The Haunted Lemp Family Mansion

image from: www.ksdk.com

image from: www.ksdk.com

I got a reader request to do a post on this historic home in St. Louis, Missouri. It has the morbid reputation of being the site of not one, not two, but THREE suicides of Lemp family members. And one mysterious death.

The Lemp family built their fortune from the brewery they established in St. Louis in 1840. The William J. Lemp Brewing Co. dominated the St. Louis beer market up until 1920 when Prohibition proved too much for the company.

In 1876, William J. Lemp and his wife Julia purchased the mansion.

image from: http://blog.cseinsurance.com/spooky-places/

image from: http://blog.cseinsurance.com/spooky-places/

The house was actually built in 1868 by Jacob Feickert, but the Lemps used their considerable fortune to turn the house into a showplace.  In 1911, the Lemps moved some of their offices for the Lemp Brewery into the house and undertook renovations to accommodate the new office space. Members of the Lemp family, however, continued to live in the mansion the up until 1949.

image from: www.decidedlygrim.net

image from: www.decidedlygrim.net

Here’s where it gets intriguing…

In 1901 tragedy struck when Frederick Lemp – the heir set to become the president of the family business – died a mysterious death. Not sure how he died – but legend says it was “mysterious”.

image from: www.findagrave.com

image from: www.findagrave.com

Unable to cope with the grief, his father William J. Lemp shot himself in the head three years later in a bedroom in the mansion.

image from: www.lempmansion.com

image from: www.lempmansion.com

William J. Lemp, Jr. succeeded his father as president of the brewery but the business was faltering. When Prohibition passed in the United States in 1919, it was the final nail in the coffin. Unable to continue brewing beer, the company shut down and sold off the factory complex at auction.

That same year, the company president’s sister Elsa, once the considered the wealthiest heir in St. Louis, committed suicide.

image from: www.findagrave.com

image from: www.findagrave.com

But we’re not done yet. In December of 1922, William J. “Billy” Lemp Jr. shot himself in his office in the mansion.

Charles Lemp, the third son of William Sr., was the final Lemp to live in the mansion. But he too, fell victim to the Lemp family curse and ended his life in May of 1949. He also shot his dog. :(

Wait, I think we are up to FOUR suicides now. Gosh, I’ve lost track.

By 1950, the unfortunate mansion had become a boarding house and over the next decade, fell into decline. One more major blow to the house was the construction of Interstate 55 in the 1960’s. To make way for the highway, the property’s carriage house and much of the grounds were destroyed.

But – take a deep breath – things have rebounded for the ill-fated abode.

The Lemp Mansion is now run as an inn and restaurant. Their niche is historical and haunted tours – capitalizing on the home’s tragic past.

image from: www.lempmansion.com

image from: www.lempmansion.com

image from: www.lempmansion.com

image from: www.lempmansion.com

They do not only weddings, but murder mystery dinners and Halloween parties. In fact, the room where Billy Lemp killed himself is now a dining room.

image from: www.gothichorrorstories.com

image from: www.gothichorrorstories.com

Paranormal enthusiasts come from far and wide to tour the home where the tortured souls of the Lemp family are said to still roam.

image from: www.tripadvisor.com

image from: www.tripadvisor.com

In 1980 Life Magazine declared the Lemp Mansion one of the 9 most haunted houses in America.

image from: www.decidedlygrim.net

image from: www.decidedlygrim.net

In 2010, the mansion was investigated on the hit show Ghost Hunters.

In 2014, the Travel Channel featured the mansion on its show Ghost Adventures.

image from: www.thecabinet.com

image from: www.thecabinet.com

image from: www.lempmansion.com

image from: www.lempmansion.com

image from: www.thecabinet.com

image from: www.thecabinet.com

My favorite part of the mansion is the bathrooms…

image from: dirufan.deviantart.com

image from: dirufan.deviantart.com

This one is somewhat reminiscent of a mausoleum.

image from: www.tripadvisor.com

image from: www.tripadvisor.com

The bathroom below has an antique rib-cage shower in the tub, in the middle of the room…

image from: sowhatswiththeflowers.blogspot.com

image from: sowhatswiththeflowers.blogspot.com

Burgandy carpet and fireplace in the bathroom. Wow!

But the spookiest part of this whole house is undoubtedly the cellar:

Lemp Mansion cellar

image from: www.scarefest.com

image from: www.scarefest.com

This place was made for ghosts.

"Lemp-mansion" by MattHucke - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“Lemp-mansion” by MattHucke – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

It is certainly uncanny how so many members of one family met their demise here. Perhaps there was a genetic mental illness? Bad luck? Poor business decisions? Inability to cope with life’s stressors?

Or, perhaps…………. it’s just the house.

*shivers*

 

Sources:

http://www.lempmansion.com/history.htm

http://www.lempmansion.com/lempexperience.htm

http://lempmansion.blogspot.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemp_Mansion

12 Comments

  • Angela says:

    I wonder if anyone that now owns the property or their employees have ever had an encounter?!?!?!?

  • Ron says:

    The Lemp concern lived on a while longer under the name Falstaff. In 1921, the Lemp Brewery sold its Falstaff brand to the Griesedieck Beverage Company, which soon became the Falstaff Corporation, which survived Prohibition through the production of near-beers, soft drinks, and even cured hams under the name Falstaff. For years Falstaff had a brewery in Galveston, Texas. As soon as I saw the dining room picture above, with the “Falstaff” logo, I realized there must be a connection.

  • Sue says:

    Shiver my spine for sure. I think unable to cope with stress and mental illness in the family must be the reason for all this bizarre suicidal behavior in one family. Does seem questionable though doesn’t it? Maybe the ghost basement causes side effects. Fun post, so thank you very much.

  • Deanne says:

    Thanks for another great post!! It’s always a treat to see a new post! Thanks for all your hard work!

  • Deanne says:

    Here’s another supposedly haunted mansion-a true victorian second empire style…totally geeking out here! Especially because it’s only 60 miles away from me and I’ve never heard of it! Here’s the site:
    http://www.garthmansion.com/

  • Sharon P says:

    WOW. Talk about a bad gene pool…Sad, I lived in a very Haunted House and never ever want to again…It was a new house that was sold to my ex and me, then the owners built a house just like it, When I was working for Animal Control I found out when they opened the door it was the same house plan! I told them I needed to know why because of all the things we had gone through, They told me that it was why they moved, and I asked why they did not tell us! They just thought it was better and maybe we would not have a problem!! Well we did. If I had not talked with them, I would have continued to wonder what we were going to do…..I never ever want to go through it again……True story…

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