Ghost Adventures: Curse of the River Bend

The crew travels to Alton, Ill., a town considered by many to be one of the most haunted places in America, for a chilling two-part investigation.

Ghost Adventures Crew

Welcome to the McPike Mansion. For 20 years, the owners have been working to save the building from ruin. They knew within the first weeks of owning this place that the rumors of ghosts were true.

McPike Mansion

Alton sits on a huge bed of limestone with a high quartz content. When you consider the underground water sources and the Mississippi River rushing by, it’s like a giant battery that’s constantly being charged up. This town is a perfect paranormal storm.

Paranormal Activity

Construction on the McPike Mansion was finished in 1869 by architect Lucas Pfeiffenberger. The house is built above a limestone quarry, which may play a role in the paranormal activity reported here today.

History of the Land

In 1863, Henry McPike began acquiring the land known as Mount Lockout Park. He knew this hilltop would be the perfect place for his castle. In 1966, the McPikes suffered a horrible tragedy. First, their infant son, Robert Samuel died, and then nine months later, Henry’s wife, Mary Amanda Burns McPike died on April 26, 1867 in Alton at 34 years old. Though Mary McPike’s death notice claims she died from heart failure, those who knew her said it was from a broken heart at the passing of their son. Though the mansion wasn’t quite built when Mary died, the owners believe Mary’s broken-hearted spirit is here.

From Beauty to Broken

This mansion was once ornate and beautiful, and that troubles the spirits of the people who once lived here. Also, over the decades, many visitors have brought in their own energy. Séances and possibly rituals have been performed inside, which has opened the house to outside forces.

Restoring the Property

The current owner, Sharyn Luedke, bought the mansion in August of 1994 to save it from destruction. Restoring the property has been her mission ever since. Soon after buying the place, Sharyn started to notice weird things. At first, it was subtle. She took down some boards and felt someone tugging on the side of her jacket. Several weeks later, she saw a man in the upstairs window with a striped shirt and a tie. She knew no one was supposed to be in there, so she ran inside to see who was trespassing. But the house was completely empty.

The Cellar

The cellar is the site where a woman named Bo sensed the spirit of her deceased sister. She also believes the house is a kind of portal that can draw spirits to it even if they’ve never been there in life.

The Cemetery

The crew begin their two-part investigation in Alton, Ill. in the friendly confines of a cemetery.

Powerful Force

There’s a powerful force at work in Alton that shaped this land thousands of years before humans ever set foot here. Is this entire area cursed? We’re here to explore this town and its most prominent and darkest haunts.

Setting Up

Jay sets up in the cemetery before the investigation of McPike Mansion.

Aaron Explores

Before investigating the McPike Mansion, Aaron and the rest of the GAC film in a cemetery to set up their two-part investigation.

Darkness Approaches

Zak roams through the cemetery with just one lamp to guide him. What could go wrong?

Lockdown Time

Dare to visit McPike Mansion?

Mineral Springs Hotel

The crews concludes their two-part investigation of Alton, Ill., at the Mineral Springs Hotel. Once a thriving spa where people came to bathe in the mineral waters and get healthy, it was also a place where people came to die. Some took their own lives, while others slipped into the waters not knowing how to swim and found no one to help them. The spirits from the past have no intention of leaving and are tormenting those who venture inside.

The City of Alton

Thousands of people have come and gone through this massive building over the years, and each of them left a piece of their energy behind.

Spirits Live Here

This entire region is super-charged, from the limestone rock underneath the city, to the Mississippi River that flows right outside. Stone from the Confederate prison in town has made its way into many foundations and buildings in town, and the Mineral Springs Hotel is no exception. Maybe this structure was destined to be haunted from the day it was built considering the countless lives lost in that brutal prison.

Abandoned, But Lively

The top two floors of the Mineral Springs Hotel are still in an abandoned state, which might actually be more conducive for spirits to roam.

The Staircase

This staircase is the location of a horrifying local tale. According to the story, a woman seduced a hotel employee and her husband caught them in the act. He chased his wife out of their room and down the hall to where she fell down the stairs to her death. Although there is no official proof of this, the strange thing is people do report seeing a spirit around the stairway.

Swimming Pool Séances

There have been séances performed in the basement of the building, especially around the former swimming pool. Perhaps those séances have opened a dark doorway.

The Basement

Dave Nunnally, the current caretaker, has moved the metal chair seen in the middle of the photo and believes an entity named William follows its movements.

Haunted Knick-Knacks

The basement is filled with old knick-knacks and furniture for the spirits to use at their disposal. There's something unsettling at this location, and the crew plans to find out exactly who or what it is.

The Pool

The pool inside the basement is teeming with dark energy. One frightening fact is that when you’re in the presence of something demonic, you often smell sulfur. Down here, it always reeks of sulfur because of the former mineral well. If something evil is down here, we may not know until it’s too late. In August of 1918, 21-year-old Clarence Blair came to Alton and the Mineral Springs Hotel to learn how to swim. Since he was staying at the hotel alone, no one knew who he was, and when he jumped into the crowded swimming pool, no one noticed when he slipped beneath the water to the bottom until it was far too late to revive him.


You never know what might be lurking behind each corner. People inside this building have fallen under spiritual oppression and even possession. Maybe it’s the building and the history, or maybe it’s the Curse of the River Bend.

Hostile Recordings

The caretakers are concerned about the malevolent spirits that live in the building and have recorded numerous hostile EVPs.

Unmistakable Energy

The years have taken their toll on the hotel, and the spirits here are as restless as ever. Suicide and death have left behind a powerful, negative energy.

Curiosity Museum

One area inside the Mineral Springs Hotel has been turned into the Curiosity Museum run by Janet Kolar. Strange things have been happening lately in her shop. She’s heard a sound like a load of bricks was dropped on the floor, and most recently she’s heard what sounds like hooves walking on the floor around her.

Terrified Witnesses

Witnesses inside this building have been scratched, heard voices calling, seen apparitions and captured hours of EVP evidence.

Former Prison

This prison contained incarcerated Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. After the prison closed for good in 1865, the city dismantled the prison and allowed the public to come take the bricks that made up the building where so many died horrible deaths. Some of those bricks were used in the stone wall that surrounds the haunted Unitarian Church. More of those bricks were used in the foundation of Mineral Springs Hotel. It’s as if those buildings were born under a bad sign.

Deadly Location

Aaron, Jay and Dakota set up their shots of what was once the first state prison in Illinois. It was built in 1830 and during the Civil War, many Confederate prisoners were incarcerated here and deaths averaged from six to 10 a day.

Closing the Investigation

The final episode of Curse of the River Bend airs this Saturday at 9|8c.

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