Oct. 24, 2021

Lemp Mansion // 81 // family curse

Lemp Mansion // 81 // family curse

You think you have bad luck?? Wait until you hear the story about the Lemps! After becoming millionaires in the brewing business, and one of the biggest brewing companies in St.Louis, MO, their luck quickly declined. With many deaths in the family to a possible curse.... "well, that's the Lemp family for you" The mansion they lived in is now very haunted by their past and all the Lemps that passed away within its walls


In 1836, Johann "Adam" Lemp Migrated from Germany along with thousands of others to the U.S. He would eventually settle in St. Louis, Missouri, and start his own grocery store, called, A. Lemp Co. He purchased groceries from other suppliers and sold his own vinegar and beer, it's this beer that is basically the beginning to this whole story, which always leads to something crazy, am I right?? By 1840 his sole focus was on manufacturing and selling beer and he ditched the grocery business. At this point, he created, Western Brewery, at 37 South Second Street, which fun fact is close to where the left leg of the arch stands today! He was one of the first people in the U.S. to produce German Lager because most people made English Ales, so his brewery quickly gained popularity, due to the increase of German population in the area and remember, he actually came from Germany himself. He had started building himself an entire empire and leme tell you, dude was freaking smart if he came up with this, its unclear if it was him or he found out about it and utilized it, either way, I think it's cool.

So There was a natural cave system under St. Louis, that refrigerated itself and provided a perfect temperature for aging beer. You cant tell me that's not damn smart, I mean, I would never think of anything like that!! By the 1860s, Many other brewers starting using the caves including 40 others, but my man, Adam, came out on top as one of the most successful brewers, quickly becoming a millionaire. In 1862, Adam unfortunately passes away and his son, William Hemp, took the business over. He Expanded the brewery in 1864 and it would soon cover 5 freaking blocks and by 1870 becoming the largest brewery in St. Louis. If you think 5 blocks is a lot, the brewery eventually ends up covering nearly 10. The demand was so high, he started brewing beer and bottling it in the same factory, which was not a common practice at the time at all, which is weird to me because we see it all over the place nowadays. He then took everything one step further, by installing a refrigeration machine in 1878, which was the first in an American brewery, but because that wasn't enough, he took it even further, and came up with the idea to use refrigerated railway cars, and it became the first beer in the U.S. to be sold worldwide.

Now to the mansion that we will be talking about, was built a short distance from the brewery, in either the 1860s or 1870s, by Williams father in law, and purchased by William, he wanted it for both a place to live and a place to keep his office. The mansion has 33 rooms, 3 floors, a basement, and an attic, so it's clearly not small. He immediately started expanding and renovating and turns it into a Victorian showplace. He actually built a tunnel that was from his basement and led thru the refrigeration caves we talked about earlier. William marries Julia and has 6 kids, one of their sons, Frederick was basically their golden child, he was being trained and studying on how to take over the business, but little did the family know, he had some pretty bad health problems, that eventually led to heart failure and his death at just 28 years old. William took this super hard and basically was never the same, he went into a deep depression. 3 years later, his best friend passed away, and I just don't think William could not handle all the loss, and he shot himself in head, in the bedroom of the mansion. His son William J. Lemp Jr. or "Billy" took over his spot in the company, but unfortunately, the Lemp family's luck seems to run out from here.

Billy married Lillian and they moved to a new house and had a baby. Lillian was often known as the, "lavender lady" because she LOVED the color purple, and I mean LOVED. She went as far as having her horses harnesses dyed lavender. Lillian was a bit of an over spender and Billy didn't have the same drive as his father and grandfather and he liked to party a bit more than he liked to run the business. At this point, they had more space, so he had added things into the tunnels, like an underground pool, its basically redone around entertainment purposes. Though he ran the brewery during the day, Its alleged that he got involved in parties with a lot of alcohol and prostitution at night, parties that he actually threw in the tunnels, and eventually led to, Lillian and him getting a divorce in 1908, she took custody of their only son. Billy built himself a country home and lived there for awhile. By 1919, the brewery had suffered greatly due to prohibition and our friend Billy has been busy, this is only speculation, it has not been proven, but there were rumors that he had a son outside of his marriage, and this child, was born with down syndrome. I hate even saying this, but at the time, this was a shameful thing, because not only did he have an affair, but now the child isn't considered "normal" which would be a huge thing back then, people actually refer to him as monkey faced boy. So instead of Billy admitting to his mistakes, he hid the poor child within the walls and in the attic of the mansion. There isn't any actual records of this boy existing, but if he's trying so hard to hide him, why would there be??

