Creepy Tales of South Dakota

The Rushmore State can seem a little bland sometimes, but buried beneath that flat exterior is a complex history.  That strange history makes South Dakota fertile ground for creepy tales.  What follows is just a small teaser of what is out there.


Spook Road

spook road

The debate on which “Spook Road” is the real Spook Road has carried on for years. Though most say Spook Road is near Brandon, South Dakota. There are many theories about the road including one that claims if you drive away from town and count the number of bridges, then drive back and count them, you will end up with different numbers. Many cars have been wrecked on this road.


The entire town of Deadwood


The gold rush of 1876 brought all kinds of people to Deadwood, SD. It attracted pioneers and prospectors seeking their fortune, along with lawless, unsavory types bringing murder, mayhem and Deadwood’s heralded status in Wild West lore. The legendary locale — the only US town to be named a National Historic Landmark — is alive with stories of its dead residents haunting present-day hotels and saloons. Multiple paranormal events have occurred at famous sites in town such as the Mount Moriah Cemetery, Franklin Hotel, the Adams House, the Bullock Hotel and many others.


Gitchi Manitou

gitchi manitou

Gitchi Manitou is one of the places you always hear about but can never bring yourself to visit, at least not at night. Technically located in Iowa, the whispers of legends run rampant through Eastern South Dakota as well. In 1973, four Sioux Falls teens were brutally murdered while camping at Gitchi Manitou. If that isn’t enough reason to be wary of hauntings, add the fact that this park used to be an American Indian burial ground. The park is closed to the living after dark.

Orpheum Theatre Ghost “Larry”


The Orpheum Theatre in Sioux Falls is said to be haunted by a ghost named Larry. Larry is a man who was dancing with a woman whose husband was away at war. When the husband returned, he killed Larry. Thus the ghost of Larry in the theater was born. Hearing Larry whistling is considered a good luck on the opening night of performances at the theater.


“Little Devils” at Spirit Mound

spirit mound

Spirit Mound, located near Vermillion, has long been awed by Native Americans. It is said that when you try to hike up the mound, “little devils” with arrows will attack you. The Omaha, the Sioux, and the Otoes believe that the mound was occupied by spirits that killed any human who came near.

By the 1790s, when white traders came up the Missouri as far as the Vermillion River, reports of these “little spirits” must have been well known. The first written is from the journals of Lewis and Clark. On August 24, 1804, the day before they reached the mouth of the Vermillion, which they called the White Stone River, Clark wrote:

“Capt Lewis and my Self Concluded to visit a High Hill Situated in an emence Plain three Leagues N. 20º W. from the mouth of White Stone river, this hill appear to be of a Conic form and by all the different Nations in this quater is Supposed to be a place of Deavels or that they are in human form with remarkable large heads and about 18 inches high; that they are very watchfull and ar armed with Sharp arrows with which they can kill at a great distance; they are said to kill all persons who are so hardy as to attemp to approach the hill; they state that tradition informs them than many indians have suffered by these little people and among others that three Maha men fell a sacrefice to their murcyless fury not meany years since- so much do the Mahas Souix Ottoes and other neibhbouring nations believe this fable that no consideration is sufficient to induce them to approach this hill.”


The Hotel Alex Johnson

hotel alex johnson

The Hotel Alex Johnson is one of the most haunted places in South Dakota. Numerous ghost sightings have been recorded over the years. One of the spirits is the hotel’s namesake, Alex Johnson himself. He comes around to make sure the hotel is still running well. There are also rumors that the hotel is filled with secret passages. Speaking of secrets, when you stay at the Hotel Alex Johnson, ask to see the Haunting Book, it chronicles all of the known paranormal encounters that have taken place at the hotel.


Sica Hollow

sica hollow

Originally a hunting grounds for the Dakota Sioux Native Americans, Sica Hollow literally has evil in its name. The name “Sica” was assigned to the area by the first Native Americans to visit the location and sica means ‘bad’ or ‘evil’. It is thought that a “big foot” type man inhabits the woods, corroborated by the fact that, in the 1970s, some people went missing from the area. Rumor has it there is also a Sioux burial ground at the site. It exists as a reserve area today because historically, people have been too afraid to live in the area. So locals say that if you show the Spirits respect, and they won’t harm you!


I know this only scratches the surface of creepy stuff in South Dakota history, let me know what your favorite Creepy tale of South Dakota is in the comments below.

