The Lemp Mansion

When you think of St. Louis, MO, you may think of the Gateway Arch, the Cardinals baseball team, or even Budweiser beer. What you may not think of is a property that is now an Inn and Restaurant sitting 3 miles south of the Gateway Arch.

The Lemp Mansion is an historical house in St. Louis. It is also the site of three suicides by Lemp family members after the death of Frederick Lemp, the son of William Lemp Sr, who was being groomed to take over the brewery that was started in 1864. Unknown to the family Frederick had significant health problems and in December of 1901, Frederick died of heart failure due to his illnesses.

William Lemp Sr.

William Sr. was despondent after the death of his son, and was dealt another blow when in January, 1904, his best friend Frederick Pabst died. In February 1904, William Sr. committed suicide by gunshot.

Towards the end of the year, William “Billy” Lemp Jr. took over the brewing business. He and his wife divorced in 1908. The Brewery suffered during prohibition and it shut down and was sold off. In December of 1922, Billy shot himself in his office, a room that today is the front left dining room.

Elsa Lemp Wright, was not in the brewing business, but married Thomas Wright. They divorced and reconciled and a couple weeks after their second wedding, Elsa shot herself while in her bed. Some suspect the suicide to be a cover for murder.

Another suicide occurred in April of 1941 by Charles Lemp. The third son of William Sr. He never married but lived with his dog and a married couple who worked for him. In 1941, he sent a funeral home his final requests that he be cremated, and his ashes placed in a wicker basket and buried on is farm. He wanted no funeral, nor notice in the papers. He shot himself in the head in 1949.

The last, and only surviving son of William Sr, was Edwin Lemp. He worked in the brewery until 1913, but then retired to his estate “Cragwold”. He had a collection of animals, and dedicated himself to many charitable causes, primarily the St. Louis Zoo. Edwin died in 1970, at the age of 90.

So with a history like this, is the Lemp Mansion haunted? Well you need to be the judge for yourself on that. Here’s what has been reported by staff and guests alike:

  • Apparitions appear and then vanish
  • Voices and sounds come from nowhere
  • Glasses will lift off the bar and fly through the air by themselves
  • Doors are said to lock and unlock by themselves
  • Lights turn on and off on their own
  • The piano often plays when no one is near
  • The attic was the home of the “Monkey Face Boy” William Jr’s illegitimate son who was born with Down’s Syndrome. He lived his entire life locked in the attic.
  • The downstairs women’s bathroom, once the private domain of the womanizing William Jr., women report a man peering at them over the stall.
  • The Stairway is reported to have the sound of running feet. It is believed when William Sr. shot himself, Billy ran up the stairs and kicked at the door to get to his father.
  • The basement houses the entrance to the caves that connected the house to the brewery.

Be sure to contact the property to ensure their hours of operation, and check out their website lempmansion.com.

If you have visited the Lemp Mansion and have had experiences, please share them with me! I would love to hear about them.

Be strong, be beautiful, be you

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