Archive for April, 2012

The Haunted Bullock Hotel in Deadwood: My First Official Ghost Hunt

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
Bullock Hotel in Deadwood, South Dakota

Bullock Hotel in Deadwood, South Dakota

By , @Writing2Day

Built in 1895 by Seth Bullock, the first sheriff of Deadwood, his ghost is said to still play host to hotel guests and keep the hotel staff on their toes. My first stay at the Bullock Hotel was in 2009. I was actually a little bit leery to stay in a place that claims to be haunted as throughout my life I have had enough experiences with strange happenings to know that I am somewhat open to other worldly beings. At the same time, I must say I definitely had a sense of nervous anticipation that I might actually see an apparition.

The hotel did not disappoint. Every time that my husband and I would stand outside the door to our room, I could very distinctly feel the floor vibrating while my husband felt nothing. On the second night of our stay in room 302, I awoke to the strange feeling that someone was in the room with me and a male voice very clearly said, “Hi, Kendra.” It was strange that although this was definitely pretty freaky, it really didn’t scare me. My husband was still heavily snoring beside me and I got up to use the bathroom. While I was in the bathroom, I could hear the footsteps of someone walking back and forth outside the bathroom door. When I emerged, my husband was still in a deep sleep just as I had left him.

I related my story to our waitress the following morning at breakfast and she got me the book that the hotel keeps with stories from guests who have had experiences in the hotel. I knew that I had definitely had my name called out but could tell that my husband was really wondering if I had gone slightly off my rocker. It was very self-affirming to find that other guests who had stayed in the same room as we did had experienced the exact same thing. It is important to note that I had not seen this book or heard that Seth will sometimes call out a person’s name until after I had experienced it myself.

Forward to 2012. I was perusing Facebook when I saw an ad to come Ghost Hunt the Haunted Bullock Hotel with Chad and Mary Beth of American Ghost Hunter. My daughter and I are avid watchers of Paranormal State and I recognized Chad as the cameraman. Knowing that I had experienced something on my last stay, I immediately called my daughter and booked our tickets.

A wonderful weekend was had hiking in the Black Hills, souvenir shopping, taking old-time photos, singing karaoke and making some awesome new friends. Chad and Mary Beth are very gracious and easy to be around, as was the rest of group of more “experienced” ghost hunters. After having dinner at the Deadwood Social Club above Saloon #10, we all reconvened at the Bullock to head down to Seth’s Cellar and begin our investigation.

All of the lights were off except for some light coming from the exit sign and some light coming from under the doors. The K2 EMF (electromagnetic field) Detector and Tri-axis Detectors were on and waiting to hopefully light up. I must say that my daughter and I totally held hands the whole time! Any spirits were asked to make their presence known and we did get several small noises in response and the meters did light up many times during the hour. Questions were posed during several taped EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) sessions. It is thought that the recorder can pick up voices that the human ear can not detect. We were not disappointed as several instances were recorded of a male voice responding, “Hey.” The group then moved up to Chad and Mary Beth’s room on the third floor of the hotel (supposedly the most haunted floor) but not much new happened up there and it was decided it was time for a toddy and some karaoke.

For me the most notable thing that happened on day one happened in the middle of the afternoon in our hotel room. After a day spent hiking and knowing we would be up late, my daughter and I decided to take a nap around 4:00. We were both wakened suddenly around 5:30 to the sound of hammering above our bed. I told my daughter that they must be hanging a picture above the bed in the room against ours (our headboard was back to back with the headboard in room 302 which I had stayed in previously). We both went back to sleep unfazed as this was a perfectly logical explanation. When we went downstairs I decided to ask the hotel clerk on duty if there had been any maintenance in room 302 that afternoon and related the hammering going on. After asking us what time this happened, she informed us that the guests in that room had not checked in until 7:00 and there had not been any maintenance in the hotel for a few weeks. The room had been totally empty! It is said that Seth does not like it when the hotel staff is idle. Is it possible that he was waking us from our afternoon nap?

