The Lemp family has one of the most tragic histories around, and most of them are still clinging to this place that they last knew as home. Over the years, the mansion was transformed from the lavish home of millionaires, to office space, then to a decaying run-down boarding house, before being restored as a upscale dinner theater, restaurant and bed and breakfast.
So the Lemps moved from Germany to St Louis in 1838. They built a little grocery store there where they sold household items, groceries and homemade beer. Well that beer was the shit! two years later the Lemps gave up the grocery store and built a small brewery in 1840. Lemp sold his beer in a pub that was attached to the brewery and it wasn’t long before he’d have to expand again. So he finds this limestone cave just south of the city limits that he could keep cool by chopping ice from the Mississippi river to keep things cold during the lagering process. Lemps Western Brewing company continued to grow and by the time old man Lemp died in 1862 he was a millionaire.
So his son takes over and starts off with this major expansion. and by 1864 his operation covered 5 city blocks. By the 1870s the Lemps were the most wealthy and powerful family in the area, at least up til the prohibition.
In 1868, William Lemp’s father-in-law, built a house near the Lemp Brewery. In 1876 William purchased it as his family home and office. Now this home was already impressive, but Lemp immediately starts renovating and expanding. Under the mansion, a tunnel was built from the basement through the caves to the brewery. When mechanical refrigeration became available, parts of the cave were upgraded adding stuff like a natural auditorium and a theatre. later on there would be a large concrete swimming pool, with hot water piped in from the brewery boiling house, and a bowling alley.
By the middle 1890s, the Lemp Brewery grew again when it began marketing “Falstaff” beer, which is still brewed today. At the same time he was building his own business empire, William, also helped Pabst, Anheuser and Busche get started.
So now that things are really rolling, the Lemp family experienced the first of many tragedies. Frederick Lemp, William’s favorite son and heir apparent, died of heart failure in 1901 at the age of 28. William was never the same, he began a slow withdrawal and was rarely seen in public after that. 3 years later On January 1, 1904, William’s closest friend, Frederick Pabst, died, William lost interest in running the brewery. He’d show up but was nervous and unsettled. His physical and mental health began to decline and on February 13, 1904, he shot himself in the head with a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson.
In November 1904, William Jr. took over as the new president of the William J. Lemp Brewing Company. After inheriting the family business and a vast fortune, he and his wife, Lillian, start burning through the cash. They filled the house with servants, and spent tons on new carriages, clothes and fancy art.
Lillian was a hot little tramp who came from money and before long she became known as the “Lavender Lady”. In addition to her lavender attire and accessories, she had her carriage and horses harness’ died lavender. In the beginning, Will enjoyed showing off his “trophy wife” but Will was a “player” and that wasn’t gonna last. Old boy started giving his wife 1000 dollars a day to get her out of his hair. He demanded that she spent her time shopping but there was an ultimatum attached to the cash, if she didn’t spend it, she wouldn’t get any more.
So his wife is preoccupied with shopping all day every day, but at night, Will let his ho hang out. He held these killer parties in the caves below the mansion, bringing in prostitutes for the “entertainment” along with the swimming pool, the bowling alley, and the free flowing beer.
Well at some point it all caught up with him when he knocked up one of these hookers. This poor kid was born with Downs Syndrome, Will considered him an embarrassment that could not be associated with the Lemp family name. So this kid, who became known as the monkey face boy, was hidden away in the attic for his entire life. Yeah, as you’ve probably already guessed, he’s still there today.
Eventually, Will, filed for divorce in 1908 which back in the day was just outright scandalous. The Court room was like being on set at the Jerry Springer show and folks were flocking in from miles away to witness the drama. Despite the fact that everyone knew of William’s whoring around and drinking problems, Lillian almost lost custody of her son because of a photograph that surface of her smoking a cigarette. In the end, she was awarded custody and after the divorce she disappeared from the public eye.
