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Lemp Mansion's Ghost of Zeke

   This picture was taken in 2014 on the third floor of the Lemp Mansion.  If you look closely in the doorway of the Fredrick Lemp Suite, you can see a faint apparition.  We believe this to be Zeke, the ghost of a young boy who apparently died in the Lemp Mansion decades ago.

    This photograph was captured during a séance held on the third floor.  During a Portal Box session, we managed to contact the ghost of Zeke.  We asked Zeke how he died, and his response was “Pushed.”  After answering, investigators witnessed a black mist that traveled across the floor, down the hallway, over the third story staircase banister, and then straight down into the basement.  We think Zeke was replaying the moment of his death as he was pushed over the staircase banister and plummeted three stories to his death.  

    Zeke is the infamous ghost that helped the Lemp Mansion gain the reputation of being one of the most haunted houses in America.  In 1983, Steve and DC, two radio disc jockeys from KWK, held a Halloween broadcast from the Lemp Mansion.  During that broadcast, they asked the most basic question of any paranormal investigation “Is anyone with us?”  After asking the question, their microphones picked up the EVP “I am Zeke.”  Many people started speculating that Zeke was an illegitimate child of the Lemp Family, most likely the love child of William Lemp Jr.  According to myth, his mother was a prostitute; Zeke was mentally disabled and physically deformed, and they kept him chained up on the third floor of the Lemp Mansion.  The myths and stories about Zeke are almost endless, but one fact cannot be disputed, during the 1950’s people had seen a young physically deformed boy looking out of the third story rectangular windows and waving to pedestrians on the sidewalk below.  

    After Charles Lemp had committed suicide on May 10, 1949, the Lemp Mansion was bought by the State of Missouri.  At the time Interstate Fifty Five's original route was to run down the middle of what today is known as DeMenil Place.    During the 1950’s and before Interstate Fifty Five's construction, the Lemp Mansion was loaned out to the Marion Hospital.  The Marion Hospital was once the old Cramer Mansion before it went into foreclosure shortly after the start of the Great Depression in 1929. After its foreclosure, the Cramer Mansion was converted into the Marion Hospital, with the purpose of serving the poor, homeless, and the indigent.  The Marion Hospital used the Lemp Mansion during the 1950’s as patient wards.  So the young physically deformed boy people had seen waving out of the third story windows could not have been a member of the Lemp Family because the Lemp Family no longer owned the mansion.

   I do not think Zeke was an illegitimate child of the Lemp Family, but a ward of the State.  On the southern side of the Lemp Brewery on Marine Avenue stood the old Marine Hospital, during the 1950’s the Marine hospital was being used as an orphanage.  I think that Zeke was a ward of the state and originally housed at the orphanage.    Due to Zeke’s mental and physical handicaps, he required more care and oversight than the orphanage could provide, so they moved him to the Lemp Mansion wing of the Marion Hospital where he could receive better care.  

    So this is how I think Zeke ended up in the Lemp Mansion and it explains why Zeke doesn’t show up in any of the remaining Lemp Family records.  Since this was an indigent hospital and a dumping ground for the city’s unwanted, it is not inconceivable that an orphan would be placed here for long term care.  Given the type of patients that were treated at the Marion Hospital, it’s also not inconceivable that someone simply out of spite could have pushed him over the third story staircase banister to his death.  Nobody would question this as murder because the cause his death would mostly likely be attributed to his mental and physical handicaps. 

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