Mineral Springs Hotel Ghost Hunt
Friday September 9th 2022
The Haunted Mineral Springs Hotel is not recommended for the easily frightened!
This ominous, 5-story building is one of the most haunted hotels in America!
Activity at this foreboding location includes apparitions, disembodied screams, cries, and growls, shadows, unexplained cold breezes, phantom footsteps, poltergeist activity, feelings of being watched or followed, and physical attacks.
The Mineral Springs Hotel, located in Alton, Illinois, was built by two German immigrants. August and Herman Luer, both pork butchers and meat packers, moved to the area in the 19th century and originally settled in St. Louis. After a few years they crossed the Mississippi River and resettled in Alton.
The Luer brothers established their initial butcher operations a few blocks away from Mineral Springs, but as their business grew the brothers were determined to build an ice production and storage facility to extend the life of their pork products.
The search for a good water source began in 1909 and was centered on the present-day location of the Mineral Springs Hotel. Water was discovered on the site, but it was deemed unsuitable for making ice. Alternatively, the newly-discovered water was found to be ideal for medicinal purposes by a chemist who was, not ironically, hired by the Luer brothers.
The Luers shifted their focus from ice-making to using the mineral waters for a purpose which was sweeping the United States in the early 20th century. In Arkansas, in places like Eureka Springs and Hot Springs, grand hotels and spas has been built around natural springs and were quite the draw for those seeking healing from a variety of ailments.
Beginning in the fall of 1913, construction of the Mineral Springs Hotel began. By June of 1914 construction was complete and the Mineral Springs Hotel opened its doors for business. The hotel was unlike any structure in Alton at that time, featuring two indoor swimming pools (one of which has frequently been described as the largest indoor pool in Illinois in 1914), marble floors and staircases, ornate glass windows and doors… the Mineral Springs Hotel was the centerpiece of downtown Alton.
Business at the hotel was brisk. Not only were people flocking to the Mineral Springs Hotel to bathe in the curative powers of the medicinal spring water, but they also enjoyed the top-notch amenities of the grand hotel – Mineral Springs was the place to see, and be seen! As news of the hotel’s medicinal waters began to spread, so too did the demand for the water. By the end of 1914 the hotel was selling hundreds of gallons of mineral water.
The hotel changed hands in 1926 and continued to thrive under new ownership for decades. Unfortunately, time and a changing economic landscape began to conspire against the Mineral Springs Hotel. By the 1960’s the region was no longer the industrial powerhouse it had been prior to and through World War Two – additionally, the interstate commerce system has been built. As a result, less and less people visited Alton and those who did no longer desired to stay in the grand downtown hotel. Instead they opted for motels adjacent to interstates. The pools were drained in the late 1960’s and the hotel was ultimately closed in 1971 in a terrible state of disrepair.
The hotel remained closed for most of the 1970’s, but was repurposed by Roger Schubert at the end of the decade as a destination stop for Alton’s then-booming antiques business. History repeated itself when Schubert sold the hotel… and the Mineral Springs Hotel passed through several owners before falling into a second period of decline and disrepair. In 2016, a local businessman bought Mineral Springs and renovations of the grand hotel began again.
The hotel has been the subject of hundreds of paranormal investigations throughout the years. Although there are only three known deaths which occurred in the hotel – two of which were suicides – there are dozens of folklore hauntings which occur throughout the hotel’s many floors. From the Jasmine Lady’s alleged death on one of the hotel’s grand marble staircases to the stories of childlike apparitions in the hotel lobby and pool, including Cassie, Mason and Thomasina, to experiences with spirits known only as Molly and William in more remote areas of the abandoned hotel to sightings of finely dressed gentlemen and ladies strolling around the main pool beneath the lobby of the hotel… stories of ghost sightings and paranormal experiences have been captured by thousands of investigators over the years. Mineral Springs is, undeniable, one of the most paranormally active buildings in the Riverbend area.
Unfortunately, the old hotel ledgers have long since been packed away and lost to time, so tying many of these experiences to history is an exercise in futility. Newspaper articles yield some information, but much of the information about the hotel’s hauntings come from those with faint recollections of the hotel and, more recently, the children and grandchildren of those who stayed at Mineral Springs and, occasionally, elderly former employees of the old hotel. Every so often a former tenant, artist-in-residence, and even a former bartender visit and share their recollections of the grand hotel…. But these opportunities become less frequent was the passage of time.
However, a simple exercise yields some thought-provoking fodder for the number of hauntings in the old hotel. Hotels, schools, churches – places where people have life-changing epiphanies or experiences – are often haunted because of the tremendous energies of those experiences. The Mineral Springs Hotel is no different.
Conservatively, dozens of people stayed at the hotel each night and did so for decades. Realistically, tens of thousands of guests crossed the threshold of the old hotel every year for decades. By the time the hotel closed in 1971, hundreds of thousands of people had the opportunity to experience the grand hotel… and dozens of them left their mark there.
Moreover, in the 1970’s the abandoned hotel was known in some circles as a haven for indigent people – activities which might have occurred in the building are lost to time, but the impact of those activities are felt from the sub-basement water cistern through five other floors of rooms, including the abandoned hotel rooms overlooking Broadway Avenue.
The frightening Mineral Springs Hotel was built for paranormal activity by its very construction. This location was built with the stones of the Alton Military Prison that saw hundreds of deaths between 1833 and its closure in 1865. What energy do these stones hold? And what activity does that cause? Join us for an investigation inside this dark and dreary building, and perhaps you’ll find out!
As you make your way through the Mineral Springs Hotel, there are many areas to investigate. You can stand in the lobby near the staircase and wait to meet the “Jasmine Lady”, who makes herself known with the scent of floral perfume. Did she fall down the stairs after an argument with her husband? Or was she pushed? See if she’s willing to talk.
If you hang around at the former Crystal Room Bar, will a bartender from the past reach out to offer you a drink? Will you encounter a friendly inebriated spirit or the creator of the unfinished mural that hangs in the room? Have a seat and see what visitors come to strike up a conversation.
In the former pool area, you may encounter several spirits, including the “man in black” or a male spirit known as “George”, who could be willing to tell you his story of drowning in the pool in the 1920’s. You might even meet “Cassandra”, a child spirit who is particularly fond of marbles.
During your investigation keep watch for a particular green door under the stairs. If you find this door and are able to open it, you may smell sulfur and see a mist begin to form. Will you stay and see what happens next? The choice is yours.
A number of female spirits can be found in the upstairs rooms. In particular is a room once occupied by a woman known as “Pearl”. Is that really her name? And did she commit suicide in the room as so many believe? You could be the one approached by “Pearl” to hear her side of the story.
The old bottling room is a great place to think about the supposed healing waters that were bottled decades ago as a cure for ailments. It’s also a room to be frightened by the apparition of a man who appears out of nowhere. Will you see him? Who is he and why is he there? You may just find out!
And then there’s the basement. Should you test your limits of fear by walking around in this area, don’t be surprised if you hear, see, or are physically touched by something that doesn’t seem friendly. Is this a human? Is this something darker? Does it control the other spirits of the building? You may very well get those answers, and possibly more than you bargained for!
The Haunted Mineral Springs Hotel holds many powerful energies and numerous spirits that remain.
When you join us for an investigation of this incredible location, you stand a chance of getting the evidence you look for and the answers you seek.
That is, if you can make it through the night!