St. Louis Is Haunted!
Alexian Brothers Hospital
The actual "Exorcism" was performed in the confines of the Alexian Brothers Hospital in 1949, having made that statement I would like to walk you through the facts and the fiction surrounding this unforgettable legend.
A 14 year old Washington Boy whose history of diabolical possession was widely reported in the press
last week , was successfully exorcised by a priest after being received into the Catholic Church, it was
The Priest refused to discuss the case in any way. However, it is known that several attempts had been
made to free the boy of manifestations.
A Catholic priest was called upon for help. When the boy expressed the desire to enter the church, with
with the consent of his parents he received religous instruction. Later the priest baptized him and then
successfully performed the ritual of exorcism. The parents of the afflicted boy are non-Catholics.
In the August 19 edition of the Catholic Review, a nationally syndicated paper, the above stories appeared under a Washington dateline. The details in the above three paragraphs are believed to be information regarding the exorcism performed by Jesuit Priests on "Robbie Doe". The information regarding this case was not suppose to be made public, rather the paragraphs released above were an attempt of the Catholic Church to control the story. It did just the opposite though, it caused a media frenzy first picked up and made public by Jeremiah O'Leary, an assistant editor for the Washington Star-News, who researched the story and after admittedly calling every priest he knew" prior to publishing the article on an inside page of the paper on August 19, 1949. The next day the Washington Post printed a long and detail account of the exorcism.
The actual events that took place at the Alexian Brothers Hospital were written in what is known as "A Case Study by Jesuit Priests", a 16 page diary detailing the exorcism of "Robbie Doe". This is reportedly the same diary that was heard about by author William Peter Blatty, then a student at Georgetown University. Out of respect for the young victim "Robbie Doe", Blatty changed the identity of the possession victim in his book The Exorcist, to a younger girl.
Between February 28, 1949 and March 2, 1949, their is documentation which shows that "Robbie Doe" was admitted into Georgetown Hospital, when a supposed failed exorcism was performed by Catholic priest Edward Albert Hughes. Reportedly Robbie's mother had been contemplating leaving Maryland for an extended vacation to St. Louis, Missouri, the mothers childhood home town. According to the priests "diary" , the entity controlling Robbie agreed because the word "LOUIS" appeared inexplicably on Robbie's rib cage while in the hospital. According to witnesses and Robbie's mother, the boy could not have scratched the words on himself because his hands were in plain sight when the incident occured. The Mother and son packed up and left for St. Louis to stay with family there.
In St. Louis Robbie continued to be attacked, as witnessed by several family member, his bed would shake at night, scratching and banging sounds could be heard coming from the walls in his room, and scratches continued to appear on his body on a regular basis. Robbie was finally taken to the Alexian Brothers Hospital in St. Louis. Portions of the exorcism are believed to have taken place at St. Francis Xavier Church in St. Louis. But out of fear of attention on the Church rectory, the majority of the exorcism took place at the Alexian Brothers Hospital, in the psychiatric wing. Also, Robbie was repotedly transported to White House Estates, a Catholic retreat on the Mississippi River. There are no record of individuals who actually took part in the exorcism, however the names of exorcists given in St. Louis were Father William Bowderman, Reverend Raymond J. Bishop, and Father Lawrence Kenny. Father Charles O'Hara of Marquette University in Milwaukee was also present as a witness as were numerous hospital staff and seminary students. One of the students present was Walter Halloran, a seminary student who was brought in for his muscular build to help restrain Robbie during the exorcism. Halloran was ask to leave the exorcism procedures because of its great mental and physical strain on the body, about one week before the exorcisms completion.
The exorcism apparently started in the home of Robbie's relatives, moved to the rectory at St. Francis Xavier Church and then went to White House Estates for a short while, and ended at the Alexian Brothers Hospital. The exorcism took place over a span of several weeks and many readings of the rite of exorcism. Robbie's responses grew increasingly aggitated and violent as the weeks progressed and culminated into a violent rage. Father Bowderman is credited with final expulsion of the demonic presence after exhaustingly researching an exorcism ritual that took place in Wisconsin in 1870. Following protocol in the said ritual Bowderman forced Robbie to wear a chain of religous medals and to hold a crucifix in his hands. Robbie, reportedly became, uncharachteristically contrite and began to question Father Bowderman about meanings to certain Latin prayers, apparently in an attempt to make the Father doubt his faith. Father Bowderman continued with the ritual, completely ignoring any attempt made by the demonic entity controlling Robbie, to draw him into conversation. Finally Robbie completely lost all control and raged at the priest. Reportedly, it took five witnesses to hold the boy down as he finally screamed in response to the question ask by Father Bowderman for the demonic presence to tell him his name, that he was a "fallen angel". The priests continued to recite the ritual for hours after this revelation and alas Robbie spoke with a loud, deeply masculine voice, identifying himself as "St. Michael the Archangel". The voice commanded that the demon depart. Reportedly Robbie's body began to convulse and thrash about, then he fell quiet. Robbie then sat up and announced in his normal voice, "He's gone"! He then told witnesses of a vision he had had of St. Michael holding a flaming sword.
