Mineral Springs Hotel Investigation Revisited



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, Hollywood actress Marie Dressler spoke at the hotel on behalf of the Liberty Loan committee.  A number of new rooms were added to the hotel in 1925, the same year that an orchestra was hired to play on Sunday afternoons and for the evening dining.

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, Illinois 62002  

Telephone: 618-465-3200  

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

Impressions/Personal Experiences:

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.

EVPs/Audio Evidence: 

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.

Conclusion: Upon reviewing all my evidence, nothing paranormal showed up with the possible exception of the sound of a cat meowing somewhere within range of the Ghost Mic. That is I think it was a cat. It will be interesting to compare my tapes with Nicole's and see what she recorded. One other event occurred. About halfway through the evening, the lights went on in the hallway and a lady walked down the aisle past Nicole's camera, past my camera and past the G.E.I.S.T. setup and entered a door to the right. I did not see her walk past the Command Post. I don't think this was a full torsal phantasm as I never knew a ghost having to turn on the lights. Never the less she has been recorded for posterity.  

Evidence collected:  

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 Pearl’s Room a question was asked, “You want me to stop bringing these girls?” The Ghost Box responds with, “More persons.”  

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, “ Pearl ” at the seven second mark.  

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, “Handsome.”  

Suicide Room Male Whisper.wma – during an EVP session in the small room, a male whisper is heard in the background.  

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 session in Pearl’s Room a question was asked, “I brought you these girls, what do you think of them?” The Ghost Box responds with, “Ugly.”  

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.  

Conclusions:

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 Pearl ’s Room when using the Ghost Box as not only did it identify two of the researchers by name; Dean and Nicole but also said the name Pearl. However the real interesting EVP did not come from the Ovilus or Ghost Box but was a true EVP and was picked up in the first small upstairs room on the left as you enter into the unfinished hallway. The EVP is a gruff male voice that clearly says, “The door, behind the door.” That EVP was interesting because the entire time I was in that room I felt as though there was somebody standing behind me in the doorway or right outside in the hallway. In fact, I even make mention of this fact several times during the EVP session and the Ghost Radar did pick up several blips in and around the doorway. The Ghost Radar was also the most active it had been the entire night in that particular room.

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.


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