Wild Bill’s Bar and Trading Post

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Many women who worked in prostitution had unhappy ends…

 

DESCRIPTION

The Wild Bill Bar and Trading Post makes its home in a two story brick and stone structure in a row of buildings. The Wild Bill Bar and Trading Post is a fairly new business, because the owners took over the former business: Wild Bill’s Bar and Interpretive Center.They have a new business plan to offer a lot more opportunities to bring in more revenue. Their quality goods for sale attract not only tourists but also the local folks.

On the first floor, the visitor can visit the beautiful, western bar with a few one arm bandits; though casino is not in their title. Also sharing space in this building, people can buy candy, coffee, bulk candy, and sign up for tours.

The second floor has a theater upstairs above the bar and a boutique. Their theatre space, The Wild Bill Theater on the second floor can also be rented out as a venue for social events.

 

HISTORY

The Wild Bill Bar and Trading Post makes its home in a two story brick and stone structure in a row of buildings offering a lot more revenue creating business aimed a wider consumer base than the businesses who have occupied this property since 1876.

This property lot’s claim to fame is that it is the original place where 1876 Saloon #10 once stood in the red light district. It was located in the rough and rowdy lower Main Street. Saloons, brothels on all the second floors of the buildings were found here, and of course drinking and gambling games like cards attracted the rough, and rowdy, in a pretty wild illegal frontier town built on Indian land.

In 1876, Wild Bill Hickok was playing cards at Saloon #10, when a man with a grudge, Jack McCall came into Saloon #10, in a fowl mood; ready to hunt bear. Jack shot Wild Bill Hickok in the back of the head, killing him.

The original Saloon #10 structure was burned to the ground during one of Deadwood’s destructive fires. When the row of buildings here were rebuilt, they burned down yet again several times. Finally, all the buildings were built in fire-roof material; to limit the number of fires here.

The structure that now stands was built in the late 1800s’. When prostitution was shut down in 1980, the upstairs area was abandoned; leaving just the first floor the source of all revenue. uh oh!

After gambling in Deadwood was given the green light in Deadwood in 1989, a number of bars and casinos were located here in tis structure, trying to make hay from the historical incident of Wild Bill Hickok’s death on this spot way back in 1876. A mannikin of Wild Bill was set up, etc. One such business was Lucky Nugget Casino, that only used the first floor, and ignored the second floor.

The beautiful turn of the century bar and their little casino kept the doors open. When the successful gambling operator Silverado came in and created a big casino in and around The Franklin Hotel, just down the street, more was needed to attract visitors besides drinking the beer and play their slot machines. The next business that moved in would have to come up with an idea to accomplish this.

It was during this time of Lucky Nugget Casino when Black Hills Paranormal Investigators came in to investigate this structure, as employees were uncomfortable on the second floor. Their results are posted below in Paranormal Findings section. The second floor was jumping with activity. One surly spirit also patrolled the first floor.

The next business to get a lease in this structure was The Wild Bill Casino and The Interpretive Center that was like a museum, dedicated to Wild Bill Hickok; that also explored the shooting. A mannikin of Wild Bill was set up, playing cards. The Interpretive center was set up after remodeling the second floor, perhaps taking out some of the bedrooms, making a large, remodeled space for their Interpretive Center.

The next business was Wild Bill’s Bar and TRADING POST that has a lot of new ideas on how to bring in a wider customer base for both tourists and locals. The renovated second floor once again; turning the Interpretive Center into a small theater; something that isn’t existing in this part of town. They still kept the fabulous bar on the first floor, with a few slot machines, adding items for sale that would draw large interest. They also figured out a way to offer event space as well for social events!

The spirits still here probably heartily approve!

 

HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS

Prostitution has long been a risky profession for the women who provided sexual relief for men in need of it. There was the risk of pregnancy, risks taking abortion medication, risk of having a baby, risk of sex starting a love relationship between the women and the men they serviced, and the stigma associated with prostitution could lead to depression and suicidal thoughts if the woman couldn’t find a husband to get her out of this line of work. Plus, prostitutes could be murdered by a jealous customer or a ruthless character.

Many women who worked in prostitution had unhappy ends.

The brothel is a risky place to raise a child as it puts them in harm’s way. Sometimes children were born in Brothels.