The Exorcism was finished!
"A Case Study By Jesuit Priests"
Robbie left St. Louis with his Father and Mother 12 days after the exorcism was finished and returned to his home in Maryland. Robbie later wrote to Father Bowderman in May 1949 and told the priest that he was happy and that he had a new dog. The true identity of Robbie Doe is known only by a select few individuals who are sworn to secrecy, unerstandably so.
Although it is very difficult to decipher fact from fiction regarding this case one thing remains certain, that after Robbie left the Alexian Brothers hospital in 1949, Brother Rector Cornelius returned to the fifth story corridor of the wing, and had a statue of St. Michael removed from Robbie's room. He then locked the door and stated that the room was to forever remain locked. The secrets the exorcism held are locked in that room, but many more stories circulate regarding the fateful events that took placed behind closed doors in the room. For months, even years following the exorcism, hospital nurses and staff spoke with reverence and fear about the many things they experienced during the weeks the exorcism was being performed. It is said that no matter how warm the hospital was, once you stepped in front of the door to Robbie's room, even after it was sealed off, it was an ice cold atmosphere. Others in the hospital also report that cold spots would just come out of nowhere during the time of the exorcism. That strange sounds, screams, and odors would emminate from Robbie's room. To this day witnesses remain terrified to even speak about the events that took place at the Alexian Brothers Hospital.
According to recent revelations the furniture from the exorcism room that was to be removed shortly before the demolition of the hospital, from a locked room in the basement of the hospital. The movers were instructed to go into the room once it had been unlocked by a priest and to remove the furniture, the priest refused to enter the storage room, according to statements made by one of the movers. The movers were instructed to transport the exorcism furniture to a large wooden crate, which was sealed and placed in a storage facility across from Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, and sealed forever. According to one of the movers the furniture remains locked away in storage almost completely forgotten.
Also, prior to demolition the exorcism room was unlocked and one of the workmen went into the room and inside a drawer of a desk remaining in the room, found some papers. The papers appeared to be some sort of journal or diary with a letter attached, addressed to Brother Cornelius, dated April 29, 1949. An excerpt from the document read; "The enclosed report is a summary of the case which you have known for the past several weeks. The Brother's part of this case has been so very important that I thought you should have the case history for your permanent file". The paper was signed by Father Raymond J. Bishop, a Jesuit Priest from St. Louis University. The worker gave the papers to his boss, the contractor for the demolition, who then passed the papers on to the hospital administrator. The administrator quickly realized what the papers were, a detailed account of the exorcism. His daughter, a secreterial student at the time, recognized the name of Walter Holloran in the papers, as the uncle of one of her clssmates. The hospital administrator then contacted Father Holloran, who was now a Jesuit Priest, and gave him the papers. Reportedly Father Holloran sealed the papers in a safe deposit box. However, a carbon copy of the papers had been made prior to them being sealed away and copies were circulated, and provide the little evidence known about what really happened behind closed doors in the exorcism room.
One other strange occurance took place prior to the demolition of the Alexian Brothers Hospital. Reportedly, workers for the demolition crew opened the locked door just prior to demolition and according to eyewitness accounts "something" was seen leaving the exorcism room just moments before the wrecking ball destroyed it. The workers likened the image to that of "a cat or big rat or something". The men who worked for the Department of Transportation were understandibly shaken by whatever it was that fled the room and their story is one of many in the great tragedy that befell "Robbie Doe", his family, and all others involved, or witness to, this event.
Of course I believe that this was a genuine case of "demonic possession", that supernatural events took place at the time of the possession, that a real battle between Heaven and Hell took place here on earth and that ultimately good won! But ultimately it is up to the reader, the investigator to unravel the details surrounding the exorcism.
