Historic Deadwood, South Dakota was the destination, and the city’s reputation for murder and mayhem brings out the supernatural in everyone. The town, they say, is filled with ghosts; in the streets, in the buildings, and particularly, in the Bullock Hotel: the very hotel in which we were staying!

“Ooh, you’re staying in the most haunted room in the hotel,” the lady at the front desk told me, her voice quivering slightly with both awe and fear. “I won’t go in there. Ever.”  And I have to tell you, I believed her.  Everyone at the hotel seemed a bit, um, uneasy?  Spooky?  Odd.  That’s the word.  Like the Adams Family were odd.  And though I don’t believe in ghosts, I do believe in being scared, so I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be staying in Super Supernatural Room.

Rob and I decided we should take the hotel’s ghost tour, just to see what we might be up against that night. We were not disappointed.

The head of the tour was a guy who looked like real-life Deadwood legend Seth Bullock.  Back in the late 1800s, Bullock was the sheriff of the town, and the original owner of the hotel from 1895. You may know him best as the lead character in the HBO series “Deadwood” from a few years back.

On the ghost tour, we learned only one very important ghostly fact: in 1919, Seth Bullock died in room 211 of this hotel at 2:30am! Guess which room Rob and I were booked into for the night?

The tour concluded, I turned to our guide and told him in jest, “See you at 2:30.”  He laughed. Of course, I never saw him again.  But, I wasn’t the only occupant of room 211…

Later that night, Rob woke me up with some sort of crazy commotion.  It was around 2:45am.  Most of the lights in room 211 were on.  So was the TV.  I asked Rob confusedly what was going on?  He responded, “Nothing. I’ll tell you later.”  Too tired to think it was anything other than an insatiable desire to watch American television, I fell back into a blissful sleep.

When morning came, I prepared for Rob’s explanation.  Apparently, while I slept, at 2:28am, the door handle to the room began to jiggle.  There were loud bangs on the door, and, most of all, the door to the washroom, which I had left open, slowly, slowly began to close.

Rob asked me if I had left the washroom door open.  Indeed, I had.  I don’t like closed washroom doors at night just in case one needs to visit that room. I didn’t think it would be a ghost.

The two of us walked around the room, knocking on walls, making ‘boo’ noises, checking the washroom door to see if it was rigged.  My philosophical training has given me an acute sense of what it takes to rig a room for supernatural experience.  I sensed none!   There is no other explanation except that THE GHOST OF SETH BULLOCK WHO DIED IN THAT ROOM AT 2:30am CAME TO VISIT THE ROOM AGAIN AT THAT SAME TIME OVER 100 YEARS LATER AND TRIED TO GET INTO THE ROOM BY USING THE HANDLE! THEN, UPON DISCOVERING THAT THE DOOR WAS LOCKED, HE DECIDED TO KNOCK LOUDLY SINCE IT WAS LATE AND WE WERE PROBABLY SLEEPING!!!  WHEN WE DIDN’T ANSWER HE THOUGHT WE WERE RUDE, SO HE USED HIS SUPER GHOSTLY POWERS TO CLOSE THE WASHROOM DOOR: SLOWLY!

There are no other explanations for how someone from a hotel who wanted to perpetuate the myth that there were ghosts (because ghosts attract tourists) could jiggle the handle of a door from the outside and bang on it, with the vibrations enough for the washroom door, which is framed over an inch off the ground and therefore precariously open, to close.  Slowly.  However…

During the ghost tour in The Bullock Hotel in Deadwood, we were encouraged to take pictures, especially in the mirrors, as there were reports of faces (not your reflection kind of faces) and other abnormalities sighted in there.  Oh, we laughed and snapped away.  Then we looked at one of the pictures.

Is it the ghost of Seth Bullock?  Teddy Roosevelt?  Michael Jackson?  Am I looking at the Man in the Mirror?