Fairmont Hotel

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Fear of pregnancy, depression, jealousy and rage caused some unpleasant ends here.

Apparently, the spirits who reside here are wanna-be interior designers; they all
have different ideas on how the second and third floors should be renovated/restored.

Spirits here are not refined; they are a wild bunch with frontier manners.



Today, The three story Fairmont Hotel is no longer a hotel, but is described on their website as being “A Family Restaurant & Gaming Establishment in the heart of Deadwood. Offering a casual atmosphere where regular folks can play slots, eat late nite snacks, relax and have a good ol’ time! Featuring fresh blue point oysters.”

The Fairmount Hotel Building is a beautiful, three story red stone structure, the same building material of the Bullock Hotel. It has a turret sitting right on the corner of Main ST. and Wall St. where the entrance is located.The rectangular structure with the hotel floors is back of the entrance, and goes up Wall Street. Only the first floor is restored, but future plans are in the works to develop the second and third floors, if issues concerning funds and spirits with strong opinions can be solved.

Until Ron can invest in the second and third floors, he is making good use of the building. A big perk offered to his patrons is parking in the back of his business.

He serves great food and drinks in the hotel’s restaurant and bar on the first floor. There is Karaoke every Friday & Saturday Nite 8:30 pm ’til close. No# 1 karaoke rated statewide.” All the music loving spirits must also enjoy the singing!

The owner puts the spirits to work by offering ghost enthusiasts the Fairmont Hotel’s Ghost & Paranormal Tours nightly at 8:30 pm. The tours last approx. 90 minutes and are an historically accurate. It is promoted as “an enjoyable experience for the whole family.”

It helped his economic future by getting featured on three paranormal tv programs; Travel Channel’s Ghost Lab, Ghost Adventures & The Dead Files.

Apparently, the spirits get their chuckles interacting with the living tour visitors without terrifying them.



Because of the Black Hills Gold Rush;(1876-1879), the frontier town of Deadwood was founded in 1874. During its heyday, the town has 5,000 inhabitants. Because it was located in Indian Territory, it was considered an illegal town. it started off as a wild, lawless town that was finally brought to civility by Seth Bullock, a no nonsense sheriff and hotel owner.

Besides the drying up of the lucrative panning for gold, a big fire On September 26, 1879, burned Deadwood, destroying more than three hundred buildings and consuming the belongings of many inhabitants. So, not only did miners leave to find more profitable gold fields elsewhere, people who lost everything in the fire also left for greener pastures.

However, folks with money invested in the profitable business of deep mining. In 1888, the Deadwood Central narrow-gauge Railroad was built to move the fruits of the deep mining business. In 1893, The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad bought the Deadwood Central narrow-gauge Railroad.

Another improvement that was made was the electrifying of the railroad line between Deadwood and Lead in 1902 to provide an interurbanpassenger system, which was in service until 1924. After the market crash of 1929, this railroad was abandoned a year later, in 1930, except the railroad line that ran from Kirk to Fantail Junction, which was converted to standard gauge.

The Fairmont Hotel started out as a 1898 Victorian brothel, bar and gambling hall; making its living in these vices:prostitution, drinking and gambling, as many establishments did as well, in Deadwood, South Dakota. It was built in the heart of the red light district on lower Main Street. All the buildings along this street had brothels on their upper floors.

It attracted some wild, violent characters who mostly tried to behave but couldn’t because of their raw human emotions that they couldn’t control. Some awful behavior happened here that hurt and killed other people. Right next to The Fairmont Hotel was the original location of Saloon #10, where Wild Bill Hickok was shot in the back.

The Fairmont Hotel never pretended to be a high class joint, but a place for “everyman” to fulfill their needs for gambling with Lady Luck, meeting each other at this local watering hole for a drink and of course the accommodating ladies who offered their services upstairs for lonely men.

Prohibition probably forced the Deadwood bar and gaming businesses underground. Many other bars in the West continued however they could, perhaps getting raided on occasion. However, the prostitution business continued above ground; not hiding at all.

Law enforcement looked the other way concerning prostitution in Deadwood, even during World War 2 when the US Government ordered all these establishments in the United States to be closed. Deadwood’s prostitution industry continued on until 1980, when the authorities raided the remaining prostitution businesses, shutting them down for good.

The Fairmont Hotel building missed all the destruction caused by the devastating fires that occasionally roared through town. Being built with stone must of helped keep the fire from catching hold of this building. However, like other Deadwood businesses it did suffer from a declining population, the building of the interstate in 1964 which whisked potential customers away and down the road, and the raids on prostitution in 1980 that finally shut down this way to make steady money.

deadwoodThe Fairmont Hotel still had the loyalty of the local people who remained. The first floor restaurant and bar probably carried on the best they could, while the second and third floors that were inhabitable, remained empty, waiting to be restored by someone who could tame the spirits found there.

Along came an owner, Ron, who dreamed of restoring it, perhaps with the help of the loans offered by the National Parks system as the town of Deadwood was declared to be a National Historic Landmark because of all the pre- 1900 buildings that managed to survive.

What also helped his efforts was that the city of Deadwood got the approval of the South Dakota Legislature to have gaming in their establishments to raise money to fund restoration projects in 1989.

