My Night at the Haunted Mansion

Saint Louis has many classic landmarks that every person must visit while staying here. One of these famous landmarks is the historical Lemp Mansion. This mansion was the home of the Lemp Brewery family. It was a symbol of the wealth and power the family held in St. Louis at the time. Although, this is not the reason that this mansion is a St. Louis must-see. This site is actually one of the top ten most haunted places in America.

Much tragedy has fallen upon this home. Several members of the family died there due to poor health and at least four other members of the family committed suicide in different areas of the house. Guests have reported hearing people running up the stairs, seeing apparitions appear and disappear, hearing voices and seeing glasses move by themselves in the downstairs bar. Doors are also known to lock and unlock by themselves and the lights will inexplicably turn off and on (remember this one).

Now, you may be wondering why I decided to stay overnight at a literal haunted house, but your bigger question is probably, “Did you see anything?” And the answer to that question is yes.

Two friends and I decided to see how haunted this infamous mansion was a couple of weeks before going. To get the most out of our stay, we decided to stay in the William Lemp Suite. This room is the location of the tragic death of the head of the family, William Lemp, Sr. It has been said that his ghost is very active in this room. People have reported hearing footsteps walking around the room and a male voice telling them to “get out” and asking, “What are you doing here?” It has also been said that guests have heard another male running up the stairs and trying to kick the door in from outside the suite. This ghost is William Lemp, Jr. running to his father’s room after hearing the gunshot that took Lemp, Sr.'s life. While we did not experience anything as dramatic as these stories, we did have some crazy events that took place during our stay.

When booking a room at the Lemp Mansion, you actually have access to the entire home. If there are no other guests staying that night, you could be there completely alone (with the exception of the ghosts). Lucky for us, we at least had a group staying across the hall to make us feel safer. When you first enter the mansion, it feels as if you are being watched from every direction. The air is thick, and your body is tense with anticipation. Once entering the building, you have to make your way to your room through the dimly lit downstairs. Our room was on the second floor, and once inside, two things entered my mind. The first was that the lights were not working. After searching for about five minutes, we finally found the fuse box in the hall. Turning on the hall and room lights helped calm my nerves a little, but I got comfortable way too soon. Excited about what was to come, I decided to FaceTime my mom. Right as I told her that I was standing in the spot where a man died, the lights went completely out! All of our panicked chatter turned into nervous laughter as we realized what had just happened. Not only had my mom gotten to witness that, but we also got the moment on video. This was the moment that I realized what we had gotten ourselves into.

Once we were able to turn the lights on for a second time, the other realization about our room hit me. We did not have a conjoined bathroom. Our bathroom was down a dark, creepy hallway right next to the back stairway. If we needed to use the bathroom, we would have to walk all the way across the second floor to get there. We decided that if one person had to go to the bathroom, we all had to go together. We held our bladders as long as we could that night, but we realized around midnight that we had to go to the bathroom badly. That would not be a problem if we had not been hearing someone walking outside of our door. We finally became so desperate that we mustered enough courage to open the door to check and see if the coast was clear. Turning on our flashlights and cameras, we opened the door to the hall. Nancy, who was in the front, paused and went silent. All three of us listened to what sounded like a dog collar jingling towards us. After learning that one of the Lemp brothers killed his dog before turning the gun on himself, we quickly shut the door and locked it. But we still needed to get to the bathroom. With a large dose of bravery, I opened the door leading us towards the bathroom. Each stride away from our room had me feeling better about this journey—that was, until I turned the corner into that creepy hallway. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the bathroom door laying completely open. We had not left the door like that, and our neighbors had their own bathroom. Not giving it any more thought, I backed up and took off running back to the room. My full bladder was completely forgotten.

Despite all of this happening, we decided to be stupid and try to contact one of the ghosts with a pendulum. After asking many "yes" or "no" questions, we found that we were talking to a male figure. Which male is uncertain, but I believe it was William, Jr. Why? Apparently, Junior has been known to get talkative with other ghost hunters using pendulums. He was also a big playboy, so he might have been up for a chat with three college girls.

As it got later into the night, our nerves started to grow. I decided that we should just go to bed, so we could wake up in the morning and leave. Nancy and I started to put our pajamas on, but Jess, the third member of our party, decided that she was going to keep her clothes on. Laying in her jeans and winter coat, Jess stayed alert as we tried to relax enough to fall asleep. Despite having two beds, the three of us crammed ourselves into the side that did not belong to William, Sr. Due to the constant sounds that would occasionally come from that side, we decided it would be best if we kept the lights on. We also ended up finding comfort in the basketball commentary that was coming from the small television in our room. Not wanting to see what would happen at the witching hour (three o'clock), I tried my hardest to fall asleep. Every so often I would hear walking outside or a knock across the room, but I was able to eventually make it to morning.

With sunlight came our confidence. We decided that it was safe enough for us to go to the bathroom to brush our teeth. While Nancy went into the bathroom first, I stood outside looking at the portraits nearby. Right before I went in to use the bathroom, Nancy asked me if I had been the one walking outside the door. I assured her that I was and went on about my business. Once we both returned to our room, Jess asked us if we had run into management. Confused because the staff had yet to arrive back, we told her no. We had only talked to each other. Apparently, she had heard a man’s voice talking while we were in the other room. It was at that moment that I decided I was ready to head out. I had gotten my money’s worth for that stay.

While it may have been one of the hardest nights I have ever had, I definitely recommend spending the night at the Lemp Mansion. It may be terrifying at the moment, but it is the perfect place to make some memories with some friends. I definitely do not regret visiting the mansion for the night.