Have A Haunted Halloween

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Grab a friend to hold on to, a jacket and about $40, and you will be ready to go to the haunted houses of St. Louis.

Saint Louis has some houses that are rumored to be truly haunted. The story of the Lemp Brewery is one of the most famous.

John Adam Lemp opened the Lemp Brewery in 1840. John Lemp enjoyed great success and passed his million-dollar business on to his son, William J. Lemp. By 1870 the Lemp brewery was the largest in the Saint Louis area, and the Lemp family was a symbol of St. Louis’ wealth and power.

The downfall of the Lemp empire began in the early 1900s. It is said to have started in 1901 when William J. Lemp’s oldest son died mysteriously.

Three years later, Lemp shot himself in the head at the family mansion. His son, William J. Lemp, Jr., then took over the operations of the brewery.

The brewery fortunes declined continually from that point. Prohibition permanently closed the brewery. In 1920, Else Lemp, sister of William Jr., committed suicide. After the sale of the brewery for $588, 500 (it was once worth $7 million) in 1922, William J. Lemp, Jr. committed suicide in the same building as his father.

Three Lemp attractions to visit in the Saint Louis area are: The Haunted Caverns of the Lemp Brewery, Dr. Zurheide’s Asylum and Hill House.

Haunted Caverns

The Haunted Caverns of the Lemp Brewery are located only 10 minutes from Saint Louis University’s campus. This is the last year the brewery will be open. This attraction is one that is rumored to be truly haunted. Visitors start off going down the mildewy smelling elevator into the depths of the cavern.

It is about a 20-minute walk through (depending on how fast people are running). The best thing about this attraction is that it is unpredictable. You don’t know where your feet will be guiding you next or whether or not a person waits around the corner to scare you.

You walk up and down steps and ramps and make sharp turns constantly. The steps creek and the ramps seem like they are going to fall in at any minute. The seeming instability of the floor adds to the frightening experience.

When you exit the brewery, head straight across the street to Dr. Zurheide’s Asylum.

It takes about 20 minutes to walk through. This house is very predictable; you just walk around in what is very recognizable as a warehouse.

The lighting is not quite dark enough because you can tell if someone is waiting ahead to scare you.

However this house is worth going to for the special effects; they are awesome. Strobe lights, fake spider webs and machines that randomly spray out bursts of air are just some of the effects that lurk in the asylum.

To get to The Haunted Caverns of the Lemp Brewery and Dr. Zurheide’s Asylum take I-44 east to I-55 south.

Get off I-55 at Arsenal and turn right. Turn left on Lemp and park near Cherokee and Lemp. A super ticket is available for $20, which gets you into both houses. Separately, the brewery is $14 plus tax and the asylum is $13 plus tax. So save the money and go to both. Recommendation: Go through the caverns first because the line is long and moves slowly. The asylum line is long too, but it moves pretty quickly.

Hill House

Another excellent house is Hill House in Imperial, Mo. Hill House is said to be the vacationing home of the Lemp’s and is also rumored to be haunted.

This is a little further from campus, but worth the drive. You start out walking through a field, so it is much scarier if you wait until it is completely dark outside.

After walking through the field you go into the actual house. For those of you who went to Hill House last year, the house has been completely gutted and has changed completely.

The transition from outside in the field to inside the house is appropriately timed.

Unlike some of the other haunted houses in the area that have outside and inside portions, the frightening experience is balanced at Hill House.

There are limited special effects, again added at just the right spots.

It seems that whoever designed this house was thinking about how to scare people when they least expect it. The cost for a ticket is $13.

All of the houses are open nightly through Halloween evening.

Ways To Make Your Haunted House Experience The Best:

*Listen to local radio stations to find out which houses they will visit so you can get cool stuff from them.

*Go with a group of people. Have at least one designated person to grab onto.

*Don’t get kicked out of the houses buy touching the actors or going off the path. The actors are not allowed to touch you either.

*Bring a jacket…you may be standing outside for awhile, and it gets chilly in St. Louis at night, along the same line wear comfortable shoes.

Note: The Haunted Cavern of the Lemp Brewery does not allow high-heeled shoes!

*For a less costly experience look for coupons.

Other suggestions:

*Eat at the Lemp Restaurant, right below the house where the Lemp’s committed suicide. The restaurant has a nice lunch menu with a variety of soups, salads, sandwiches and pastas.

If you eat there try the cookies and cream cheesecake: It’s to die for. The portions served are pretty small for the prices, but the food tastes wonderful. Dinner prices are high for a college student’s budget, with entr?es starting at $8.95.

*Take a tour of the Lemp Mansion. Tours are given every Sunday from 1-6 p.m. Through the rest of October tours will be given on Thursday evenings from 7-9 p.m. The cost is $5.00.

*Go to the Halloween Costume Ball at the Lemp Mansion. It is this Saturday, Oct. 28. from 8-12:30 p.m. The featured bands are Sable, The Edge and Hush. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Price includes food and refreshments.

The winner of the costume contest receives a five-day/ four-night stay in Cancun. So wear your best costume!

Other haunted houses:

-Screamworld in Fenton. It has two haunted houses, a 3-D attraction and a hayride.

Tickets are $14.50 and allow re-entry until closing on the night the ticket is purchased.

-House of Darkness in Soulard. Tickets are $13.50.

-Elvira’s Nightmare in downtown St. Louis. Includes three separate haunted houses. Tickets are $13.50.