Well, Will’s trouble had just started, while all this divorce drama was going on 9 of the larger breweries in the area had merged which created a level of competition that the Lemps had never known. As he’s watching his sales dwindle, his mother dies of cancer. William allowed the company to deteriorate, by World War I, the brewery was just barely limping along.
Then Prohibition came along in 1919, by then the family was already wealthy so they didn’t really give a damn about the brewery any more. Lemp closed the plant without notice.
On March 20, 1920, Elsa Lemp, William’s sister, shot herself just like her father had years before.
After the end of the Lemp’s brewing dynasty, William, Jr. slipped into a depression. Acting much like his father, he became increasingly nervous and erratic, shunning public life and often complaining about his health. On December 29, 1922, he shot himself, in the heart with a .38 caliber revolver, in the very same building where his father had died eighteen years before. William, II took his life on the main level of the mansion, just inside the entrance to the left.
In 1943, William Lemp III died of a heart attack at the age of forty-two.
Williams brother Charles eventually remodeled the mansion back into a residence and lived in the house along with two servants and the monkey faced boy. Then he started weirding out. He developed a morbid fear of germs, and would wear gloves 24 7 . Then the monkey faced boy who was now in his thirties, drops dead. Shortly after that, Charles became the fourth member of the Lemp family to commit suicide. He was discovered on May 10, 1949 by one of his staff, still holding a .38 caliber Army Colt revolver in his right hand.
The last remaining brother lived out the rest of his days in his private home in Kirkwood, According to his last wishes, his butler burned all of the paintings that the Lemps had collected throughout his life, as well as priceless Lemp family documents and artifacts.
The mansion was then sold and turned into a boarding house and there went the neighborhood. After year of deterioration, haunted tales start circulating. Residents were complaining of phantom knocking and the sounds of footsteps being heard all through the house. As the stories of misty figures and ghostly music spread, so did the lack of occupants, the mansion was now nothing more than a flop house.
In 1975, the old mansion was purchased by the Pointer family. A drastic renovation began and by the end of it all the Lemp mansion was turned into a upscale restaurant and inn. Now during the reconstruction, the family and workers were constantly having encounters. There were of course the strange sounds, phantom footsteps and whispering but the workers were constantly complaining about feeling like they were being watched, and their tools were constantly disappearing. Many of them claimed to have spotted misty apparitions floating from room to room, and a lot of those guys, left and never went back.
So, after the restaurant opened, staff members start reporting some crazy shit going on. They were all talking about these apparitions that would approach them, then suddenly disappear. Voices and sounds were coming from out of nowhere, and sometimes glasses would lift up off the bar and go flying across the room. As if that wasn’t enough, doors were locking and unlocking by themselves, lights turning on and off, and then, sometimes there were sounds of the piano being played when no one was sitting there.
Folks think that several members of the Lemp family are the ones that are responsible for all this chaos. There’s three spots in the mansion that have a ton of activity — the stairway, the attic, and what the staff refers to as, the “Gates of Hell” which of course, is in the basement, more specifically, the entrance to the caves that run below the mansion and the brewery.
The attic is haunted by William, Jr’s illegitimate son, who lived his life being referred to only as the “Monkey Face Boy.” This poor kid, spent his entire life locked up in that attic. So it’s not really a shocker that crazy shit goes down on the third floor. There’s tons of reports from folks seeing his face in the attic windows looking down at them. Paranormal investigators have left toys in his room, They draw circles around the toys to see if they move. Every time, when they go back to check, the toys have moved from where they were first placed.
Then, there’s the Women’s bathroom, on the main floor which was once the personal domain of William, Jr’s. This is where the first free standing shower in St. Louis was installed. a lot of chicks have gone in there to handle heir business and came out pissed off. bitching about some dude who was peeking over the stall at them. One time, this chick comes out of the bathroom, goes back to the bar and told the two dudes she was there with: “I hope you got an eyeful!” However, the two men had never left the bar, the bartender backed up their story then informed her that it was the ghost of the William Jr., who was pretty much a freak.
