HAUNTED: Hotel Alex Johnson
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The Black Hills is a hot spot for paranormal enthusiasts but at the base of those hills, Rapid City has a few hauntings of its own.
Hotel Alex Johnson towers over neighboring buildings in Rapid City, but it’s not just the height that makes this unique structure stand out, it’s also the hauntings that happen within its walls.
The hotel was built in 1928 by Alex Johnson and houses 143 rooms.
Before his death, Johnson and his daughter lived in the hotel. This brings us to room 812, which is considered one of the most paranormally active in the hotel.
“So, it’s funny. Either they absolutely want to stay in that room or they want nothing to do with the 8th floor. So, there’s no one in the middle I feel like,” said Billi DeRudder, General Manager of the establishment.
The 8th floor is where the Lady in White, thought to be the daughter of Alex Johnson, is seen wandering around the most after dying in room 812.
“She was a bride and the verdict is out there if she committed suicide or if she was killed,” said DeRudder.
Either way, the ghost doesn’t mean any harm to those who’ve experienced her presence.
“Everyone says that it’s a very pleasant spirit or a very pleasant presence that’s around,” said DeRudder. However, the Lady in White isn’t alone as rumor has it Alex Johnson still roams the very halls he helped design.
“We always say he’s always with us. I’ve never had any encounters myself. We have a few staff members who have,” said DeRudder.
Daniel Keogh is the Chief Engineer for the hotel and says after only two weeks of working there he started seeing figures in mirrors, things flying off the shelves, and cups sliding across his desk like someone, or something, was moving them.
“There were a few other times I would go knocking on doors for work orders I would hear, “hello,” but no one would answer the door. So, I would go in and there would be nobody in there,” said Keogh, “but there’s a lot of stuff that goes on here. Other people see it. People see things walking up here on this mezzanine. There’s a whole book load of stories over there from people. A lot of stuff.”
However, Keogh embraces the hauntings as do most of the guests.
“We just want to embrace that part of our hotel. We haven’t had any negative things about it so, we just want to make sure we’re transparent. People have felt a presence here and kind of embrace it, but it is fun. It’s a fun legend and it’s fun to be downtown and a part of that,” said DeRudder.
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