The Lemp Mansion in St. Louis is often mentioned in lists of America's most haunted places. The former home of the Lemp family is now a restaurant and bed & breakfast. Diners and overnight guests can experience the ghostly happenings inside the mansion.
Why It's Haunted
The sad history of the Lemp family makes it easy to see why many believe the mansion is haunted. The Lemps once ruled over the second largest brewery in the U.S., and the family home is everything you'd expect from such a dynasty. But the mansion is also the place where three family members committed suicide and their ghosts are still said to roam about the halls.
The downfall of the Lemp beer dynasty began in 1901 when Frederick Lemp died under mysterious circumstances. Frederick was the heir to the beer empire and the favorite son of his father, William. Three years later, a still grieving William shot himself in the head in a bedroom of the Lemp Mansion. In a span of two generations, four members of the Lemp family killed themselves.
Daughter Elsa committed suicide at her husband's home in 1920 after enduring a difficult marriage. Son William Jr. shot himself inside the Lemp Mansion in 1922. He'd previously gone through a divorce and lost custody of his only child. The final suicide at the mansion was in 1949 when son Charles shot and killed his dog and then himself. It's this tragic family history, combined with hundreds of stories of ghostly encounters, that earns the Lemp Mansion a place among the nation's most haunted houses.
St. Louis' Most Unique Bed & Breakfast
Today, the home's reputation makes it one of St. Louis' most interesting bed & breakfasts. The thirty-three room mansion still has original furnishings and a distinctive victorian and art deco decor. Overnight guests can choose to stay in one of four different suites: the Lavender Suite, William Lemp Suite, Elsa Lemp Suite, or the Frederick and Louis Lemp Suite. The Lavender and William Lemp Suites and decorated in period furniture, while the Elsa and Frederick and Louis Suites offer more modern accommodations.
The Lemp Mansion is located at 3322 DeMenil Place in south St. Louis and can be reached at (314) 664-8024. The restaurant is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served Thursday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. (January-August), and Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. (September-December). Each Sunday, the restaurant serves a family-style, all-you-can-eat chicken dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Lemp Mansion plays up its spooky reputation by offering haunted events throughout the year. Haunted tours are offered most Monday evenings at 7 p.m. Local ghost hunters also take private groups through the mansion looking for signs of paranormal activity. And each Halloween, the Lemp Mansion hosts a costume party and dance. For more on these and other haunted happenings, see the Lemp Mansion website.