South Dakota’s Sica Hollow
Every state has a cryptid; well, most states do. South Dakota, like Oregon and Nevada’s cryptid, is haunted land. Oregon has Crater lake, and Nevada has Pyramid lake. South Dakota has Sico Hollow.
Sica Hollow state park, on the eastern slope of the Prairie Coteau Hills, is haunted.
The state park has deep ravines and is thickly forested and haunted, according to the Sioux. It is a location of creation and vengeance where Sioux mythical characters have fought. “Sica” means evil, and they talk about strange and mysterious happenings. Like how the water is red-tinted and looks like blood.
Logic dictates that a red tint could mean a high iron content in the water. Yet, the local Indians aren’t buying that explanation. If you believe the water is red because of iron? You can take a stroll down the Trail of Spirits, where supernatural events are every day.
In the 1840s, Robert Roi settled near what today is Sica Hollow State Park. The game was abundant, and he used one of the deep ravines to build his house. Everyone kept their distance from Roi. They thought he was crazy to make his home in such a scary place.
An expeditionary force sent by the government went looking for Roi. They were looking to collect his knowledge of the frontier for future settling. It took them days to navigate the ravine where Roi lived. After visiting him for a few days, they agreed with the Sioux. Roi had lost his mind to live in such a scary place.
However, as more and more people settled in those woods, there were more and more disappearances. The most recent is when campers disappeared in the 1970s.
Several hunting parties went looking for these missing people. The ones that the searchers rescued stated they were looking for a monster. Earlier reports witnesses swear they saw a giant hairy creature living in the woods. A huge furry creature sounds like a Bigfoot-type monster. Authorities claimed the animal could easily have been a bear.
Black bears were common in South Dakota, and the locals believed what people were seeing was a bear. The only thing is authorities never found any bears, nor did they find the missing people. They disappeared into the heavy woods of Sica Hollow state park. The idea of something else living in the woods stirred up interest in Bigfoot.
Pockets of quicksand as well as numerous springs dot parts of Sica Hollow. Over the years, people became too scared to live in Sica Hollow. Sica Hollow State Park became a national preserve and state park because people were too creeped out by the eerie feeling of the woods.
Of course, seeing blood-red streams and glowing trees from the phosphorous in their rotting trunks didn’t help. In more recent years, campers have heard drums, war cries, and whooping Sioux warriors. Ghostly campfires spotted from the trails have also been told. Others report seeing hairy beasts lurking in the darkness of the woods.
One reporter daring the 8-mile trail saw blood-red water and heard strange noises. Does that mean they believe in ghosts and spirits?
They discussed logical explanations like iron deposits in the water, or it was mother nature.
People have discussed the possibilities for centuries. There is no question that Sica Hollow State Park is beautiful. What the debate is about is whether or not Sica Hollow is haunted.
There have been numerous reports about seeing and hearing things. Can everyone be hallucinating the same noises and sounds? The odds don’t support the idea of people having mass hallucinations.
The stories of missing people are true, but many believe it’s because of the area’s topography. Boggy sand pits exist in the deep woods, and even experienced hikers could miss them. The same with the deep ravines. If you are not a hiker and wander off the trails, one could slide down a ravine. Once down those ravines, searchers would never find you.
Yet, the dangers of Sica Hollow don’t explain the voices and strange sounds.
It sounds like moans, groans, and screams explained away as trapped gases in the bogs.
Stories of Bigfoot circulate even though no positive proof has been discovered. Sica Hollow has many natural terrain features that are unique and unusual. Nature can create some pretty strange formations, which can seem scary. You have quicksand-like bogs, streams that are blood-red from iron deposits. Deep ravines that taper down into dark, dense forests. Any of which can seem mother nature is against you.
This is why many think people’s overactive imagination is haunting Sica Hollow and not ghosts. However, that doesn’t explain the haunting drum beats, war cries, voices, and disappearing campfires.
There is a well-known Sioux legend about a man named Hand. He showed up at an Indian camp set up in the state park. It turned out that Hand was an evil man who corrupted the local boys. Hand trained them to be killers, which bothered the tribe so badly, an elder asked for help. The medicine man prayed to the Great Spirit for help against Hand.
Thunderer, one of the Great Spirits’ messenger, answered with heavy rains. Thunderer set a trap for Hand using twining vines and gouged his eyes out. He also drowned him by filling his mouth with water. The only bad thing is Thunderer drowned everyone in the tribe, except for one young girl.
The Hand is now a spirit that haunts the land, dressed as Indian, but his eyes gouged out. Thunderer is waiting in the dark forest to hear from the medicine man. To rise once more against the Hand and rid the land of him for good.
A village was discovered and excavated near Roy Lake. There is no telling what spirits from this village could be haunting the area. That could explain the strange noises and weird disappearing campfires. Witnesses report cold spots and feeling watched as well as ethereal apparitions in the area.
Not every incident is imagined at Sica Hollow, as there is too much history. Too many witnesses are experiencing strange and unusual events.
So, if you decide to camp at Sica Hollow State Park, be prepared to experience more than the park’s natural beauty. Mother nature could share her history, too, as well as the ghostly apparitions that haunt the park.
Image by Joshua Woroniecki from Pixabay