– By #Powder House Lodge
Fall is here. The leaves are turning beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and red. In many areas around the Black Hills, they’ve already started falling off the trees. The nights are quieter than we’re used to. The traffic from traveling tourists in the nights has been replaced with only the sound of a slight breeze and rustling leaves. The pine trees, entrenched in the granite hillsides and peaks of the Black Hills, create a silhouette against the moon-lit Dakota night. It’s easy to let your mind wander to thoughts of the area’s rich history and legends. How many of those legends might still be roaming around? We present some of the most haunted places in the Black Hills…in no particular order.
Hotel Alex Johnson, Rapid City, SD – The Hotel Alex Johnson is the site of a “white lady” haunting. While not necessarily a haunted attraction, it ranks as one of the top haunted places in the Black Hills. Allegedly, the ghost of a young woman who jumped or was thrown from the window of room 812. She is often seen wandering the halls in a white gown, and the room associated with her has had numerous reports of haunted activity, including the window opening on its own accord. Many of the haunting reports that involve the eighth floor however, are not linked solely to the white lady. Others have reported the ghost of a young girl, and some have reported seeing a man there as well. In any event, the eighth floor seems to be where all the action is.
Elks Theatre, Rapid City, SD – Over 100 years old, the Elks Theatre is a local favorite to catch a movie and some popcorn. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of something else. Another favorite haunted place in the Black Hills, this historic theatre has been remodeled on several occasions since its opening in the early 20th century. However, patrons and staff say the resident ghost has never left. Known fondly as “Jimmy,” legend has it that he was a maintenance worker at the theatre in the early part of the 20th century and fell from the third story catwalks. Staff claim the spirit is benevolent, and they can smell cigar smoke when the spirit is near.
1880 Train, Hill City & Keystone, SD – Another favorite Black Hills haunted attraction is the 1880 Train. The first steam engine in the Black Hills was brought across the prairie by bull team to the Homestake Mining Company at Lead in 1879. In 1881, the Homestake Company created the first narrow-gauge railroad in the Black Hills to haul its cargo and the public from Lead to several mining camps. Employees in the High-Liner Eatery, located in an actual train car, say they have seen the apparition of a man in a brown suit. Reports as to who this spirit could be are currently up for debate, but one thing is certain, the stories and the popularity of the 1880 Train are enough for it to make the list of top haunted places in the Black Hills.
Keystone Cemetery, Keystone, SD – Legend has it that the cemetery is haunted by workers who died during the construction of Mt. Rushmore. However, there were no deaths during the construction of Mt. Rushmore. While one might disregard the Keystone Cemetery as being a haunted place in the Black Hills, there have been numerous reports from visitors who have taken photographs and video of this graveyard and captured images of ghostly figures and faces.
Mount Moriah Cemetery, Deadwood, SD – Several popular Wild West legends have been buried here, including Wild Bill Hickock, Calamity Jane, Potato Creek Johnny, and Seth Bullock. Folks say you can’t set foot on these hallowed grounds without feeling the presence of these heroes from the Wild West. Pay your respects to these larger-than-life legends at one of the many haunted attractions in Deadwood, SD.
Bullock Hotel, Deadwood, SD – Seth Bullock was Deadwood’s first sheriff and the original owner of the hotel. Although he passed away in 1919, it’s possible that he still remains in his hotel. Reports of smelling cigar smoke when no one is smoking a cigar are brushed off by hotel employees who say that it’s just Bullock, who was known for his heavy cigar smoking. His ghostly form also appears in photos that are on display. He’s also not the only one wandering about the hotel he built in 1895. Bullock took in many people during a cholera outbreak, and the small children who succumbed to the disease roam the building, moving shiny things and organizing change by denomination. Ghost tours are held here regularly and make this one of the more popular haunted places in the Black Hills.
Adams House, Deadwood, SD – With indoor plumbing, electricity, and a telephone, the Adams House was a home like Deadwood had never seen when it was built in 1892. After W.E. Adams (second owner of the home) died of a stroke in the house, it is said that his wife could still hear him walking around on the second floor. Visitors and employees have seen a rocking chair rock on its own, encountered a shadowy man standing at an upstairs window and heard voices and footsteps in rooms throughout the house. Haunted tours take place hourly on October evenings make this haunted attraction spectacularly spooktacular.
If you’re local to the area or just passing through on vacation, these haunted places in the Black Hills are great places to visit and learn about the rich history of the area. Because the Powder House Lodge is centrally located to all your favorite Black Hills attractions, including the haunted places in the Black Hills. Open from mid-May to mid-October, we offer a variety of cabin rentals, family unit rentals, and motel rentals. Book with us through our website, or give us a call at 1-800-321-0692 to make your reservation today. Don’t forget to Like Us on Facebook to stay up to date on everything at the Powder House Lodge.