By Kinsey Gustafson
Savoy Schuler and Bryce Brinker are the founders and guides of the ghost tour in arguably the most haunted hotel in the Midwest. That would be the historic Hotel Alex Johnson in downtown Rapid City. They say ghosts wanting to play, shadow people lurking around corners, and unusual occurrences aren’t exactly unusual at the Alex Johnson; they’re the norm.
Many may have heard stories about the Alex Johnson, like the ghost bride who died in her wedding gown. However, not all have heard about the theories behind her death or about an unsettling barbershop that was located beneath the Alex Johnson.
Those are the types of stories and insights guests and visitors will get to hear while on the ghost tour of the Hotel Alex Johnson. The ghost tour started when Schuler and Brinker began working at the hotel in 2013 and started hearing all of the stories that the hotel staff shared with each other. Events started happening to them and when they started seeing how guests would want to hear their stories while they checked them into their rooms, the idea was born.
“Our valet staff gives the tours,” said Schuler. “It’s unofficial but if people call or show up after 5 [p.m.], we can usually give them the tour.”
Brinker chimed in, “Thursday through Saturday is our busiest time. We’ll bring 100 people through in that time and share stories with them.”
One thing for sure, is these guys know their Hotel Alex Johnson ghosts. Schuler doesn’t like to go into room 807 and Brinker has the same feelings about 802. However, guests are more than welcome to stay in these rooms. In fact, they’re encouraged. Guests can reserve a ghost tour package, which includes a night in a haunted room, the ghost tour, and a personal KII ghost hunter meter, among other things.
Five rooms are given the official “haunted” label: 304, 305, 802, 807, and 812. Room 812 is the one with the most reported stories. Schuler pulls out a large and obviously worn notebook that he hands over, explaining that it is filled with guests’ stories in their own words. Some days have up to three stories reported in the notebook.
To read the full story, pick up the October issue of 605 Magazine or click here.