Centrally located in the state of Illinois, just north of St. Louis, Missouri on the Mississippi River, visitors venture to Alton to enjoy the scenery, rich history and explore the quaint river towns along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway.
But as night falls, no trip to Alton would be complete without experiencing first hand “Haunted Alton.” For those interested in a frightening trip back in time, the ghosts come along for the ride during one of the many guided Haunted Alton Tours. A colorful past of murder, war, death and destruction has led to Alton’s haunted present.
Through the years, many travelers have investigated the psychic phenomena found throughout the haunted streets of Alton. Several locations are well-documented to be extremely haunted, including the infamous McPike Mansion and Milton School.
- McPike Mansion is a large Victorian-Italianate villa much in need of restoration. But its dilapidated state adds to its atmosphere. Balls of light go unexplained by professional photographers. Human-shaped outlines appear in the windows, shadowy or glowing, they show up in photos. Built by the McPike family in 1869, it had 11 marble fireplaces and ornate banisters which were stolen by vandals when the house fell into disrepair in the 1950s. Many psychics and mediums have felt the presence of what they believe to be McPike family, servants, as well as some of those who resided in and owned the house since 1936. It’s considered one of the most haunted houses in the US – and it sure looks like it!
- The Mineral Springs Hotel is a site of murder, suicide and accidental deaths. Visitors can also sign up for the Cemetery Tours, complete with a wake and procession following the Mineral Springs hearse to the Alton City Cemetery.
- Milton School was the scene of the rape and grisly murder of an eight-year-old girl. Her murderer was widely believed to be the school janitor, who later hung himself in the school and left a note confessing to the crime. The ghosts of both haunt the school.
- The Enos Sanatorium which housed runaway slaves and later victims of tuberculosis and other incurable diseases, saw a high death toll. Sounds of knocking on doors, choking rattling cries, footsteps and lights turning on and off seemingly by themselves were and still are a common occurrence.
New this year, the Historic Museum of Torture Devices provides visitors one more attraction that examines some of the darkest chapters of human history. By the way – Troy Taylor & the Alton Hauntings Tours have won numerous awards for excellence, and are annually sold out in advance of Halloween. So get in quick or you’ll have to wait until next year…. Eeek! Just checked the website and they are indeed sold out!