The Haunted Lemp Mansion
The Lemp Mansion was built in the early 1860's and was subsequently purchased by William J. Lemp as a residence and auxiliary brewery office. Although it was already an impressive structure, Lemp used his massive brewery fortune to turn the thirty-three room house into a Victorian showplace.
When John Adam Lemp arrived in St. Louis from Eschwege, Germany in 1838, he seemed no different from the thousands of other immigrants who poured into the Gateway to the West during the first half of the 19th century. Lemp originally sought his fortune as a grocer. But his store was unique for its ability to supply an item sold by none of his competitors - lager beer. Lemp had learned the art of brewing the effervescent beverage under the tutelage of his father in Eschwege, and the natural cave system under St. Louis provided the perfect temperature for aging beer. Lemp soon realized that the future of lager beer in America was as golden as the brew itself, and in 1840 he abandoned the grocery business to build a modest brewery at 112 S. Second Street. A St. Louis industry was born. The brewery enjoyed marvelous success and John Adam Lemp died a millionaire.
By 1870 Lemp was by far the largest brewery in St. Louis and the Lemp family symbolized the city's wealth and power. By with these success stories, sometime failure fades in. The demise of the Lemp empire is one of the great mercantile mysteries of St. Louis. The first major fissure in the Lemp dynasty occurred when Frederick Lemp, William's favorite son and the heir apparent to the brewery presidency, died under mysterious circumstances in 1901. Three years later, William J. Lemp shot himself in the head in a bedroom at the family mansion, apparently still grieving the loss of his beloved Frederick. William J. Lemp, Jr. succeeded his father as president.
Tragedy continued to stalk the Lemps with startling ardor. The brewery's fortunes continued to decline until Prohibition, when on 1919, they closed the plant permanently. William Jr.'s sister Elsa, who was considered the wealthiest heiress in St. Louis, committed suicide in 1920. On June 28, 1922, the magnificent Lemp brewery, which had once been valued at $7 million and covered ten city blocks, was sold at auction to International Shoe Co. for $588,500. Although most of the company's assets were liquidated, the Lemps continued to have an almost morbid attachment for the family mansion. After presiding over the sale of the brewery, William J. Lemp, Jr. shot himself in the same building where his father died 18 yearsearlier. His son, William Lemp III, was forty-two when he died of a heart attack in 1943. William Jr.'s brother, Charles, continued to reside at the house after his brother's suicide. An extremely bitter man, Charles led a reclusive existence until he too died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The body was discovered by his brother, Edwin. In 1970, Edwin Lemp died of natural causes at the age of ninety.
Said to be one of the ten most haunted places in America, the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri, continues to play host to the tragic Lemp family. Over the years, the mansion was transformed from the stately home of millionaires, to office space, decaying into a run-down boarding house, and finally restored to its current state as a fine dinner theatre, restaurant and bed and breakfast. It has been included in Life Magazine’s most haunted hotels in America.
Said to be haunted by several members of the Lemp family, there are three areas of the old mansion that have the most activity -- the stairway, the attic, and what the staff refers to as, the "Gates of Hell" in the basement. It is this area of the basement that used to be the entrance to the caves running below the mansion and the brewery.
The attic is said to be haunted by William, Junior's illegitimate son, Zeke, who was born with Down Syndrome and was hidden from the public in the attic, is still seen in the house until today. He was cruelly dubbed the “Monkey-faced Boy.” This poor soul spent his entire life locked in the attic. Strange occurrences are often witnessed on this third floor level of the mansion. The face of the boy has regularly been seen from the street peeking from the small windows of the mansion. Ghost investigators have often left toys in the middle of his room, drawing a circle around them to see if the objects have been moved. Consistently, when they return the next day, the toys are found in another location.
Various residents of the mansion have complained about hearing ghostly knocks and phantom footsteps. Because of these stories, it was very hard to find tenants when the mansion was turned into a boarding house. Whilst contractors were working on the mansion’s renovation, workers complained about strange sounds, apparitions, their tools disappearing and strange feelings of constantly being watched by unseen eyes. A lot of workers were frightened by their experiences and they left abruptly without finishing their work. Current employees of the Lemp Mansion have reported strange experiences, including voices and apparitions. Glasses in the bar were also reported to fly off from the shelves by themselves. Doors lock and unlock by themselves, and lights turn on and off.
The Lemp Mansion has many paranormally-charged events such as Haunted Tours, The Edgar Alan Poe Evening, Halloween Trivia Nights and their signature "The Lemp Experience". This is a ghost hunt that is accompanied by the Lemp hospitality you grow to expect at this amazing inn.
3322 Demenil Pl
St. Louis, MO 63118