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Alton, IL is possibly one of the most haunted small towns in America, or so they say. It is also the home of the Haunted America Conference, held yearly. The host of the conference is Troy Taylor, an author of over 100 fascinating books, the Founder of American Ghost Society and the American Hauntings Ink. I recommend reading Troy Taylor's, "Haunted Alton" book for some amazing stories and history of this great little town and its people. "Colonel" Rufus Easton [1774-1834] operated a ferry service across the Mississippi river, and started a settlement between 1814 and 1817, which he named Alton, after his son. Some of the street names were named after his other children: Alby, George, Langdon, and Henry. The location for Alton was perfect due to its accessibility to 3 great rivers: Illinois, Mississippi, and Missouri. In 1816, Joseph Meacham laid out a town called, "Upper Alton." After another town called Salu was laid out, it all was then annexed to Alton in 1911. This little town has seen it all. From wars, floods and disease, to businesses blooming and moving, then slowly coming back, trying to revive its economy again. It has gone from steamboats, to railroad, to street trolleys, to cars. As Troy says, "History and hauntings go hand in hand, as past events create today's hauntings." There is no lack of either in Alton, IL. The best way to see some of the haunted locations, and hear the history of them, is to join the Alton Haunted Tours. They have several to choose from. You will walk via some of the old brick paved streets in the old Alton downtown, passing many haunted historical locations and buildings that Troy Taylor writes about in his books. You will see that limestone is used everywhere in Alton. They say that it holds the psychic energy of the past events. Could this be why Alton is said to be one of the most haunted small towns in America? With all the murders, wars, diseases, and deaths this town has seen, is it any wonder? It carries so much residual energy from the days gone by. The Haunted America Conference is a great time to come and visit Alton, and to learn about the ghosts and the history on the ghost tours from the very knowledgeable tour guides, such as Luke Nalibodski. He did a great job. For those who cannot walk up steep hills, they also have bus tours available. If you are not into tours, Troy Taylor's, "Haunted Alton," book is a perfect alternative. Please read the separate posts about McPike Mansion, Alton Penitentiary, The First Unitarian Church and the Mineral Springs Mall, as I felt that they deserved their own individual posts. They are all part of the haunted locations in Alton, IL.