A house is never silent in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man woke in the night. — James Matthew Barrie, “The Little Minister”
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.
The Lemp Family began with Johann Adam Lemp who arrived in St Louis from Eschwege, Germany in 1838. Building a small grocery store at what is now Delmar and 6th Streets, he sold common household items, groceries, and homemade beer. The light golden lager was a welcome change from the darker beers that were sold at the time. The recipe, handed down by his father, was so popular that just two years later, he gave up the grocery store and built a small brewery in 1840 at a point close to where the Gateway Arch stands today.
Lemp first sold his beer in a pub attached to the brewery, introducing St. Louis to its first lager. Before long, Lemp found that the brewery was too small to handle both production and storage and found a limestone cave south of the city limits. The cave, which was located at the present-day corner of Cherokee and De Menil Place, could be kept cool by chopping ice from the nearby Mississippi River and depositing it inside, providing perfect conditions for the lagering process to run its course. Lemp’s Western Brewing Co. continued to prosper and by the 1850s was one of the largest in the city. In 1858, the beer captured first place at the annual St. Louis fair.
A millionaire by the time of his death, Adam Lemp died on August 25, 1862, and his son, William, began a major expansion of the brewery. He purchased a five-block area around the storage house on Cherokee, above the lagering caves. In 1864, a new plant was completed at Cherokee Street and Carondolet Avenue. Continually expanding to meet the product demand, the brewery eventually covered five city blocks.
By the 1870s the Lemp family symbolized both wealth and power, as the Lemp Brewery controlled the St. Louis beer market, a position it maintained until prohibition.
In 1868, Jacob Feickert, William Lemp’s father-in-law, built a house a short distance from the Lemp Brewery. In 1876 William Lemp purchased it for his family, utilizing it as both a residence and an auxiliary office. While the home was already impressive, Lemp immediately began renovating and expanding the thirty-three room house into a Victorian showplace.
From the mansion, a tunnel was built from the basement through the caves to the brewery. When mechanical refrigeration became available, parts of the cave were converted for other purposes, including a natural auditorium and a theatre. This underground oasis would later spawn a large concrete swimming pool, with hot water piped in from the brewery boiling house, and a bowling alley. At one time, the theatre was accessible by way of a spiral staircase from Cherokee Street.
By the middle 1890s, the Lemp Brewery gained a national presence after introducing the popular “Falstaff” beer, which is still brewed today by another company. The Lemp Western Brewery was the first brewer to establish coast-to-coast distribution of its beer. At the same time he was building his own business empire, William, Sr. also helped Pabst, Anheuser and Busche get started.
In the midst of this success, the Lemp family experienced the first of many tragedies when Frederick Lemp, William Sr’s favorite son and heir apparent died in 1901 at the age of 28. Frederick, who had never been in extremely good health, died of heart failure. The devastated William Lemp was never the same, beginning a slow withdrawal; he was rarely seen in public after his son’s death. On January 1, 1904, William’s closest friend, Frederick Pabst, also died, leaving William indifferent to the details of running the brewery. Though he still arrived at the office each day, he was nervous and unsettled. His physical and mental health began to decline and on February 13, 1904, he shot himself in the head with a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson.
In November 1904, William Lemp Jr. took over as the new president of the William J. Lemp Brewing Company. Inheriting the family business and a vast fortune, he and his wife, Lillian, began to spend the inheritance. Filling the house with servants, the pair spent huge amounts on carriages, clothing, and art.
Lillian was a beautiful woman who came from a wealthy family herself. She and William Lemp, Jr had married in 1899 and William J. Lemp, III was born on September 26, 1900. Before long Lillian became known as the “Lavender Lady” because of her fondness for the color. In addition to her lavender attire and accessories, she went so far as to have her carriage horses harness’ died lavender. In the beginning, Will enjoyed showing off his “trophy wife” but Will was a “player.” Born with a “silver spoon in his mouth,” he was used to doing and acting as he pleased.
When William began to tire of his beautiful wife, he demanded that she must spend her time shopping. Allotting her $1,000 a day, he gave her an ultimatum that if she didn’t spend it, she would get no more.
