After dark ghost hunt disallowed at Deadwood cemetery

I found this to be a very interesting story and wonder if the idea will spread to other areas of interest to paranormal tourists.

Ghost hunting request shot down.

A recently repealed ordinance now allowing fortune telling, clairvoyant and related activity in Deadwood was put to its first test at Monday’s regular Deadwood City Commission meeting, as commissioners voted unanimously to deny a request from an individual desiring to ghost hunt after dark at Mt. Moriah.

Lacey Rommich of Mobridge, accompanied by her friend Angela Bear’s Heart, addressed the commission, presenting the request to pursue a bit of ghost hunting in Deadwood.

Deadwood City Commissioner Gary Todd said that unfortunately, Rommich’s request came on the heels of the commission’s action to rescind an ordinance regarding fortune telling, which registered opposition to the very thing she was requesting.

“One of the concerns was that we didn’t let activities like this happen in our public cemeteries,” Todd said. “The residents of Deadwood didn’t want these activities to go on in public cemeteries and we have made a commitment that we wouldn’t allow that. Two months ago I would’ve said, ‘Go have some fun.’ But now, I think we made a commitment and don’t allow those types of activities in a public cemetery.”

One of the issues according to Mayor Chuck Turbiville is access to the cemetery after dark. The ghost hunter noted she was new at this and wanted a bit of “ghost stuff” for her YouTube channel. The residents however have expressed concerns about people walking all over the graves. It’s clear that many careless ghost hunters out for a  bit of fun are responsible for occasional vandalism and destruction of property. It seems this was what the town of Deadwood wished to avoid. They would rather preserve their history, not degrade it with occult activity. Interesting angle.

Rommich has said she’ll do her investigation during the day. The Commissioner thanked her for at least requesting permission instead of just doing it. You can’t say that for several thrill-seeking ghost hunters who often think it’s their right to check out a supposedly haunted site. This characteristic of a few obnoxious ghost hunters is making communities wary of their presence at historic locations.

  13 comments for “After dark ghost hunt disallowed at Deadwood cemetery

  1. Lee
    March 24, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    What a wonderful change of pace. A community attempting to rid themselves of the ridiculous and forego any publicity that could possibly bring them public notoriety and a few bucks their way. Showing clarity in protection of their property. Good way to start my Monday off.

  2. kompani101
    March 24, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Is there someone who can answer me a question that has been noodling around in my head for sometime; Why do people hunt ghosts and other phenomenon in the dark?

  3. neko
    March 24, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    I love touring graveyards, especially older ones that were ornate and elaborate gardens. I know they don’t know it, but for myself I like remembering important figures, and this is how we memorialize them. Implants those engrams well to go to a place and see something.

    But everyone should respect them as common property. They aren’t just public tromping grounds. Or even when they are public tromping grounds, they have rules just like a public park.

    And I’m still not sure why ghosts don’t come out during the day. Graveyards are generally empty during the day, given you are looking for EMP or voices on the microphone or whatever now-a-days, and “spirit pictures” generally come out well during the day, sometimes even better cough*lensflare*cough there shouldn’t be a need. The paranormal sciences have moved beyond the dark rooms and seances and fake-o ectoplasm. Get with the times, hunters.

    Just darken it up after using iMovie (TM). That’s what the horror movies many hunters are using for your information do, so it will look right to youtube.

  4. Graham
    March 24, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Because that’s when they do it on the TV-shows.

  5. kompani101
    March 24, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Thanks Graham, I was so hoping I was wrong and there was an interesting technical reason.

  6. Lee
    March 24, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    That is a great question. I believe Graham’s answer is as good as it gets. It is difficult to come up with a reasonable answer when you deal with a subject for which any answer would be suitable. Perhaps a person who investigates in the dark is in an environment more conducive psychologically to have an event transpire just due to fact they want it to occur? Perhaps when a person passes they become nocturnal instead of diurnal? It is just SCARIER!!!

  7. March 24, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Neko: According to the academic researchers I was with this weekend, the best apparition reports HAVE been during there day. Ghosts don’t care about the dark but people are more freaked out during the dark.

  8. kompani101
    March 24, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    So it would be best if those wanting thrills wondered around ‘spooky’ environments at night but those wanting to perform serious research should be out and about in daylight. I would also think that if your ‘freaked out’ in the dark it’s not very conducive to carrying out good scientific work.
    Thanks everyone for answering my question.

