Elaine and I heard prominent footsteps that sounded like high heels or hard soled shoes, (meanwhile Jim and Dave were discussing theories as to why the Rempod was continuously alarming at that time). Shortly thereafter was the distinct sound of someone skipping, maybe playing a game of hopscotch? There were also several extremely loud metallic banging sounds that we could not figure out.
We experienced some paranormal activity on the upper level as well where a female named Pearl took her life. While using the dowsing rods, Mark had an amazing rapport with someone that apparently liked being called “Pearl”. She strongly indicated that she wanted his brother David to leave, which I found very amusing since they are twins! She didn’t seem to want to talk with me either; Mark was definitely her favorite! Fortunately Mark’s girlfriend, Angel, was a very good sport about it at the time.
All of our EMF meters read steadily higher than normal readings throughout the building, which suggested this was probably electrical in nature, amplified by the mineral water under the site. Although this would provide a constant energy for spirits to feed upon, it does make the detectors difficult to interpret. In the sub-sub-basement well room while David, Brent, Elaine and Lydia were about to leave, David heard something fall very close to him and his K2 meter reacted immediately flashing to a full red.
Lydia had the Ovilus most of the night, which read out several male names: Norman, Larry, Paul, Jim and Walter. None of those rang a bell with me as being connected with the hotel hauntings; however I was intrigued because the Ovilus rarely gives out names.
As Elaine and I were making our farewell rounds for the night, we sat for a bit in William’s room, located in an area behind the main pool. We were told William wasn’t considered the most pleasant of entities, but quite honestly we didn’t have any problems with him. Jim had just left us to pack up the video cameras when we heard someone walking in the corridor next to the room. We were fully expecting to see Jim walk back in, but when we looked no one was there. I listened back to the recorder and discovered we captured a fascinating male voice shortly before the walking incident.
Elaine and I made our way back to the main pool to say goodbye to Clarence and friends. As we were leaving, that same pronounced “High-heal” walking sound we heard earlier seemed to be following behind us. During this same timeframe, Angel had gone into the women’s bathroom and encountered a shadow figure. She assumed at first it was one of us ladies, but was she ever surprised to find out otherwise!
We left around 2:30 to head back to the warm comfort of our hotel. Very rarely do we have an after story connected to an investigation; however a few hours after returning Angel had a dream visit from a person she seemed to recognize. Pearl said she wanted to warn Angel and Mark that they needed to get out of Alton because there was a bad storm brewing. Well, she was right! The next morning a nasty snowstorm came blowing through. Thankfully everyone made it out safely to their various destinations, although our drive was a bit harrowing at times! Angel was somewhat shaken by Pearl’s appearance, wished she’d talked to Mark instead. I’m betting she tried, but if he sleeps like my husband there’s no way to penetrate his mind in that state.
Alton was as advertised in my opinion, and I don’t plan on waiting another nine years to return. I hope we can also stop by Mineral Springs and say a big “Thanks” to Pearl!!!
Pictures of the the main pool where we heard multiple hard heeled walking sounds (middle) and the smaller Men's pool on the right.
Elaine, Jim and I are in the sub basement well area. After I say "my name is Vicki", at around 9 secs sounds like a child says "yeah". There is reportedly a child spirit named Mary in that area of the hotel.
Once again in the main pool area a voice between 1 and 2 secs says "I'm here" or "Clarence".
Also in the well area while Lydia was there is a high pitched voice around 2 to 3 secs. Can't make out what is said?
Elaine and I are taking a last stroll around the hotel before calling it a night. At 4 secs there is a voice but can't make out what was said. Elaine tells the spirits to stay and around 21 they respond with "okay". Directly after at 23 is the sound of walking following us.
Elaine and I were sitting in an area known as William's room. Elaine was wondering what that area was used for and around 14 secs he answers "sex". Shortly after that response Elaine and I heard walking in the corridor next to the room.
We recorded a lot of things flying around that night, some clearly had wings, but this one was very different from the rest and so we called it "Blinky". Taken from our static Veho night vision camera under UV light.
It is interesting to note that after many years and hours of video review, there was only one other time we had captured a blinking anomaly. The other place was at Original Springs hotel which curiously also has a natural mineral spring that runs beneath the location.