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Pokemon Cards XY Evolutions Early Release Opening 4 Booster Packs (ToysRUsPromos)(EPIC PULLS)

Published on Oct 30, 2016

I attended the early release of Evolutions at my local Toys R Us and this is what I pulled!! Stay tuned for my booster box opening of Evolutions with a chance to win a Charmander promo!
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Dakota Access Pipeline: More Than 100 Arrested

Authorities used pepper spray and fired bean bags at activists demonstrating against a controversial North Dakota oil pipeline as the standoff there reached a new peak Thursday, according to officials.

Armed soldiers and police in riot gear removed the demonstrators using trucks, military Humvees, and buses Thursday afternoon, according to The Associated Press. Two helicopters and an airplane scanned the operation from the air.

At least 141 protesters were arrested as of midnight Thursday (1 a.m. ET) after law enforcement slowly closed in and tensions escalated, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

Seven protesters used “sleeping dragon” devices, which typically involve PVC or other pipe, to attach themselves to items, and fires were set on a highway and improvised fire bombs were thrown at law enforcement, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

One woman allegedly fired three shots from a revolver at police, an emergency services official said. No one was hit.

The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe criticized law enforcement’s “militarized” response to the camp and called for demonstrations to remain peaceful, but stressed that activists would not give up their cause.

Read more here.

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SEP049 – Goat Island with Spencer Dobson

Goats, Islands, and comedian Spencer Dobson, Oh my!  This week The Sioux Empire Podcast is officially making podcast history, for the first time ever on any known podcast, the “Zoo Crew” (Robert Mehling, Seth Glover, Natasha Estes, and Emily Gheorghiu) carve a Jack O’Lantern on air, in the studio (The live video of this madness available on Facebook). Also, we make comedian Spencer Dobson talk about goats, unicorns, and religion.  We talk about Establishing Sustainable Connection’s “Being Muslim in Sioux Falls” panel.  Also, on a segment we’re calling The Sexy Theology Podcast, we resolve once and for all; all the major questions of all religions for all time with absolutely no controversy what so ever. (Warning: “The Sexy Theology Podcast” segment contains graphic adult content.  Listener discretion is advised)  This week we have a musical double feature on the local music spotlight:  LowRidingMoths with their track “Tight Is Right” off their new upcoming album “Cat Island” (on Total Drag Records) and Articles with their track “Off!” from their new album “North Lake” (on Total Drag Records).  This week’s episode is sponsored by Almost Alchemy Jewelry.  The Sioux Empire Podcast still doesn’t know what happened to the goats of Goat Island.

Spencer Dobson

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Establishing Sustainable Connections, Mark Blackburn, Being Muslim in Sioux Falls, Hutterite, Islam, Muslim, Quran, Diversity, Catholic, Protestant, Reverse Gay Conversion Therapy, Matthew Alper, Robert Mehling, Seth Glover, Natasha Estes, Emily Gheorghiu, Spencer Dobson, Siri, Lewis, Sioux Falls, Wacko’s Comedy Club, polling place selfies, LowRidingMoths, Articles, Total Drag Records, HayBaby, Thought Loops, Karen Meat, Lemmons, Defects Per Million, Almost Alchemy, knitting, Black Mirror, The Twilight Zone, Hitler, Nebraska, South Dakota, Goat Island, Rodrigo Duterte, The Philippines, Jay Williams, Jack O’Lantern, Unicorns, Graveyards, Pokestops, Wessington, Atlas Obscura, Fort Sod, The Dakota War of 1862, Grave Robbing, Mammoths, Jurassic Park, West World, Archaeology, The Sexy Theology Podcast, John Thune, Paula Hawks, Kristi Noem, Sugar, Pound Cake, ancient dentistry, Romans, Grindstone, British Accents, Outback Steakhouse, Trump, KELOLAND, KSOO, George W. Bush, 1990’s, Al Gore, #NotAllChristians, The Bible, The Art of the Deal, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Final Destination, Coffee, Barbarians, Argus Leader, Tramp Stamps, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Rule 34, Porn, Vine, Reno, Onomatopoeia, Hunting, Fishing, Stumps, North Dakota, South Dakota Game Fish and Parks, Divorce, Hiking