  9. Chris Howard
    March 24, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    My guess is that ones visual acuity is greatly reduced in the dark, and therefore sensation (sight) is more easily perceived as a paranormal event.

    I think it’s probably the reason why most ghost stories take place in the dark, to begin with.

    This is especially so back before we had electric lighting, and what you saw was up to a lot more interpretation.

  10. Graham
    March 24, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Even some believers in the paranormal have realised this, Nick Redfern for one compiled a list of the “Ten Commandments of Paranormal TV” (Which only really covers Ghost Hunting and Bigfoot type shows, I suspect Ancient Alien type shows have a slightly different set of ‘rules’.).

    The ‘Eighth Commandment’ reads:

    [quote]Never forget that haunted houses and creature-infested woods should not be entered into until the sun has set and darkness is upon both ye and the land. Daylight shootings will provoke a wrath of unimaginable horror. Its almost unspeakable name is: Falling Ratings.[/quote]

    The full set can be read at:

  11. Mayu
    March 25, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    I’m going to give my opinion as a paranormal investigator. Yes, I am one of those nutters… I’ve been doing this for 10 years.

    Now, this is what the girl said in one interview: “I’m mainly doing it for my YouTube channel. I thought it would be cool to have ghost stuff on there,” she said. “I’m a Goth girl, in a way. My favorite holiday happens to be Halloween. I like the scary stuff of life.”

    it’s people like this that make paranormal investigators look fanatical, and deface the legitimacy of our research. At least they asked before the simply went… however, true researchers go where we’re invited, or where our assistance is requested. We do not deface, destroy or mar property,we don’t trespass. We don’t do this for fun, this is a legitimate field of research where we go to seek answers and to try to see if we can find truth to paranormal claims. Obviously we have not found answers or the paranormal would be a science… but we have been able to help a lot of people, sometimes that means telling them that there are natural explanations to what they’ve been experiencing.

    Look: any true ghost hunter will tell you… believe it or not, cemeteries are not as haunted as people think they are. Spirits generally attach themselves to an object, or a place that had meaning to them in life. Unless that object is buried with them… they tend to haunt places like: where they were died, where an object they treasured is kept (like an antique pistol in a museum or someone’s house), it’s pretty rare if a spirit will haunt their burial plot. (that’s when it comes to intelligent hauntings. inhuman hauntings and residuals also rarely happen at cemeteries.) Although its not unheard of, it’s not as common as ‘goths’ or wanna be ‘goths’ who watch movies like ‘Dracula’ would want to believe.

    Also… spirits don’t just come out at night… in the course of my 10 years of being an investigator, I’ve had a lot of things happen during the day. The main reason we investigate at night is because we want to recreate what the client is experiencing so we can understand their situation better – and most of what they go through is at night because during the day there is school, work, shopping, cleaning, etc. At night is sleep, relaxation, rest. That’s when they notice things more. Also, we like to investigate with the lights off because electricity can set off some of our equipment (cause interference with EMF meters, etc) and we like to make sure there is as little chance of corrupting our research as possible. We don’t want electricity setting off our meters and giving us false reads, and us in turn giving those false reads to our clients and misrepresenting that they have a haunting. We need as sterile of a field as possible.

    That all being said… I’m not a hobbiest, I don’t do this for fun, and the comment above about her wanting to do this for her youtube channel because she’s goth… it just demeans the field and puts us in a bad light. Kudos to them for asking instead of just going and causing damage or wreaking havoc… but still… seriously now… reality TV is not “reality” – ghost “hunting” is not what it appears on TV. that’s all sensationalized for ratings. it’s actually less spectacular than that, and rarely as exciting. It’s a lot of sitting around and listening to each other fart.

  12. CLamb
    March 25, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    Because photographs of “spirits” require a dark background.

  13. L. Barth
    March 25, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    So how does a true ghost hunter know how & why a spirit acts? How do you know they attach to an object that had meaning ,or their reason for haunting a particular place? Also ,I’m not an electric tech, so I don’t know, but would turning off the lights really matter? What I mean is even with the house dark , it is still hooked up to the power grid, yes? It also seems at night, when things are quiet , a person would be more apt to notice some anomaly that is there all the time just not really noticeable when the household is awake

Comments are closed.