The Haunting of South Dakota’s Bullock Hotel
Multitudes of hotel staff and visitors have experienced unsettling things in Deadwood, South Dakota's Bullock Hotel. Many of them left in the middle of the night never to return. Sound like a great ghost story? It really is. But we have to go back to the beginning to grab the full story.
In the late 1870s, Deadwood was a lawless mess. Swindlers galore, gold seekers, outlaws, murderers, and gamblers all descended on the once peaceful town in the heart of South Dakota's Black Hills. A man from Montana came to restore law and order. A man who was said to strike fear in people with just a single stare. His name was Seth Bullock, and soon he was respected throughout the region.
One of the accomplishments of Bullock - when he was among the living - was founding the Bullock Hotel in 1895 which was Deadwood's first hotel and is still in operation today. Seth Bullock died of colon cancer at his home on September 23, 1919, and was buried in Deadwood's Mt. Moriah Cemetery overlooking the town. His grave faces the "Friendship Tower," a monument dedicated to his best friend Teddy Roosevelt.
Some say, the ghost of Bullock still roams his hotel. People report floating orbs, disembodied voices, apparitions of Bullock himself, and, in some cases, touching by unseen entities.
According to hotel owner Mary Schmit, employees and hotel guests continue to experience paranormal phenomena. According to UnsolvedMysteries, a slot machine supervisor claims he was cleaning the basement when a mysterious shadow crossed the wall in front of him. Nothing was present that could have caused this but was no doubt the figure of a man. Weeks later, the manager of the Bullock Hotel bar was getting ready to close. He walked past the bar and made sure everything was in order to open the next day. He went into his office and heard a ruckus. We went back into the bar and all the bar stools were strewn about.
Fast forward to 1991 when a psychic from England claims to have received a message from a spirit identifying himself as Seth Bullock - 72 years after he died! The spirit then issued a chilling warning to the people of Deadwood. The warning was "a period of lawlessness loomed on the horizon." The spirit also indicated that The Psychic, coincidently with the same surname Bullock, was so alarmed he sent a letter to the proprietor of the Bullock Hotel. It wasn't until the proprietor read the very last sentence of the letter that she knew it was real. The psychic wrote that "Seth can't haunt the hotel because of all of the banging that's going on. But he'll be back, and you'll know that it's "Old Seth". It just so happens that at the time the letter arrived the hotel was undergoing extensive renovations. And the moniker "Old Seth?" That's what the proprietor's aunt always called Seth Bullock when she saw him.
This was so mysterious and chilling that the hit TV show Unsolved Mysteries aired an episode on the strange events. It aired on December 9, 1992, hosted by Robert Stack.
In one final twist, a Black Hills journalist wrote the psychic in England to try and stump him by asking questions that only residents and Bullock's family would know, including "Who was the well-known person who was a close friend of Seth Bullock's? And how is Bullock's grave positioned in relation to that friendship?" The psychic replied, "Tall trees block the view from his old bones. But Teddy and he still meet in the afterlife."