ALTON, Ill. (KMOX) — Google “torture museum” and you get hits in Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Prague and…Alton, Illinois? Alton is known for being “one of the most haunted small towns” in America. But did you know it also boasts the Historic Museum of Torture Devices?

Hear Debbie Monterrey’s Voices of St. Louis piece on Janet Kolar:
(Many thanks to Dave King for his excellent mixing skills)

This is Janet Kolar’s second foray into a torture device museum. Her first was in the Wisconsin Dells, but she sold that one and opened up shop in the Mineral Springs Mall on East Broadway, along with her Mineral Springs Haunted Tours and the Mineral Springs Paranormal Research Center.
105 4065 Voices of St. Louis  Janet Kolar & Altons Torture Museum

A mild-mannered woman who retired from a career as a physician’s assistant, Kolar’s interest in the paranormal dates back to the 1950s when she was a member of the Parapsychology Society at the University of Chicago. Her interest in torture devices was sparked when she and her children stumbled upon a torture museum in Prague. She found it fascinating and, as a medical professional, thought about how the different techniques would affect the human body.
105 4066 Voices of St. Louis  Janet Kolar & Altons Torture Museum

She is currently the only year-round haunted tour operator in Alton and in June she’ll host some of the biggest names from paranormal TV shows for an overnight at the Mineral Springs Mall, considered one of the most haunted buildings in Alton.

On April 13th–that’s Friday the 13th–she’ll host a “Night at the Museum” tour. A cemetery tour under a full moon takes place April 21st. For a complete calendar of events, click here.

Want more?  Check out previous Voices of St. Louis pieces below:
Voices of St. Louis–Kabbalah
Voices of St. Louis–Don Lux, Luxco and Award Winning Spirits
Voices of St. Louis–Dr. Sonny Saggar


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