From Deadweird to Haunted Keystone, the Hills are alive with ghosts, goblins and gonna-getchas these final days before Halloween.
Deadwood's annual Halloween party - Deadweird - is set for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28, and there's $10,000 in cash and prizes to award to the best costumes.
The spooky, supernatural, cute and creative fill the streets and businesses of the historic town. Thousands of people will be dressed to impress throughout the weekend. The festivities kick off Friday, Oct. 27, with the sixth annual Monster Ball at the Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort from 7 to 10 p.m. The event includes live music, dancing and prizes.
On Saturday, Oct. 28, the Silverado Casino and Historic Franklin Hotel will host the annual Deadweird Costume Contest. With more than $10,000 in cash and prizes, this event attracts the most elaborate costumes in South Dakota and the region. Prizes will be awarded for the top three places in both judge's choice and best group, along with most creative, best theme, creepiest, funniest, sexiest and best couple. The contest starts at 6 p.m., winners will be announced at 9:30 p.m.
Last year, more than 800 people registered for the costume contest, and hundreds more showed up to witness the spectacle, dance to the music and join the fun.
"There's nothing quite like seeing historic Deadwood transform into a costumed wonderland each Halloween season. Deadweird brings out the best of the best, and each year we are astonished by the costumes," said Lee Harstad, Deadwood Chamber of Commerce executive director. "We can't wait to see what this year brings."
And for the younger set, Deadwood will hold its 16th Annual Kidweird from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, at the Deadwood Mountain Grand. It's a new venue, promising plenty of frightful sights including a haunted house, trick or treat lane, games and costume contest for children ages 12 and under. This free, safe, family-friendly event for children from the Lead, Deadwood and Central City area.
• Lead’s Handley Recreation Center and The Black Hills Mining Museum are teaming up to revive a terrifying mining tour — “Lead’s Legendary Haunted Tour – Dark Matter Mystery.” Take a tour through Lead’s mining history and learn about the gruesome events of the past, before making a stop in today’s scientific lab, where the past may be repeating itself. Tours are held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 27- 28 and 30-31, and from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29. Admission is $5 for children under 12, and $7 for 12 years and older. All proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Handley Center and the Mining Museum.
• The Haunting of Keystone continues through the weekend, with four haunts for the bravest of souls: "Phobia" at the 1800s Schoolhouse Museum, "Torture" at Big Thunder Gold Mine, "Panic" at Big Thunder Forest, and "Cavernous" at Rushmore Cave at Rushmore Mountain.
The haunts are open from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28, and from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29.
Tickets are $7 per attraction, or $21 for a wristband that gets you into all four haunts. Info: 605-391-7813.
Rushmore Mountain Adventure Park is open during the Haunted Keystone events showcasing a Evil Zip Ride, and Gunslinger 7-D interactive adventure. Attractions are separate from haunted houses.
Spearfish corn maze and pumpkin patch, at Spearfish Valley Produce offers festive fun, and when the night falls, some spooky scenarios. Hours are: 4 to 10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Day time admission is $10 for adults, ages 13 and older; $8 for ages 4 to 12; and free for ages 3 and under. After dark, admission is $13 for all ages, and $15 for the haunted maze.
• Night at the Museum, Museum of Geology at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, from noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct 28. Trick or treat at the museum, play games and take part in educational activities. Free.
• Scare in the Square, Main Street Square, from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Children are encouraged to wear costumes and meet at Main Street Square where they can pick up a map of businesses that are participating in the downtown trick or treat.
• Safe N’Sweet Trick N’Treat at Storybook Island, 1301 Sheridan Lake Road, from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Bunny’s heroes will be there, and there will be plenty of candy booths to visit. Cost is $3 per person.
• Pumpkin Fest, Tri-State Museum and Visitor Center, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Tri-State Museum and the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce have teamed up for the festival which includes games like mummy bowling and scarecrow ring toss; mad scientist experiments; crafts, food, and inflatables for the kids.
Several contests are planned: Black Hills Roundup will provide free pumpkins and decorating materials for the pumpkin contest; Eighth Avenue Bakery will sell cupcakes which can then be decorated and judged for prizes; and First Western Insurance will host a calf roping dummy; and of course a costume contest beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Folks can also tour the “Haunted” Johnny Spaulding Cabin, and the Tri-State Performers will present, “The Ghosts of Minnesela,” a comedy about the town that once was a rival to Belle Fourche.
• Belle Fourche Halloween Parade, 500 State St., 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31. Prizes will be awarded by age group: infant to 2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, and 9-10, in the following categories — scariest, prettiest and most original. Participants will begin lining up at 4:15 p.m. in front of Pete’s Clothing in downtown Belle Fourche.
• Custer merchants host a trick or treat through the downtown from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31. Trick-or-treaters should start at Western Skies Real Estate, 503 Mt. Rushmore Road, to pick up their bags and follow signs of participating businesses. Free.
• Hill City Merchant Trick or Treat and Halloween Carnival, from 3:30 to 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 27. Begin with trick or treating at the business, and then at 4:30 p.m. head over to the Halloween carnival at the Boys & Girls Club.
• Spooktacular Youth & Family Carnival, Spearfish Rec & Aquatics Center, 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27. Carnival tickets 50 cents a piece, most carnival booths cost one to two tickets.
• Halloween 5K run, Lyle Hare Football Stadium on the Black Hills State University campus Spearfish; 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Dress in costume. Admission is $3 per person.
• Spooky Spearfish, free and safe trick or treating at the Spearfish Rec & Aquatics Center, 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31.
Take a hike
• South Dakota Game Fish & Parks Outdoor Campus - West, Rapid City, hosts a Halloween Hike from 5 to 8 pm. Friday, Oct. 27. Wear your costumes. Games crafts and an evening hike. There are hikes for both younger children, and older kids and adults.
• “The Prairie Dog is Missing,” Halloween Night Hike at Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center in Custer State Park, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28. Take a 2 mile guided hike along a paved trail lit only by jack-o-lanterns and Tiki torches. Along the way hikers will meet costumed characters and pick up clues to solve the mystery. Hikes begin every 15 minutes and take about one hour. Reservations are required, call 605-255-4464. The hike is free, but a park entrance license is required.
Ellsworth Air Force Base offers two events for people with base access:
• A Trunk or Treat will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at Haunted Camp Lancer. During this time the lights will be on, and there will be no intentional spooking of youngsters seeking treats.
• But at 5 p.m., the lights go out and things get scary, when the adult version takes over. This haunted event lasts until 9 p.m. Oct. 31.
Both events are free.
• Alex Johnson Hotel’s annual Halloween Party will be held from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday, Oct. 27. The event includes a costume contest, photo booth, music by Tiki Man Entertainment, and drink specials. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Must be 21 to enter.
• Halloween Party at Hay Camp Brewing, Rapid City, 4 to 10 p.m. Oct. 28. Growler ring toss, bobbing for apples, pin the head on the beer, costume and pumpkin carving contests. A dance party with a DJ from Black Hills Vinyl will be held in Ursa Major.
• Halloween Party at the Back Porch and B&B Lounge, Spearfish, 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27. Live music from the Whiskey Bent Band
• Halloween Party and Costume Contest, Killian's Food & Drink, Spearfish; 8 p.m. Tuesday,. Oct. 31. Music by My Second Rodeo.
Operation Pets, Inc., hosts its first annual Pet Parade and Costume Contest at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 at Rushmore Mall. The entry fee is $10 per pet, proceeds go toward spaying and neutering programs in the city. Participants should enter the mall between The Home Store and Herbergers. All animals must be leashed and current on vaccinations. Sorry,. no hooved animals or rabbits.