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Mysterious America

Hotel Alex Johnson’s Enigmatic 8th Floor

A broken heart led to a tragic wedding night suicide. Does the ghost of this jilted bride still linger in Room 812?

  • The Hotel Alex Johnson opened in 1928 and was described as the “showplace of the West.”
  • It was built by and named after Alex Carlton Johnson, Vice President of the Chicago-Northwestern Railroad.
  • Room 812 is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a bride-to-be who jumped from the window on her wedding night.

The Hotel Alex Johnson sits at the heart of beautiful downtown Rapid City, South Dakota. It is a luxury hotel with stores, a coffee shop, and a bar and restaurant on the first floor and a swanky rooftop club on the tenth floor. Prices are reasonable in the off season, so when a friend and I visited South Dakota in early April, we jumped at the opportunity to stay here. It helped, of course, that this hotel is rumored to be haunted.

Alex Carlton Johnson was Vice President of the Chicago-Northwestern Railroad. As construction began on Mount Rushmore, he knew tourists would need somewhere to stay, so he invested his fortune in a hotel. The Hotel Alex Johnson opened in 1928 and was described as the “showplace of the West.”

Its famous guests included President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Alex Johnson died in 1938, but according to some hotel employees, part of him never left.

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