By Jonni Joyce
Everyone loves a good ghost story. Ever stay at the Bullock Hotel in Deadwood? It is supposed to be one of the most haunted places in the historic Black Hills town.
But looking back in the history books of Bennett County and talking with local residents has lead me to believe that you don’t have to travel all the way to Deadwood to experience the thrills of the paranormal. Martin has her own haunted places to capture the imagination.
Ever experience a ghost, a shadow figure, a full body apparition? Hear something that goes bump in the night? Use a Ouija board as a kid to talk to the other side?
Do you have fun watching TAPS, Ghost Hunters, The Dead Files or other paranormal shows? Do you believe ghosts are real?
Well, you are not alone. A majority of Americans believe in ghosts. Some have even seen them.
In 2009, the Pew Research Center conducted a study and found that 18 percent of Americans have reported seeing a ghost The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. In other words, it’s a legitimate source of research information.
Over the past few months we’ve been conducting our own research in the form of talking to local residents about their paranormal experiences.
Multiple county employees who work in the Bennett County Courthouse have heard voices, sounds of footsteps of someone walking down the hallway, or clanging like jail cell doors are closing when working late into the night. When they go to investigate, they find that they are the only ones there.
A local resident was working in the Bennett County Hospital and was walking down the hallway late one evening and met a catholic nun. As they passed the nun, the hospital worker thought it strange the nun was in the hospital that late. They turned around to make an inquiry and the nun wasn’t there. In the 1940’s and 50’s, the Franciscan Sisters of the Diocese of Rapid City ran the hospital.
The bartenders of Susan’s H&H bar were busy tending to customers and retrieving orders from the kitchen. Security video shows a bottle of scotch whisky being thrown from the top shelf of the counter and crashing to the floor. The other bottles of liquor did not move. Patrons of the “H” have held discussions with someone in the women’s bathroom only to find out as they exit the stall that no one is there. A full body apparition of an older man, seated at one of the tables wearing a fur hunting cap and red checkered wool hunting jacket has been seen by staff.
“These are good ghosts,” said Susan Palmer, owner of Susan’s H & H.
Palmer’s philosophy is to be respectful to the visitors and in turn, they are respectful to the customers and staff.
Those are just a few of the stories that you might hear, while sipping your favorite adult beverage in the local watering hole.
One thing is for sure: you don’t have to travel very far to seek out the paranormal, but Susan says don’t bother asking to conduct a paranormal investigation in the H&H - that is strictly forbidden! However, you can feel free to snap pictures of the hunter if you’re lucky enough to see him.