Alexian Brothers Hospital
The site of the exorcism is now part of a parking lot that has recurring cracks in the pavement that is located directly under the exorcism room.
The Lemp Mansion
3322 De Menil Place
St. Louis, MO 63118
John Adam Lemp arrived in St. Louis from Eschwege, Germany in 1838. In 1840 he built a modest brewry at 112 S. Second St. John Lemp died a millionaire, having built a dynasty from knowledge gained under tutelage of his Father in Eschwege, the art of brewing lager. William J. Lemp succeeded his Father as head of the brewing company and soon built it into an industrial giant. In 1864 a new plant was built at Carondolet Ave. and Cherokee St., it covered 5 city blocks. In 1892 the brewery was incorporated as the William J. Lemp Brewing Company.
William's favorite son and heir to the Lemp fortune, Frederick, killed himself in 1901, seemingly, this was the launching of a series of great tragedies within the Lemp family, within the Lemp Mansion. In 1904, William J. Lemp shot himself in the head in the upstairs bedroom of the mansion, still grieving the loss of his beloved Frederick. In 1909 William Jr., divorced his wife Lillian (aka the Lavender Lay for her propencity to wear lavender), the divorce was rather messy and rumor has it that William Jr. sired a child who was kept in the family home, during his marriage to Lillian. In 1919 Prohibition caused the brewery to shut down completely, after years of decline in the family's fortune. In 1920, Elsa Lemp, considered by many to be the wealthiest heiresses in St. Louis, commited suicide in the Lemp Mansion. On June 28, 1922, the Lemp Brewery which was once valued at $7 million and spanned an enormous 10 city blocks was sold for a mere $588,500 to the International Shoe Co. at auction. The company assets were liquidated and William, Jr. sold the famous Lemp "Falstaff" logo to brewerJoseph Griesedieck for $25,000. On December 29, 1922, William Jr. shot himself with a .38 caliber revolver in the heart, in the home his father had killed himself in 18 years earlier.
Charles and Edwin Lemp were left to carry on the Lemp name, having left the business years earlier. Edwin lived a life of seclusion at his Estate in Kirkwood Missouri. Charles eventually remodeled the mansion back into a residence, after years of neglect and resided in the mansion with the illegetimate child of William Jr. and two servants. Charles eventually developed a morbid fear of germs and was known to wear gloves at all times and was constantly washing his hands. It was during this time that William's illegegitimate child, now in his 30's, died in the mansion. He was buried in the Lemp Cemetery with only a small marker with the name "Lemp" engraved on it marking the grave. This illegitimate son is commonly referred to as "the Monkey Face Boy". Shortly after the boys death, on May 10, 1949 Charles was found by one of his staff with a .38 caliber Army Colt revolver in his right hand, he had first shot his beloved Doberman Pinscher in the basement and climbed the stairs to his second floor bedroom and shot himself. In 1970, at the age of 90, Edwin Lemp, died of natural causes. Another tragedy at the mansion was the untimely death of William Lemp III, of a heart attack at the age of forty-two.
After the death of Charles Lemp, the mansion was sold and turned into a boarding house. The mansion began to deteriorate and tales of ghostly encounters began.
The Lemp Mansion is considered the third most haunted place in the United States and in 1980 LIFE Magazine named the mansion as one of the most haunted houses in America. Reportedly "the Monkey Face Boy" has been seen peering through the the attic window, commonly reported to appear as red demonic eyes, also if toys are left for the ghost child, he will move them to a different location. William Jr. is often seen peering into the shower at female visitors. Also, the door leading from the basement tunnel to the brewery is known as the "gates of hell". Doors lock and unlock by themselves, light switches are said to flip off and on with no one near them, a piano is heard playing by itself in the upstairs foyer, candles light on their own, shadow figures are often reported throughout the mansion, and objects move on their own. The "Lavender Lady" has been witnessed numerous times on the stairs and orbs have been witnessed throught the building, knocking is reported on the upstairs bedroom door where William J. Lemp killed himself. Reportedly William Lemp, Jr. beat on the door and ultimately kicked the door in, finding his father dead of a self inflicted gunshot wound. Unearthly, unexplicable cold spots are felt throught the mansion and visitors report the feeling of being followed or not alone and some report feeling something touch them, with no one around.
The Lemp Brewery
William Lemp, Jr.
