The Mineral Springs Hotel opened in 1914. Early advertising boasted that the hotel featured the “largest swimming pool in Illinois”, mineral spring “cures”, and the biggest table in the city of Alton, said to seat 26 people. The hotel was started in 1913 by August F. Ratz, local entrepreneur, who purchased the site of the former Illinois Packing Company at the corner of Broadway and Alton Streets. Construction was started in October 1913 with the excavation of the basement swimming pool. The original plans also called for a “summer garden” in the hotel, but the idea was later abandoned in favor of adding 40 additional rooms.
The hotel held its grand opening
in September 1914 and was said that at one point, the swimming pool, attracted
over 3,000 people in a season. In 1918,
August Ratz sold the hotel in 1926 and not long after the stock market crash in 1929, things started to deteriorate. Residents remember the hotel as being “seedy” for sometime before it finally closed down. Years later, it would see life again, thanks to renovations by the Love family.
Address: 301 E. Broadway, Alton,
Contacts: Janet Kohler 618-447-4811
Hauntings: A strong scent of jasmine perfume has been smelled in the building from time to time, thought to connected to a woman who was either pulled or tripped down the stairs and fell to her death. One of the ghosts is said to be a man that smells heavily of liquor while another
Equipment setup: Spectercam4 with IR illuminator was set up in the pool area, IR camcorder and IR illuminator was faced down the upstairs hallway. G.E.I.S.T. was also set up in the pool area with the Command Center upstairs on the main floor.
Experiments performed: EVP sessions were conducted in the pool area, Pearl’s room and other locations.
The Ghost Research Society revisited Mineral Springs Hotel on May 20, 2012. Team members included: Stan Suho, Nicole Tito, Lisa Krick, Marge Sucha, Kathie Para and Dale Kaczmarek with help from Dean Thompson.
Personal experiences: A cold breeze was felt by both Lisa and Dean
in Pearl’s room when beginning a Ghost Box session. K-II meter was also popping to red
and orange frequently.
Kathie Para: This location had a strange vibe to me this night. I felt a sad and unwelcoming feeling. For some reason I felt I just couldn’t get my act together there. During set up Marge and I walked through the upstairs apartment. I thought I saw a shadow in one of the bedrooms as we passed by but we didn’t go back to investigate this area.
Marge and I did an EVP session in the office area, the stairway leading to the downstairs area and the downstairs area. I also took photos and had the Ovilus turned on. This area had no activity.
Next we investigated the pool area. Lisa, Nicole, Dale, Marge & myself. I used my camera, voice recorder, Ovilus and K-II meter. There was nothing significant during this session other than a scream I later heard on my voice recorder at the very beginning of our session. I haven’t yet been able to see if anyone else’s recorder picked this up.
Marge, Dale & I spent time
on the 2nd floor in the “suicide room”. I had my camera, voice
recorder and K-II. This room, to me, was the most active area of the night. We
got intelligent K-II responses a few times. Specifically, asking for another
light to come on when there were two lit up. The third light lit and stayed for
several seconds. One time we asked for the orange light and we got it. This also
stayed on for many seconds and didn’t just flash on and off. I believe we got
good response every time we asked, three different times.
Nicole Tito: Team
Partner: Lisa Krick,
Equipment Used: Audio recorder, K-II meter, Ovilus, Rem E-Pod, Ghost Box, Ghost Radar
This was round two for the Mineral Springs Hotel investigation as I had been there several years ago. Lisa and I had the opportunity to perform several EVPs in the new apartment in which a previous owner committed suicide. We both felt strange in a few of the bedrooms, but did not know the exact location of the alleged suicide. In one of the rooms, I did capture an EVP in response to my statement.
The hot spot of the night was the upstairs long hallway leading back to the other suicide room. When Lisa and I walked down the long corridor and got to the end before entering the room something inside of me told me to run. I have only experienced this a few times before on investigations. I looked at Lisa and could tell that she was feeling the same thing too. I told her not to run and they were renovating the place and there was a lot of exposed beams and wiring in which we might get hurt. We quickly exited this location to grab another individual as I felt like I was going to be seriously attacked. It was such a weird feeling that words cannot describe it
We headed back up to that area later on with fellow members and performed an EVP session in the suicide room. The Ghost Box stated my name after Dean Thompson asked if it knew anyone’s name. The rest of the responses did not relate to any questions. We did keep seeing shadows and hearing footsteps in the hallway that could not be explained. At this time, we captured another EVP of a male voice stating something like, “I didn’t hear something.”
