Some say there are so many Alton haunted locations due to a sordid past of murder, war, death and destruction has led to Alton’s haunted present.
Through the years, many travelers have investigated and inquired about the unexplained happenings and psychic phenomena found throughout Alton, a little town located near St. Louis, MO.
Several locations that are noted to be extremely haunted, including the infamous McPike Mansion, The First Unitarian Church, and Milton School.
Paranormal investigators and ghost hunters have visited these locations and they have been featured on a various tv shows.
Author Mark Twain once referred to Alton, IL as a “dismal little river town,” but little did he know that Alton’s dark history has led it to be one of the most haunted small towns in America.
The locations shared here are known for cold spots, paranormal activity, and some of the scariest places to visit.
Is Alton simply been deemed one of the most haunted towns because of the ghosts and hauntings that occur regularly, is something more sinister at play, or is it simply local lore that keeps the “spirits” alive.
That’s for you to decide when you visit one of these most haunted places or take a Haunted Alton tour.
Ghost tours include everything from a walking tour to private tours, all include a spine-tingling trip through the Mississippi river town of Alton.
Find more on Alton Haunted Locations here:
13 Alton Haunted Locations
Alton City Cemetery
This cemetery is believed to be haunted by any number of ghosts, but three of the ghosts are said to be the following:
- Elijah P. Lovejoy who was an abolitionist. He was shot at a pro-slavery riot in 1837. His ghost is known to appear and hang out near his monument and occasionally he’ll manifest as cold spots.
- Lucy Haskell is a 9-year-old little girl that is said to hang round the area of the Hayner/Haskell monument.
- A nameless spectral woman dressed in black that appears near the Grandview mausoleum.
Confederate Cemetery & Memorial
Both the cemetery and the prison are purportedly haunted locations.
A rumor spread that bricks from the native limestone walls of the prison were used in the construction of Alton homes and businesses, but it has since been proved a myth- according to records, almost all bricks were broken upon demolition of the prison in the decades after its closure on July 7, 1865, and thrown into the river.
All that remains of the prison today is the outer corner of one wall, a testament to both history and the Civil War.
Confederate Prison (Old Alton Prison)
During the Civil War, the facility imprisoned thousands of Confederate soldiers and over 1,400 died due to a smallpox outbreak.
Citizens, including several women, were also imprisoned here for treasonable actions, making anti-Union statements, aiding an escaped Confederate, etc. Others, classified as bushwhackers or guerillas, were imprisoned for acts against the government such as bridge burning and railroad vandalism.
Stories of hauntings abound.
The Enos Sanitarium was built in 1857 by an abolitionist named Nathanial Hanson.
It is said that during construction, tunnels were created in the basement to serve as a stop on the Underground Railroad and that the cupola on the roof was used to communicate and signal escaped slaves on the other side of the river to give them a sign of when it would be safe to cross over to the free state of Illinois.
One tunnel remains and cold spots, feeling the presence of others, dark figures and intense emotions are all said to occur when touring the sanitarium.
First Unitarian Church
Built on the ruins of the former St. Matthew’s Church, the Unitarian opened in 1905, providing solace and comfort for hundreds of people for many years.
But after a minister committed suicide in the church in the 1930s, strange encounters began with his restless spirit — which lingers today!
Jacoby Arts Center
Formerly a funeral home and a furniture store, the basement of this 1883 building is particularly haunted.
Visitors to the cellar have felt cold spots and an eerie presence, while the sound of the intercom that was disconnected many years ago has been heard on occasions.
This is the building that I was bumped into by another individual but when I turned around to see who it was there was absolutely no one nearby. That was a little unnerving, but I also kind of loved it.
Some claim the haunts date back to the property before the mansion was even built with detections of Native American ghosts and a residue from a possible Underground Railroad stop.
Other mysterious stories include servants of the building, a cook in the kitchen and the strange death of a woman in the bathtub.
Some even believe that Eleanor and Henry Guest McPike still roam the corridors of their former home.
Mineral Springs Historic Hotel (aka Mineral Springs Mall & Mineral Springs Hotel)
This once elegant hotel is one of the most haunted locations in Alton and the state- a close contender with Alton’s famed McPike Mansion.
Many paranormal investigators have toured the property, catching Electro-magnetic Field (EMF) readings, Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), and photos of unexplained occurrences at the Mineral Springs.
Visitors on tours and building employees regularly have strange encounters- everything from moved objects or objects appearing in places they shouldn’t be, being touched by unseen hands, strong feelings brought on suddenly for no apparent reason, shadow figures, and even full-bodied apparitions.
Pere Marquette Lodge
The Pere Marquette State Park is a limestone and timber lodge built in the 1930s on the former location of a Native American village. While not immediately in Alton, it’s just a short drive to Grafton and worth it.
Stories of apparitions sitting by the fireplace in the lobby to being touched and doors closing by themselves.
Piasa Masonic Lodge
The spirit of a Confederate soldier haunted that basement as he is believed to have been a fellow Mason who died in the nearby prison.
People have also reported experiencing unexplained activity in the second-floor meeting area.
The orchestra pit area is said to be especially haunted, with a figure being seen several times floating in front of the balcony.
There have been stories of a mysterious person who drags chairs and tables on the first floor of the restaurant while workers are in the basement preparing the day’s meals.
During the Civil War, a temporary tented area and wooden hospital on a Missouri island named Sunflower Island comprised the first hospital for patients of smallpox from the military prison at Alton.
Patients who died of smallpox were buried on the island in the vicinity of the hospital.
Today, a monument marks the grave site of the 260 Confederate prisoners buried near this site. The site also marks the location of the infamous “Lincoln-Shields Duel” of 1842.
Stories of hearing footsteps, things going missing and then reappearing, and an apparition of a young girl.
Learn More About the Alton Haunted Locations
Want to learn more about the ghost stories of the city of Alton?
I recommend reading all books by author Troy Taylor, an author of all things ghosts, hauntings, the unexplained, and the supernatural. If you can only pick one start with Haunted Alton.
Troy is also the person behind award-winning Alton hauntings tours.
Check out his available books at American Hauntings Ink.