Edgewood Children's Center
330 N Gore Ave
St. Louis, MO 63119
Edgewood Children's Center was founded in 1834 by the St. Louis Association of Ladies for the Relif of Orphan Children, to
serve the ever growing number of orphaned children left without parents due to the Cholera epedemic, which swet through the area. In 1944 the center changed its name from St. Louis Protestant Asylum to the Edgewood Children's Center. The ghost of a 10 year old girl is said to haunt the area near a tree on the Center's grounds.
Also, The House at Edgewood has an interesting history all its own. It was constructed in 1850 by Rev. Artemus Bullard. Rev. Bullard's brother-in-law was Henry Ward Beecher, a famous preacher, who was related directly to Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Toms Cabin. Rev. Bullard operated a seminary for young men in the Rock House unti 1855, when he was killed in a train wreck. Rev. Bullard was a staunch aboritionist and is believed to have used the Rock House as a way station in the Underground Railroad. Some evidence suggests that a tunnel exists under the House, however, there is no definitive proof of this theory as of yet.
The "Rock House"
Old City Hospital
now The Georgian
1804 Lafayette Ave
The hospital opened in 1912, and has since been renovated into a 102 condominium on 6 floors, the Geogian is the first phase of redevelopment of the Old City Hospital into residential, commercial, and retail properties. The hospital has been closed since 1985.
Reports of disenchanted screams have been reported in the Old City Hospital, as well as sightings of ghosts seen standing in the windows throughout the hospital.
Old City Hospital
Our Lady of Sorrows Schoole
5831 S. Kingshighway Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63109
The school has recently changed its name to St. Katharine Drexel School. The school is a catholic scool and reportedly the building burned in a devestating fire and took the life of one person, that person's ghost is believed to still walk the halls of the old catholic school. Reports state that footsteps can be heard throught the building, even when the individual is alone in a room with the door closed. Also, radios are said to turn off and on by themselves and a desk was witnessed falling over with no one other than the witness in the area.
In 1970 the Ralston Purina tower was completed and by the end of 1975 the plaza and parking lot were completed. The grounds upon which the parking lot were layed was former home of the Gratiot Street Prison. Prior to being a prison, the building was McDowell's College, a medical college owned and operated by Joseph Nash McDowell. In the Spring of 1861, the college building was confiscated by Federal authorities and in December 1861 the building was converted into a prison and renamed. However, early Federal records commonly refer to the prison as McDowell College. The prison was located right in the midst of some of St.Louis' most elite homes and residents. The Brant Mansion, headquartes to General Fremont, was located only one block from the Prison. Directly across the street from the prison sat the Harrison family home, a wealthy, well known St. Louis family. Attached on the North side of the Prison was the Christian Brothers Academy.
Gratiot did not follow suit of most Civil War prisons at the time, rather it was known to hold any and all types of prisoners, including Confederate POW's, civilian prisoners, women, children, "Contrabands", spies, saboteurs, political prisoners, guerillas, bushwackers, and even Federal soldiers who had commited different offenses and crimes. The maority of the Confederate soldiers imprisoned at Gratiot came from battles in the Mississippi River region as far south as New Orleans. They were processed at Gatriot and then sent to Alton and other eastern prisons. Soldiers from Missouri and Arkansas were also held at Gratiot.
Reportedly the ghost one a former prisoner from Gratiot Prison is said to haunt the parking lot of the Ralston Purina parking lot.
Ronnie's 8 Cine
Ronnie's 8 Cine was built in the 1920's and in 1999, the building was demolished and replaced by the Omimax Theater.
Reportedly a man died of a massive heart attack in the theatre and is the suspected culprit of a haunting which took place in the theatre. After 11:00 p.m. the doors to the old theatre would not remain open, despite considerable effort and an unshakeable eerie presence could be felt throughout the theater.
Ronnie's 8 Cine
Reportedly years ago a girl named Rose was driving on the road when her car stalled while trying to get up the hill so she let the car roll back down the hill. She tried several times to restart her car when finally she got out of her car and opened the hood of her car. A man then grabbed the young woman and murdered her. Her body was found lying in the same location she had been murdered in, next to her car on the road.
Legend has it that if you stop your car at the bottom of the hill where the girl was murdered, if you get out and dust the trunk with baby powder and lay a rose in the powder, then drive to the top of the hill and check the trunk, the rose will be gone and her handprints will be found imprinted in the powder. Also, it is rumored that the girl will help any car in trouble make it to the top of Rose Hill.
does not exist-----PROVED NOT HAUNTED