Thursday, March 22, 2012

Two Nights in a Haunted Hotel

I loved this tree in front of the Lemp Mansion, right out of a Arthur Rackham illustration, so creepy!
Many of you already know that Dan and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary this week on the Spring Equinox.  We really wanted to do something fun, we really don't get out much, and all work, no play makes Mickie want to go "all Shining" so we made plans.  We live in a Suburb of St. Louis, so we decided to get downtown, and being big fans of both Ghost Hunters and occasional luxury, we made reservations at St. Louis' most famous haunted location, The Lemp Mansion.  Since our anniversary falls on the equinox, and we now work from home, we decided to do the "middle of the week" trip, and we saved some money on the room rates too. 
The view of the Lemp Mansion from the parking lot, the five windows at the top of the brick section from right to left, were our windows.
The history of the Lemp Mansion is fascinating and tragic.  The mansion was built in the 1860's and was later bought by William J. Lemp for his family to live in and as an extra office for the brewery which is located nearby.  I won't go into the whole history, but you can read it here.  Suffice to say, many of the members of the family committed suicide in the house.  Many people have had supernatural experiences in the house, and they do offer paranormal investigation nights. 
The sitting room, and bed room beyond in the lavender suite. 
Sitting room in the lavender suite.

So was I creeped out staying there?  Well, Dan and I stayed in "The Lavender Suite" which was totally gorgeous!  I was just floored when we walked in, the suite was huge!  The three room suite was bigger than half of my whole house.  It was decked out with antiques, but also had modern conveniences like a TV tucked into a lovely armoir, coffee pot (thank you VERY much) and right outside the room was another beautiful armoir hiding a mini fridge and a small microwave on a little cart.  This elegant suite was the bedroom, sitting room and bathroom of Lillian Lemp who was known around St. Louis in her heyday as The Lavender Lady, dressing exclusively in lavender inspired by her favorite fashion icon the Czarina of Russia. 
Lillian Lemp, The Lavender Lady.
This lady was high society, and the rooms reflected her taste and means.  I couldn't get enough of the bathroom which was as big as my living room at home, and decked out in lavish Italian marble with a granite shower stall.
Italian marble covered bathroom, and yes, that's a fireplace in the bathroom!

 And, oh yes, I did soak in that marble tub, you bet I did!  I would love to say that Lillian appeared to us hovering at the foot of the bed or gazing out the window, but unfortunately, she didn't, although the fact that she didn't may have helped us get a good night sleep.  We did experience periodic flickering of the chandeliers, which was interesting.  We tried to communicate to see if it was Lillian, but it seemed more like an electrical issue, old house and all.  We concluded that it probably had something to do with the dimmer switches.  The strange thing was, no matter how much I messed with the dimmer the next night, I couldn't get the lights to flicker.  So was it the Lavender Lady after all?  Who knows.  I personally like to think that she liked us and didn't want to scare us off, she was a wonderful hostess and we were sure to thank her for her hospitality and beautiful rooms when we checked out.
A photo I took in the courtyard at night
A photo taken one minute later...What do you think?  Read to the end to find out!

So did I mention, the staff gives you a key to the back door and they all leave the building at 11:00 pm?  Oh yes, they do.  I felt very "Scooby Doo" when I braved the dark halls and stairways of this haunted old mansion to go get ice and explore a bit.  The vibe in our room felt very nice, very welcoming.  There were areas in this house that didn't.  The hallway the leads past the Charles Lemp Suite who committed suicide in the house in 1949, had a very heavy feel to me.  I felt like I was being watched in the upstairs hallways near the ice machine, and it had a very heavy and uncomfortable feel up there. 
The artrium, I love this room!

The last evening, I thought I saw a "shadow" peek around the corner, on the top floor near the old servants quarters and of course no one was there.  I'm not sure however, it was a brief moment.  Did I see something there, or was it just what I wanted to see?

On Wednesday we had a great time romping up and down visiting the funky shops on Delmar. I got a beautiful pair of silk wrap around pants from Macrosun, Nag Champa soap for Dan (his favorite) and of course Dan found a book! We checked out the stars in the sidewalk of famous St. Louisans, and enjoyed the shops, art galleries, and musicians playing on the sidewalk.
The Iconic Blueberry Hill sign on Delmar.

Dan took a phot of me with our friend Raven Wolf, it was nice to run into him!

Just one of the fun windows on the Delmar Loop, is that Angelina Jolies' leg?

  In front of Vintage Vinyl on the sidewalk we bumped into Pagan Picnic regular Raven Wolf C. Felton Jennings II who was making that sax sound really sweet for all of the passers by!  He had his CD for sale so we picked up a copy which he signed for us and we enjoyed it in the car on our way back to the Lemp.  That evening we went to McGurks, one of our anniversary traditions, had a wonderful meal outside because the weather was perfect and sat near the koi pond.  We shared Baileys cheesecake for dessert, mmmmm. 

I picked up a deliciously decadent breakfast at Benton Park Cafe right around the corner from the Lemp this morning, coffee and a chai latte and enjoyed it in the sitting room.  We thought we might run around the St. Louis Zoo today, but the weather was rainy so we decided to just get back home.  We checked out later this morning and bid the Lemp Mansion and all it's occupant both in this world and the next farewell, and are back at home now, chilling out, and getting ready to get back to work in the studio.  We truly enjoyed our haunted anniversary!  I have a photo of us together at McGurks as soon as we can figure out how to get it off of Dans phone, ahhh, technology!

I'll probably post more pics on my facebook page tomorrow.

***Oh, and the photo in the courtyard above, is that a ghost?  No, sorry, I was doing long exposures to get these nightime photos, and Dan walked past while the shutter was open!  But it looks cool!



  1. I think the idea of the staff leaving at 11:00 pm would make me nervous...I wouldn't want to venture out into the rest of the mansion!! Sounds wonderful though. Happy Anniversary wishes, and may you and Dan have so very many more! Thanks for the fun post!

  2. I was so proud of myself for walking the halls, If something really crazy had happened like a voice or apparition I'm sure I probably would have freaked out an run back to our room at top speed! LOL

  3. Lemp, McGurks, the Loop, cheesecake...?

    Sounds like an awesome anniversary for an awesome couple.

  4. Dear Mickie ~ Just came across your blog ~ (you know how that is, looking at the favorites blogs of a follower, and then THEIR favorites, and so on...
    Oh, my ~ Lemp! I live in Sikeston, 3 hours to the south, and we visit there a few times a year to eat...however, about 5 years ago my 2 daughters and I spent the night there, in the Lavender Room, as you did ~ we couldn't believe it when the staff all left! (I thought there would be a caretaker or someone there...) we were the only ones in the house, as well ~ no other guests. I had to laugh when you mentioned your "shades of Scooby Doo" should have seen the three of us creeping down the stairs by candle-light! My oldest daughter (then 27)finally fell asleep on us, while younger daughter (then 19) and I lay awake, thinking we heard "dog" noises...we didn't venture upstairs, though...
    Nice to meet you ~ I'm a new follower!

  5. Mickie, Very cool post! You've been chosen to receive The Versatile Blogger Award! Participation is not mandatory, but I hope to read some interesting facts about you! See the link here:


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