Famous Haunted Places -- Lemp Mansion-- St. Louis, MO
Rated by Life Magazine and one of the ten most haunted buildings in America, the Lemp Mansion is worth the trip to St. Louis, Missouri. It is now a restaurant and Inn so you’d be able to spend lots of time exploring and investigating some of the reports of unexplained activity there if you stay overnight. Reputed paranormal incidents include doors opening, shutting, locking, and unlocking on their own; candles lighting on their own; and glasses flying off the bar and crashing to the floor. Visitors to the mansion have also reported feeling as if they are being watched or sensing an atmosphere of sadness. Some claim to have seen apparitions of members of the Lemp family, including Lillian Lemp whose apparition has been named the Lavender Lady.
The history of the Lemp family abounds with stories of success and of tragedy. In 1893 Johann Adam Lemp came to the United States from Germany and established a modest grocery store in St. Louis. He began selling homemade beer at his store that became so popular that he eventually built a brewery to mass produce it. Adam Lemp died a millionaire and his wealth passed to his son, William Lemp. One of the things William did with his inheritance was to buy the Victorian mansion on 3322 DeMenil Place. William installed a tunnel that linked the house to the limestone caves where the Lemps aged their beer.
Several Lemp family members died in the mansion on DeMenil Place. In 1901 William’s beloved son, Frederick died at the age of 28. In 1904 William died by his own hand using a gun to his head. The house then passed to William Jr. and his wife Lillian. Lillian was fond of the color lavender, and was often seen wearing dresses of this color. William Jr. fathered a son with a prostitute, and raised the severely handicapped boy in the attic of the mansion, where he spent his entire life. Lillian and William Jr. divorced in 1909. William Jr.’s sister married Thomas Wright in 1910 and became one of the wealthiest women in St. Louis. In 1920, she committed suicide by using the family way out—she shot herself in the head. In 1929 William shot himself as well, using the same gun his father had used years before. William the III died suddenly of a heart attack in the mansion in at the age of 42. Charles, William’s brother, moved into the mansion in 1943. After living there for several years, Charles went up to his room, shot his dog, and then turned the gun on himself. It is believed that Charles shot himself from griefover the death of his young son, who died earlier that year of mysterious causes.
There is a photograph of a portrait of Lillian Lemp taken by a recent visitor to the mansion using infrared film. Everything looks normal, except for the face, which took on an unnatural brightness. It has been reported that The Lavender Lady has been seen on many occasions throughout the mansion and on the grounds.
If you are brave enough to spend the night at the Lemp Mansion Inn, they can be reached at 314-664-8024 or their web site: www.lempmansion.com.