- About Benton Park
Haunted Lemp Mansion
The Lemp Mansion, The Most Haunted Place in Missouri
Haunted houses for Halloween. Hahaha. But, this one deserves it. The Lemp Mansion was home to a family of wealth, power and suicide. That combination results in the worst kind of negative energy. Therefore, hauntings. Multiple spirits roam this mansion, that is now an excellent Bed and Breakfast, restaurant, and dinner theatre. Mystery Dinner Theatre, of course.
The stories of occurrences abound, from both staff and guests. Later on this page, you will find links to some of the personal stories. For now, I want to tell you the history of the Lemp Mansion and summarize for you what occurrences are taking place.
So lean forward to your computer screen, and try not to get too creeped-out.
The Beginning of it All
Johan Adam Lemp arrived in St. Louis in 1838, bringing with him the art of lager brewing from Germany. He first sold the brew from his grocery store. The success of his beer took him out of the grocery business and into the brewing business. In 1840, he built a modest brewery at 112 South Second Street. The brewery was hugely successful and when Johan Lemp died, he was a millionaire.
His son, William J. Lemp, took over the brewery and built it into an industrial giant. In 1864, Lemp built a new plant at Cherokee Street and Carondolet Avenue. With demand for the Lemp lager growing by leaps and bounds, the new brewery soon took up 5 city blocks. In 1892, the brewery was incorporated as the William J. Lemp Brewing Co.
The Mansion Itself
The Lemp Mansion was built in the early 1860's and was subsequently purchased by William J. Lemp as a residence and auxiliary brewery office. Although it was already an impressive structure, Lemp used his massive brewery fortune to turn the thirty-three room house into a Victorian showplace.
The radiator system was installed in 1884, five years after radiant heat was patented. The grand staircase was removed to accommodate an open-air lift that ran the gamut of the house. In 1904 the house was completely renovated. To the left of the main entrance is the former brewery office with a decorative mantle made of Italian marble.
To the right is the parlor, with its hand-painted ceiling and intricately carved mantles of African mahogany. Behind the parlor is an atrium where the Lemps kept exotic plants and birds. The main bathroom is dominated by a unique glass-enclosed, free-standing shower that Lemp discovered in an Italian hotel and brought back to St. Louis for his personal use. Other unusual fixtures in the room are a barber chair and a sink with glass legs. At the rear of the house are three massive vaults that the Lemps built to store great quantities of art objects. The Lemps were such avid art collectors that they could not display all of their acquisitions. Each vault is fifteen feet wide, twenty-five feet deep, and thirteen feet high.
The bedrooms were on the second floor. The main bathroom has a white granite shower stall and a marble and cast-iron mantle. The servants' quarters were located on the third floor, which boasts cedar walk-in closets, a skylight and an observation deck. The mansion does not have a ballroom in the traditional sense because the Lemps built an auditorium, ballroom and swimming pool in a natural underground cavern that could be reached from a now-sealed tunnel in the basement. Another tunnel led from the house to the brewery.
The wine and beer cellars, laundry and kitchen were located in the basement. And the attic seemed to function only to house the Downs Syndrome son of William Lemp, Jr.
The Family Members
Here is a listing of the tragic and suicidal family members.
Frederick Lemp, son of William Lemp, Sr. and grandson of Johan Lemp, died at an early age from illness in 1901
William Lemp, Sr., son of Johan Lemp, shot himself in 1904 in a first floor room. This is his portrait.
Wife of William Lemp, Sr., died of cancer in her second floor bedroom.
Elsa Lemp Wright, daughter of William Lemp, Sr., shot herself in 1920 in her bed on the second floor.
William Lemp, Jr., son of William Lemp, Sr., known to be quite a playboy even after his marriage, shot himself in 1922 in the same first floor room as his father.
"Monkey-Face Boy", only name known for the Downs Syndrome son of William Lemp, Jr., from an affair. He lived his entire 30-year life alone and ignored in the attic of the Lemp Mansion and died there in the late 1940's.
