The Spooky Spots: The Black Hills Embrace Halloween with the Wild, the Wicked and the Weird | Black Hills Travel Blog

The Spooky Spots: The Black Hills Embrace Halloween with the Wild, the Wicked and the Weird

  • The Spooky Spots: The Black Hills Embrace Halloween With the Wild, the Wicked and the Weird
    The Spooky Spots: The Black Hills Embrace Halloween With the Wild, the Wicked and the Weird
By : 
Tom Griffith

Despite assertions to the contrary, Northerners don’t hibernate when winter arrives, as it often does early in the Black Hills. Instead, we tend to revel in wintry weather and use every excuse, particularly Halloween, to don a costume and embrace a bit of witchcraft.

From Hot Springs to Belle Fourche, and virtually every enchanted place in between, the Black Hills will be bewitched by Halloween this month with wizardry, sorcery and some black magic combined with costume contests, carousing and celebrations that give good reason for locals to turn off the tube and get out of the house.

Following is a list of options for your Halloween festivities. It’s by no means intended to be comprehensive, but it will provide you with some of our favorite alternatives for adult activities as well as kid-friendly events that will make your inner-goblin smile.

One of the more unusual Halloween events is the Haunted ATV Trail Ride from 6-10 p.m. Oct. 19 and 20 starting at the Bedrock Lanes Bowling Alley in Lead. They do the driving while you ride. Cost is $10 plus a can of food, with proceeds benefiting the Twin City Clothing Center and The Lord’s Cupboard.

“Scaring is Caring” is the theme of the 9th Annual The Haunting of Keystone, staged at four attractions in the Keystone area and benefiting local charitable causes on multiple dates from Oct. 12-28. Visit hauntingofkeystone.com for reservations and more information about this popular event.

The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs will host Fossil Fright Night 6-9 p.m. Oct. 25, while Sturgis will freak out with the Chamber’s Crypt Haunted House from 5-8 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Meade County Fair Barn (and again Oct. 30-31; $5) and a 7 p.m. Spooky Halloween Stories with Black Hills Storytellers at the Sturgis Center for the Arts.

Rapid City’s Scare in the Square & Downtown Trick-or-Treat, set for 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, gives the entire family a reason to dress up in costumes and visit downtown businesses for treats. Simply stop by Main Street Square for a list of participating business, then go out and scare the wits out of everyone. Then head over to the Dahl Arts Center for Hallowpalooza from 1-7 p.m. for a kid-friendly Halloween extravaganza. Tickets are $5 and kids 3 and under are free.

You can bring your kids to the Safe-n-Sweet Trick-n-Treat from 3:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at Storybook Island ($3), or check out “Black Cats! Black Cats!” which will be performed at noon and 3 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Tri-State Museum in Belle Fourche.

Arguably the region’s largest house of horrors can be found at Terror in the Dark Haunted House starting at 7 p.m. beginning Oct. 20 and open seven nights through Oct. 31 at the Central States Fairgrounds in Rapid City.

Deadwood has been hosting an unusual cast of characters since 1876, and Halloween seems to bring out the zaniest visitors. The popular, child-friendly 17th Annual Kidweird runs from 5-8 p.m. Oct. 31, at the Deadwood Mountain Grand with a costume contest, Candy Cane Lane, a haunted house and scads of prizes.

But, arguably the Black Hills’ craziest Halloween event which attracts thousands to the Northern Hills tourist town is Deadweird, a two-night soiree that features the wildest, most elaborate costumes you’re likely to see anywhere in South Dakota. The turnout is likely driven by the fact more than $10,000 in prizes are on the line.

The weekend bash gets underway 7-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, with the Sixth Annual Monster Ball at Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort on Lower Main Street, with a live band, dancing, and prizes. And, that’s just the primer.

Those extravagant costumes will be on full display 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, as the annual Deadweird Costume Contest rushes the Silverado-Franklin Historic Gaming Complex on Upper Main Street. More than 1,000 contestants run through the competition, but thousands more show up just for the party, which spans the historic street, filling bars, gaming halls, and restaurants with the wild, the wicked and the weird.

So, there’s no reason to dress up as a couch potato this Halloween with activities and events spanning the width and breadth of the Black Hills.

About the Author

Tom Griffith is a fourth-generation South Dakotan who studied literature and drama at the University of London before graduating from the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire. An award-winning reporter, photographer and managing editor at newspapers in Arizona, Montana and South Dakota, Tom also has written or co-authored more than 70 books and his travel features have been published in more than 300 newspapers and magazines from New York to New Zealand.

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