Monday, October 28, 2013

Spooky Story: The Lemp Mansion

It's Halloween this week, so here's one of my favorite spooky story I posted a long time ago. Enjoy! Don't forget to come back here on Friday when I kickoff my cover reveal.

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.

The mansion is pretty gorgeous, and it sit on top of the famous Cherokee caves. From the basement of the mansion, William Lemp 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.

Throughout the years, the Lemp family suffered a lot. Most notably, several of the Lemps committed suicide. Four members used a Smith & Wesson .38 to end their lives. In fact, the only Lemp to NOT live in the mansion lived a long life and died of natural causes. Interesting, huh?

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). Rumor has it the ghost is of an illegitimate child with Down's Syndrome that was locked up in 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. The house has been investigated by tons of people, including the TAPS team from Ghost Hunters on SyFy.

Have a fantastic HALOWEEN!!!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'd read about the Lemp family before. Didn't see the Ghost Hunters show. Wonder what they found?

Miranda Hardy said...

Wonderful ghost story. Love reading about these.

Jay Noel said...

Alex: They had all kinds of stuff happen to the Ghost Hunters team. In the attic, the K2 meter was going off like crazy. In the main bedroom, there was an odor that made Grant almost throw up. But when they returned to the room, the smell was gone.

Miranda: It's a perfect time of year for 'em!

Dana said...

What a great story! I would have loved to see that Ghost Hunters episode!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I'd go visit it. I don't believe in ghosts. Every noise can be explained in some manner without resulting to the supernatural.

D.G. Hudson said...

I'd love to visit it too, but hubs wouldn't go with me. He believes in leaving the spirits to themselves, he says. Sometimes things cannot be explained away. I know a house where one of the previous owners hung himself in the deep stair well. If we know a house is haunted, are we more accepting of what we see? I wonder. Remember, we have those parts of our brain that don't get used often.
Will check on Friday for your cover reveal.

Robin said...

Haunted places are fascinating. Mind you, I wouldn't want to live in one, but still...

Jay, I am planning on revealing your cover next Tuesday for my All Things Writing post. How would you feel about submitting a short piece on any subject under the umbrella of writing that appeals to you? I think that it might help my readers who don't read your blog to connect with you as a person. You can email me at rarichards68 at gmail dot com and we can discuss it.

farawayeyes said...

I love a spooky story about a haunted place. I lived in an old ranch house that was haunted. I used to see this ghost leaning against the mantel quite regularly. He wasn't menacing, just very sad. When I mentioned it to the owners they were able to explain who he was (the owners grandfather who was shot and killed at that very spot) the even showed me a bullet hole in the floor from a second shot fired at him. They asked me to describe him and then showed me a tintype. Oh yeah, it was him alright.

Julie Dao said...

Damn! I don't know which creeps me out more... the thought of a ghost child begging me to help him or a ghost peeping tom peering over the bathroom stall at me.

Rusty Webb said...

How about that. I know some pretty haunted places are around here too. I know a guy that seems to have seen more ghosts that that little kid from The Sixth Sense. The part of me that actually takes anything like this seriously, even for a moment, starts thinking about how mentally challenged individual in life would be as a ghost. Since it appears that those sorts of problems come straight from the brain itself (as do most behavioral and personality related traits), without that gray matter around it seems like whatever medium ghosts use to be able to act... well, it would be different, make them act different.

Then I tell myself to nevermind all that. And go back to getting goose bumps on my arms.

Cindy said...

I actually remember this from last year. It's such a sad story.

Jay Noel said...

I've had a few chances to go tour the Lemp Mansion, but I'm too big of a chicken!

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