William Lemp, III, son of William Lemp, Jr., died of a heart attack while only 42 years old in 1943.
Charles Lemp (and his dog), brother of William Lemp, Jr., lived many years in the Lemp Mansion. In the late 1940's he shot his dog in the basement of the house, then went up to his second floor bedroom and shot himself.
Summary of Reported Occurences
Just some of them
After the Lemp family no longer occupied the mansion it became a boarding house. The residents complained of hearing footsteps through out the mansion and hearing knocks on walls and doors.
From 1975 -1977, while the mansion was being restored to its former Victorian glory, workmen reported paranormal occurrences. The workers felt harassed by slamming doors, ghostly noise and experienced an uncomfortable feeling due to the oppressive atmosphere which permeated the mansion and the "burning sensation" of staring eyes. A painter doing restorative work on the ceiling, felt an impatient presence watching his every effort, which drove him off the job.
The attic is reported to be still haunted by the "Monkey-Face Boy." Guests and staff have heard him speaking, "Come play with me." People on the street have seen a little downs syndrome boy peeking out of the tiny window in the attic. Paranormal investigators have left toys in the attic bedroom in a marked spot. When they come back, the toy is always found in another part of the room. Another paranormal investigator felt something tugging on his hair in the attic hallway, just outside the boy's room.
A feeling of being watched from the main stairway is a common report.
A white apparition of an older gentleman was seen with a two inch beard in the sitting room by the window, near the sliding door which leads to William Lemp's bedroom.
The piano on the first floor is played by a music-loving entity when the mansion is still. Rag-time is reported to be a favorite.
The Paranormal Investigation
Below is a listing, quoted from Ghosthunting.com, of the actual incidences that occurred during the 2003 investigation of the Lemp Mansion. The names listed are those investigators from Missouri Ghost Hunters Society - International Paranormal Investigations. Gateway Ghost Hunters Association.
While up in the attic area, Mitch, Shaw, Brian and Linda were taking some photos, when Mitch's EMF meter began to activate. This occurred in the hallway area and measured about 3 foot in width to approximately 6 feet in height. This area was investigated for any man made or natural explanations. NOTE: No electricity was turned on or hooked up in that area. This event lasted for about 4 to 5 minutes and all known explanations were ruled out, believing that the event was paranormal in nature. Shaw and Brian took photos toward the area and captured an orb near the EMF meter each time a photo was taken and also the orb was present each time the EMF meter spiked.
Derek, Greg and Glendy were in the main floor Lavender Lady dinning area or also known as "William's Office" and while beginning to exit the room, Greg was shoved by unseen hands as if someone unseen was giving him a little shove to assist him out the door.
Greg, Glendy and Derek were in the basement dinning room when Derek saw a white misty figure standing in the arch of the doorway. This was seen out of the corner of his eye and when he turned toward the figure, it disappeared. Photographs immediately after produced an orb in the archway.
Mike of Gateway Ghost Hunters witnessed a orb come from one room and down the hallway. This orb moved immediately after someone took a photo toward the area the orb was at.
Belinda, Megan and Shawn were in the Jungle room when they announced there names and that they were entering for the EVP. Shawn walked over to the EVP and noticed it was finished and he began to turn the tape over when the Trifield Natural Meter began to activate, indicating a paranormal presence. Belinda started to take a photo toward Shawn in hopes of capturing what ever was activating the Trifield Natural Meter. Just as she began to snap the picture, her camera would not operate. She attempted several times, meanwhile the meter was still activating. The meter then quit and Belinda's camera would then and only then snap the photo.
Glendy detected a strong odor of Lavender in the basement dinning room, this occurred just after Derek had seen the white misty figure in the archway.
While Brian, Linda, Belinda, Shawn, & Megan were in the attic, Belinda took a photograph and within the flash, Belinda witnessed an outline of a man within the flash. The man appeared to be taller then Brian, who stands at 6 foot even.
There were other events that unfolded during the night. These were such things as phantom footsteps, unexplainable noises and door closing sounds.
The Paranormal Investigation Video