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The Curse of Goat Island

No Veggies for You

Outback Political Rant

Being Muslim in South Dakota

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SEP048 – PremonitionLive

Get ready for a candid Perkins talk on the Sioux Empire Podcast. We’ll see what it sounds like after Robert Mehling, Seth Glover, Natasha Estes, and Emily Gheorghiu have their minds freaked by Premonition live!  We’ll also talk just a little bit about what’s been going on the last two weeks and of course a very healthy side serving of randomness.  This episode is sponsored by #PremonitionLive (Zac Tenneboe and Travis Nye) and Organizing By Lisa.  The Sioux Empire Podcast is still not sure how Z*Stonish (Zac Tenneboe) “Incepted” Robert during the show like that…


Mike Myers, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Matthew, Robert Mehling, Seth Glover, Natasha Estes, Emily Gheorghiu, Zac Tenneboe, Travis Nye, Organizing By Lisa, PremonitionLive, Inception, Kanye West, Donald Trump, Flipper, Robots, Robin Williams, The Terminator, 99 Red Balloons, Perkins, Lady in the Water, M. Night Shyamalan, The Village, Star Trek, ISIS, Mike Pence, Men in Black, Westworld, Professor Michael Roche, University of South Dakota, Owl City, Yo Yo Ma, Rap Music, Atlanta, Georgia, Allergies, Tattoos,  The Trump Affect, Teenagers, CPR, Landlords, Scarffs

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Pokemon CP6 Base Set Reprint 20th Anniversary Booster Box Opening Part 1(500 Sub Giveaway)

To enter for the 3 pack blister of CP6 you must:
1) Like
2) Comment
3) Subscribe
Good luck to everyone and stay nerdy!!
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The Havoc Pack Battle League Week 1: Pokehon V.S Mikespoketube (A MUST SEE SHOWDOWN)

Sorry folks for the confusion I thought all cards mattered but I ended up with eight points!
The Havoc Pack Battle League Week 1: Pokehon V.S Mikespoketube is brought to you by TonyKGB.
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Podcast Extra: Sioux Empire Weird Interview Transcript

The following is a transcript of the email interview The Sioux Empire Podcast conducted on 9/24/2016 with Sioux Empire Weird.

Without getting into personal details what inspired your group?
A variety of reasons. Summing up the team – we’re a, mostly, college educated group of people that are fascinated by the unknown. We don’t watch Ghost Hunters and we don’t think EVP’s are a legitimate tools of research. We’re generally really into history and mysteries and it is amazing how often the unknown or unexplained comes into play with these things. We appreciate the fact that despite we have access to the accumulated knowledge of man on the internet – there are still things we can’t explain.

What kind of credentials does the team have?
We have 2 members with master’s degrees, a couple of undergrads and one PHD. A couple more have made careers out of hobbies without anything other than high school. The wealthiest member of the group has no college degree and is best described as an independent entrepreneur. The degrees are mainly science or medical-related plus one computer-specific. A couple are in IT-related jobs. 1 works at a law firm. 1 in marketing.  2 of the other positions are rare for around here so we prefer to not comment directly. Given that – our usual meetings involve a couple beers and some fried appetizers at our local meeting spot, if we not at someone’s house.

Have any of the team members personally experienced paranormal phenomenon?
Aside from one encounter w/ unexplained lights in the sky, no – not directly. But everyone has a story about a local myth or tale from where they grew up. Most are from Sioux Falls or the surrounding area and it’s interesting how many different stories there are. So many are not written down and have become more urban myth than anything else. We know we’re not unique in this regard, but we sure don’t hear much about it.
Comment on the lights in the sky encounter: the group believes in extraterrestrial life but not that they’ve bothered to make it to earth yet. People see UFOs usually because they want to. But – the odds of there being NO life on another planet somewhere is so infinitesimal it’s silly. There is life out there – we just haven’t found it yet.

If so can you describe the incidents at all for us?
The lights in the sky encounter was a typical camping out and seeing things in the sky that moved strangely and changed colors kind of thing. These things happen all the time.

Aside from ghosts what other phenomenon are you looking at?
Anything really – the only consistent qualifier is that it has to be local. We’ve looked into a few different things thus far and have only said no on 2 occasions. Those were situations where we felt the people were predisposed to what they had encountered and that there was no real chance for an unbiased review of whatever we dug up. You can’t have rational discussions with true believers – and that applies to politics and religion as well!

Does everyone on this team believe in paranormal phenomena?  Do you have any agent Scullys?
That’s a funny question. We’re all Scully’s actually. We don’t have a Mulder in the group! Belief does not a truth make… We are all skeptics but skeptics that are very open to the idea that we don’t know and can’t explain everything that happens on our planet. In addition to to being interested in the unexplained we all absolutely love stories – be they true or not.