In the meantime, Will was busy running the brewery during the day and pursuing all manner of decadent activities during the night. Holding lavish parties in the caves below the mansion, he would bring in numerous prostitutes for the “entertainment” of his friends. Enjoying the swimming pool, the bowling alley, and the free-flowing beer, his friends who attended these lavish events were known to enjoy a high time in the earth below.
Will’s shenanigans caught up with him when he sired a son with a woman other than his wife. Today, there is no official documentation that this boy existed. However, the rumors that this boy was hidden in the mansion attic for his entire life have been prevalent over the years. According to St Louis historian, Joe Gibbons, when he interviewed a former nanny and a chauffeur who worked at the mansion long ago, both of them verified that the boy did exist and was housed in the attic quarters that also housed the servant’s rooms. Spawned from Will’s philandering with either one of the many prostitutes or a mansion servant, the boy was born with Down’s Syndrome. A total embarrassment to the family, the boy was hidden away from the world in order to cloak the Lemp’s “shame.” Known today as the “Monkey Face Boy,” this unfortunate soul continues to show his presence at the Lemp Mansion.
Finally, William, Jr. tired of his “trophy wife” and filed for divorce in 1908. Why she didn’t take this step with all of his goings-on, could be nothing more than a sign of the times. The court proceedings surrounding the divorce became a major St. Louis scandal with all four St. Louis newspapers devoting extensive front-page coverage to the messy affair. The trial opened in February 1909 to crowds that flocked to the courthouse each day to witness the drama of tales of violence, drunkenness, atheism, and cruelty.
Virtually ignoring William’s decadent activities, Lillian almost lost custody of William Lemp, III because of a photograph that was presented at the trial that showed her smoking a cigarette. In the end, she retained custody of their son but soon retired from the public eye. The only time that she was ever seen wearing anything other than lavender was on the final day of her divorce proceedings when she appeared entirely in black before the judge.
With the divorce, Will’s troubles had only just begun. In 1906, nine of the large breweries in the St. Louis area had combined to form the Independent Breweries Company, creating fierce competition that the Lemp Brewery had never faced. In the same year, Will’s mother died by cancer on April 16th.
Though the brewery’s fortunes were continually declining, the Lemp Mansion was entirely remodeled in 1911 and partially converted into offices for the brewery. At this same time, William allowed the company’s equipment to deteriorate, without keeping abreast of industry innovations. By World War I, the brewery was just barely limping along.
William soon built a country home on the Meramec River, to which he increasingly retreated and in 1915 he married for a second time to Ellie Limberg, the widowed daughter of the late St. Louis brewer Casper Koehler.
Then Prohibition came along in 1919. The individual family members were already wealthy so there was little incentive to keep the brewery afloat. For a time, Will hoped that Congress would repeal Prohibition but finally gave up and closed the Lemp plant down without notice. The workers learned of the closing when they came to work one day and found the doors shut and the gates locked.
On March 20, 1920, Elsa Lemp Wright, William’s sister, the wealthiest heiress in St Louis, shot herself just like her father had years before. Elsa was said to have been despondent over her rocky marriage.
Liquidating the assets of the plant and auctioning the buildings, William, Jr. sold the famous Lemp “Falstaff” logo to brewer Joseph Griesedieck for $25,000 in 1922. The brewery buildings were sold to the International Shoe Co. for $588,000, a fraction of its estimated worth of $7 million in the years before Prohibition.
After the end of the Lemp’s brewing dynasty, William, Jr. slipped into a depression. Acting much like his father, he became increasingly nervous and erratic, shunning public life and often complaining of ill health. On December 29, 1922, William shot himself, in the heart with a .38 caliber revolver, in the very same building where his father had died eighteen years before. William, II took his life on the main level of the mansion, just inside the entrance to the left. At the time of his death, this room served as his office. He was interred in the family mausoleum at Bellefontaine Cemetery, in the crypt just above his sister Elsa.
William’s brothers, Charles and Edwin had long ago left the family business, so with William Jr. gone, it seemed that the Lemp empire had finally ended. Edwin had entered into a life of seclusion at his estate in Kirkwood, Missouri in 1911. Charles had never been involved in the brewery and had chosen to work in the banking and real estate fields instead.
In 1943, yet another tragedy occurred when William Lemp III died of a heart attack at the age of forty-two.
