Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Lemp Mansion - One of the world's most haunted places

Want to know where one of the most haunted houses in the world is? The Lemp Mansion right here in St. Louis is listed in the Top 10. The once powerful Lemp family created a beer brewing empire, only to have their company crumble from Prohibition and a string of family tragedies.

Johann Adam Lemp (pictured right) came from Germany and started a grocery store and grew that business into a beer brewing company. It used to stand near where the Gateway Arch stands today.

After his father’s death in 1852, William Lemp continued the tremendous growth of the brewery – which took up five blocks in downtown St. Louis. In 1876, William bought the mansion his father-in-law built and renovated it from top to bottom. From the basement of the mansion, William built a tunnel that led through caves to the brewery. Caves were often used as refrigeration centers, but later William built a grand theatre, concrete swimming pool, and a bowling alley down there.

In 1901, William’s favorite son Frederick died at the age of 28, William became a recluse. After losing his eldest son, William was never the same. His mental and physical health began to fade. On February 13, 1904, William Lemp shot himself in the head with a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson. Tragically, Frederick’s sister Elsa later committed suicide with a revolver in 1920, but not at the mansion.

William Lemp Jr. took over the company. He fathered a son from one of his extramarital affairs, and he kept this illegitimate son locked away in the Lemp Mansion’s attic. The boy had Down’s syndrome and was kept away from society, and the family referred to him as “Monkey Boy.”

After Prohibition, the brewery was shut down in 1919. William Jr. seemed to fall into a depression, like his father, and on December 22, 1922, William Lemp II shot himself in the heart with a .38 in the family mansion.

In 1943, his son William Lemp III died of a heart attack at the age of 42.

Charles Lemp, William II's brother, eventually moved into the family home. Charles (pictured right) also took care of his brother’s illegitimate son that had been kept in the attic. “Monkey Boy” died at the age of 30 in the mansion, and Charles’ mental health continued to deteriorate. On May 10, 1949, Charles Lemp shot his beloved dog in the basement with a .38 revolver, and then shot himself on the staircase to his room.

Edwin Lemp, William Jr. and Charles’ brother, had lived a quiet life in Kirkwood, MO. He didn’t move into the mansion, and he died of natural causes at the age of 90 in 1970. His butler, acting on Edwin’s final wishes, burned every single Lemp artifact.

With all this tragedy occurring within the walls of the Lemp Mansion, it’s understandable that subsequent owners and employees would experience paranormal activity. When the mansion was first made into an inn and restaurant, workers reported seeing apparitions, a feeling of someone watching them, objects being moved when they weren’t looking, and strange sounds. People would quit immediately, refusing to return to work.

There are three areas of the mansion that seem to be “hot spots.” They include the attic, the staircase, bedroom, and the basement – now called “The Gates of Hell” by locals.

Here’s a quick list of just SOME of the reported activity:

The attic is haunted by “Monkey Boy.” People have reported seeing his face in the windows, objects moving, and footsteps. (Notice the picture of the attic on the right - the middle of the floor in that narrow attic is very worn. You can almost imagine the poor child pacing back and forth up there).

The downstairs women’s restroom used to be William Jr’s study. There, women have reported a man peeking over the stalls, only to find the restroom empty.

In William Sr.’s room, people have reported hearing someone running up the stairs and kicking the door. It’s said that when Sr. shot himself, William Jr. came running up and kicked the bedroom door down to get to his father.

A tour guide heard horses neighing and galloping towards his window. It was just a parking lot, and there were no horses there. When the lot was expanded, they found evidence that the area just outside that window had been used to tether horses.

Childrens’ voices have been heard throughout the house. One guest heard a child say, “help me” over and over again. And another visitor heard, “Come play with me” several times.

The bar area has had several incidents as well. Workers have witnessed glasses lifting into the air and moving on their own, voices coming from nowhere, and the piano playing by itself.

As you can imagine the “Cherokee Cave” running underneath the mansion is also quite haunted. Sounds of weeping and strange sights have been reported. Long before the Lemps built their mansion, it’s said that a young American Indian couple, hid in the cave and starved to death – and that story was verified when white explorers did find bones of two people in the cave (near Jefferson Ave. and Arsenal for you St. Louisans).

Cherokee Cave
There have been many ghost hunters and researchers visiting the mansion and trying to find evidence of it being haunted. Needless to say, they don’t have to work very hard to find it.

Here are some EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) recorded by The Ghost Investigators Society out of Kansas City. You will need Windows Media:


Is this the Lemp dog that was fatally shot? Listen for yourself.

You will hear the EMF detector going crazy in the background (electromagnetic field sensor) and an investigator acknowledges the presence by saying "Mr. Lemp." The EVP is a ghastly voice saying, "Turn off your lights you fool."

