It may be months before it’s officially spooky season again, but those of us that live for the thrills and chills know we never have to wait until Halloween for the tricks (or the treats, for that matter). If you are the person that seeks out ghost tours and haunted buildings to visit while on vacation, then this is for you. Meet us in St. Louis to tour this beautiful historic mansion with a very dark history.
The Lemp Mansion of St. Louis has been a number of things over the years; from a home of a troubled millionaire family to a shotty boarding house, office spaces, and everything in between, until the house was restored it it’s current state as a dinner theatre, restaurant, bed and breakfast, wedding venue, and favorite spot for novice and expert ghost hunters alike.
Our story begins with Adam Lemp who came to America from Germany in 1938. Adam’s first venture into business began as a small grocery store that sold homemade beer (among other house items, of course). The recipe, a family one at that, became so popular that in 1840 Lemp built a brewery. The brewery quickly outgrew its location; luckily Lemp found a limestone cave nearby to run production out of. The brewery continued to prosper throughout the mid-1850’s.
When Adam Lemp passed away in 1862, his son William took over the family business and quickly expanded the brewery. By the 1870’s the Lemp family dominated the industry. Until prohibition, that is.
In 1868 William’s father in law built a house near the brewery and shortly after, William purchased the house for his family to live in and use as offices. While the house was already impressive, William turned the place into quite the victorian-era mansion.
At the height of the Lemp family’s success, Frederick, William Lemp’s son died in 1901 at the age of 28 due to heart failure. The sudden death came as a shock to the family as Frederick had always been in good health. After his son’s death, William became a bit of a recluse. Three years later, William’s closest friend died leaving him careless about the brewery. In February of 1904, William Lemp shot himself. Following his death, William Lemp Jr. took over the family brewery.
In 1920, prohibition shut down the family brewery entirely. On March 20th, Elsa Wright, William’s sister, shot herself, dying the wealthiest heiress in St. Louis; and in 1922 William Jr. also shot himself. Then in 1949 Charles Lemp was found dead, cause of death, suicide. This would be the fourth suicide within the family.
Over the next several years, the house was many things until it was saved in 1975. Renovation began not long after, turning the historic home into a restaurant and hotel. Unusual things began to occur during renovation, such as strange sounds and the overwhelming feeling of being watched. These things frightened the renovation workers so much that some would never return.
Since the restaurant and hotel have opened, employees and guests have reported a number of strange occurrences happening such as doors locking themselves, lights going off and coming on, the piano playing when there is no one around, voices coming from nowhere, and glasses flying off the shelves.
Whether you believe the ghost stories or not, you can visit the Lemp mansion in St. Louis and decide for yourself; stop in for a ghost tour or a room for the night. During your ghost tour you’ll get to see three floors of the Lemp mansion, and at the end of the tour, you’ll get to experience a darkroom session with your tour guide.