Mysterious Mineral Springs has a recipe for paranormal adventures

Whip up your own recipe for an exciting paranormal adventure in Alton with Dave and Donna Nunnally at Alton's historic and mysterious Mineral Springs Hotel.

Stir together: A cup of healing energy, A tablespoon of history, Sprinkle liberally with ghosts to season, Mix well and pour completed recipe through the halls of the hotel under the guidance of master paranormal chefs Dave and Donna.

Cup Of Healing Energy

Meet Dave and Donna Nunnally, the day-to-day operation managers of the historic hotel, who can help guide you along your adventure. In 2015, the couple began looking for a new home for themselves and their businesses. The hotel pulled them in with its aura of building spirits and historical energy -- so much so that they couldn’t pass up making it the headquarters for their spiritual businesses.

“When I first stepped foot into what was once the hotel lobby, I saw it in its heyday. It was like the scene from the movie “Titanic” when they saw how glorious the ship was.” She knew at that moment that this was where she and Dave needed to be. Donna Nunnally

Both Dave and Donna are connected to the spiritual and paranormal realms. Donna is a Reiki Master Teacher and Medium. Dave is a Tarot Master and holds degrees in Anthropology, Religion, and History. There are many spirits living within the walls of the Mineral Springs Hotel and the couple works hard to coexist with all that inhabit the space. The fun and quirky shop, It's Raining Zen, is owned by the Nunnally's and is housed in the lobby area of the hotel.

Welcome to the historic Mineral Springs Hotel

Tablespoon of History

Donna could tell from the start that the hotel was a place of joy and healing energy all the way back to its earliest days. It was 1914 when August and Herman Lure, German immigrant brothers, started building the hotel and discovered mineral springs underneath the hotel. the brothers believed the springs were truly a “cure” all for many illnesses. After that it didn’t take long for the mysterious hotel to soon become one of the most magical places in and around the Alton riverfront.

With the marketed “cures” from the mineral springs, boasting the largest swimming pool in Illinois, and home to the biggest dining table in all of Alton, (it seated up to 26 people) people came from throughout Illinois and Missouri to stay in the riverfront hotel. With hand painted crown moldings and high ceilings, an elegant atmosphere surrounded guests of all ages. Some enjoyed it so much that they chose to visit even in the afterlife!

Sprinkle liberally with ghosts

Many believe spirit energy lives in the walls of one of the most monolithic structures in Alton. That's due to the bricks that once belonged to the Confederate Prison in Alton -- just a few blocks away -- which reportedly are a draw for paranormal events. These could be the reason for the actual hauntings and the folklore of unexplainable experiences you may find within the doors of the hotel. Both the mysteries and the hotel continue to draw people in for one reason or another.

“Actual hauntings versus folklore is a lot for most people to take in because we want proof that these thing happened. We want to see the documents that make them real.” Dave Nunnally

He describes actual hauntings as spirits who did in fact pass on in the hotel and folklore hauntings as spirits that chose to come to the hotel in the afterlife. But there are many rumors that surround what has happened within the walls of the hotel itself.

Dave and Donna highlighted the many ghosts that are widely known to exist in the hotel and explained what kind of hauntings they are believed to be:

Actual Hauntings

Lou Harwood

Mr. Harwood allegedly shot himself in the hotel bar only few years after it opened and reportedly still haunts that area today. His obituary is hung to commemorate him in the hotel lobby.

Pearl Sans

She died in one of the upstairs hotel rooms and her spirit energy remains to this day. Her obituary is framed and hangs at the hotel.


A Granite City man who was staying at the hotel and taking swimming lessons. One day he went down to the pool early and jumped into the shallow end and died.*

While there are more actual hauntings -- those are the most talked about and prominent spirits.

Folklore Hauntings

Cassie (Cassandra) is a little girl who haunts the pool area. The story is that she drowned there but there is no evidence of a young girl ever drowning at the Mineral Springs Hotel. Dave and Donna believe that Cassie may have visited with her grandmother and had the best time of her life. Swimming in the largest swimming pool, enjoying the elegantly attired wait staff along with the luxurious atmosphere made her so very happy and still does today.*

Charlie is rumored to be the ghost that haunts the hotel bar. The story goes that he was a struggling, depressed artist who drank his sorrows away and rang up a bar tab he could not pay. In order to pay his tab he agreed to paint a mural of Alton but shot himself instead. There is no evidence of Charlie's death. While the mural does indeed exist in the former bar area, over the years there is no evidence about who actually created the piece

The Jasmine Lady – The is no living evidence of her but on multiple occasions with EVP recorder the words Norman, assault, fall, and Mary have been heard. The story follows that Norman and Mary were a couple staying the hotel, Mary caught the attention of another man and when Norman found out there was an argument and Mary may have fallen or been pushed down the elegant staircase to her death. Women often with smell the scent of jasmine and tall, bearded, attractive men will feel a cold arm on their arms -- almost as if they are escorting Mary around the hotel.

*During this interview we went down into the pool area and we were not alone. There were between 4-5 spirits communicating with us, and I believe Clearance and Cassie were communicating with me personally*

Whether you are seeking healing energy, history, or a ghost or two, the Mysterious Mineral Spring Hotel is the place for you. Dave and Donna continuously work hard to provide a loving, open, safe place for all who wonder inside - no matter what realm you prefer. Contact Dave and Donna for a tour of the Mysterious Mineral Springs Hotel for a guided tour and exploration of the mysteries and stories that surround the hotel to this day.

About the Author

Delilah Donaldson

Delilah Donaldson is a senior at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She joined the Great Rivers & Routes tourism Bureau as the Fall 2020 intern. She is a very active person and loves being part of as many exciting things as she can fit into her schedule. she is currently working towards a degree in public relations and plans to guide that degree to the entertainment world of publicity following graduation. She is also an actress and plans to keep acting and remain involved with the arts for as long as she can!