Always a favorite with travelers of the old west, spending the night in the historic Bullock Hotel in Deadwood, South Dakota can be an experience that will delight most paranormal investigators. This hotel is ‘visited’ by the former sheriff Seth Bullock—and he means business! Seth Bullock, and his partner Sol Star, arrived in Deadwood, South Dakota in 1876 after relocating their hardware store business from Helena Montana. They bought a lot on the corner of Main and Wall where the business entrepreneurs built a new store and warehouse.
Bullock later took on the position of sheriff in Lewis and Clark County, Montana. After the untimely death of Wild Bill Hickok in August 1876, Bullock was appointed as the first Sheriff of Deadwood. Before long, Bullock had “cleaned up” the town and law and order was back in place.
All the while, the hardware store business continued to flourish. The hardware store survived a major fire in Deadwood in 1879. However, the building was struck by another fire in 1894 destroying the entire establishment. Bullock and Star decided to build Deadwood’s finest hotel over the foundation of the old store and warehouse. There were 63 rooms furnished with oak dressers and brass beds. Each floor had a bathroom. The lobby was decked in red velvet carpeting, chandeliers, and oak woodwork. An elegant restaurant was available on the property to seat 100 guests, and Bullock purchased a small building adjoined to the hotel which served as the Gentlemen’s bar.
Seth Bullock died of cancer in September 1919 at his ranch near Belle Fourche, South Dakota. However, according to the staff and guests, Mr. Bullock’s spirit energy has maintained his position as the proprietor of his beloved hotel. Guests express feelings of a strong unexplained presence inside many of the hotel rooms, the hallways of the second and third floors, as well as the restaurant and bar.
Bullock has been seen in various areas of the old hotel by employees, including the restaurant and the basement. They say Seth Bullock’s ghost wants to be sure the staff is working to their potential, as paranormal activity increases when the staff members stand idle, whistle, or hum a tune. Plates and stemware have been known to shake and suddenly fly across the restaurant. The lights and electronic appliances turn on and off by unseen hands.
Some of the noted haunted rooms you might want to reserve (or stay away from) are 305—has a broken antique clock that sometimes chimes all on its own. 211—was Bullock’s old room. Some guests have seen a white cloudy figure hovering over the bed. Other active rooms are 205, 207, 209, 302, 305, 313, and 315. You can also take a look at the diary containing ghostly encounters written by guests who have stayed the Bullock Hotel. There are several photos of abnormalities you can study too.
You may be tapped on the shoulder or hear a man whispering in your ear. But, that just might be Bullock reminding you your vacation is over. It’s time for him to “clean up” the town—and time to send you packing and back on the road once again.
633 Main Street
Deadwood, SD 55732