Brother Charles eventually remodeled the mansion back into a residence and lived in the house along with two servants and the illegitimate child of his brother William. Charles, too, became an odd figure, as he grew older. Developing a morbid fear of germs, his obsessive-compulsive behavior included wearing gloves at all times to avoid bacteria and constantly washing his hands. It was during this time that William’s illegitimate child, now in his 30s, died at the mansion. He was buried on the Lemp Cemetery plot with only a small flat marker, with the word “Lemp.”
Shortly after the “Monkey Face Boy’s” death, Charles became the fourth member of the Lemp family to commit suicide. First, he shot his beloved Doberman Pinscher in the basement of the mansion. Then, climbing the staircase to his room on the second floor, he shot himself. Charles was discovered on May 10, 1949, by one of his staff, still holding a .38 caliber Army Colt revolver in his right hand. Though the dog was shot in the basement, he was found halfway up the stairs.
Of the Lemps, only Edwin Lemp, who had long avoided the life that had turned so tragic for the rest of his family, remained. He was known as a quiet, reclusive man who had walked away from the Lemp Brewery in 1913 to live a peaceful life on a secluded estate in Kirkwood, Missouri. Edwin passed away quietly of natural causes at age 90 in 1970. According to Edwin’s last wishes, his butler burned all of the paintings that the Lemps had collected throughout his life, as well as priceless Lemp family documents and artifacts. These irreplaceable pieces of history vanished in the smoke of a blazing bonfire.
The Lemp family line died out with him and the family’s resting place can now be found in beautiful Bellefontaine Cemetery.
After the death of Charles Lemp, the mansion was sold and turned into a boarding house. Along with the nearby neighborhood, the building began to deteriorate, and the haunting tales began. Residents complained of ghostly knocks and phantom footsteps being heard throughout the house. As these stories spread, tenants were hard to find for the boarding house and it continued to decline to a near flophouse status.
However, in 1975, the old mansion was saved when Dick Pointer and his family purchased it. Immediately they began to renovate the building, turning it into a restaurant and inn. Workers within the house often told stories of apparitions, strange sounds, vanishing tools, and a feeling of being watched. Frightened by the hauntings, many would leave the job site never to return.
Since the restaurant opened, staff members have reported several strange experiences. Again, apparitions appear and then quickly vanish, voices and sounds come from nowhere, and glasses will often lift off the bar flying through the air by themselves. On other occasions, doors are said to lock and unlock by themselves, lights inexplicably turn on and off of their own free will, and the piano bar often plays when no one is near.
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, Jr’s illegitimate son, referred to only as the “Monkey Face Boy.” This poor soul, born with Down’s Syndrome, spent his entire life locked in the attic of the Lemp Mansion. 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.
In the downstairs women’s bathroom, which was once William, Jr’s personal domain and held the first free-standing shower in St. Louis, many women have reported a man peeking over the stall. On one such occasion, a woman emerged from the bathroom, returning to the bar and stated to the two men she was there with: “I hope you got an eyeful!” However, the two men quickly denied ever having left the bar, for which the bartender verified. This ghost is said to be that of the womanizing William Jr.
In William Lemp, Sr’s room, guests have often reported hearing someone running up the stairs and kicking at the door. When William killed himself, William Jr was known to have run up the stairs to his father’s room and finding it locked began to kick the door in to get to his father.
Several years ago a part-time tour guide reported hearing the sounds of horses outside the room where William Lemp, Sr had kept his office. However, when the tour guide looked through the window, nothing was there. This area, north of the mansion and now used as a parking lot, was once utilized as a tethering lot for horses.
The mansion has been featured in a number of magazine articles and newspapers and now attracts ghost hunters from around the country. Today it features a bed and breakfast with rooms restored in period style, a restaurant featuring fine dining, and a mystery dinner theater. Tours are also available at the mansion.
The Lemp Mansion is located at 3322 De Menil Place, a short distance from the Mississippi River. To get there Take Broadway from Interstate 55 and follow that to Cherokee Street. Go west on Cherokee and turn right onto De Menil Place.
3322 De Menil Place
St. Louis, Missouri, 63118
Legends of America Visits the Lemp Mansion
On Saturday, October 9, 2004, Kathy Weiser and Amy Stark visited the Lemp Mansion along with St. Louis historian Joe Gibbons. Joe has spent many years researching the Lemp Mansion and often gives tours of the inn with the permission and cooperation of the owners.
