Lemp Mansion Investigation

When John Adam Lemp arrived in St. Louis from Eschwege, Germany in 1838, he seemed no different from the thousands of other immigrants who poured into the Gateway to the West during the first half of the 19th century. Lemp originally sought his fortune as a grocer. But his store was unique for its ability to supply an item sold by none of his competitors – lager beer. Lemp had learned the art of brewing the effervescent beverage under the tutelage of his father in Eschwege, and the natural cave system under St. Louis provided the perfect temperature for aging beer. Lemp soon realized that the future of lager beer in America was as golden as the brew itself, and in1840 he abandoned the grocery business to build a modest brewery at 112 S. Second Street. A St. Louis industry was born. The brewery enjoyed the marvelous success and John Adam Lemp died a millionaire.

William J. Lemp succeeded his father as the head of the brewery and he soon built it into an industrial giant. In 1864 a new plant was erected at Cherokee Street and Carondolet Avenue. The size of the brewery grew with the demand for its product and it soon covered five city blocks.

In 1870 Lemp was by far the largest brewery in St. Louis and the Lemp family symbolized the city’s wealth and power. Lemp beer controlled the lion’s share of the St. Louis market, a position it held until Prohibition. In 1892 the brewery was incorporated as the William J. Lemp Brewing Co.  In 1897 two of the brewing industry’s titans toasted each other when William Lemp’s daughter, Hilda, married Gustav Pabst of the noted Milwaukee brewing family.

The demise of the Lemp Empire is one of the great mercantile mysteries of St. Louis. The first major issue in the Lemp dynasty occurred when Frederick Lemp, William’s favorite son and 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. succeeded his father as president.

Tragedy continued to stalk the Lemps with startling ardor. The brewery’s fortunes continued to decline until Prohibition (1919) closed the plant permanently.  William Jr.’s sister, Elsa, who was considered the wealthiest heiress in St. Louis, committed suicide in 1920. On June 28, 1922, the magnificent Lemp brewery, which had once been valued at $7 million and covered ten city blocks, was sold at auction to International Shoe Co. for $588,500. Although most of the company’s assets were 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 in 1949. The body was discovered by his brother, Edwin in the basement of the property.

In 1970, Edwin Lemp died of natural causes at the age of ninety.

After the death of Charles Lemp, the mansion was sold and turned into a boarding house. Shortly after that, it fell on hard times and began to deteriorate, along with the nearby neighborhood. The decline of the house continued until 1975, when it was purchased by Dick Pointer and his family. The Pointer’s began remodeling and renovating the place, working for many years to turn it into a restaurant and an inn.


Located at 3322 DeMenil Pl. , St. Louis , MO. 63118, 314-664-8024

Website: http://www.lempmansion.com

Hauntings:  Glasses have been seen to lift off the bar and fly through the air; sounds are often heard that do not have explanation and some have glimpsed actual apparitions who appear and vanish at will. In addition, many customers and visitors to the house report some pretty weird incidents. It is said that doors lock and unlock on their own; the piano in the bar plays by itself; voices and sounds come from nowhere; and even the spirit of the “Lavender Lady” has been spotted on occasion. In 1899, Will has married Lillian Handlan, the daughter of a wealthy manufacturer. She was nick-named the “Lavender Lady” because of her fondness for dressing in this color. 






The GRS investigated the Lemp Mansion on February 10, 2001 and the team included: Jim Graczyk, Stan Suho, Matt Hucke, Brandon Kutka, Jeff Vollmer, Miklos Hurocy, Howard Hight, Ruth & Dale Kaczmarek and we were assisted by Joe Gibbons and various members of his paranormal team. 








Equipment set-up: G.E.I.S.T. was set up in William Sr.’s Room and video cameras were placed throughout the building including the Front Parlor, Downstairs Kitchen and Upstairs Attic. Another was placed unmonitored in the Downstairs Vault Area.  

