These are the stories whispered in the dark. They make us jump at each pop and crack in the woods. And what makes them really scary — they take place right in our own backyard.
Sica Hollow State Park // Sisseton
Local Native Americans named it “Sica,” meaning “evil” or “bad.” It was used as a hunting ground, and has long been reputed to be a place where supernatural forces are at work. Legend has it, a bigfoot-type man lives here, as well. Historically, people have been afraid to call the area home, but those brave enough can walk the Trail of Spirits.
Spook Road // Brandon
All sorts of legends swirl around this road in rural Minnehaha County. Some say if you drive away from town and count the bridges, you’ll cross four in one direction and then five on the way back. A similar story exists about the road’s winding curves. Spook Road is known for its canopy of trees, which create the route’s ambiance. A “Save Spook Road” Facebook page has been set up to help preserve the iconic trees from demolition.
Ghost Joggers // Sioux Falls
According to the story, two local college students were killed while jogging down 26th Street. People jogging or driving alone at night have reported seeing them near the bridge over I-229.
Phillips Avenue Ghost // Sioux Falls
SiouxEmpireWeird.com has been reporting on an alleged haunting in downtown Sioux Falls. A video posted to their website shows what appears to be an apparition walking through walls. The ghost has been identified as Celeste Pickman, who died at the Cataract Hotel in 1908, near the location of the sighting.
Hooky Jack // Rapid City
John Leary lost his hands in an explosion, and had them replaced with hooks. But that didn’t get him down. Now nicknamed “Hooky Jack,” Leary became a night watchman and police officer for four decades. Although he was hit by a car and killed in 1926, many locals believe he still haunts the three-story Sports Rock restaurant downtown.
The Sioux San Indian Hospital // Rapid City
Established as a boarding school for Native American children in 1898, abuse allegations were common. Later, it became a tuberculosis sanitarium for Native Americans where grisly experimental procedures were performed. The grounds remain scattered with unmarked graves. Reports have been made of phantom children and the sounds of crying.