Meeting up with Joe at the bar, we settled in for a bit, pulling on a couple of lagers and chatting it up with Joe. After Joe very kindly introduced us to Patty Pointer, he began to show Amy and I around the mansion. As Joe described, in intricate detail, the history of the Lemp Mansion, the land on which the mansion stands, and the many strange occurrences in the haunted building, our tour took on new members. By the time we reached the attic, there must have been more than twenty of us.
While we were on the tour, several strange events occurred. The first was when we were standing in the darkened attic. As Joe described the “Monkey Face Boy,” I began snapping pictures in the darkened room. Soon, I was approached by a woman who had joined our “unofficial” tour. She wanted to know if my shadow would appear on the wall when I took a picture.
To this, I responded, “no, because the flash is in front of me.” Perplexed, she continued, that when I took one picture in the attic, that she saw the distinct shadow of a person against the wall. Hope against hope, I quickly scrolled back through my digital images to see if a shadow appeared, but there was nothing.
Even stranger, another member of the group reported hearing the very faint voice of a child saying over and over “help me, help me.”
As we began to make our way back down the stairs and passed by William Lemp Sr’s room, Amy pulled me aside because the door was standing wide open, with the key in the door. Not going in, we just wanted to peek. We continued our journey down the hall when an alarm was raised by the guests of the room. When they had arrived back from dinner, they found the door wide open and were looking for a manager. However, there was no key in the door when they arrived. A manager quickly responded — it was “impossible” that there had been a key in the door, as there were only two keys to that room. One was in the hands of the guest, the other in the hands of the manager. So, who opened the door, and where was the key that we saw when we passed?
Later, several members of the group would describe having passed a man in the hallway, holding a key in his hand and described as acting irritated with the large group moving through the hallway. Described as pale, older, and wearing a white shirt and black pants, no one thought anything of it at the time, believing him to be a member of the staff. However, we would find that there was no such gentlemen working or staying at the mansion that night that met that description. Though no harm was done and nothing was disturbed in the guest room, the whole experience was very bizarre.
Next, everyone was congregated around the Charles Lemp room. The guests staying in the room kindly allowed us to enter to look around. Both Amy and I sensed a heaviness in the bedroom area, but this was not the room that Charles shot himself in, rather it was the parlor area.
One of the women who had joined our group told a story of how she had been married in the mansion a year earlier and had carefully laid her dress and other items on the bed. She then turned away for a moment, but when she turned back all of the items were scattered. Outside of Charles’ room, one member of the group reported smelling cigar smoke.
On the first level of the mansion, the dining room to the left of the entryway once served as William Lemp II’s office and this is where he killed himself. In the corner of the room was his desk, where he sat with his gun in his final moments. The temperature in this corner was considerably colder than the rest of the room. On the wall is the painted portrait of Lillian Lemp – “The Lavender Lady.” One group member reported having smelled the distinct aroma of lavender while passing by her portrait.
Reader’s Experiences at the Lemp Mansion
A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were a part of a large group that dined at that mansion. We were seated straight back from the entrance, in a rear dining room. In the past, I have had a number of experiences with spirits (from as early back as age 6) and have come to the conclusion that I am far more ‘open’ to them than most people. We arrived late so we were quickly whisked back to our table and throughout our dinner, I had did not sense anything, however, when leaving, we had an opportunity to linger in the entryway/entrance to the dining room that is on the first left of the entrance. I felt something immediately…I can’t say that it was negative, but, more so nosey and cranky and I got the strong sense that it was male/masculine. I almost got the sense that he was seeking my attention and I was drawn to the corner of the room that is diagonal from the entrance to the room. I felt a shiver and immediately developed goosebumps and told my husband “there is something/someone in that room. I’m getting major heebies”. We left just after I said that so I did not get more opportunity to explore.
Just today I decided to google the mansion and low and behold, that was the William Lemp II’s office and where he took his own life. I do want to note that I did not have any sense of the Lavender Lady, however, I did not approach her painting.
Thanks for listening to my experience!
