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'There are 9 identifiable spirits here'; Lemp Mansion is apparent home to many ghosts, including a child

"I looked up on those stairs and the teddy bear was up in the air, swaying back and forth, as if a little boy was playing."

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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - The Lemp Mansion is considered to be one of the most haunted locations in America.

Located in the Benton Park neighborhood in St. Louis, the Lemp Mansion, built in 1868, is famously visible from Interstate 55.

The Lemp Mansion in St. Louis

Beyond the beauty of the building, however, the darker history of the Lemp family comes to light.

After the death of one of William Lemp Senior's sons, he committed suicide, a tragic act that would be repeated three more times in the mansion's history. 

Betsy Burnett-Belanger, a historian and paranormal investigator, thinks there are 9 identifiable spirits in the mansion. One of those spirits, a boy that goes by the name, Zeke, is said to hide on the third floor, scared of the constant flow of guests who come for dinner and stay overnight.

"He's a little boy. He was part of the Lemp family and he hides up there. He's very scared. Very scared... afraid of people."

According to Betsy, Zeke loved to play near the small windows close to the floor. He would watch the people outside from his window up high. It was his favorite thing to do. 

According to Betsy, Zeke was born with some type of deformation. So much that people would call him names, even to this day. However, no records exist to substantiate these claims or that he even existed at all.

"When they did look up and see him, they called him names (that) would still stick to this day. Unfortunately. Unfortunately."

Betsy is calm, a bit reserved and although she says she can connect with spirits,  she doesn't dramatize it like you'd see on paranormal shows. 

When she talks about Zeke, however, the tone of her voice is more emotional. It affects her differently than other spirits she talks about. 

"It can be very sad and it weighs on your shoulders"

That weight can be felt in the house's eves, where the roof meets the floor. This is the area Betsy says Zeke used to play and watch the people from high above. 

Betsy hosts ghost tours of the mansion almost every week and has seen many television ghost shows come to the mansion. She's not afraid to say how she feels about how some of the investigators conduct themselves, especially when it involves Zeke, the boy ghost who hides upstairs. 

Some paranormal show hosts use antagonization techniques to trigger responses from spirits. Betsy says antagonizing a young boy spirit, who is challenged, is something she disagrees with.

"When you have a little boy spirit, that is not the way. He is so frightened and disturbed... he has the mind of an infant almost, that he can't react to that so he just hides."

Betsy Burnett-Belanger

Betsy stands on the third floor, staring out the same window she says Zeke would have been looking out. 

There are well-known nicknames for Zeke. These nicknames started with the people and children in the neighborhood he would watch from his window and even now, some people who come to the mansion use the nicknames. Betsy refuses to use those nicknames. 

"I'm not going to tell you what the names are because I never say them."

One of the more remarkable experiences Betsy had was during a filming of show in the mansion. She had brought a teddy bear from her home for Zeke, thinking this would have been something he liked. She set the bear at the top of the stairs and proceeded on with her interview. Something, however, caught her attention.

"I looked up on those stairs and the teddy bear was up in the air, swaying back and forth, as if a little boy was playing."

It's hard to imagine something like this happening but Betsy insists that this is indeed exactly what happened.

"My teddy bear from home, it wasn't a magic teddy bear... it was up in the air..."

Inside the Lemp Mansion

Again, this is one of those moments that would have terrified almost anyone. But Betsy, once again, has a different, more emotional reaction to the unexplained event.

"That was a moment that was very sad because Zeke is a boy that is so challenged... he is looking for his mother."

Another identifiable ghost in the mansion is one Betsy calls "The Stinky Man." 

There's an apparent odor when he's around and he seems to be a bit territorial of the mansion. 

"He told me to 'get out, my house' and stuff like that."

An encounter like that would have probably sent most people fleeing the house but Betsy says that wasn't her reaction.

"I didn't go, so he wasn't too pleased with me."

If you haven't had a strange encounter, it's easy to explain away other's experiences and Betsy says she's ok with people being skeptical and embraces skepticism.

"I think there's room for everyone's opinions... It's okay to be a skeptic."

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