During restoration, he found out why other owners never did anything with the second and third floors. He bumped into some resident spirits; some with strong ideas of decor on which they couldn’t agree on amongst themselves or the owner either. One particular spirit was possessive of the upper floors; especially the third floor.

Ron asked Travel Channel to have televised investigations there. Ghost Lab, Ghost Adventures and Dead Files all came in and found the spirits who reside here, and what their issues with the living were.



The Fairmont of Hotel “is loaded with a dark history,” making it one of the most haunted places in South Dakota. The spirits have been here since the wild days of Deadwood; making their opinions well-known to the various owners of this property. It was far from being a hotel like the upscale Martin Mason Hotel, The Fairmont Hotel was built to offer low brow entertainment for the working man: drinking, gambling and use of the ladies for sexual relief. The nature of these vices traditionally brought a boatload of trouble and negative energy.

Being active in prostitution has always been a hazardous occupation that could result in a unpleasant end; sometimes self-inflicted because of the emotional upset from becoming pregnant, complications from abortion, or the emotional suffering from deadly heartbreak; being abandoned by their beloved.

A young prostitute, Margaret had drowned her sorrows in a bottle of booze and committed suicide by jumping out of a window because she could of been pregnant, could’ve been dumped by a client she loved, or could’ve been very depressed about being in an occupation that offered no escape. Her reputation was permanently soiled with no way to redeem herself in society’s eyes. If a close relationship happened with a client, this opened the door for all participants to be killed in a rage.

A love-smitten man flew into a rage when he found the object of his love sensually working to satisfy another man. Though this enraged man tried to shoot them both, luckily he couldn’t hit the side of a barn and he missed killing them. When his woman tried to push him out the door, the man killed himself instead accidentally. I wonder where the bouncer was. People who accidentally kill themselves often are mad about it for a variety of reasons. Some look for ways to make themselves feel better about their preventable action if they had their wits about them.

This man who in a rage accidentally killed himself, wants the third floor to be for spirits only, and takes action when anyone tries to improve the state of this floor. This claim to the 3rd floor makes him feel better. Children during the late 1800s early 1900’s before the invention of vaccinations were at risk from catching and dying from disease that often swept through town. Often, sick children were taken to hotels to recuperate or die. Other children died from dumb kid accidents.

Or being in the wrong place at the wrong time: becoming the victims of not so nice adults. A little boy must of died inside or outside this structure from disease, from accident or was killed at the hands of another. When a spirit attaches to the land where it died, it can go into a structure built on this property or a structure that is close by.

Jack McCall was the man seeking revenge who shot Bill Hickok in the back of the head in Saloon #10 that once was located in the building right next to the Fairmont Hotel. Jack was convicted and suffered a botched hanging. His spirit moved into the Fairmont next door; that was probably a place he would’ve enjoyed while alive.



The many spirits who reside here are a wild bunch; much like they were while alive. Past owners had told Ron that if he knew what they had witnessed, he would’ve thought twice about buying the place.

Spirit of Prostitute Margaret Broadwater,

Her sad spirit wanders around the hotel, not feeling any better as killing herself didn’t get rid of her sad feelings,caused by a broken heart or because she felt trapped that created an overwhelming depression She appears to many people. She may announce her presence by opening and closing doors on the first floor, startling living people enjoying the food and drinks in the Fairmont Hotel restaurant and bar.

Spirit of Jack McCall

His apparition is seen all over the building. He may be the one who brushes by people, plays or strokes the hair of women Probably likes to spend some time in the bar; trying to enjoy the feeling of drinking by getting near people having a good time drinking beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks. He may enjoy playing the slot machines

The Spirit of the Enraged Male

He killed himself accidentally He is/was very territorial, trying to bully the living when they come up to the third floor. When Ron, the current owner tried to use his tools to do some work, his tools would be torn from his hands and thrown.

The Spirit of the Little Boy

Has a lot of fun running around the hotel structure, being a little boy, very much looking for fun.


Yes indeed, though the passive, enraged male might of been forced to leave. Amy told Ron how to remove him, doing a procedure twice a week, but it would take a year. Ron feels it is safe to now have ghost tours on the upper floors. The spirits seem to be enjoying the interaction with the tours of ghost enthusiasts visiting them. It is a positive experience for both the living and the dead.

Televised investigations by Ghost Lab, Ghost Adventures & The Dead Files have caught hard evidence of the resident spirits

The Dead Files – Amy came across the enraged man who killed himself. He told Amy that he thinks that the third floor should only be for spirits. He was the one who grabbed Ron’s tools and threw them. He was trying to teach himself how to hurt living people.



The Fairmont Hotel is located in the heart of historic Deadwood, on lower Main Street originally the red light district, on the corner of Wall and Main Street.


  • video.search.yahoo.com/ Ghost Adventures
  • www.onlyinyourstate.com/south-dakota/fairmont-hotel-sd/This hotel is part of the South Dakota Haunted Road Trip. I
  • www.dailymotion.com/video Ghost Lab
  • www.travelchannel.com/shows/the-dead-files – Dead files
  • www.hauntedrooms.com
  • www.travelchannel.com/shows/the-dead-files
  • www.bhpioneer.com/local_news/the-dark-side-of-deadwood/

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Deadwood Haunts in South Dakota