Submitted by Deanna Cole, August 2014
Reader Submission – 2006
I stayed at the Lemp Mansion a few years ago with a friend. In the evening we took the tour of the mansion and when it was complete, every one left, including the employees. We were all alone in the big rambling house as there were no other guests that night. My friend and I both got the creeps because we wanted to see something – SO bad, that we scared ourselves. It was kind of like when you get the feeling you’re being watched
I don’t believe in ghosts one way or the other, really. But, still, it was fun going around and trying to scare each other. There was only one thing that happened that was kind of strange. We heard a cat meow in the top floor bedroom – the mustard yellow room. We could distinctly hear it coming from the other side of the bed, but when we looked, there was nothing.
The staff had given us a couple of bottles of wine and after drinking them, I got very brave in the middle of the night. I went up to the attic alone and saw some balloons that were left over from something that had gone on that day. One of them blew right past me, but I think it was the air coming from the heating system. It’s an old mansion, it could have been anything, so I didn’t freak. But I did go back downstairs.
While I was there I didn’t have any problems with my camera, but, though there were several photographs on the roll, the only ones with orbs in them were at the mansion. I thought it was watermarks or something. I looked at other people’s orb pictures online and they all look alike. I’m sure there’s an explanation because I don’t think a ghost could show up on film. But, here are my photos from that moment with the balloon. These pictures are both from the attic. The one with the “orbs” was the ONLY photo on my entire role of film that had these on the picture.
Submitted by Robin, August, 2006
Reader Submission – 2005
Having chosen a weeknight to spend our anniversary at the Lemp Mansion, we arrived at 3:00 p.m. and were given Charles Lemp’s room. We had planned to eat dinner there that evening but for some reason, the restaurant closed shortly after we arrived and we were amazed to find that we would be left to spend the night in the entire mansion alone!
When we first arrived and were wandering around on the second floor, my husband mentioned he noticed a sewer odor. I didn’t notice it, so I didn’t pay any attention.
What I have in common with some of the others who have related their experiences on this website is that strange uneasy feeling that someone was watching you. Someone also mentioned a “creeped out” feeling. These were the exact words I used! I don’t know how many times I told my husband that night that “I keep getting this creeped out feeling.”
Another similarity I had was to that of USAF Duane’s experience with the missing dimes. When we got to our room I opened the suitcase and took out two packages of Fuji brand disposable film. I was struggling to open the packages, so I reached into a Ziploc bag containing cheese and sausage and took out the knife I included with these. I then used it cut the film packages open. Once I took out the knife we never saw it again! Let me add that this occurred in the very same room Duane (with the missing dimes) stayed in! The Charles Lemp room.
I had never unpacked our suitcase other than to take the plastic bag out and replace it. Since we were only spending one night I didn’t want to have to rush and pack the following morning.
Every time my husband and I returned to our room from roaming about the mansion, one or both of us would look for the knife. We checked and re-checked every surface, the floors, under the bed, sofa’s, drawers, etc. It was nowhere to be found! What was infuriating is the room was immaculate, yet it was nowhere and we didn’t leave the room with it. As the night progressed we both became more and more obsessed about the knife’s whereabouts.
As we roamed about the mansion we took photos and as the evening progressed, I too began to notice the odor of sewage. It grew stronger and more prevalent until it appeared to be everywhere, ultimately becoming most noticeable when decided to go sit in the bar.
While sitting at a table in the bar, I had my husband snap a photo of me at the bar and another by the Lemp mirror on the right side of the bar. I then took a picture of the doorway near where the Lemp mirror hung.
When these photos came back (later) from developing we discovered some rather unusual images. Of the two rolls of film, with the exception of the photos taken outside, all the photos taken in the house had a greenish cast. The photo of the doorway had a strange foggy type smoke that spread from the bar to the doorway along the wall until it formed a full silhouette of a woman, I believe it to be the Lavender Lady.
This past October (2004) my husband and I attended Lemp Mansion’s Halloween party where he took a picture of me standing in the bar’s doorway. As you may recall, I mentioned the woman’s silhouette previously occupied this very same spot. When we got the film back this photo contains a huge orb just off to the right of me.
My sentiment about staying at Lemp when we left was similar to that of the USAF retiree Duane’s sentiment. As we headed out the door and down the stairs toward the sidewalk to our car, I was relieved to be going home and swore I’d never return!
Needless to say, my husband and I frequently eat at the restaurant and have now decided to make it the place we go to celebrate Halloween. But as to whether I’ll spend another night there? Not unless another couple goes with us. Oh, and by the way, we never did find the knife!!!!
