South Dakota is known for its lovely scenery and fantastic tourist attractions, yet what people don’t often talk about is that it’s also full of loads of creepy and notoriously haunted buildings. The Black Hills area is reportedly one of the most haunted areas of our state, as it’s home to Hotel Alex Jackson, the Historic Homestake Opera House, and many more eerie places with unsettling stories and terror hidden within their walls. If you’re in the mood for a little adventure, the following road trip will take you to some of the scariest places in South Dakota.
The trip is only 100 miles long, and it will only take you about 2 and a half hours, easily allowing you to conquer it in one afternoon (or evening, if you’re that brave.) We’ve included a link to the Google Map
1. Hotel Alex Johnson, Rapid City.
Visit this hotel if you dare, but it’s notoriously haunted and has even been featured on SyFy channel’s Ghost Hunters. A book in the lobby is available for guests to share their experiences, and the accounts include faucets turning on and off, doors and windows flying open and mysterious knocking. The 8th floor is supposedly the most haunted, as it’s home to room 812. A bride-to-be committed suicide in this room by flinging herself out the window in the 1970’s, and she, as well as Alex Johnson, are reported to still linger in the building.
523 6th St, Rapid City, SD
2. Elk’s Theatre, Rapid City
This early 20th century theater may have been remolded multiple times, but legend has it that it doesn’t stop the resident ghost, nicknamed “Jimmy,” from still claiming it as his home. He has been spotted lounging in the main theater during closing hours, and customers and employees alike have also reported seeing shadowy figures on multiple occasions. No one, however, seems too terrified of “Jimmy,” as he is reportedly a “friendly ghost.”
512 6th St, Rapid City, SD
3. Historic School House & Museum, Keystone
Constructed in 1900, local children attended this historic school house until 1988 when the enrollment had severely fallen. It now houses a museum. Local ghost hunting groups have utilized infrared photography, heat sensors and other equipment to document chilling paranormal events. Rumor has it that there’s a chair in the school bell tower that moves on its own, costumes are found strewn across the floor, and a male voice can be heard echoing throughout the school house.
410 3rd Street Keystone, SD.
4. The Black Hills Playhouse, Custer.
This building’s history dates back to the early 1900’s when it housed unemployed men who later went on to work on the national park system. Utilized as a theater house since 1946, The Black Hills Playhouse has been attracting and entertaining the locals for decades. Apparently, the workers, as well as one of their daughters, still roam the building, and unexplained activity is known to occur in the costume room.
24834 S Playhouse Rd, Custer, SD
5. Hill City Harley Davidson, Hill City
You may be surprised to learn that this store was once a funeral home / crematory. Reportedly, moving objects, strange noises, voices, and pool balls moving on their own have been witnessed by employees and visitors. A visit to this downtown building would certainly be chilling.
261 Main St Hill City, SD
6. Historic Homestake Opera House, Lead.
After Black Hills Paranormal Investigators explored this historic venue in 2013, they shared some alarming findings. Their equipment detected various voices and images of figures resembling human form. Most disturbing of all, rocks were thrown at the investigators in the pool area, and a recorder captured a voice in the dressing roam area stating, “Here I am, right here,” followed by a command to “get out.” Though skeptical of the alarming findings, the venue employees, too, have admitted to various unexplained and strange activity.
313 W Main St, Lead, SD 57754, Lead, SD
7. Bullock Hotel, Deadwood.
Recognized nation wide as one of the most haunted hotels in the country, this place is certainly eerie, to say the least. Employees have reported seeing the ghost of the first owner Seth Bullock roaming the halls in the dead of the night. Staff and guests have also described the feeling of a strong paranormal presence in the rooms of the 2nd and 3rd floors, the restaurant, and the basement. Stay at this historic hotel only if you are brave of heart, for it appears that Mr. Bullock is still trying to play host.
633 Main St
8. Lucky Nugget Casino, Deadwood.
The Bullock Hotel isn’t the only haunted place in Deadwood, as Lucky Nugget Casino has been another popular site for Black Hills Paranormal Activity Investigators. Footsteps, the intense scent of perfume and shadow people have all been experienced in this unnerving casino.
622 Main St, Deadwood, SD
Have you ever been to these ghostly places in South Dakota? If not, would you dare take this road trip? Let us know in the comment section below!