Friday, October 4, 2013


Photos of Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn - Bed and Breakfast Images
While I probably do not get asked as much about this as I do the things about where I get my inspiration and why I spend so much time writing about dark things, but sometimes people do ask me. They wonder about whether or not I believe in ghosts or demons or the other things within the realm of the supernatural. They must assume that since I write about that sort of stuff, I have to believe in it a little bit. As if imagination isn’t enough to get someone with my leanings to start thinking about ghosts and demons and the like.

The short answer is: no. However, that really doesn’t explain it. Like most things in my life, the answer is “no” - “but I hold out the idea that there are things in the world that we do not understand and that in such a wide, wide, amazing universe there might be things that we cannot see, can never understand and that some things that we consider impossible now might be possible and even commonplace in the future.”


You see, generally speaking I believe that what you see is what you get. However, I know that there are remarkable things that the human brain can do, and that a lot of it is stuff we have yet to explore. I also believe that our bodies are made up of a tremendous amount of energy and given that energy cannot be created or destroyed - it all has to go somewhere. So, generally I refuse to state flat out that ghosts, for example, do not exist. My real answer is: I don’t know if they exist.

I did once spend a night in one of the supposedly most haunted places in America. It is in St. Louis and known as the Lemp Mansion. I wrote a non-fiction book about haunted places in St. Louis and more than half the book is taken up with the history of the Lemp family and their mansion. They were a fascinating family and if you are enjoying a lager beer right now, you probably owe that family a nod of thanks for being one of the original innovators of brewing that kind of beer here in the U.S.

The Lemps were one of the richest families in America at one time. They also innovated ways to transport beer around the country. There was a time when a Lemp beer was probably in almost every tap in every bar and pub in the U.S. However, the family was rife with tragedy with several members killing themselves with gunshots to the head right in that mansion. They probably suffered from hereditary depression and bi-polar disorders, but the times they lived in did not allow for getting help for that kind of stuff.

These days, their mansion is a bed and breakfast, restaurant and dinner theater. If you are a history buff alone, it is well worth the money to stay here. You have rooms filled with period-specific furniture and beds, but with modern TVs and radios and DVD and CD players. The house is huge, with thick carpets, high ceilings and ornamentation. It is also supposedly filled with the ghosts of Lemp family members.

Images of Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn - Bed and Breakfast Pictures
I spent the night there on a night when they had a supposed clairvoyant come in and talk about the history of the place and then give us a tour. It was a great tour, and the culmination of it was a “dark room” session in the attic area. At one time the attic was barren, but now has some very nice rooms for you to stay in it. It is also supposedly the most haunted place in the mansion.

The woman led us all into the room, then called out to supposedly summon the spirits. Then she shut off the lights. It was REALLY dark, save for weird lights on the fire detectors set into the ceiling and the glowing red numbers from the digital clock near the bed.

At some point the clairvoyant said that someone was in the room. Someone behind me let out a yell that “someone” was standing behind her. Other people began to insist that there were “people” in the room wandering around amongst all of us who were standing along the wall.

Then, I noticed that the blouse of the clairvoyant woman (covered with white moons and stars like a wizard) began fading in and out as if shadows were drifting in front of her. Then, suddenly, it felt to me as if someone behind me walked in front of me and was now standing directly in front of me. I suddenly had this “feeling” that I was looking over someone’s shoulder. I thought maybe it was someone else from the group, despite being told not to move, who had decided to move to get closer to the supposed action.

After a few minutes the lights came back on. I looked and realized I was standing right up against the bed. It would have been impossible for anyone to have been standing there in front of me. Right before the lights came on, I could tell the psychic lady was looking in my direction and she said, “Oh, hello, I didn’t see you come in.” I know she wasn’t talking to me.

We all laughed and the people in the group talked. Those just there for the tour left. Those of us spending the night played around with divining rods and supposedly I was talking to the ghost of one of the Lemps at one point, but I could not guarantee I was not subsconsciously moving those damn rods, either. My friends and I teamed up with others spending the night and we drank some glasses of wine in the dark dining room while the dimmed lights flashed and went on and off. Later, while hanging out in my friend’s room I thought I saw a shadow move past the door to the room out of the corner of my eye.

That night my roommate and I slept with all of the lights on in our room and the TV on - loud. No one disturbed us. No ghosts appeared (that we know of). No ghostly steps up and down the stairs. No pounding on the door from ghostly hands. I would love to tell you that a Lemp agreed to sit down for an interview and fully manifested, but that did not happen.

So, what did I see? I have no idea. I would love to tell you with certainty that there were ghosts, but I didn’t see anything move on its own. I saw no full manifestations or apparitions. I saw some shadowy things in a dark room and something out of the corner of my eye. Hardly definitive proof of anything more than an overactive imagination in a house that plays up the haunted aspect so that you are subliminally thinking about ghost stuff from the moment you walk in.

My brother insisted that the house I grew up in was haunted, but I lived there for a long time and saw nothing. I once saw an old woman in the driveway that I did not recognize and wondered if it could have been my grandmother (we lived in my grandmother’s house after he passed), but that could be an overactive imagination, too.

I would not want to dismiss anyone who has seen a ghost, or a demon, talked to a deceased loved one, seen a UFO, fairies, Bigfoot or anything. If it was real to you, who am I to tell you that it wasn’t? Heck, I’m a dude who creates entire worlds inside his own head and has mental conversations with people who don’t really exist. Being a writer is one very tiny step away from being absolutely crazy.

So, do I believe? Not really, but I hold out hope. I choose to believe that the universe and the world we live in is so much more amazing and wonderful that we could ever comprehend. So, maybe, just maybe there are ghosts and there are things that go bump in the night. The world is, in my mind, much more fun that way.

Bryan W. Alaspa
Author of Strange Fruit and the Slender Man
a terrifying new novella

Photo Credits: These photos of Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn are courtesy of TripAdvisor 



We are giving away 14 ecopies of Bryan W. Alaspa's terrifying new novella STRANGE FRUIT AND THE SLENDER MAN. 

Simply click on the link provided and comment in the post announcing today's blog that "I WANT TO WIN." If you're one of the first fourteen, you've got some chills headed your way.  Due to Adult Content, you must be 18 of over to win.

I will be making updates throughout the day to let you know how many copies are left.

Good luck! 



Chicago, 1957. Two sisters, the Haines sisters, have gone missing and the entire city is in an uproar. As word of their disappearance spreads across the country, two police detectives are assigned the arduous tasks of finding them alive, or bringing their bodies home. However, as the two hardened cops begin to investigate, they soon find that things are not as cut and dried as they thought. This is not a simple kidnapping. Something ancient, primal and utterly terrifying is at work here and nothing that they have ever known will ever be the same again. Something has lured them into a terrifying trap that will destroy their minds, take their souls, and leave the rest of the world baffled.


  1. Sounds like a very interesting night and a beautiful house, Bryan. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Bryan, I was one of the 14 on the 10/4 HalloweenPallooza, but the past few days have been really busy, so I'm just getting over to your blog now. How do I get my copy of your book? It sounds intriguing.