Back To Bullocks

Posted: Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 11:32 am
By: Doug Lund
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Tap, tap.. tap..came the sound on my door . Seth, is that you?    Nope, just Linda who forgot her key.

bullock portraitWe’re holed up here in Deadwood Gulch at the Bullock Hotel fully expecting a visit from the owner, himself, before we leave..even though he’s been dead for nearly a hundred years.

It’s safe to say that there may not be a Deadwood today if it were not for ol’Seth Bullock. He was among the very first to settle here and worked as a gold miner, a hardware merchant, a farmer/rancher, a lawman and hotelier. He built this place in the early 1890’s and is one of the oldest buildings on Deadwood’s Main Street. It looks pretty much the same on the outside as it did when the doors first opened in 1895. Folks (mostly Bullock employees) like to say it was the finest hotel between Chicago and San Francisco. Oh,’s haunted. 

bullock hotel old

bullock hotel new 

 I brought the camera along in hopes of getting a photo of Seth roaming the halls but I’m usually not very lucky when it comes to his slot machines downstairs or capturing apparitions upstairs. I’ll let you know if I see or hear anything out-of-this-worldly.

Yes, the missus and I are on another vacation. No grass growing under our feet..although the yard at home hasn’t been mowed for so long its embarrassing.  I swear I saw Arte Johnson in a German uniform peaking through the tall grass saying, “Verrry Interestink.” (Anyone under 40 is probably saying “what the heck is he talking about?” )

Anyway, this isn’t a real vacation, just a long weekend with our friends, the Graves, to try save the economy of Deadwood through generous donations made into brightly colored noisy coin operated devices located all over town.

A few of the casinos..Saloon Number 10 and the Gold Dust..were busy as could be on a Friday night..but a lot of others were dead as Wild Bill Hickok. In fact, several on the north end of Main street have given up the ghost and shut down.

I’d be very interested in reading any ghost stories you might be willing to share about staying here at the Bullock or any other eerie experiences you’ve had in this town that’s full of spirits..both liquid and ghostly. 

Oh, and since this is a family friendly blog, please no stories about memorable encounters at places like Pam’s Purple Door.


  1. gp says:

    Hi Doug….. My son, who live in Spearfish, tells me that Spearfish Canyon is about 90% in full fall color right now.

    I also want to tell you to visit the Northern Black Hills Railroad Clubs fantastic model train lay out….and its free….(well donations accepted)….It’s just down the street from the Bullock…same side of the street…in the lower level of one of the gaming halls. In case anyone wants to see some pics of this delightful layout…you can go to About 30 pics or so. of the layout. Some of the quaint bridges of old Deadwood…to the “local Fire Dept.” rescuing a cat from a tree…all in miniture…. It’s a group of “Blackhills kids”…who spend hours and hours creating this most wonderful layout. Be sure to note the photographer … and what he’s taking a picture of. : )
    Have fun…I wish I was there with “you ol’ Norskie.” GP

  2. John Barney says:

    I was in the band that played for the grand opening of the Dakota Territory Saloon (probably not
    there anymore) and have an interesting story about meeting Pam and her “friends” that night (at the
    Saloon). I’ll pass the story on to GP the next time I run into him but I will say she appeared to me
    to be a very nice person. Also the one thing I miss about Western SD this time of the year is the

  3. FOSH says:

    I stayed at the Bullock a couple years back and the toilet flushed twice in the middle of the night when noone was in the bathroom. I am a believer.

  4. ken says:

    If you’d have allowed some comments on Pam’s Purple Door, your blog title could have been Back To Buttocks. I’ve got a million of ‘em. In fact, if I remember Pam’s right, customers saw themselves coming and going.

  5. bernice says:

    Now that’s spooky!! How do they do that?

  6. Joanie says:

    Still not sure what that weird light was in the corner of our room Doug!! It kinda fits with the knock on the
    door and being kicked last year!! How come WE always get the spooked room!!??

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