Mineral Springs is known to be a very haunted place.
Many people say it is the most haunted building in Alton (and experts in the paranormal say that Alton is one of the most haunted cities in the world.)
Just ask Wayne Hensley. His Barber Shop has been a fixture in the Mineral Springs for over 20 years, and he can share many stories of the ghosts who continue to haunt the Mineral Springs to this day. Keith Robinson, the Manager and the Event Coordinator of the Mineral Springs, has had many encounters with many of these spirits as well.
“The Jasmine Lady”
The Jasmine Lady, as she has come to be called, is one of a few major spirits said to regularly inhabit the former hotel, according to Wayne. Sometimes people can catch a whiff of the flower scent of jasmine while strolling through the halls of The Mineral Springs, and it could be that the Jasmine Lady is in your midst.
The Jasmine Lady, according to lore, was killed when her jealous husband chased her down the second-floor hallway. As she got to the top of the stairs, she either tripped or was pushed by her husband, but the end result was a fatal fall down the staircase. Her husband then returned to the hotel room and committed suicide.
Many visitors and shop owners (including Wayne) have reported the woman’s scent, and some have also seen her walk the halls or down the stairs in elegant attire.
Wayne, who has operated his barber shop in The Mineral Springs for over 20 years, said, “I have had my keys knocked out of my hands a number of times and I have felt someone grab my arm in a very firm grip.” He says, “I know that’s just George.”
George is the name of a man believed to have been drowned by a scorned lover near the once sparkling mineral bath swimming pool in the basement of the hotel that thrived from 1914 until the stock market crash in 1929. The lights in the pool area will mysteriously be turned on late at night when the building will have been dark and all doors locked. Just ask Keith Robinson!
“The Drunken Ghost”
The hotel featured an elegant bar and dining area known as the Crystal Room, which just happens to be the favorite “haunt” of another seemingly permanent guest. The legend says that an artist who painted the original wall mural in the bar (which has been touched up, but still remains on the wall of The Mineral Springs Cafe) traded his work for running a bar tab.
The artist died before completing his work, and it seems he wasn’t ready to leave. He eventually got the nickname of the “Drunken Ghost.”
He apparently also likes to flirt with women. Recently a couple of teenage girls were walking through the shops and remarked to a store owner about a man dressed in vintage style clothing and who had a strange appearance. He had been leaning up against the wall and when they turned back to look back at him and he had mysteriously disappeared. There description of the man fit how others describe have described the Drunken Ghost.
Cassandra was a small child who drowned in the swimming pool. Wet footprints have been noticed near the pool area and other parts of the building that seem to belong to a small child. The hotel was one of the first places in Alton to give swimming lessons. Apparently, Cassandra slipped and hit her head and died.
Cassandra has a liking for marbles, which was a popular game in the 1920s. Ask Wayne to show you the marbles that mysteriously appear in the pool area and the story behind there appearance. Others have found marbles in strange places and heard them rolling around.
These and Other Spirits
People who have stayed or lived at The Mineral Springs have noticed sounds of women crying and singing, smelled the scent of jasmine, and have had the covers pulled off the beds. It doesn’t deter most people — in fact they come seeking an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Jasmine Lady or a sniff of her perfume or to feel George’s presence or see the Drunken Ghost or Cassandra while they’re here.