Haunting in Deadwood: Bullock's Hotel


People in Deadwood say the old brothels are haunted, but they certainly don’t have a monopoly on the city’s ghost stories. Many people have reported seeing ghostly apparitions in Deadwood’s historic hotels over the years. Nowhere is this more true than at the Bullock Hotel on the corner of Main and Wall Streets.Completed in 1896, the Bullock was constructed by its namesake - steely-eyed sheriff Seth Bullock, who came to Deadwood in 1876 as a lawman and entrepreneur. He did very well, becoming accomplished in everything from politics to ranching. Bizarrely, it was being a good rancher that led him to meet Theodore Roosevelt. The pair remained good friends all their lives.

Bullock died in 1919, but his hotel lived on, getting a ghostly reputation in the process. Deadwood citizens became convinced that these paranormal experiences were the fault of Seth’s ghost. The stories became so well-known that NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries did a segment on them back in the early 1990s. I don’t think I’ve seen the show since it was first on, and I didn’t really expect to see it again. I should have known that TV never dies, because there’s Robert Stack up on YouTube, in all his narrating glory. If you’ve got a few minutes, kick back and watch the episode - it lays out the story very well.

People still say the Bullock Hotel is haunted, as guests and employees continue to share first-hand experiences. As far as I know, none of them have been negative. In fact, some people find comfort in the idea that the ghost of Seth Bullock might still be on duty in Deadwood.


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