This is an EVP of a voice saying "Help me."

Other links and spooky ghost pictures of researchers visiting The Lemp Mansion:

Missouri Ghost Hunter’s society
Beck M.’s experience at Lemp
Lemp Mansion Tour
Cherokee Cave
Visit the Lemp Mansion Restaurant and Inn

52 comments:

big left nostril said...

I can't wait - I've heard stuff here and there, but I'm sure you'll tell us the entire story. (Prepares to be freaked out...)

Maciej said...

After reading your other posts, I'm not sure I can handle "the finale." Great blog, and thanks for stopping by!

DLAK said...

Ooooooooo......

Sherri said...

The suspense is killing me! LOL

ObilonKenobi said...

Can't wait this has been a great series of posts.

KC said...

The theatre company I work with stores some of their stuff in one of the Lemp warehouses. I wonder if they are purported to be haunted. I've been in there a lot of times and have never encountered anything, but I certainly would never want to be there alone. Just in case.

Raj said...

Sweet post. I felt goosebumps all over. Great pictures, sound clips and links. I especially liked the "Help Me" sound clip.

David Amulet said...

EVP kind of reminds me of backtracking on old LPs. Nice scary stuff!

-- d.a.

Jillian said...

Yeah Sherri LOL -- That was one good story though Phoenix - Happy Halloween!

ObilonKenobi said...

The story was scary. It was one of those moments when I'm reading or watching something scary and then I start seeing things out of the corner of my eye that freak me out. Very good story. I never heard of this place but with all the tragedy that occured there I'm not suprised people see freaky things. Great Halloween!!

the weirdgirl said...

OK, this has been the freakiest post so far!! I can't even listen to the sound clips (though I want to). I'll have to wait until it's light out!

HW said...

Well told, but I'm a big fraidy cat even though it's quarter after 8 in the morning and nothing remotely spooky has ever happened in my house. There's no way I can listen to those sound clips ;)

Mojotek said...

Ever since I saw 'White Noise' I've been kind of fascinated by EVP. I think I'd get pretty freaked out actually catching something like that on tape.

Sherri said...

Deffinitely worth the wait! This has been my favorite post.

whitesgem said...

If there was a place that deserves to be haunted, the place you describe is that!
What a great read on Halloween! Thank you!

BuffyICS said...

Have you ever been to that house? Visiting haunted places has always been one of my favorite ways of torturing myself--it's so scary to be at a place like that, yet completely irresistable to avoid going!

Andrew said...

Okay, now that's about as wierd as it gets. I doubt I'd eat in that restaraunt!

The Phoenix said...

There's a big party at Lemp tonight for Halloween. I think I could do that. As for staying there overnight...no way.
I read too many stories.
People that absolutely do NOT believe in ghosts have been found running from the mansion, refusing to go back in.

LoreliLong said...

I wonder if it was the same .38?

ObilonKenobi said...

I'd love to visit because although I'm usually skeptical as you can see by my story I can be a believer very easily and things like that freak me out.

Anhoni Patel said...

Phoenix, this is seriously scary shit. It's as if the house was haunted even before everyone offed themselves. Maybe the house drove them to it...kinda like Amityville Horror. This is seriously messed up.

Jamie Dawn said...

That place would most likely freak me out. One unexplained sound, and I'd be a goner.

Happy Halloween! Stay away from that place!!

The Phoenix said...

Nope, it wasn't the same .38...one was a Smith and Wesson, Cival War issue...and the other was newer that killed William Jr.

Amityville was a fraud, by the way. I did some research into that a few years ago. It was a total hoax - although it was a great money-maker.

Near the mansion, the city had to put up a makeshift graveyard for all the bodies piling up from the cholera breakout...so the whole area has had some grim history.

Josh said...

Call me crazy, but I would love to stay at the Inn. I think I'll start off by just doing the dinner theater though.

LizzieDaisy said...

Okay, while I believe in spirits in some form, I haven't really ever believed in hauntings etc. Not the spooky kinda stuff. This made me totally shiver. I'm not sure I want to read anymore. Eeks.

Three times on the verification. Argh. I need sleep. :)

The Phoenix said...

Go to Lemp - you will believe within minutes.

I read the testimony of a painter from 1994 named Claude Breckwoldt that was a total non-believer. He made fun of people that believed in haunted houses and ghosts.

He was restoring the ceiling on evening when: "An hour later, I was working away when I just knew someone was staring at me through the glass-beveled doors. There was no doubt. I got chills up and down my back. My hair stood on end. Until then, I never believed in ghosts."

Cladue ran out of there and refused to return.

