Haunted Journeys
Haunted Alton, Illinois

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Alton, Illinois is certainly not one of the most famous towns in the USA, but what they are most known is very unearthly, almost spectrally creepy!

There is not one seasoned paranormal enthusiast that has not heard of the eerie town of Alton. But for many of us, this historic municipality is a well-kept secret only known to seasoned ghost hunters! We beg to change this, for this history in this hidden gem is daunting! And with complicated history comes the haunted wanting to tell you!

This small Midwestern town has self-proclaimed itself as one of the most haunted in America. With less than 30,000 people, this unassuming and sleepy town is home to the most engaging ghosts.

Alton Confederate Prison Ruins and Memorial

Its history is rich and impressive, is filled with premature and tragic death offering everlasting imprints that tell its story. During the Civil War, Alton was home to America’s first penitentiary, and according to the New Your Times, it served as home to thousands of Confederate prisoners. At any given time there could be about 1,261 prisoners confined there and during the course of the three years that the Confederate Prison was opened, over 11,764 Confederate prisoners were incarcerated there. Sadly, many lost their lives to the affliction of the smallpox epidemic during 1863-1864. The impact was so hard that Alton actually built a mass grave and memorial that honors the memory of over 2,000 men that perished in the prison. Today, it is known today as the Alton Confederate Prison Ruins and Memorial. It is said that the souls of these unfortunates still lurk to haunt the town where they met their horrific demise. The witnesses of ghostly apparitions of men in the Confederate blues are proof of their restlessness.

Alton Confederate Prison Ruins and Memorial
Credit:  http://AboutStLouis.com

McPike Mansion

Visit Alton, their official tourism office, clearly points out where it is more likely you will witness one of these ghostly experiences, sharing some of the most likely spots where you may have one. One that is quite high on their list the McPike Mansion, a proudly-appointed and tall historic property that easily attracts multitudes of paranormal investigators and the metaphysically gifted. Built in 1869, it majestically sits on the tallest point in Alton and was named after its original owner, Henry McPike who served once as a mayor and local businessman.

McPike Mansion in Haunted Alton Illinois
Credit:  http://www.mcpikemansion.com/

What has the McPike Mansion offered for its evidence of hauntings? Many have reported strange and unexplained noises. At times light flicker with occasional witnessing of apparitions. Unfortunately, no one knows what unearthly souls are here and why they continue to make their presence known. Could it be Mr. or Mrs. Pike themselves attempting to claim their connection to this historic masterpiece?

The First Unitarian Church

As not enough, the First Unitarian Church (built in 1836) also offers a most dark and mysterious past. Visit Alton claims that in 1934 its minister, Reverend Phillip Mercer met his untimely demise under unexplained and mysterious circumstances. While visiting a parishioner, he suddenly fell ill with violent tremors and loss of speech. Several days later he was found hanging from the ceiling of the church. Many in the community believed that he had been possessed by an evil spirit leading to his suicide.

First Unitarian Church in Alton, Illinois
First Unitarian Church in Haunted Alton, Illinois
Credit: Andover-Harvard Theological Library - Harvard University

If only these walls could speak … but wait, maybe they can! The church has been reported to have many creepy and unexplained activities. Doors and windows will suddenly open and close on their own, while whispers can be often heard in the silence of these spaces. What if you heard the church’s piano play on its own while no one sitting on its bench? You certainly may while visiting this sanctified property.

These are just peeks on the intensity of the residual and intelligent spiritual activity that haunts this historical (yet creepy) town. Is it worth your visit to find your own stories? If so, make sure to check back with us to provide more legendary stories!


The Small Town Which Claims to be the Most Haunted Place in America   By Helen Flately
McPike Mansion Home PageAndover-Harvard Theological Library in Harvard University

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