Welcome to the Boettger Brewery. Originally opened in 1853 by German immigrant Marcus Boettger and spanning over 15 city blocks, the Boettger Brewery once produced the third most popular lager in the world. However the Boettger Brewery is legendary for two things--its beer and its bloodshed.
The Boettger family was cursed with a history of mental illness and bizarre phobias. In the span of just 60 years, many members of the Boettger family ended up dead at a young age--either by their own hand or another's.
Frederick Boettger Sr.
Frederick Boettger Sr. inherited the Boettger Brewery when his father Marcus died in 1863. During his tenure as brewery head, the Boettger Brewery enjoyed tremendous financial success. Frederick Boettger Sr. had four children: Frederick Jr., Otto, Henry and Gretchen. In 1899, Otto mysteriously died. His death put Frederick Sr. into a severe depression from which he never recovered. He was also beginning to show signs of mental illness, a condition that would only increase in severity. In his depression and insanity, Frederick Sr. grew increasingly afraid of life outside the brewery walls. At the turn of the century, Frederick Sr. moved his family permanently underground--in a cavernous, web of tunnels that would become their "mole-like home." Hundreds of feet below the brewery, in dark tunnels and caves, Frederick Sr. carved out a separate existence for his family.
The Boettger caverns and tunnels are divided into four levels and cover 1 million square feet. Living quarters, a reception hall, a ballroom, a theatre and two swimming pools were constructed so the Boettgers would never have to go above ground again. However, Frederick Sr.'s mental instability was becoming severe. Shortly after he moved the Boettgers underground, Frederick Sr. walked into his office and shot himself. In the following years, it would become clear that Frederick Sr.'s mental illness had been inherited by all four of his children.
Otto was the second oldest son of Frederick Sr. Because he was the favorite son, Otto was chosen to be the heir of the Boettger Brewery. Yet at the age of 25 in 1899, he died tragically, bleeding to death. However, the circumstances surrounding his death were mysterious, and to this day, people believe he was murdered.
The youngest child and only daughter of Frederick Sr., Gretchen was the most free-spirited of the children. Gretchen despised living underground and was always looking for a way to escape. She found her escape in 1901 when she took her own life.
Henry, the most reclusive of the Boettger children and third oldest, had the distinction of being the last surviving member of the Boettger family. But after having spent virtually his entire life underground, he took his own life in 1925.
Frederick Boettger, Jr.
Frederick Jr. was the eldest Boettger son and considered the most mentally ill member of the family. After his father's suicide and Otto's death, the brewery was left to him. Frederick Jr. ruled the brewery with an iron fist.
Eventually, when prohibition struck and alcohol was banned, the brewery went out of business and closed for good in 1920. It now stands as a testament to the grim history it has witnessed.
In recent years, the Boettger Brewery has been visited by psychics and paranormal investigators, who have recorded many paranormal entities. To this day, members of the Boettger family have been seen throughout the brewery and caverns. Some outsiders have even been assaulted by apparitions.