St. Louis, Missouri - The Lemp Mansion

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St. Louis, Missouri - The Lemp Mansion

Post by LDG on Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:07 am

On 20/11/07 Rob Lefebvre of The Anchor wrote:The Lemp Mansion has been on many top 10 lists for the most haunted
place in America. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the Lemp Mansion is
the site of one of the greatest economic downfalls in American history,
and possibly the site of one of the greatest hauntings.

In 1836, Johann "Adam" Lemp traveled to the U.S. from Germany searching
for business opportunity. In 1838, he settled in St. Louis and opened a
grocery store. Adam sold, along with his groceries, a beer of his own
making. The beer became popular with the locals and demand grew so high
that Lemp opened another store and had to store his stock in an
underground cave he found that was cold enough to keep the beer in.

Two years after opening the stores, his beer was so popular, Adam gave up
the grocery business and focused solely on beer, converting the second
store he opened to a small brewery. The beer only continued to gain
popularity and Adam had to keep using the cave for storage.

Adam Lemp died in 1862 a millionaire. His son William took up the business
and bought some land that was above the caves where the brewery was
expanded. It was completed and opened in 1864 and named the Lemp
Western Brewery. The same year, William Lemp's father-in-law purchased
a lot of land and had construction begin on a residence for the Lemp
family. In 1876, the building was complete and served as a home and an
auxiliary office for the brewing company. It became known as the Lemp
Mansion.

The downfall began in 1901, when William Lemp's son,
Frederick, died mysteriously of heart failure at age 28. Frederick was
the heir to the Lemp Brewery. After this, William sank into depression.
On January 1st of 1904, William's best friend Frederick Pabst died.
After that, his mental and physical health declined. A month later,
William Lemp shot himself.

In November of that year, William Lemp Jr. took over the business. He and his wife Lillian, known as the "Lavender Lady" because of her love of the color lavender, spent a lot of the family fortune on art, servants, clothing, and carriages. They also had a son, William Lemp III. But William Jr. was a philanderer. During the day he ran the business, but at night he was hosting parties with prostitutes as entertainment. It is believed that William Jr. sired a son with a prostitute, or possibly a servant in the mansion. The boy was also born with Down syndrome and was cruelly named "Monkey Face Boy". He was kept in the attic in order to "hide the family shame". A former nanny and a chauffer have confirmed that the boy did exist. Lillian and William Jr. later divorced in 1908.

After the divorce, more trouble came for William Jr. In 1906, a bunch
of smaller breweries combined to form the Independent Breweries
Company. They formed major competition for the Lemp Brewery and by
1911, Lemp was barely scraping by.

In 1919, Prohibition came, disallowing any and all alcohol to be shipped
to or made in the United States. The Lemps saw no reason to try to keep
the business running with how wealthy they all were, so they closed
down the brewery.

In March of 1920, William Sr.'s sister, Elsa Lemp Wright, shot herself. It was never discovered why she might have done so, though it was speculated that her marriage was causing her trouble.

Later, William Jr. sold the logo for the Lemp Brewery to another brewer in early 1922. He later slipped into depression. On December 29, 1922, he shot himself. His brothers, Charles and Edwin, had left the business years ago, so the once successful Lemp empire had met its end. But there were still several proverbial nails in the coffin to come.

In 1943, William Lemp III died of a heart attack at age 42. Charles developed a germ phobia that bordered on mental disorder as he got older. Not long after William III's death, "Monkey Face Boy" died in his thirties by unknown causes. In 1949, Charles became suicide victim No. 4 of the Lemps when he shot himself.

The only remaining Lemp was Edwin, who lived reclusively. He died in 1970 at the age of 90.

AfterCharles Lemp's death, the mansion was converted into a boarding house. But in 1975, a man named Dick Pointer bought the property and turned it into a restaurant and inn. Tours of the mansion are also given.

Since the opening of the restaurant, strange occurrences have constantly been reported. Glasses have suddenly fallen or have flown across a room and smashing. Candles would light and go out by themselves. People have also witnessed doors unlocking and relocking all by themselves.

There have also been several reports of women complaining of a peeping tom
peeking on them when they used the women's showers in the basement. One
woman even came up the stairs and yelled at a guest in the bar she believed was the one, but the man denied it and the bartender confirmed that the man never left the bar. This could have been William Jr., who was a womanizer, but it could have also been the man in the bar, and the bartender was covering for him.

Many people have also reported hearing running and then banging on a door that used to lead to William Sr.'s room. It is said when William shot himself, William Jr. came running to his father's room and upon finding the door locked, tried to kick it down. The sound that is heard could be that of William Jr. still trying to save his father.

The biggest paranormal hotspot on the mansion is believed to be the attic,
where Monkey Face Boy was kept. People have regularly reported seeing
him in the attic windows. Toys were also left there by paranormal
investigators and then circled with chalk. Twenty-four hours later,
they would return to find that the toys are out of their circles. Since
Monkey Face Boy was basically raised like a child all his life, it would be natural for him to want to play with them. Of course, the tour guides or other employees could also have moved them to keep interest in the place up.

Accounts of people seeing figures who could have been Lillian the "Lavender Lady" and Charles have also been reported.

The Lemp family is one of the most tragic stories of economic and social downfall. Whatever prompted members of such a distinguished family to commit suicide is beyond the imagination. But if the spirits of this family are still in the mansion, then, despite killing themselves, they must have felt that their lives were incomplete. I suppose it goes to show that money truly does not buy happiness.


Haunted America - The Lemp Mansion
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LDG
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