The Haunted and Historic Bullock Hotel Casino
The city of Deadwood received its name because of the dead trees which were prevalent in the narrow canyon (Deadwood Gulch) where the main streets of the city were built. Main and Sherman streets were built in the bottom of the canyon, while many other streets were built into the steep canyon sides.
The hotel is named after Deadwood's most famous historical icon, Seth Bullock (1849-1919). Seth Bullock was born in Ontario, the son of a retired British Major George Bullock and his Scottish wife. Seth was strictly raised, and the concepts of right and wrong, being self-disciplined, the importance of making an honest living, fulfilling your potential and standing up for principles were all definitely drilled into young Seth. Seth may not of appreciated it at the time, but Seth would've made his parents proud of him by the way he lived his life and what he accomplished in his lifetime.
Tall, with steely gray eyes, Bullock had an imposing appearance that commanded instant respect. His grandson would say of him later, "He could out-stare a mad cobra or a rogue elephant." Bullock was undaunted by Deadwood's lawless and dangerous nature and wasted no time appointing several fearless deputies to help him "clean up” the town. It isn't surprising that under the leadership of Seth Bullock that this dangerous, wild gold town became civilized and lawful in a short period of time. Before long, order had been established in the former hell-raising camp.
In 1894, Captain Seth Bullock and his partner decided that Deadwood needed a classy, up scale hotel, which they built on Main St. Unfortunately, this hotel burned down. Undaunted, Bullock and Star decided to rebuild their hotel up and over a large, fireproof store and warehouse built in 1876, which had already survived two previous fires. In 1895, The Bullock Hotel reopened.
Captain Seth Bullock loved this hotel, and he died of cancer here in 1919 in room 211 on September 23, 1919. The Captain was buried on the high trail to White Rocks, directly above Mount Moriah Cemetery, with a once glorious view of Mount Roosevelt and Friendship Tower. The grave site, facing toward Mount Roosevelt across the gulch, was selected for its view of Friendship Tower, a view since obscured by a half-century growth of ponderosa pines.
The Bullock Hotel continued to be an upscale place to stay throughout the years and has absorbed many renovations to keep its historical appeal. When the owners in 1976 couldn't keep the building up, they sold it, which opened the opportunity to revamp the hotel. In the 1990s, The Historical Bullock Properties Company began to buy up the aging historical buildings, and began to very carefully renovate and meticulously restore these historic treasures to their original glory, with the idea of promoting tourism. They purchased not only the Bullock Hotel, but also the Homestake Mansion Bed and Breakfast, the Town Hall Inn, the Branch House, and some other old buildings, like The Franklin Hotel, which became homes to the casinos, another revenue maker.
Due to it's impressive haunted history, the Bullock Hotel has been the subject of the once popular TV Show Unsolved Mysteries and a number of other documentary discussions.
According to many of reports, Seth Bullock continues to play host at his beloved hotel strange occurrences have occurred both staff and guests. Reports include feelings of a strong paranormal presence inside several of the rooms and in the hallways of the second and third floors, as well as in Bully’s restaurant, and in Seth's Cellar. Others have reported actually seeing the tall ghostly figure of Bullock in various areas of the hotel, including the restaurant and the basement. Apparently Seth’s ghost wants to ensure that the staff is working hard, as paranormal events tend to increase when staff members stand idle, whistle or hum a tune. Plates and glasses have been known to shake and take flight in the restaurant, lights and appliances turn on and off by themselves, items are inexplicably moved by unseen hands, and showers turn on, seemingly, of their own accord.
Many guests have reported hearing their name called out by a male voice when no one is present, or have been tapped on the shoulder by unseen hands. Others have heard whistling and many report the sounds of footsteps in the hallways when no one is there. In both the second and third floor rooms, guests have reported a number of strange occurrences including photographs that produce strange anomalies, alarm clocks that go off, even when they are unplugged, televisions that seemingly operate with unseen hands, cloudy figures seen in rooms and hallways, and even an antique clock, that hasn't functioned in years, that chimes of its own accord.
The inn embraces their haunted reputation. During the year, ghost tours are offered Friday and Saturday nights at 5:30pm but please call us them 605-578-1745 to confirm.
The Historic Bullock Hotel Casino
633 Main Street
Deadwood, SD 57732
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