Updated: Jul 16, 2018
Welcome to the Tell-Tale Traveler. If you’ve found yourself here, then we probably have a few things in common. I love to visit new places especially those that some might consider a little odd, perhaps a bit morbid and in some cases downright weird. I feel like you can judge a city by its unique and offbeat attractions, shops and restaurants. They often give you insight to the history of a city and the people who live there. When traveling to a city or even a small town, I make it a point to plan an Itinerary of the Strange and after years of friends telling me that I should be a Travel Agent, I’ve instead started a Haunted History Walking Tour of my hometown and decided to write this blog: The Tell-Tale Traveler. Each blog will focus on a specific city that I have visited and I will highlight some of my favorite odd and unusual locations and give you the information so you can visit too.
For my first blog, I thought it fitting to write about St. Louis, Missouri. I have visited St. Louis more times than any other city and I absolutely love it! There’s so much to do but I seem to visit the same locations every time I go. Now you might be thinking, “St. Louis, really? I’ve seen the Arch. Isn’t that the big thing to do?” Well, I’ve never been to the Arch but I can’t rave enough about St. Louis and all of the weird and wonderful things located there.
Any visit to St. Louis requires a stop at Rooster. I’d called this a kitschy pick for a bite to eat. The restaurant is adorned with artwork depicting, what else, but roosters and chickens but not like your grandma’s décor, it has more of a European flair. They have the best breakfast/brunch and they have vegetarian options as well. The food is Farm to Table and includes many traditional breakfast choices, along with a variety of crepes, possibly the best you may ever eat. And for the adults, did I mention that the brunch cocktails are so yummy! I suggest the Pink Paloma or as I call it, hibiscus infused goodness. Rooster has two locations, with one staying open until 8pm so you can also have breakfast for dinner.
Not far from Rooster’s Downtown location, is the City Museum. I’m not even sure how to classify this museum. It is housed in the former building of the International Shoe Company and the exhibits are made of mostly repurposed items and found objects. Children and adults can enjoy the vast expanse of caves and mazes, along with art pieces and a whole room full of taxidermy. There’s even a ten-story slide! And don’t miss a visit to the rooftop. An old bus hangs perilously over the edge for brave visitors to catch a glimpse of Downtown St. Louis. There is also a Ferris Wheel, slides and many other rooftop attractions to bring out your inner child. The museum offers extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays to allow for those 18 and over to have a less hectic view of the museum.
Next up, you must visit the Laclede's Landing Wax Museum. This museum boasts over 250 wax figures and some of them are super creepy! Many of these figures include well known Musicians, former Presidents, Super Heroes and Movie Stars. The museum also includes a Chamber of Horrors located in the basement. Be sure to watch out for the hanging severed heads. Following your visit, you can pop by the gift shop or grab ice cream at the stand located at the front of the museum.
While in Laclede’s Landing, book a Haunted History Tour with Dave Riordan. The tour was informative and Dave really knows the Haunted History of Laclede’s Landing and St. Louis. You will learn about the story that inspired the Exorcist, the cholera epidemic of St. Louis and Abe Lincoln’s visit to Bloody Island. Tours depart at 6:30pm most Friday evenings from the Morgan Street Brewery in Laclede’s Landing. Tours are also available on other evenings so be sure to check out the information in the itinerary section to access more information about St, Louis Haunted History Tours.
After your Haunted History Walk, you will surely have worked up an appetite. From Laclede’s Landing, you should head to the Lemp Mansion. This was formerly the home of the Lemp family of Brewer’s in St. Louis. The Mansion is known as a very active haunted location due to the fact that four members of the Lemp family committed suicide in the home. The Mansion is also reported to be home to the ghost of Charles Lemp’s dog, who was shot before Charles committed suicide and also the ghost of the “monkey faced boy” who is said to be William Lemp’s illegitimate son, Zeke. The Mansion is now a restaurant that serves both lunch and dinner. It has also become a Bed and Breakfast for those brave enough to stay the night in one of the former bedrooms of the Lemp Family. The Mansion also hosts Haunted History Tours and an event called the Lemp Experience, where guests can tour the Mansion using infrared cameras.
Following your dinner at the Lemp, just head a few blocks over to the Fortune Teller Bar. I cannot express how much I love the Fortune Teller Bar! The ambience is somewhere between haunted speakeasy and drunken apothecary. As you approach, you are greeted by a skull and creepy decor in the windows and expect the same as you enter. The cocktails are to die for, though most of my friends describe them as rather floral. I recommend Night Witches or the Holy Mountain but their cocktail menu changes seasonally. They also have hibiscus infused gin. Again, hibiscus infused goodness. The Fortune Teller Bar has Fortune Tellers onsite every night of the week typically in the form of Tarot Card Readings but divination can also be in the form of Palm Reading or Tea Leaves.
Well, that does it for the first edition of the Tell-Tale Traveler. Hopefully you’ve been inspired to take a day trip over to St. Louis, Missouri and do something other than visit the Arch.
Tell-Tale Traveler Strange St; Louis Itinerary
1) Rooster St. Louis:
Downtown Location: 1104 Locust St, St. Louis, MO 63101 - (314) 241-8118 – Hours: Monday through Sunday 8:00am to 3:00pm
Second Location: 3150 S Grand Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63118 - (314) 772-3447 – Hours: Monday through Sunday 7:00am to 9:00pm
2) City Museum - 750 N 16th St, St. Louis, MO 63103 - (314) 231-2489 – Hours: Monday through Thursday 9:00am to 5:00pm, Friday and Saturday 9:00am to 12:00am and Sunday 11:00am to 5:00pm – Cost: $14.00 per person or $12.00 after 5:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Roof access is an additional $5.00
3) Laclede’s Landing Wax Museum - 720 N 2nd St, St. Louis, MO 63102 - (314) 241-1155 – Hours: Thursday 11:00am to 6:00pm, Friday and Saturday 11:00am to 8:00pm and Sunday 11:00am to 6:00pm
4) St. Louis Haunted History Tour – Starting Location: Morgan Street Brewery, 721 N. 2nd Street St. Louis 63102 – Hours: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 6:30pm – Cost: $25.00 for first tickets and $20.00 for each additional ticket.
5) Lemp Mansion - 3322 Demenil Pl, St. Louis, MO 63118 - (314) 664-8024 – Restaurant Hours: Lunch - Monday through Friday 11:00am to 2:30pm, Sunday Family Dinner - 11:30am to 8:00pm and Seasonal Dinner – September through December: Tuesday through Saturday 5:30pm to 10:00pm, January through August: Thursday through Saturday 5:30pm to 10:00pm
Ghost Tours: Monday evenings at 7:00pm, Cost: $25.00
The Lemp Experience: Select evenings throughout the year, Cost: $35.00
6) Fortune Teller Bar - 2635 Cherokee St, St. Louis, MO 63118 - (314) 776-2337 – Hours: Monday through Saturday: 4:00pm to 1:30am and Sunday: 4:00pm to 12:00am