Another location that seemed to be active was a few rooms down from the suicide room upstairs. We felt like something was out in the hallway watching us, but would not enter. This is the location we got a response from the Ghost Radar asking if something was out in the hallway behind Dale Kaczmarek in which the Radar promptly responded, “Handsome.”
This time around the pool area seemed to be quiet in paranormal activity. I felt perfectly fine sitting in the pitch dark performing an EVP session with several people. To be honest, the feeling was so peaceful that I might have fallen asleep a few times during the session.
Still photos: Nothing out of the ordinary captured in both exterior and interior shots.
Stan Suho: This
was our third visit to this place. This time we concentrated on places we could
not cover before. We were joined by some members of Jeanie's group. Since we did
the place before the walk through was brief. This time a room had been prepared
for the command post with tables and even some snacks.
I set up the full G.E.I.S.T. down a long hallway where
some shadow people had been reported, taking full advantage of Nicole’s IR
lamp. The Ghost Camera and Microphone were fed into a DVR to be reviewed later.
When things were up and running, I busied myself helping Dale with some
technical problems and taking pictures. I made another walk through with my
35 mm and IR Night shot camera, along with my Night
Vision Viewer. One interesting moment occurred when I spotted a moving shadow at
the far end of the hallway. A thorough scientific investigation finally revealed
it to be my own shadow. One DVR shortcoming revealed itself. Since there is no
Audio on my Sony Night Shot Camera, if I wanted audio on my DVR, I would have to
install a Line level audio jack on the Ghost Amp. This has been completed.
The rest of the evening was uneventful.
The rest of the evening was uneventful.
2nd floor bedroom No
whisper.wma – during an EVP session in the 2nd floor bedroom a
question was asked, “If you’re dead, you’re dead? Right?” A whispering
voice says, “No.”
Cries.MP3 – during an EVP
session in a small upstairs room a question was asked, “Peter, are you
alone?” In the background a faint crying can be heard.
Dean.MP3 – during an EVP
session in Pearl’s Room a question was asked, “It’s heavy in here tonight. What’s going
on?” The Ghost Box responds with, “Dean.”
Get nothing.MP3 – a female
voice saying “get nothing” was captured on the audio track of the static IR
camcorder placed in the upstairs hallway.
More persons.MP3 – during a
Ghost Box session in
Nicole.MP3 – during a Ghost
Box session in Pearl’s Room a question was asked, “Do you know one of these two girls’
names?” The Ghost Box responds with, “Nicole.”
Pearl.MP3 – during an EVP
session in Pearl’s Room a question was asked, “Who’s standing behind her?” The Ghost Box
responds with, “
Sigh.MP3 – during an EVP
session in the Pool area a disembodied female sigh is heard in the background.
Small Room Handsome Response.wma
– during an EVP session in the small room a question was asked, “Are you
behind Dale? That’s okay, come on in.” The Ghost Radar responds with,
Suicide Room Male Whisper.wma
– during an EVP session in the small room, a male whisper is heard in the
Suicide Room Nicole Box
response.wma – (see Nicole.MP3)
The door behind the door.MP3 – during an EVP session in a small upstairs room just before starting the EVP session a gruff male voice is heard in the room saying, “the door, behind the door.”
Ugly.MP3 – during a Ghost Box
Wrong.MP3 – during an EVP
session in a small upstairs room a question was asked, “That’s all I want to
hear, is one loud pop like that.” The Ghost Radar responds with, “Wrong.”
Yell.MP3 – a disembodied yell
is clearly heard in this clip.
The Ghost Radar when employed in
the small upstairs room said: strip, handsome, Jonathan, deer, led, Peter,
instead, giving, Mars, equator, fix, sense, plant, second, observe, stems,
mighty, pine, fare, wrong and oil.
Nothing unusual was captured on the X-Cam placed in the Pool Area or anything visual on the Static IR camcorder placed in the upstairs hallway; however a female voice was captured. A number of sounds very close to the camcorder was recorded which sounded very much like drops of water hitting the floor. There were a number of loud bangs but it was impossible to determine if the sounds were paranormal or caused by natural causes of researchers in the area.
There seemed to be many
intelligent responses in
I do believe that Mineral Springs is still a very active location for EVPs, disembodied voices and spirit communication and will be for quite sometime.
Ghost Research Society (www.ghostresearch.org)
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