A couple of other things that are interesting to note is that everyone on the third floor was complaining about how hot it was. We had the temp set at 50 degrees in our room and it was still showing 75. After leaving Chad and Mary Beth’s room to return to ours, there was a definite chill felt in the hallway outside of our room. Also, my daughter and I both woke up at the same time in the middle of the night. I was thinking I needed to put my foot under the covers so nothing would be able to brush it while I slept and Arielle told me that she couldn’t be sure but she was pretty positive something had just brushed her foot which had been dangling outside the covers.

Before we went to sleep, we had an “evidence” review. Arielle had taken several pictures downstairs in Seth’s cellar. The one that particularly caught our eye was one taken looking at the bar and mirrored wall behind it. There was no one else standing around when she took the picture but in the photo there is very clearly a little boy or girl standing next to her with their hands over there eyes. I said to her, “It looks like they are playing peekaboo with you.” When we went back to Seth’s Cellar the following evening, we made sure there was absolutely nothing in the background that could have appeared in the photo.

This is the original photo taken in Seth’s Cellar at the Bullock Hotel. Do you see the child at my daughter’s elbow

This photo has been enlarged to make it easier to see what appears to be a child playing peek-a-boo with my daughter.

After returning home I did some research on child ghosts in the hotel. At one time, the basement of the hotel was used to house women and children who had smallpox. Apparently a little girl named Sarah lost her mother to the disease in the basement before she herself also was taken. Her ghost is said to still haunt the hotel and lure children into the basement to play with her. Another interesting note is that when we were taken into the tunnels down in the basement, I very clearly thought I heard a child’s voice say, “Mama, mama.”

Night #2 in the cellar began early for us as we decided to forgo dinner to do some extra investigating with ghost hunter Vicki. The lights on the meters went off quite frequently and several small noises were made. During an EVP session, I had asked if the spirit knew my name since it had called it out to me before. On playback you can very definitely hear the “K” sound and a breathiness afterwards that sounds like the rest of my name, but the breathiness could be conjecture on my part. As we were very intently listening to the playback of our EVP session, there was a whole hell of a lot of noise that came from a table about 8 feet from where we were sitting. Enough noise that we all three screamed and ran halfway up the stairs from the basement before we all started giggling at what ninnies we were being! It sounded to me like someone had scooched their chair back from the table and accidentally knock the table as they stood up causing a whole bunch of things to fall at the same time. Let me tell you, I was not sticking around to find out what the heck it was. I was out of there! We did return to the basement but other than the meters lighting up the rest of the session was uneventful.

During the group session that night, Chad reported that the table he was sitting at was vibrating, as well as his chair. Several people saw a shadow that kept reappearing behind the bar and passing in front of the reflection off of the Jagermeister light, totally blocking it out and then the light would reappear. I never did see this happen but several people including my daughter did. It is important to note that no one in the group was walking around. More EVP’s were captured and I’ll be curious to hear what Chad and Mary Beth discover from these. My daughter also got another picture of the mirror and this time there was a different face in it and one I can tell you that does not look very nice. Several people also reported that their cell phones and cameras turned on by themselves.

Do you see the creepy face looking at my daughter?

A zoom of the photo to the left. Interesting to note that even Facebook selected the face and wanted me to tag it















After some more toddies and karaoke, Vicki, Arielle and myself decided to head back down to the cellar by ourselves since we had luck that afternoon. When we got there, Jeff and Bob were already there so we joined them. For the next 45 minutes or so there was not much activity. Jeff and Bob decided to call it a night. It is interested to note that within minutes of them leaving, the EVP monitor started flashing. Is it possible that whoever was there with us was intimidated by a larger group? I’ve wondered if since my daughter is only 21, did the child ghost of Sarah feel more comfortable around her?

I really didn’t learn anything new as I already knew that there was something in the hotel. However, there is no doubt in my mind that something made a really big racket down in the basement while we were down there and was hammering on the wall behind our bed. In addition to the faces in the mirror captured on camera, we went all around the hotel taking pictures and have several with orbs in them, most notably an orb down by the floor outside of room 313 which is supposed to be the most haunted room in the hotel. As soon as my daughter gets her pictures uploaded I will add them to  this account. I’m looking forward to ghost hunting again with the crew.
See Related Posts: #BullockHotel #Travel

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