Alton Mental Hospital was a mental hospital, known for its harsh treatments and paranormal activity, which is still operating today and is reported to be haunted.

Old black and white photograph of the hospital


Alton, Illinois, USA


In 1909 Alton Mental Hospital was given the responsibility to care for the publicly insane by the General Assembly and is is well known for their harsh treatments. At the hospital patients were subjected to torturous treatments daily, such as cold baths, where patients would be forced down in for days, other cold water treatments, lobotomies and electro-convulsive therapy. The hospital is also still operating, the treatment of patients however has obviously vastly improved in the years since. 

In 1918 a cemetery was built for those patients who died in the hospital. This cemetery reportedly has twenty people buried there in the same year alone. The original cemetery was placed on the west side of Fosterburg Road in Alton and the flat stones that once marked the graves are now covered with grass and dirt. Around twenty grave markers are reportedly still partially visible. The hospital also has another cemetery on the hospital grounds, on the east side of Fosterburg Road.


Reportedly, Staff and visitors to the hospital hear random and unusual noises such as scratches, doors slamming shut on their own, ‘ghostly sightings’ and disembodied and sometimes indecipherable whispers which seem to sometimes be whispering to each other.

One nurse reportedly once heard someone whisper ‘who’s that?’ while she was on duty on a ward, alone. When the nurse turned around to respond, the room was empty and no one else was supposed to be around the same area at that time. Not long after it also reportedly happened, possibly later that same day, to a different nurse in the same spot. 

Because the hospital is still in operation and treating patients, ghost tours and investigations are not allowed, however some claim to have taken photos in the hospital that show ‘orbs’, including orbs which seem to have human faces in them and ‘a man with a tortured expression on his face’. 

Staff at the hospital have also reported seeing orbs, feeling as though they are being watched, experienced cold spots in the building and even felt as if they have been physically touched by ‘unseen hands’. Some visitors have also reportedly seen ‘ghostly mists’ in the hospital cemetery located in the grounds and near the railway tracks.

There are no tours and difficult to get pictures of the inside. However, when people have visited patients they have taken pictures that show orbs showing a man’s face who looks to be in extreme pain.



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