Black Hills Paranormal Investigations

Rapid City, South Dakota

Black Hills Paranormal Investigations

Rapid City, South Dakota


BHPI was contacted by the management of the Lucky Nugget Casino who reported their employees were experiencing strange happenings when they had to go to the storage areas on the second floor. Some employees said they had experienced feelings of being watched; some heard footsteps while others reported being touched. Others had seen shadowy figures and even experienced phantom smells of perfume. One employee reported seeing an apparition of a little girl that disappeared before his eyes. The experiences had scared the employees so much that some refused to go to the second floor by themselves.

During interviews with employees, many claimed that while working on the main floor of the casino, they would hear footsteps coming from the second floor. This wouldn’t be odd except for the fact no one was upstairs.

We spoke with witnesses, and toured the second floor where the activity was reported to have taken place. The second floor was in various stages of disrepair, and cluttered with building materials and old furniture. The unique architecture of late 19th and early 20th century was present. Attempts had been made to modernize other rooms. It was apparent that it had been some time since anyone had occupied the second floor.

Through extensive research, we learned the current buildings the Lucky Nugget Casino occupied were rebuilt during the late 1890’s into the early 1900’s after fire destroyed most of this section of town in 1894. Lower Main Street, also referred to as ‘The Badlands’, housed the original #10 saloon where ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok was shot and killed on August 2nd, 1876.

Various businesses occupied the buildings throughout the years. Sometime during this time brothels moved into the second floor. The brothels flourished until raided and shut down by the federal government in 1980. It was said the whole second floor from one end of the block to the other housed brothels.

Note: Lucky Nugget Casino no longer occupies this location. Other businesses have since moved into the location.


Within thirty minutes of arriving for our first investigation, one investigator was conducting baseline EMF sweeps when he experienced a phantom smell of perfume in one of the rooms. He noticed his EMF meter spiked during this encounter. When he stepped out of the room into a hallway, he clearly heard hard-soled shoes walking down the hallway. When he went to investigate, there was no one there. When this investigator was telling his experience one of the employees of the casino was present and became visibly shaken. He explained he had experienced a phantom smell in that same room, but had not told anyone as he felt people would think he was crazy.

Throughout the many investigations conducted, we experienced shadow figures looking around doorframes, heard disembodied voices, heard movement and knocks, and a couple investigators experienced being touched. We also documented abnormal EMF spikes that would wander through rooms into the hallways and disappear. We also captured some compelling recordings of EVPs.

During one encounter two investigators were investigating in a short hallway. One investigator walked into the hallway and saw a dark mass approach him. He stepped back and put his hands up to protect himself as the mass passed by him. The investigator at the end of the hallway said he saw the investigator become enveloped in a dark mass at the same time.

One encounter with a disembodied voice left the investigators struggling to find a reasonable explanation. After setting up our equipment, we decided to send out the female investigators on our team while the rest of us stayed to monitor the cameras at the command post. A short while later, those of us stationed at the command post clearly heard a female call out, “WooHoo” in a singsong voice. Thinking the female investigators were trying to elicit a response during an EVP session, we ignored the voice. When the female investigators came back to the command post, they made it known that it wasn’t funny trying to scare them. During the exchange, the female investigators had also heard the female “WooHoo” and thought we were responsible. Once we determined none of us were responsible, we checked our digital recorders and were amazed we had captured this unknown voice. We attempted to debunk this, but we never came close to replicating the female’s voice we all heard.


Since BHPI never enters into an investigation trying to prove there is paranormal activity taking place. We worked hard and were able to debunk some of the activity we encountered. However, many of the experiences we had just could not be explained. We can reasonably say based on our experiences and investigation, plus that of other outside witnesses, the brothels have a high rate of paranormal activity.


Madame Gwendolyn

by Black Hills Paranormal Investigations | Lucky Nugget Casino Investigation

Female Rant

by Black Hills Paranormal Investigations | Lucky Nugget Casino Investigation

Disembodied Voice

by Black Hills Paranormal Investigations | Lucky Nugget Casino Investigation

Child's Voice

by Black Hills Paranormal Investigations | Lucky Nugget Casino Investigation

A Women's Laugh

by Black Hills Paranormal Investigations | Lucky Nugget Casino Investigation

Brothel Photographs

This is a photograph of Main Street Deadwood. This is the area that was once referred to as the ‘Badlands’. The second floor of these buildings once house the infamous brothels that were shut down in 1980.

Many people claim to witness apparitions looking out of the second floor windows of the old brothels. We suspect it is the mannequins they see instead of a ghostly figure.

We heard several claims about this hallway. Some have heard boot steps walking while one casino worker claimed she was held against the wall by some unknown force. During our first investigation of the brothels, an investigator heard boot steps in this hallway. When he went to investigate, he found no one there.

Two investigators experience a shadow figure in this hallway.

These last two hallways continued to provide investigators with interesting experiences. We experienced seeing shadow figures and whispering. This was the area where we obtained the voices of children on a couple EVPs.


We in no way claim that we captured an apparition or ghost in this photograph. We simply provide it as an unknown anomaly that was captured during our investigation. This photograph has left us all scratching our heads. You can see what appears to be someone standing at the top of the stairs. Where the head should be is a flare from the brass railing. We took several photos of these stairs throughout the investigation, but this is the only one that we captured this anomaly. The witnesses told us they see a small boy playing on these steps, and this photo tends to lean toward a small person. We present this to you to view and make up your own minds. We know some of you will believe and others will question the veracity of the photo. We ask that if anyone out there has a reasonable explanation for this photo, please contact us at We appreciate any constructive feedback we get.