Now in William Sr’s room, folks have reported hearing somebody running up the stairs and kicking at the door. When William killed himself, it was a known fact that William Jr ran up the stairs to his father’s room and found the door locked so he kicked the door down to get to his old man.
And outside the mansion, there’s been tons of reports of folks hearing horses galloping up, but when they look in the direction the sounds coming from, nothings there.
So there’s a few really cool tales from folks that have been on tours there, one in particular had about 20 people in the tour and some crazy stuff was going down that night! While they were in the attic, several folks saw a shadow following them around. then a couple of them swore they heard the voice of a small child calling out for help.
Then, later on in the tour, some of them noticed a older, pale man in black pants with a white shirt coming toward them, they thought he was a member of the staff. Well, on their way back down the same hall, they noticed William Sr’s door was open and there was a key in the lock. A couple of them peeked around in the room out of curiosity, it had obviously been rented out by guests. Well, a little while later, those guests came back to their room and were pissed that the door was standing wide open, oh, and there was no key in the lock. So they go to rip the Manager a new one, well the manager tells them that it was impossible for anyone to have gone in there, there were only 2 keys to that room, the guests had one, he had the other.
On another tour, some folks had a similar experience in the attic. Four of them heard a little boy say “Come play with me”
There’s a lot of other personal encounters and experiences there, this one chick says that in 2003 she and her Aunt went to the Lemp mansion, checked in had some lunch then went sight seeing, before they left they were given a key and told that they were the only folks staying there that night. So, when they get back they decide to go explore the place. Their first eerie encounter was a large orb in the doorway of Charles Lemp’s door. At the top of the stairs, she began to feel uneasy, but her Aunt wanted to keep going, so they did, Then they came to a hallway on the left, she said that there was such a foreboding feeling there that she couldn’t physically make herself go down that hall. So, they decide to crash for a little while.
So, she just dozes off and was suddenly woke up by the sound of a baby crying and some woman talking just outside of her door. So, she’s pissed that whoever it was with the kid was rude enough to just keep standing there talking outside their door. Well eventually she doesn’t hear them any more and goes back to sleep.
The next morning they go downstairs and see two chicks there taking down Christmas decorations, in their conversation, they found out that they had been the only people in the house all night, no woman and certainly no baby had been booked there. The next night, they’re still the only folks in the house, so they start exploring again. While the Aunt was walking around in one of the bedrooms, this chick had a shadow speed by her as she’s looking down the staircase. Later on that night, when they were back in their room, the Aunt was woke up a couple of times during the night by someone petting her hair.
The next morning, they went to explore a little more before the staff came in to open the restaurant. When they left their room, this chick left her phone laying on the bed, black phone, white comforter, there were no encounters that morning, so they go back to the room to finish packing. She said she remembered that her phone wasn’t on the bed, she assumed that maybe she mindlessly stuck it in her purse or something. So, they wind up leaving before the staff arrived, and made it to the airport early. They get through security and board their plane.
When they land the chick’s husband is there to pick her and her aunt up, he mentions that she’d called him several times and when he answered no one was there then the line would go dead. She was confused because she knew she hadn’t called him. She thought maybe her phone was just getting bumped around in her purse and redialing his number. A half an hour later, hubby’s cell phone rings, it’s her number, he answers, the line goes dead. So she starts digging through her purse for the phone, its not there. She assumes that its in her suitcase which is in the trunk and blows it off again. The drive home took a little over three hours, during that time, his his phone rang 3 more times, all calls from her number.
When she gets home, she searched her suitcase for the phone, it wasn’t there. So she calls the Lemp Mansion and they sent someone up to look in the room, it wasn’t there either. She called the rental car company, it wasn’t in the car. So, she gives up, calls her cell provider and has the phone cut off. When the bill comes in her mind was blown when she saw that ALL the phone calls had come exactly at 38 minutes after the hour and ALL to my husband’s phone. That’s some madness right there ya’ll!