(ODD)yssey

Ghosts of the Mineral Springs Hotel, a Halloween tale

Sweetums and I visited the Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois, on our Route 66 honeymoon last October and it seems a fitting time to tell you about the ghosts that reportedly haunt it.

We stopped in Alton specifically to see the statue of the World’s Tallest Man (click here to see if he or Sweetums was taller) but soon discovered the city is billed as the most haunted town in Illinois. In addition, the Mineral Springs Hotel is billed as the most haunted site in Alton.

hotel via pinterst
The 1914 Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois (Source: Pinterest)

Sunday night, Sweetums noticed the hotel was featured on the Travel Channel show “Most Terrifying Places in America 6.” The show discussed three ghosts that are rumored to haunt the hotel; four alleged spirits are listed below.

About the hotel

The Mineral Springs Hotel no longer operates as an inn. In fact, the ground floor is a mishmash of antique and New Age shops, a barber shop and the Museum of Torture Devices (which was unfortunately closed because … what a great honeymoon destination, am I right?)

museum of torture devices
The Museum of Torture Devices in the Mineral Springs Hotel was closed when we visited. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)

The hotel opened in 1914 and was an instant success because it advertised the curing waters from the mineral springs running beneath the building. It also featured a tiled swimming pool in the basement that was billed as “largest swimming pool in Illinois.” The pool area was the site of parties and events through the 1920s. It still exists but it is empty of water. We didn’t see it because the basement is closed to visitors.

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The Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois, is now a mall with an odd array of shops. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)

Hauntings at the hotel

Today, haunted tours are available daily at the hotel. Click here for information.

According to the website Haunted Travels USA, four ghosts haunt the premises: “The Jasmine Lady, identified by the whiff of her floral perfume; George, who may have been drowned in the hotel swimming pool around the 1920s; the Drunken Ghost, the artist responsible for the mural in the Crystal Room bar (and died before finishing it); and Cassandra, a little girl who drowned in the pool and likes to play marbles.”

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The Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois, is now a mall with an odd array of shops. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)
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Signs at The Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)
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The original safe, leaded glass and an antique dress in the Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)
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Inside the Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)
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The Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois, is now a mall with an odd array of shops. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)
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Alton is billed as the most haunted city in Illinois. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)
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Alton is billed as the most haunted city in Illinois. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)
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Painted borders inside the Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)
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The Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois, is now a mall with an odd array of shops. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)
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The Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois, is now a mall with an odd array of shops. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)
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A sign on the gate leading to the Museum of Torture devices inside the Mineral Springs Hotel. It was closed when we visited. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)
welcome to alton
Alton, Illinois, had a large industrial area and was an odd mix of historic homes and buildings and factories. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)
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The Alton General Store was cute and creepy at the same time. (Photo by Wil Elrick/permission required)

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