Children in frontier towns were at risk to catching deadly diseases that blew through town, like smallpox.

A spirit of a young child, probably a child of a prostitute, lost her life here, either from disease, accident or at the hands of another.

Spirits of Prostitutes on Second Floor

Before the second floor was renovated and remodeled for many years, employees have heard the sounds of footsteps coming from the second floor.

It was especially noticeable during the time when Lucky Nugget Casino was here.

Some employees who have gone to the second floor have been touched; have strange feelings. Some have seen shadow people and apparitions. Some have smelled a woman’s perfume.

Spirit of a Small Child

Spirit was seen on the second floor by many employees.

One employee saw a apparition of a small child who had appeared before this employee before disappearing.

Spirit of First Floor Bully

An employee who had been working in one of the downstairs rooms inadvertently provoked a surly male spirit who shoved this employee up against a wall.

PARANORMAL FINDINGS

Staff members have long had many personal experiences upstairs and downstairs, no matter what bar and gaming business occupied this space, though it was causing problems when Lucky Nugget Casino was in business here. The owner called in Black Hills Paranormal Investigators into his business to investigate and try to find out what spirits were here, to give some peace of mind to his staff.

Black Hills Paranormal investigators had both personal experiences and caught hard evidence during an investigation that they did in this structure. Their experiences and their hard evidence caught on EVPS backed up what the employees have experienced for years.

Black Hills Paranormal investigators experienced “hearing disembodied voices, seeing shadow figures, smelling perfume, hearing footsteps, unusual noises, numerous electronic voice phenomenon (EVPs) and unusual electromagnetic field (EMF) spikes.”

One lead investigator, Mr.Wennes, reported: “I walked into a room and had someone whisper right in my ear. I spun around and nobody was there. The EVPs were pronounced and prominent. Once, we heard the same voice at the same time on two different recorders.”

EVPs during Black Hills Paranormal’s Brothel Investigation:

A female “sing-songy” voice can be heard saying what investigators think is, “Madame Gwendolyn?”

Another female voice sounds riled up and angry, exclaiming “Anna Mae Clark!” and also saying what sounds like the word, “negro.”

On yet another EVP clip, a woman can be heard exclaiming “woo-hoo!”

 

STILL HAUNTED?

Probably So on the first floor. It is quite possible that other spirits come to visit the first floor bar area where they had so much fun drinking, and have fond memories of this place, not quite ready to go over to the spirit world. The surly male spirit who pushed the staff member on the first floor is probably such a visitor.

Upstairs Area: Perhaps, Don’t know for sure.

Perhaps the owners of either the Lucky Nugget Casino or Wild Bill’s Bar and Interpretive Center had the first and second floor spiritually cleansed, sending spirits stuck here on their way to the other side, or to another traditional brothel area in one of the other buildings on lower Main Street.

The spirit of Jack McCall who was stuck here for so long has moved next door to Oyster Bay & Historic Fairmont, Restaurant and Bar. He talked to medium Amy from the DEAD FILES.

The owner of Lucky Nugget Casino perhaps wanted the spirits gone to allay the fear of his staff about the second floor. One of the female spirits upstairs was angry. What could she do to a living person?

The Wild Bill’s Bar and Trading Post have active economic activity on the second floor, and they don’t mention on their website of having any ghost tours or paranormal activity there, like the next door business, Oyster Bay & Historic Fairmont, Restaurant and Bar whose owner has put his spirits to work who enjoy the attention.

No other paranormal group has been here to investigate. This may mean that the second floor is clean of spirits, or it could mean that Wild Bill’s Bar and Trading Post don’t want ghost hunters prowling around their business, and just burn a lot of sage on the second floor.

 

LOCATION

Wild Bill’s Bar and Trading Post
624 Main St, Deadwood, SD 57732
(605) 717-0600

It is located right next to Oyster Bay & Historic Fairmont, Restaurant and Bar, on lower Main St, the former historic Red Light District.

SOURCES INCLUDE

  • bhparanormal.com/brothel-investigation/
  • bhpioneer.com/local_news/the-dark-side-of-deadwood
  • facebook.com/Wild-Bills-Trading-Post-on-Main-St
  • Text correspondence with owner of Wild Bill’s Trading Post

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

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