10 years later, 2005, the Lemp Mansion owners were talking with a guest that knew the Lemps."Old man Lemp had an argument with his German artist over that ceiling," he said. "He ordered the ceiling covered with canvas and the artist out. The ceiling was never finished."

angel, jr. said...

Yikes, I've got some of my own ghost stories! Never heard of the Lemp one. Thanks.

Dirk the Feeble said...

Well, those sound files don't sound that scary to me, and the last one sounds more like sawing than a voice saying "help me." I wonder how much of this stuff is real and how much is people just letting their imaginations run away with them.

Just to be on the safe side though, I'm sleeping with all my lights on tonight.

DLAK said...

Wow, nice research holmes. I would love to live in a place like this.

puremood said...

Spooky!

I've like to visit, I think.

We have some haunting here where I am... I've visited the Bell Witch and such. Cool stuff. Freaky.. but cool. The Bell Witch cave is considerted one of the most famous haunted spots in American History... I posted a very small but on it a while back -nothing compared to this post tho. ;)

FantasticAlice said...

Been there. Very spoooky and cool place.

Jessica said...

My fiancée's sister stayed overnight there.. I BELIEVE.. either that or it was another haunted house in St. Charles. It's pretty cool having ST CHARLES and even Missouri on teh map for the top 10 anything haha.

Grafs said...

Thank you for the audios! Spooky!

aiRah said...

nice. scary but nice. you've done a pretty good deal doing the research about lemp mansion. cool. but i don't think anyone could ever make me go inside there (or to any haunted place) for real. I just don't think I could, you know. It would really feel so creepy. And I hate the feeling of it. It would definitely freak me out. Geez. Thanks for a really cool post. Very appropriate for the Haloween. haha.. *winks*

Keshi said...

wow this sure sounds eerie...what a string of unfortunate tragedies...hence the haunted souls...

Keshi.

Anonymous said...

A very good post mate, have to say.. good enough to turn somebody believer.. i wonder ;)

Its the kind of place I would be the first person to volunteer to check out.. alas I live quite far away :(

Aarohi Johal said...

Sorry for the double comment but..

the one posted ^^above^^ is mine.

ObilonKenobi said...

I also did research on the Amityville Horror. Although the killings actually happened there (the son of a family living there murdered his parents and brothers) the hautings afterward were the product of people who wanted to make money off the story by claiming it was haunted. The concept was a good idea but I think that they carried it too far in the movie. I mean, a gateway to hell? Kinda a rip off of the Exprcist which I think was the inspiration of the Amityville Horror "true haunting" since the Exorcist was supposed to be true as well. I think you covered that in this blog too.

NowhereGirl said...

The Lemp scares the CRAP out of me!

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that all of the EVPs posted are from the group Paranormal Activity Investigators based out of Kansas City, but yet proper credit to the group and their website is not given.
The website with all the notes about these EVPs can be found at http://www.ghost-investigators.com and these EVPs are from the June 17, 2004 investigation.
All information posted on their site is protected under copyright.

Anonymous said...

I just had to read all the sites about the Lemp Mansion and Brewery.
Why? Because my name is William Lemp but on the west coast. I think it's hysterical and funny. I love doing scary crap at Halloween and hope to visit the mansion sometime in the near future. It would be cool to stay in the Wm Lemp room for the night.

Anonymous said...

i thnk they should ve used more pictures instead of description of the facts. May be that would bring in that extra freekin effect....

Anonymous said...

I have been to the Lemp Mansion a couple times for Murder Mystery dinner theater. I love the place so much! It has a spooky atmosphere which I love. Although I haven't actually seen a ghost, I do get a "creepy" feeling there. But it's not a bad-creepy. I would love to go when they have the ghost hunting tours in the fall.

Anonymous said...

I got a chance to stay at the Lemp mansion with our group IPART (www.diepart.com) I definately believe something is there. If you don't see anything you will definately feel it or hear it.
I plan on going back someday, but not alone! LOL! The food was delicious and the staff is great. Especially Tony! He has worked for Lemp for the past 15 years and he had some stories to tell. visit the site to hear Evp, photos. we are in the process of gathering the info and putting it together so stay tuned! M13

Anonymous said...

Being fascinated by the paranormal, I convinced my family to take a trip to St. Louis and have dinner at the Lemp Mansion. The restaurant staff allowed us to walk around upstairs after are meal. I immediately felt an uneasy, heavy feeling. I had to physically force myself to continue on. I constantly felt as though I was being watched. It was truly the the weirdest, most uneasy feeling I have ever felt. On the third floor someone has placed a stuffed animal on the floor (I assume for the monkey boy). If you want to exerience one creepy place, you have to check out the Lemp Mansion. Also, the food in the restaurant was awesome.

angel, jr. said...

Hey, I don't really need to hear anything (those links of the sounds)...you know I'm a a scardy cat!

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