Haunted Hotels > Lemp Mansion Restaurant and Inn
In the mood for dinner and some fine spirits? Maybe a drink as well? While you don't have to look too hard in good ole haunted St. Louis for any of those three things, you may want to put this one up near the top of your list.
In 1980, Life Magazine noted the the Lemp Mansion as one of the ten most haunted places in America. Most of the remodeling was done in the 1970's and coincided with many reports of feelings of being watched, disappearing tools and strange noises. Many construction workers would leave the site and never come back. Nowadays, glasses may lift off the bar and fly in the air. Sounds are heard with no explanation behind them. Doors lock and unlock on their own. The piano in the bar plays on it's own. Some glimpses of apparitions have occurred as well, including the "Lavender Lady."
How did it become so haunted? 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 first major downswing in the Lemp dynasty occurred when Frederick Lemp, William's favorite son and the heir apparent to the brewery presidency, died under mysterious circumstances in 1901. Three years later, William J. Lemp shot himself in the head in a bedroom at the family mansion, apparently still grieving the loss of his beloved Frederick. William J. Lemp, Jr. took over as president.
Tragedy continued to stalk the Lemps. The brewery's fortunes continued to decline until Prohibition, in 1919, closed the plant permanently. William Jr.'s sister Elsa, who was considered the wealthiest heiress in St. Louis, committed suicide in 1920. Although most of the company's assets were later liquidated, the Lemps continued to have an almost morbid attachment for the family mansion. After presiding over the sale of the brewery, William J. Lemp, Jr. shot himself in the same building where his father died eighteen years earlier. His son, William Lemp III, was forty-two when he died of a heart attack in 1943. William Jr.'s brother, Charles, continued to reside at the house after his brother's suicide. An extremely bitter man, Charles led a reclusive existence until he too died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His body was discovered by his brother, Edwin.
In 1970, Edwin Lemp died of natural causes at the age of ninety.