NIGHT AT THE MINERAL SPRINGS HOTEL
NEXT AVAILABLE DATE: OCTOBER 5, 2018
GHOST HUNT WITH AUTHOR TROY TAYLOR!
8:00 PM - 1:00 AM
Join American Hauntings as we spend the late-night hours on a search for the spirits of the infamous Mineral Springs Hotel -- a place of legend, lore, fiction, fact, and a myriad of restless spirits. Are you brave enough to experience the most haunted places in the former hotel? Discover for yourself if the old swimming pool, the "Jasmine Lady" staircase, the bottling plant and slaughterhouse, the suicide room, and more are truly as haunted as so many people claim! Find out for yourself and perhaps you'll come face-to-face with some of the staff members and hotel guests of yesterday!
The Mineral Springs Hotel
The Mineral Springs Hotel opened in 1914 and it was the most spectacular hotel in the region. Early advertising boasted that the hotel featured the "largest swimming pool in Illinois", mineral spring "cures", and the biggest dining table in the city of Alton, said to seat 26 people. The city had never seen anything like this place but it was no surprise that it had been created by two of wealthiest and most powerful men in Alton.
The hotel was constructed by August and Herman Luer, successful meat packers, who intended to open an ice storage plant on the property in 1909. When construction on the site began, though, they discovered a natural spring on the property. The water from the spring had a strong smell -- it turned out to be high in sulfur content -- and legend had it that a chemist declared it to have "medicinal qualities". He is said to have recommend that the Luer brothers build a health spa on the site.
Construction was started in October 1913 with the building of a water bottling plant in what became the lowest sub-basement of the building, which was about five levels below the street. The hotel was literally built on top of it, layer by layer, opening for business the following June. The finished structure was in an Italian Villa style, with elaborate decor, and more than 100 rooms. There were bathing pools for swimming lessons, water polo, and for taking in the curative waters. The healing water was bottled in shipped to 12 different states.
People began pouring into Alton for the healing waters. It was said that at one point, the swimming pool attracted over 3,000 people in a season. The hotel enjoyed its heyday throughout the late 1910s and the early 1920s. 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 dining in the evening.
August Luer sold the hotel in 1926 but it continued to thrive for many years afterward, finally beginning to deteriorate in the 1960s. Tourists and health fanatics stopped coming and rooms that were once used for overnight guests began to be rented to transients on a weekly and even a monthly basis. In 1971, the Mineral Springs finally closed down for good and the place was actually condemned because of general deterioration. The roof leaked in many spots and the ceiling had collapsed in others. In 1978, though, it was restored by Roger Schubert, who developed the building as a shopping mall. It has operated on and off ever since, finally becoming viable again in the 2010s.
Ever since its initial restoration in 1978, stories have been spreading about the Mineral Springs. Only these tales had nothing to do with "miracle cures" and the golden days of the hotel - these stories had to do with ghosts. The Mineral Springs Hotel has come to be regarded as a very haunted place.
There are dozens of ghost stories told about the Mineral Springs -- from spectral suicide victims, to unfortunate accidental deaths, to phantom children. This night will be your chance to find out the truth behind the many tales that have been spread over the years. You'll be able to experience the places that you've heard about and hear the TRUE stories of the history and hauntings that are connected to them. See you at the Mineral Springs!