Alton YWCA Basement Ghost
This photograph was taken in the basement of the Alton YWCA. Ironically, the young lady who captured this photo had no idea there was a possible spirit standing in front of her at the time.
The basement of this YWCA is one of the few areas that guests are asked not to venture into alone. Some have had experiences where they became so frightened, they lost consciousness. Others have described feeling a presence so menacing they fell into an absolute blind panic! The basement is also widely considered to be one of the most active areas in the entire complex.
Prior to the construction of the Alton YWCA in 1931, there stood four large Victorian-era homes. One of these homes had an underground tunnel that connected to a tuberculosis hospital across the street. This tunnel runs under present day 3rd St and still exists today.
Similar tunnels were also known to run between the homes that once stood on the Y’s building site. These tunnels are believed to have been part of Alton’s Civil War-Era Underground Railroad system.
Guests at the Alton Y have captured numerous EVP’s of an African American mans voice in the basement. He seems to have a habit of making himself known at the most inconspicuous of times. Some claim to have seen his apparition while others have felt unexplainable cold spots.
We at the STLPRS believe the ghost that haunts the basement is that of a former fugitive slave who may have met his demise within these tunnel walls.
This same location is also where John Grumper, the YWCA’s former maintenance man, brought his own wife’s lifeless body and laid it upon a workbench- just after stabbing her to death! Mrs. Grumpers spirit is another said to haunt the YWCA basement. Her apparition has been seen wandering through the rooms and hallways for decades.