Franklin Hotel

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Guests have reported hearing footsteps following them around the historic hotel. A housekeeper quit after seeing a man in period clothing watching her while she was cleaning. People walking past have reported the sensation of being watched.

(Submitted by Callum Swift)

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Geographic Information

709 Lower Main Street
Deadwood, SD
United States

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44.37618830568584, -103.73130686752853
Lawrence County, South Dakota
Nearest Towns:
Deadwood, SD (0.1 mi.)
Central City, SD (2.2 mi.)
Lead, SD (2.4 mi.)
Whitewood, SD (7.4 mi.)
Spearfish, SD (10.1 mi.)
Sturgis, SD (11.2 mi.)
Saint Onge, SD (11.8 mi.)
North Spearfish, SD (12.0 mi.)
North Spearfish, SD (12.4 mi.)
Piedmont, SD (19.6 mi.)


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Comments (5)

  1. While on my stay there I believe I was on the 2nd floor, I tried to speak with any spirit that may be there, as I spoke, the lights in the bathroom faded in and out. this happened three times in my two day stay. I was not frighted and felt a presence draw me out to a rooftop area where I saw beer bottles, not sure why the pull to that window but I felt something while I was there.

  2. In 2000, my wife and I stayed on the second floor. This was my first stay at the hotel. On our second night at the hotel, we headed across the side street from the old Callahan’s basement bar. As soon as we reached the other side of the street, we heard bootsteps complete with heel spurs directly behind us. The wife and I gave each other a funny look and turned around only for the footsteps to cease with nobody behind us. I figured there was a logical explanation and I went on about my vacation. Two nights later at 3:30 a.m. we decided to retire to the hotel room after a long night of gambling and drinking. We were the last two people on the streets. We entered the front door of the Franklin Hotel and headed up the first flight of steps. The hotel was eerily quiet with not so much as a desk clerk behind the check-in counter. Once we got halfway up the first flight of stairs, we heard the front door to the hotel open and someone walk toward the steps who was also wearing boots (no spurs however). My wife asked who it was and upon reaching the landing and heading up the second flight of stairs, I looked over the railing only to hear (and feel on the staircase) someone walking up the stairs, but nobody was there. I replied, “I have no idea.” My wife’s response was, “what?” I explained that someone was coming up the stairs right behind us, but nobody was there. My wife and I then reached the second floor and stopped and turned around to see what was happening. The stairs continued to creak and shake with each audible bootstep. When the invisible person reached the second floor, it stopped on that infamously creaky floorboard at the top of the steps……face-to-face with us. The board depressed and squeaked but never squeaked again as if were stepped off of. I moved toward it (possibly why it stopped at the top of the steps) and confronted it by asking if someone was there. I then waived my hand through it only to feel an ice cold, damp pocket of air. I have never had the hair stand up on the back of my neck like that before. My wife began crying and we ran at a sprint back to our room around the corner. This incident happened directly in front of the former owner’s suite at the top of the staircase on the second floor. I have stayed overnight at the hotel numerous times since with no experiences. Considering all of the ghostly happenings I have had in my life, this one was the most undeniable. I plan on taking a July 2016 trip to Deadwood to try and re-create the experience.

  3. Kelsi Biletski  |  

    Our family visited the hotel after we missed our bus and had to wait in the lobby. I was pretty young at the time and I didn’t know it was haunted. My dad looked it up and talked to the clerk and they confirmed it, so we decided to explore upstairs. We took countless photos on every floor and nothing happened that really stood out besides a few “orbs” or dust particles. We left a bit later and when we arrived back at our trailer we sifted through the photos we found. We didn’t find anything but just before we went to bed my mom zoomed in on a spot on the the 3rd floor beside a fire exit and there, right beside the door, was the the unmistakable face of a man or woman. Their eyes were open and their mouth was gaping. I didn’t sleep for weeks. I still have the picture now

  4. So I came to Deadwood a few years ago, it was in the fall. School had already started but my sister agreed to let my nephew join me and my boyfriend on a trip back to Nebraska, a small town where he lived for a while, and whats that monument…Mount Rushmore. Long story short, we came into Deadwood late at night and it happened to be the weekend of a buffalo roundup so lots of people in town. Couldn’t get a room. Finally the Franklin Hotel said they could accomodate us in this old white house that was behind the hotel. They were real nice and charged us for only a room even though this was a three (or four) bedroom house. We went in, exhausted, unpacked a little…Sorry this story is going to be long… too many details I don’t want to leave out. So the first weird thing was that my nephew wanted to play cards. He was 11 at the time and kinda got into the whole Deadwood thing. I was was too tired. Felt guilty. But just too tired. So he set up in his own “room” and when I went upstairs to check on him he was playing with my deck of cards. So I was like oh did you grab those out of my luggage? And he said no, they were on the nightstand. So then I was like maybe their not mine…I will check my bags tomorrow… they looked like mine…whatever. Boyfriend was extra tired and went and laid down so I decided to go to bed too, at the bedroom at the end of the hallway. My skin was crawling while laying in the bed. I was like crap..bed bugs, but what the hell can I do about it now. I fell asleep. Then I woke up yelling at my boyfriend…I was sitting up in bed and told him there were red bubbles on the ceiling, rolling down the hallway. They were glowing. It was awake enough so I jumped out of bed to check on nephew. He was still awake on ipad. Told him to turn lights out, but his first vacation, so was like whatever he’ll be tired in the morning…I went back to sleep. And then I awoke and there was a man at the foot of my bed. I wasn’t just scared but felt terror. I was paralyzed but tried to move my fingers to wake up my boyfriend but I couldn’t. I don’t remember really seeing him but more feeling his presence. I remember him now as a man in old fashioned clothing but in a way it is a blurr now and I can’t say 100 percent that I saw that, but it is how I remember it now. I must have just fallen back asleep because next thing I know it is a sunny beautiful morning. I have never had anything like this happen to me before or since, thank God. I don’t like haunted anything anymore. My nephew and boyfriend slept great, and had coffee ready for me lol. That house is ancient. The floors creak and the whole house is actually slanted, so when you walk down the hallway you can feel it or if you lay in bed. What else…the next night we got a real room at the Franklin Hotel, I was so relieved. It was the room with the American Indian that was in the Olympics. I felt safe, hoping he was watching over the room maybe. So that is what happened. I asked the hotel desk is anyone ever said the house in the back was haunted and they said no. You can see the house if you use Google maps to go behind the Frankling hotel. If you’re facing the front of the hotel go up the street on the right. I think it was built in late 1700’s. It must have seen alot of people pass through and have a lot of stories. Oh by the way those were my cards. And I believe my nephew would not have gone into my luggage, he just wouldn’t do that. And I think what may have pissed the ghosts off was something I said. I don’t remember the exact conversation but I was upstairs in the bedroom that night and I said I am not worried about ghosts, they like me. Well I’ll never say that again lol, the whole thing was scary. I would not want to stay in a haunted place again. Ok that’s it. Glad I put it down in writing 🙂

  5. In April 2015, I stayed at the Franklin Hotel for one night. I stayed on the first floor,very near the rear exit to the parking lot, in a cheap, $20 room. During my stay, while asleep, I felt someone grab ahold of my leg and yank me down toward the end of the bed. It happened twice. It’s a spooky old hotel. I’ve stayed at other cheap motels and have never had another experience like it.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.