As the Lemps bad luck continues, in 1920, Billy's sister Elsa, shot herself in her bed at her and her husbands home, after a long and damaging battle to her physical and mental health due to a divorce she was going thru. She ended up back with the same guy, and some people speculate that it was a murder suicide cover up..... just throwing that out there. (husband can easily say its a suicide just like the other family members) When Billy heard the news of her passing, he said, "Well that's the Lemp family for you" So the brewery was shut down and the Falstaff trademark was sold to Billy's friend, "Papa Joe" Griesedieck. Falstaff was the brand of beer that, way back in the beginning, the creator of all this, Adam, had worked so hard to make a name for. The factory was shut down permanently with no warning and staff only found out when they showed up to the doors and gates locked. In 1922, the brewery was sold at an auction for $588,500, International Shoe Co. In 1922, Billy shot himself in the same house that his father had shot himself in, on the main level. Aaaannndd countinuing on the bad luck trail, William the third, who I mentioned briefly earlier, died of a heart attack. Billie's brother, Charles, continued to stay at the house, he was a very bitter man who never married, he stayed at the mansion with a married couple, who were his servants, and his dog. In 1941, he sent a letter to a funeral home stating that in case of his death, he shall be taken by ambulance to the Missouri Crematory, he didn't want to be bathed or clothed, whatever he died in, was good enough. Then his ashes were to be put in a wicker box and buried on his farm. He wanted nothing put in the paper about his death and no funeral. 8 years after making this call, he too shot himself and sorry about this guys, gonna say it fast, but him and his dog in the head. He left behind a suicide note that read, "St.Louis Mo/May 9, 1949, in case I am found dead, blame it on no one but me. Ch. A. Lemp" Out of all these, only 2 of Billys kids actually lived full lives, Louis died of natural causes in 1931, and Edwin in 1971, who lived to be 90, his final request was that his caretaker to destroy every and all family heirlooms, and the family's art collection. (It's said that the possible reason for this is because he was trying to end the curse)

The family line of Lemps ends here, the mansion is sold, turned into a boarding house, and this is where a lot of the hauntings begin. The house slowly started to become rundown, along with the rest of the neighborhood. In 1975, Dick Pointer and his family bought the mansion and immediately wanted to go to work on fixing it up. They started renovations and turned it into a restaurant and Inn, which is what it remains today. You can also book ghost tours, stay overnight, do mystery dinners, or even book your wedding there! (Who doesn't want to have a wedding at a place known for death) And this is where the spooky really begin!! As we all know, ghosts don't tend to love when people mess with their space, not that we are intentionally trying to piss them off or anything, but some really don't like renovations, I'm not saying that's what for sure set them off or anything, but I definitely think it amps up activity. The Pointers had said that they had lost quite a lot of employees over the years, due to strange and unexplainable things happening, some employees literally left before even completing a whole day on the job. Many reported their tools and items vanishing, apparitions, feeling like they were being watched, disembodied voices, glasses moving off the bar, lights turning on and off, and doors locking and unlocking, among many other things. Pointer himself had also had strange experiences. He was painting the bathroom alone one day, and he felt someone watching him from behind, he turned around, and nothing was there, but he said the feeling was so strong that it was a burning sensation, he tried to get back to work, but as soon as he did, it happened again, so he cleaned his paint brushes and dipped the hell out of there. (HE CLEANED THE PAINTBRUSHES. Cleaned them. Man, buy new freaking paint brushes, screw those damn things. And speaking of painting, Pointer had hired an artist to work on the ceilings, he was noted saying, "that place is crazy, you must have a ghost in there or something!" because he would feel like he was being watched while alone, and feel like he was being overcome by a sense of menace. One night, Pointers son, was sleeping alone, with just his doggo, Shadow, when they both woke up to what sounded like loud kicks on his bedroom door, they searched the house, but didn't find anyone or anything that could have caused it, another time he was closing down the restaurant with a coworker when they heard two keys played on the piano, again, no one else was there. He also heard many bangs, said drawers would open and close, furniture moved on its own, and a candle would itself nightly. People tend to get dizzy when they enter the rooms of where people had committed suicide, knocks and footsteps are heard commonly. People actually hear someone running up the stairs and kicking the bedroom door, which is really sad, because its said that that's what Billy did when his father took his life. People see figures in the windows. Hear doors slamming. In the downstairs woman's bathroom, its said that women have reported a man that peaks over the stalls, EW, HATE IT, but its speculated that this could be Billy, since he was known to be kind of a womanizer. A former waitress of the restaurant said that early one morning she was doing a run thru of the house to make sure everything was in working order, and she saw a dark-haired man sitting at a table, in the room that was once the Lemp family dining room. He wasn't facing her, so she could only see the outline of his shoulders and head. Surprised someone was there so early, she asked if he wanted a cup of coffee. The man did not answer, she looked away just for a second to turn the lights on, and he was gone.

