Why Alton is America's Most Haunted Small Town
Haunted Alton...History haunts us, and it is definitely haunting Alton, Illinois, "One of the Most Haunted Small Towns in America."
Is that a ghost walking past the group of people waiting for the seance to begin? Picture taken by Patrice Raplee.
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. Several locations that are noted to be extremely haunted, including the infamous McPike Mansion and Milton School, have been featured on television shows on the Travel Channel and Syfy Channel.
MORE: Request free haunted and travel guides
Many blame limestone rock for so much paranormal activity in Alton. Most of Alton either sits on limestone or has neighborhoods with houses built with pieces of limestone. It is this limestone that is said to retain the psychic residue of events that can still be experienced today.
MORE: Find Schedule of Haunted Tours & Events
MOST HAUNTED HOUSE
Alton's Most Haunted House...the notorious McPike Mansion has been featured on several television shows and investigated by numerous paranormal investigators who have found the haunting of the McPike Mansion to be authentic.
The house was built in 1869 by architect Lucas Pfeiffenberger. The original owner of the Mansion was Henry Guest McPike. The house has not been occupied since the 1950s. Before weather and vandals brought extensive damage to the structure, it was a regal addition to the Illinois town of Alton.
McPike Mansion today is owned by Sharyn and George Luedke who have been trying to nurture this great house back to its regal state. It is readily known today for its hauntings in paranormal circles. The grounds are often visited by ghost hunters and haunted tour groups in the area.
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 a strange death of a woman in the bathtub. Some even believe that Eleanor and Henry McPike still roam the corridors of their former home.
The Cellar has been a focal point of many energies felt in the mansion. It is not uncommon to find in photos of the mansion, orbs, balls of light, even figures appearing in the windows that were not seen by the human eye when the photo was taken. This Grand Ole House is thought to still house many of the spirits that once lived here.
MORE: Read a first-hand account about a blogger’s experience on a haunted tour of Alton!
HAUNTED TOUR PROVIDERS
In order to truly experience Haunted Alton, we would invite you to contact our various haunted tour providers to take you in the trenches with stories and hunts for Alton's hauntings.
Alton Haunted Odyssey
Alton's Haunted Odyssey began in 1992 when Marlene Lewis and Antoinette created the area's first haunted tour. They now offer three different trolley tours that begin at My Just Desserts and takes you through the most haunted parts of Alton including the McPike Mansion, the Alton City Cemetery, Jacoby Arts Center and more. For more info or reservations, go to AltonHauntedTours.com or call (618) 462-3861.
Based on the book Haunted Alton by Troy Taylor, Alton Hauntings Tours offers an entertaining and spine-tingling trip into the unknown. Visitors will see sites that have become nationally known, like the old Alton penitentiary, First Unitarian Church, Enos Sanitarium and others. Nowhere else can you learn as much about the real, haunted history of Alton. Private tours are also available for groups of 20 or more. Reservations must be made in advance for all tours. For more info or reservations, go to AltonHauntings.com.
Mineral Springs Haunted Tours
Mineral Springs Haunted Tours will guide the way as they take visitors on a walking tour of Downtown Alton followed by an exclusive investigation of all four floors of the Mineral Springs Hotel - a site of murder, suicide and accidental deaths. Cap the evening off beckoning the afterworld through a séance and tarot card readings. You can also tour the Museum of Torture of Devices! Prices vary based on tour selected. For reservations, go to MineralSpringsHauntedTours.com.
HAUNTED ALTON APP
You can follow along on our haunted app and share your haunted photos through your very own social media channels (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram). You can also find haunted events, a listing of our haunted tour providers and a gallery of shared haunted photos. You can download our Haunted App for free in iTunes or Android stores.
Haunted Locations to Share Photos
Alton City Cemetery
Take a haunted cemetery tour and walk inside an empty crypt.
Confederate Cemetery & Memorial
The remains of 1,400 Confederate soldiers are buried here in one of the northernmost monuments to the Confederate soldier.
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.
Elijah Lovejoy Monument
This monument is dedicated to the man who was murdered by a pro-slavery mob in 1837.
First Unitarian Church
One of its former pastors is known to haunt this historic church and is also the beginning site of haunted tours by Alton Haunted Tours company.
Jacoby Arts Center
This building is said to be haunted since the basement used to be a mortuary.
Known as one of the country’s most haunted homes, more than 11 different spirits have been experienced from the wine cellar all the way to the second floor of this building.
Milton School House
The tragic tale of the school involved the unsolved mystery of a young girl brutally murdered and a janitor who committed suicide at this building.
Mineral Springs Mall
Once an elegant hotel and spa its history is filled with tragedy, murders, suicides, natural and accidental deaths.
This dragon-like bird is known to have terrorized and devoured the native inhabitants of the area.
Piasa Masonic Lodge
The spirit of a Confederate soldier haunted that basement as he is believed to be have been a fellow Mason who died in the nearby prison.
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.
This site was where the Confederate soldiers who died from smallpox were originally buried.
How to Share Your Haunted Photo
Visit a haunted Alton site. Open app and click on haunts. Make sure to click on the haunted site you are at.
Click on camera icon after you open the haunted site.
Snap photo and add one of 5 filters if you want or leave as original.
Add a caption and share on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts. Sharing to personal social media accounts is not required.
(Don’t forget to use hashtags #VisitAlton #HauntedAlton and #EnjoyIllinois)
View all shared photos