Alton YWCA and Mrs Grumper's Ghost
This photograph was taken in the Dance Room of the Alton YWCA. If you look closely, you can see what appears to be the facial profile of a woman. We at the STLPRS believe this is a photograph of the ghost of Mrs. Grumper’s.
John Grumper, her husband, was a handyman at the YWCA, and Mrs. Grumper was YWCA’s housekeeper. Both Grumpers worked in the evening, after all of the regular staff and guests had gone home, and while they worked their young daughter Elizabeth was allowed to swim in the pool.
One night while passing by the pool area, John discovered Elizabeth floating face-down in the water. Panicked and believing her dead, he ran to his workshop located just under the pool’s bleachers, closed the door and hid.
Soon after, Mrs. Grumper also observed Elizabeth’s lifeless body floating in the pool, she jumped into the water and managed to pull her daughter out pool, thus saving her life.
Shortly after Elizabeth recovered, she entered into her father’s workshop. The image of his soaking wet daughter standing in the doorway proved to be overwhelming for the already terrified John Grumper. He believed that she drowned and was looking at the ghost of his daughter.
It was at this moment that the hysterical Mr. Grumper picked up what he later described simply as “the tool” and began slashing and stabbing at his daughter, brutally murdering her where she stood.
Upon hearing the blood curdling screams of her daughter, Mrs. Grumper rushed to the workshop and attempted to wrestle the now bloody tool away from her husband.
John Grumper’s suicide note later revealed his wife had been accidentally stabbed while attempting to wrestle the tool from his hand.
After coming to the realization that he had now murdered both his wife and daughter, John penned a lengthy suicide letter where he blamed the “demons” haunting the Alton YWCA. John ultimately hung himself from the main staircase.
Guests and staff alike have reported sightings of Mrs. Grumper wandering the halls. In the summer of 2013, a group of paranormal researchers followed what they believed to be her apparition down the second story main hallway, into the Dance Room, and then out onto the Gymnasium floor, where she then disappeared.
If you are standing in the main lobby at night when the building is quite, you can hear her footsteps in the hallway above. Guest on the overnight investigations have captured EVP’s in the Dance Room of her crying and walking around on the hardwood floor. One night while setting up for tours, I heard footsteps behind me while walking down the Second Floor Hallway. When I turned around to look, Cody Dog was already looking down the hallway, ears erect, teeth showing, and his hair raised on the back of his neck. I think what we witnessed was the ghost of John Grumper’s wife following us down the lengthy hallway.
We think she might be looking for her daughter. She has been known late at night when the building is empty, to go back through and reopen the doors that were closed and turn on lights that were previously turned off.