On Ghost adventures the Lemp Mansion episode- Betsy Burnett-Belanger, who is an expert in Lemp family history, said one of her most intense memories from the mansion, was that she was hosting a supernatural slumber party, guests were upstairs as she was downstairs on a roll away bed, she heard someone at the men's bathroom, it freaked her out, so she pulled her covers over her head, and as she did so, she could feel someone walking in circles around her, then it freaking bent over her, and started moaning, she said it was incredibly loud and she could actually feel the energy coming off of it. John and Lisa Healea (haleah) spent the evening in William's room, they heard the doorknob twist a few times, then talking in the hallway, Lisa also spotted what looked like a hand on John's leg, John then told lisa that he hoped she didn't have to use the bathroom at all, cause there was someone in the hallway..... they were the only people in the whole mansion, well, live people. One of Zach's cast members, Mike Stodden, was walking thru the tunnels, he came to a set of stairs, took off his glasses, and put them in his pocket. He has bifocals, so its hard for him to see down the stairs, which is why he takes them off. When he got to the bottom of the stairs, he reached in his pocket, and his glasses were gone, there's nothing there. So he keeps walking because he knows that they've gotta get ready to shoot down there, so he walks about 50 yards ahead of where he just came from, around a corner, and there his glasses sat, open and on the ground. 50 yards AHEAD of him, as in laying on the ground in a spot he hadn't even walked yet. Earlier I had brought up the really sad story behind, Monkey Face Boy, from here on out, I am going to refer to him as Zeke. Zeke is one of the most famous ghosts at the mansion. People typically feel him in the attic or see him waving from the attic window. People that stay the night usually hear him running in the walls at night, which is crazy because there's actually a secret corridor that runs between two of the rooms. We first hear about Zeke in 1983 when two radio jockeys did a Halloween broadcast from the mansion, they asked if anyone was with them, and in the microphone, they heard someone say, I am Zeke, and everyone actually got to hear this come over the radio. Now, keep in mind Zeke was supposedly an illegitimate child, but again, no records of him being in the Lemp family. So, Mark from the St. Louis paranormal research society, has a theory that I actually could get behind when it comes to Zeke. Sharing a parking lot with Lemp was once was what was called the, Cramer Mansion, when the great depression began, it foreclosed, was bought out, and turned into the Marion Hospital. This hospital was pretty poor and mainly helped the homeless, people with very little money, or the cities unwanted. In the 1950s there was an orphanage on the other side of the mansion, Mark actually believes that they were unable to care for him at the orphanage, moved him to the hospital, and he somehow ended up passing within the walls of the Lemp mansion. This theory is believable to me, it makes more sense with the timeline and not only that, but the lemps were in the public eye a lot, I feel like it wouldn't have been easy for them to hide a child his whole life.

TUNNELS: I specifically wanted to cover the brewery and mansion, but the tunnels are also known to be extremely haunted. There is actually a theory that these tunnels were actually used by Cherokee Indians, and them building the brewery and mansion right on top may have started the curse. Legend has it that a male and female native American had fallen in love, but the woman was supposed to marry the Chief and not who she loved, so the two of them took off. They ended up living in the caves and both starved to death. Could they have put a curse on the caves ?? Did the Lemps unleash a curse when they built on top of them?? Or is it possible that they were just really that unlucky?? That's for you to decide.





Ghost adventures- Lemp Mansion and Brewery


Facebook- st.louis paranormal research society