How are you funded?
We are currently funded completely out of our own pockets. Everything we have done thus far has been on our own dime. As group we’ve agreed to not try and monetize our enterprise. We don’t do it for any other reason than we enjoy doing on and want to share what we do with others that might be interested. That being said, we do incur some costs here and there and we have discussed ways to help defray costs of our operations.

Do you have any specialized equipment?  Or  are you more about research?
We are firmly in favor of research, research and more research. It may sound a little outdated but we still do a ton of our work with paper. Not everything exists in a scanned/OCR’d file that we can search from the comfort of our couches at home.
We all kind of giggle at Ghost Hunters and shows like that. They obviously have an agenda to what they do, plus producers that make sure it happens. When you have a setup like that you can make something out of nothing.They say the data never lies but the people that interpret it sure do.
We don’t want to have to every justify anything. When we make claims we want them to be pretty cut and dried. Critiquing evidence is part of the process but the fewer holes you present the better.

Is Sioux Falls and the surrounding area “fertile ground” for paranormal?  If so why do you think that is?
We’re not sure that we’re any more fertile than any other place with history, but we’ve been working on the underlying reason for why we see any of these oddities here.
This might sound a little flakey, and frankly we’re still trying to quantify it, but the amount of exposed granite in the area may be a contributing factor to much of the weirdness linked to the area. Some of the New Age-y stuff out there infers some odd resonant frequencies that exist in granite but we’ve been pursuing a more solid scientific explanation. Geology is outside our area of expertise so we’re in contact with people who do work in that field.
I can tell you that we’ve found some local historical references as well as ties to other communities that have large quantities of exposed quartzite – and we’re talking all the way up the shelf into northern Canada. We don’t have anything near ready to publish on that yet. It will be awhile before we’re comfortable with releasing any of that information.

Where can people learn more and how can they help?
Right now we are 100% focused on the recent happenings related to our release of the ghost footage that was given to us, aka The Phillips Ave Ghost.. Check out for more info, but the short version is that we believe we identified who the ghost is/was – a British woman named Celeste Pickman. Shortly after the release of her name we were notified that there was a book being sold on Craigslist and noted as belonging to a “Celeste P”. We got in touch w/ the seller via email, and eventually by phone, and that is when things started getting a little odd.
First the seller wasn’t sure she wanted to sell it, but she told us we were the first contact so if she WAS going to sell it we could bid first. A couple days later she called us and said she wanted to sell it ASAP. She had been getting email from all over the world about the book – and then she started getting phone calls. Her name and phone number had not been listed with the craigslist ad and this freaked her out. Us too, to be honest. Well – we setup a meeting to review the journal and work out a deal. She never showed up for it and now we can’t get a hold of her at all.
Her name is Paula Wilson and she came to Sioux Falls recently for some family-related stuff. We’re not sure what exactly. We know she is from Seattle and that is about it.
We have a large number of leads we’re trying to track down but some things have happened and now we’re looking for more help. Anyone can help, if they have a little free time and live in the area. Just contact us via Facebook,, or email us at to see how you can help.
Seriously – we need extra arms and legs. Part of the issue is our desire to remain anonymous and we can’t inquire into some of these things without exposing who we are.

Why does the team choose to stay anonymous?
Well – it’s a small town and a fairly close-minded area. Talking about anything other than the weather or that local sports team seems to be rather frowned on around here. We excel are repressing the real interesting things in life! Seriously though –  we would  just like to help kickstart those “different” conversations in regard to what we are interested in. That’s all we’re trying to do.
We have friends and family in the area as well as jobs. We just aren’t in a good position to have to deal with the backlash of our identity being made public. There are a lot of closed minded people around here that wouldn’t even listen to what we have to say – we’d just get laughed at. That is not to say that we’ll never reveal who we are but for right now we’re trying to stay on the downlow.

