top of page

Alton YWCA Main Lobby Ghost

 This photograph was taken in the lobby of the Alton YWCA on April 22, 2017.   If you look closely at the French Doors on the left-hand side, you can see what appears to be a face and part of an upper torso.  Located on the other side of the doors is a marble foyer and staircase. This is where John Grumpers murdered his wife and daughter and ultimately, took his own life.  

Also located in this same foyer is Room 214.  This room was kept locked from 1940 to the mid-1980’s.  Only one, longtime caretaker was entrusted with the key, and she refused to open the door for anyone.  When asked why the room had to be kept locked, her reply was that a YWCA Director from the 1940’s told her to keep that room locked at all times and to never let anyone inside.  When the caretaker retired in the mid-1980’s, she refused to turn in the key to Room 214.  A maintenance worker had to drill the lock to gain entry.  Employees of the Alton YWCA who had worked there for decades anxiously waited to see what had been kept under lock and key for over forty years. 

When the door was finally opened, there was nothing… just a small empty room.  Shortly after the caretaker retired, she passed away, and the secrets of the room died with her.   Today, Room 214 is a storage closet for cleaning supplies.  It is only a few feet away from where John Grumper stabbed his wife and daughter and soon after hung himself.

 Could the murder-suicide of the Grumpers family be the reason why the Room 214 had to be kept locked for so many decades, or is there another sinister dark secret that has long been forgotten?

bottom of page