628 Main Street, Deadwood, SD

(605) 578-2205

Status: Famous Historic and Haunted Hotel; Restaurant and Gaming Establishment

Tour Website

Ghost Tours Available


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This hotel opened in 1898 as brothel, bar and casino. It was part of the new Deadwood after the great fire of 1879 and the end of the Gold Rush.

It was built in the middle of the Red Light District at the time. To say some truly terrifying and horrible things happened inside these doors would be the understatement of the century; 20th century at least.

While the Prohibition put the bar underground for a while the prostitution business never stopped and became the major income for the hotel. Even in the 1940’s during the second world war when the US Government ordered all brothels shut down the Fairmont stayed operational.

It wasn’t until the 1980’s that the brothel business was shut down ending the last cash flow to the hotel. The double blow of the Interstate Highway system – which bypassed the town and finished primary rail travel – all but killed the town’s economy.

The first floor restaurant and bar stayed in business but the second and third floors were closed up and abandoned.

Thankfully the town was given a National Historic Landmark designation and the new owner obtained a loan from the National Park Service. This saved all of the 19th century buildings and brought the customers back.

In 1989 the State of South Dakota approved the City of Deadwood for a gaming license bringing the economy back to life.

The second and third floors are still unused although the real reason has now been uncovered. They contain a population of ghosts who seem to want to keep it them to themselves.

The Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures, Ghost Lab and the Dead Files have all done episodes here.


Paranormal Activity

Ghost Tours are available and may be booked at the link above.

The dark history of this property has left massive amounts of negative energy and more than a few ghosts.

Margaret Broadwater is the hotel’s most well known ghost. She was a prostitute who after nearly drinking herself to death committed suicide by throwing herself from a window on the third floor. Her reason for doing so is unknown: she could have been pregnant or love with a client or just depressed beyond reason from her nightmare life.

Margaret now wanders the building apparently still trapped in the nightmare that forced her to end her own life. She often announces her presence by opening or closing doors while she cannot be seen. Her apparition – when she chooses to show herself - is most often seen on the first floor but that is surely due to being the floor that has the most living people on it.

A very angry and territorial male ghost – who accidentally took his own life – lays claim to the third floor. He is thought to be a fully mature dark entity who would like to find a way to harm the living. The hotel’s owner had has his tools thrown when he tried to start restorations on the third floor.

The owner has been given a method to get rid of this man, so it is possible that he has succeeded in that goal.

Jack McCall; the man who shot Wild Bill Hickok in the back of the head in Saloon #10 – the building next door - also haunts the hotel. He was convicted of the murder and then suffered through a botched hanging. It is thought that he haunts The Fairmont as it brought happiness to him in life.

The apparition of Jack is seen throughout the building. He is also thought responsible when people feel something unseen brush by them in the hotel as well as women feeling something unseen brushing through their hair. Jack likes hanging out in bar with people drinking and having a good time reliving his own fun while he was alive no doubt.

The ghost of a little boy is also seen in the building running around and playing.

Other Reported Activity: disembodied voices; unexplained noises; touches, tugs and pulls by unseen presences; cold spots; empathic sensations of anger and anxiety (on the third floor); objects moving on their own and feelings of not being and being watched.