Submitted by Xenia Williams, July, 2005.
About the Author: I have all kinds of strange paranormal activity captured on film. Some of the more interesting is from this apartment that we’ve lived in for the past 5 years, the Lemp Mansion, and a storefront in Soulard. I have researched the area that we live in and now I understand why I have the type of phenomena I have had occurring. What I have found in the area is that historically, it has housed a poor house, an insane asylum, an amusement park, and a doctor that ran a medical college that brought “body snatching” not only to his medical students, but to St. Louis and literature. It makes sense now.
Read Submission – 2005
My husband, two teenage daughters, and I spent a night at the Lemp Mansion after having a camping trip rained out. It was so much better than camping!!!!! It was like being on an overnight ride at Disneyland!!!!!! First off, Patty Pointer and the staff were the most fun innkeepers we have ever met. They took great care of us. And…..the other “hosts” were fun too!!!! They didn’t let us down. My oldest daughter had just finished dressing for dinner when she turned to put her things in her suitcase. Suddenly she heard a creaking noise and turned to find that the medicine cabinet had opened on its own. This was in the Charles Lemp Suite. The door of the cabinet had a latch that could not have fallen open.
While we were there, we had an overwhelming feeling of being watched. Though a little disconcerting, the feeling was not a bad one — more almost like protective. The medicine cabinet incident struck us as funny because she was dressing for dinner and when the cabinet opened it was full of soap, as if someone was saying if you need soap there is some in here. We can’t wait to go do this again and we would recommend it to anyone looking for something different to do.
Submitted by: Kat Robinson, July, 2005
About the Author: I am a yoga instructor and a bit of a ghost hunter. I have always been open-minded to the “other side.” We have raised our children to know that ghosts are just part of the living and we should respect their space as if we would if we were visiting anyone alive.
Reader Submission, 2004
My name is Renee and I have family in St. Louis, Missouri, so when we visit, my husband and I, along with my brother and my cousin, make a trip to the Lemp Mansion when we’re in the area. Our last visit was on March 24, 2003. We arrived at the mansion around 8:30 p.m. to find out that a show and dinner party was in effect; however, we were told that we could look around on the main floor and upstairs. Neither my husband or myself had ever been in the attic, so that’s the first place we headed. Already creeped out because of the dark and silence, our group soon reached the end of the long hall, where the “monkey boy” was kept. However, as we turned around to leave, all four of us got instant chills when we heard a little boy say: “come play with me.” I told my brother to shut up, and he responded, “I didn’t say anything.” That’s when the boy repeated himself again. I then turned to my husband, saying the same thing to him as I had my brother and he said “that wasn’t me, its time to go.” That was the first encounter in my ten years of visiting the Lemp Mansion, and I hope there will be more. I’m fascinated with ghosts! For Thanksgiving, 2004, we’ll be making a trip to Missouri again, and hopefully, we’ll bring back good stories.
Submitted by Renee, October, 2004
Reader submission 2006
I visited the Lemp Mansion in January of 2003 with my aunt. We arrived in early and had lunch at the Lemp Mansion before checking out the sights of St. Louis. We, too, were shocked that we were given a key and told we’d be all alone that night in the mansion. We were the only ones staying there that night, mind you, but didn’t know this at the time. I assumed someone lived there and they meant alone as in no other guests.
I felt uneasy right away the second I got to the top of the stairs. My aunt seemed ok and wanted to explore, but I felt this heaviness. The hallway off to the left of the stairs was the worst. My body just would physically not go in that hallway! We had reservations at a comedy club that night, so we decided to take a nap. An hour into my nap, I awoke to the sound of a baby crying and a woman talking. I got a little irritated because it was right outside our room (we were in the big suite – the Lavender Lady’s room) and how rude it was of this woman to just stand up there and make all that noise!
But then it stopped and I went back to sleep. When we got up, we found two women downstairs taking down the Christmas decorations and we got to talking to them. That was when we learned we were the only ones there that night and I asked the women to leave the light on in the dining room so it wouldn’t be pitch dark when we got in that night from the comedy club. The women told us their experiences and we laughed. Off-handed, I mentioned if they were the ones with the baby. I heard the crying at 5 pm and was told promptly there was no one else there but them after 3 pm and definitely no baby. I felt silly for even thinking I had heard such a thing and was convinced these women were trying to scare us.