Do you think the team will be able to stay anonymous indefinitely?
As much as we’d like to keep who we are secret, we realize it’s a small town and people don’t have enough to do so they talk about other people… We’ve already had a couple people contact us directly, rather than through the site so we know someone somewhere has let something slip. We get it. Mistakes will happen but we’re doing our best to stay in the shadows. We’ll deal with the fallout when it happens. We have plan Omega in place for when it does.  😛

Do you know which building on Phillips Avenue the ghost video was filmed in?
Yes. 🙂

Why do you believe the journal you’re looking for is tied to this video?
As mentioned above – we are pretty sure on our ID of the ghost being Celeste Pickman. The journal had a tag on it that said “Celeste PXXXXXX”. The seller sent us a better image of the book than was posted on craigslist, but even then we couldn’t make out the last name. But – the dates in the book in relation to what we know about Mrs Pickman most certainly lines up. And while calling it a journal is accurate – there are some other things in there that raise more questions. Unfortunately we don’t have pictures of those pages – we only know what the seller told us on the phone.

Why do you think people are fascinated by the paranormal?
Despite all the information and technology available there are still things that we don’t know. The human brain is still a mystery, the depths of our oceans are largely unexplored and unexplained – just imagine all the things that we don’t know yet.

Are there any famous/notorious ghosts you’ll be investigating in particular in Sioux Falls in the future?
Right now we are focused on the Celeste Pickman ghost as we really think there is a lot more to this story than what we’ve uncovered. You don’t usually have things pop up like they have and not have them be related or important.
We’re also looking into some giant bat attacks from the 1980’s and had a tip on some ghost activity related to a building that is a civic organization but that used to be a church – we’ll get to those eventually!
Please let your listeners know that while we’re focused on Mrs Pickman, we are absolutely still collecting requests and information on cases. Anyone can contact us about anything. We’ll absolutely get in touch with them.

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Where were you when it happened?

For those who were alive and aware of the events that occurred fifteen years ago today, you most likely remember the terrorizing panic this nation faced. September 11th, 2001 was supposed to be another typical Tuesday for our working America. However, at 8:45 am American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Chaos in New York City explodes, people were trying to get out from the World Trade Center while the heroes go into the building not likely to come out. At 9:03 am the second plane Boeing 767–United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the south tower. Then at 9:59 am the south tower crumbles to the bottom, leaving a debris cloud to cover the city.  Not even 29 minutes later the north tower falls diagonally down to collapse within itself. September 11, 2001, was a day of grief and also a day of courage. I will never forget the moments that it all happened.

I was a rambunctious squirt and often ruled my little world, granted I was only in first grade. But I will have never forgotten the symbolic moment our president at the time; George W Bush first found out about the series of attacks. The president was reading to a group of second-graders in Sarasota, Fla. I remember watching the broadcast on our local news station and witnessing the tension on all of the adults in the room. The president read a short story, and my classroom stayed glued to the television as our teacher, Mrs. May stood horrified behind her computer. With the utmost of respect, the staff of my elementary school handled the chaos very professionally. It was at lunch time for the first graders, and I remember being super excited because I finally brought my dollar for an Ice-cream snickers bar but instead of serving food, the entire school huddled into the cafeteria. Staff explained to us that we would be released early today because of unfortunate circumstances and that our parents should be able to explain things better.

I was confused but mostly disappointed to the fact that I never got my ice-cream, but Simultaneously I had no idea what was going on. The 45-minute bus ride it took me to get home was nerve racking and police patrol teams were surrounding every corner. This ride home was extremely different because we had to take a separate route to get home to avoid airports. When I finally arrived home, I walked through my front door crying because I never got my ice cream, and for the first time my mother ignored me. It was like she had no idea who I was and then I walked into the living room paralyzed. At first, I did not think it was live television, but from the tears coming from my mother’s eyes made it clear that this was life. The seven-year-old me remembers the feeling that this is a symbolic moment. I remember thinking to myself that this is something I will never forget.

For the next 72 hours, local news stations blasted the event. I remember hearing reports that some of the hijackers practiced their aviation skills in a small commercial airport about 20 minutes away from my home. For two days, my school was not in session and the television illuminated with sobbing victims, sometimes ones falling to their death from 50 stories up. From the initial attack on the world trade center, I will always remember the event through child-like eyes. I still feel the innocents of a seven-year-old watching the news, but the anger of the attack brought to me as an American. The passion for my country intensified after the first few anniversary of the terrorist attack and my understanding grew.

Earlier this month I was talking to a few co-workers, and some of them between the ages of 14 and 16 and I asked them what they remember (not thinking about their age) and it appalled me that they were not even born. Besides feeling the implements of aging, I was amazed that these kids would be learning about these events in school and the massive terror that happened.

My final thought about the devastating attack is where was the rest of the world, doing, and thinking when this happened. Where were you when you found out about the news of 9/11? How has it changed your life?

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