Personal Experiences: A sweet smell was detected downstairs and Toni’s son had the bathroom doorknob yanked from his hand. Extremely high and unusual EMF readings were picked up in the center of the main staircase. They were not near the stairs or the ceiling but seemed to only occur exactly in between the step and the ceiling. Also high EMF readings 5 mg were picked up just outside of William Sr.’s Room, the entrance to Lillian’s Room and near the Lavender Suite. High static fields were detected in the bathroom of the Lavender Suite.  

Miklos Hurocy: Here is my tape of the Lemp Mansion Investigation. The tape is made up of the two Hi8mm that I recorded from the site. There are three sequences on the tape, the first begins immediately at the start, the second of course shortly after the first, and the third, you will have to do some minor fast forwarding to get to. Let me explain the images.

You will first see me enter the room from behind the camera, go to move the microphone, and then go to my equipment bag. After I finish this, I check the room one last time, and then exit. The Tri-Field is set, but it is only set to a sensitivity level to detect direct motion around it, hence its siren when I approach the microphone. What you are looking for is in the lower right hand corner as I pass out of field of view from the camera as I am leaving the room, there appears to be two orbs, briefly a single one flies overhead from my position, and the second directly behind it at a lower level, but appears to be faster. The large green box in the lower right hand corner of the diagram identifies the area in which the anomaly was observed based on position of the camera.

The second sequence on the tape is the camera was set to auto pan. I go to readjust the microphone and collect more tapes. As I leave the room, look in the first pass of the mirror identified as (Item 1). Immediately after I leave the room, a rather large orb assuming golf ball size appears from nowhere in the right hand corner of the mirror, and travels straight past the camera’s angle. The yellow box in the diagram identifies this area.

It should be noted that the camera was running in infrared, and all visible light witnessed on the film is not paranormal, but my flashlight. Throughout the entire operation of the camera, the exterior vault door was closed when I was not in the room. The location of both the main interior door is indicated as red, and the “heavy” vault door is identified as blue in the diagram.

The third and final sequence is after I move the camera from the vault to the adjacent pantry; the camera is still on auto pan. As it completes its first rotation, look in the window with the curtain. There appears to be a flickering light in the window that travels up into the top of the frame. Let the tape run to its completion on this sequence, and you will not see it again. I don’t suspect this as anything peculiar, but it does not appear again throughout the sequence of the tape. It could be an exterior light that was just caught in the wind, but I am not sure. I do remember that when you walked through the adjacent dining room to exit into the courtyard, as I was on the top stair smoking a cigarette earlier in the evening that most of the exterior lights around the atrium are amber colored standard exterior bulbs that are joined across a “chain” over the courtyard. There is a possibility with the wind moving the light strands from left to right, but not up and down at least in the distance covered by the light in the window, plus it appears to be in front of the curtain, not behind it.

(Kaczmarek’s notes: Since we don’t pay much attention to orbs nowadays I doubt that anything we captured there visually in the way of an orb was paranormal. Most logical explanations for the orbs were dust particles. 99.9% of orbs can be explained away as natural phenomenon!)  

Video Evidence: Nothing except dust orbs.  

Audio evidence: As we were checking our equipment prior to set up, Joe was videotaping us. It wasn’t until after he reviewed the tape that he heard something quite unusual in the background. A high-pitched male or female voice is heard above the noise and talking screaming, “Help, I’m in fire.” Over and over again.  

Overall opinion: We weren’t able to actually start the investigation until quite late due to the amount of people in the restaurant and bar even though we had rented out all the rooms for that specific purpose. We constantly had people from downstairs traipsing upstairs where our equipment was being set up. By the time everything was quiet we probably had about 4-5 hours of actual investigative time.

I was impossible to explain the weird EMF anomaly that I detected in the center of the main staircase. There was very little in the way of evidence of haunting activity that evening indicating that it was a quiet and somewhat uneventful investigation.

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