That night when we got back, we were alone. My aunt wanted to explore, but that uneasy feeling was overwhelming to me. We went into the other bedrooms and walked around. The bedroom across from the suite was so heavy feeling. My aunt went towards the “hallway” and went to look into the other rooms, but I could NOT get my body into that hallway! I stopped halfway in and watched my aunt peeking into the rooms. She got to the end of the hallway and bent over to peer into the staircase and a shadow went pass me – but I was looking right at my aunt’s shadow! Well, I freaked out and demanded we call it a night.
The uneasy feeling never left me and when we went to bed, I was too scared to sleep. The final straw came when the piano began to play. I was done! My aunt gave me a Valium to help me sleep (yes, now I find these events very funny, but at the time, not so funny!). After that, I was out – head under the covers and asleep. My aunt says that during the night she awoke to someone “petting” her hair. She thought I was messing with her and turned over to find me completely out and turned the other way. She turned back over and said a few minutes later it happened again. She said she never felt scared and that it felt comforting to her. Mind you, this is a 55-year-old psychiatrist!
When I got home, I searched my suitcase for my phone, but it wasn’t in there. I called the Lemp Mansion and they sent someone up to look, but it wasn’t there. I called the rental car company and they couldn’t find it in the car. I ended up having my phone turned off convinced someone had it. When the bill came in later we realized ALL the phone calls had come exactly at 38 minutes after the hour and ALL to my husband’s phone. Now I don’t get that, but I do know that it was creepy! People say that the people at the mansion probably did it on purpose. Whatever the case, I still find the situation disturbing! But will I go back again someday? You bet! But I will make sure my cell phone stays on my person this time! –
Julie Meyer, January 2006
Reader Submission, 2004
My name is Kristen, and I met Kathy Weiser of Legends of America on October 9th at the Lemp Mansion. My husband and I were staying in the William Lemp Suite and joined the tour of the Lemp Mansion. Other than not being able to sleep until after 3 am (I was unbelievably hot, probably from adrenaline,) not too much happened. We took a tour of the house by ourselves after the staff left. There was definitely a feeling of being watched, although a big, old house like that, late at night – I guess it’s to be expected. I did, however, have four orbs show up in my photos. 1) On the grand staircase, 2) The basement bar-right below the stored wine bottles, 3) Our room – in the curtain (window overlooks main street), and 4) In Charles Lemp room-top right corner of the armoire. I was extremely skeptical about “orbs.” Taking the suggestion from a website, I looked through all of my personal photos from the past to see if maybe there were orbs that I had not noticed before. I found none. Now I have 4 on one roll of film.
Kristen, October 13, 2004.
Reader Submission, 2004
We recently visited the mystery play/Dinner and Bed & Breakfast at the Lemp Mansion. I am a 50 yr old male USAF Retired with a Master Degree in I.S. (Simply for credibility purposes). We enjoyed the play and food. However, will never go back for a nights stay. First of all, the breakfast had much to be desired. Second, we could not sleep due to an uneasy feeling of being watched. I had a bad dream and woke up several times during the night. My wife could not sleep either. We strongly believe we had a door to our room unlocked after we locked it when we came back from the shared bathroom down the hall. We also dropped two coins in a 10 X 10 open area and when we knelt down to pick them up they were gone. We looked throughout the entire area and under furniture that was several feet away and still could not find the coins. This was in William Lemp’s Bedroom. An interesting stay that we do not intend on repeating.
Duane, June 22, 2004
I was looking at the pictures of the mansion and there is one in particular that stands out. It’s the one of the Lemp Mansion at night, October 2004. Is there supposed to be someone standing in front of the museum? Because if I am looking at this picture correctly, there is a man standing to the right of the staircase just behind the cement pillar. All I can see is his face and possibly a cane? – Carrie, St. Louis, September 2008
Editor’s Note: What is actually in the photo is a parking meter and a tree in the background. There is no man. We can’t explain what looks like a face.
In your picture of the Lemp Mansion staircase, right under the boy’s chin is another child. Once I saw the boy in the picture, I heard the other boy’s voice saying “me too I’m here.” I just wanted to let you know. Once again thank you. – Luz, July, 2006