Journey back in time to the opulent days of St. Louis in the Gilded Age and discover the true story of the Lemp family and its rise to power, wealth and extravagance. It’s a story that has become legend over the years but one that few people truly know. Despite the fact that the Lemps, and their legendary mansion, have inspired books, ghost stories and television shows, the true story of their tragic lives has become a confusing and convoluted mess of myths, misconceptions, legends and outright lies, making it nearly impossible to separate fact from fiction – until now.
For the first time, the story of the rise and fall of the Lemp empire can truly be told. This is the first book that has been written with cooperation from Lemp family descendants and features private stories and details, as well as rare photographs, that have never been told or seen before. The history of the Lemp family is a true American tragedy, one of triumph over opposition, hard work, perseverance, genius and madness, eccentricity and passion, horror, death, suicide and ghosts.
It’s a story that is played out against the backdrop of America’s changing landscape of the late 1800s and early 1900s and is enhanced by the history of the beer industry in St. Louis, the German immigrant experience in America and takes a riveting look at the lives and deaths of those for whom money truly was no object. This is a tale that is purely American – of a haunted family and a haunted house – told as only Troy Taylor can tell it!
About the Author
Taylor shares a birthday with one of his favorite authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald, but instead of living in New York and Paris like Fitzgerald, Taylor grew up in Illinois. Raised on the prairies of the state, he developed an interest in "things that go bump in the night" at an early age and as a young man, developing ghost tours and writing about haunts in Chicago and Central Illinois.
He began his first book in 1989, which delved into the history and hauntings of Decatur, Illinois, and in 1994, it spawned the Haunted Decatur Tour -- and eventually led to the founding of his Illinois Hauntings Tours (with current tours in Alton, Chicago, Decatur, Lebanon & Jacksonville) and the American Hauntings Tours, which travel all over the country in search of haunted places.
In 1996, Taylor organized a group of ghost enthusiasts into an investigation team and the American Ghost Society was launched, gained over 600 members in the years that followed. The organization continues today as one of America’s largest and most honored research groups.
In 1997, Taylor launched the Haunted America Conference, regarded as "America's Original Ghost Conference" in Decatur, Illinois. After a number of years in Alton, Illinois, the conference has returned to its original site at the Lincoln Theater in Decatur. The Haunted America Conference remains the most imitated conference in the country and in 2012, held the 16th annual events in Illinois.
In addition to the tour companies and Haunted America Conference, Taylor is also the founder of Whitechapel Press, a publishing company for books about the supernatural that he started in 1993, and Dark Haven Entertainment. In 2011, he also became one of the principal owners of the haunted Avon Theater in Decatur, Illinois.
Along with writing about the unusual and hosting tours, Taylor is also a public speaker on the subject of ghosts and hauntings. He has appeared in scores of newspaper and magazine articles about the subject and in hundreds of radio and television broadcasts about the supernatural. Troy has appeared in documentary productions for TLC, The History Channel, A&E, Discovery Channel, & more!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ordinarily, I love Troy Taylor's ability to seamlessly meld the history of an area with the supernatural events alleged to have taken place there. I think that's why I'm a little disappointed in this book. I bought it to learn more about the Lemp family's tragic history, but the first few chapters are dominated by the saga of the Busch family, instead. It''s a boring way to start a book that should have been much better, given the amount of tragedy that the Lemps experienced and the paranormal activities still taking place. I think some judicious editing and rewriting would bring a second edition of this book up to the standards that I've come to expect from Troy Taylor's works.