Mad Like Alyce

Night in the Haunted Hotel

haunted-hotel-alex johnson hotel haunted roomPhoto of image in the Hauntings book at the Alex Johnson. Supposedly of Alex Johnson’s daughter, this photo was sent to TAPS, who were unable to prove any evidence of photoshop.

When I went out to the Black Hills to run the Zombie 5K in Deadwood SD, I was able to fullfill a second great desire… staying in the haunted room at the Alex Johnson Hotel in Downtown Rapid City, SD. This incredible historic hotel has been host to many U.S. Presidents, but has a sordid history of hauntings. It was even featured in an episode of Ghost Hunters!

haunted-hotel- room 812 at the Alex Johnson HotelThe most notorious of the stories is that of the “Lady in White.” A young bride to be, she was left at the alter. Upon returning to her room at the hotel, 812, the legend says she threw herself from the window. This story is greatly based in truth, however, this young woman actually died in the room. At the time of her death, the hotel contained the old fashioned toilets with the tank above the seat and a chain to flush. The young woman used the chain to suffocate herself, and died with a photo of her love in her lap.

While this is certainly morbid enough, hotel guests have also reported waking up in the night to hear a young girl giggling as she runs up and down the hallway of the 8th floor, even knocking on doors. Upon complaining to hotel staff the next day, they would find that there were no children staying on the floor at all!

Staying in the Haunted Hotel

I certainly psyched myself out a bit! First of all, as an old building, the doors are not quite true. When we first put the key in the door, the door pushed open, clearly unlocked. Immediately in a heightened state, we entered to find that as a corner room, we had to first walk down a dark hallway and turn to enter the room, which thankfully had a light on in advance of our arrival.

Rumors I had heard of experiences in the room included windows opening after guests had left and returned to the room, as well as the drawers of the dresser turning upside down. Doing my due diligence, I checked that the windows were locked, but chickened out when checking the dresser… see the drawers didn’t have handles, but instead openings into the drawer to pull it open. I had Damir open the drawers so I could check since he was clearly over the “haunted” thing. Thankfully, inspection of the bathroom showed a clean and remodeled room with modern appliances… but I refused to shower until there was morning light.


haunted-hotel-Alex Johnson hauntings book

The Alex Johnson has a fantastic book of stories for guests to enter their experiences. The staff were happy to regale me of tales they had heard and experienced themselves, and informed me that the rumors weren’t quiet true. While Alex Johnson’s daughter does roam the halls of the 8th floor playing into the early morning, the windows and drawers were mostly unaffected. Instead, a majority of reports claim that the blinds open of their own accord and that they feel pats and caresses as they are sleeping.

haunted-hotel - book pic 1While the picture in the front of the book was hilariously cliche, the stories in the book made for a great read, and I spent a good half an hour in the lobby reading the experiences of hotel guests, on many floors in addition to the 8th.

haunted-hotel-book2There were many claims of people taking photos in the 8th floor hallway to see if the lady in white or Alex Johnson’s daughter would make an appearance (as in the first image in this post). Unfortunately, no such vision appeared to me in my images. Perhaps you need to take them in film…


Perhaps you can see something I missed?


Into the evening

I went to sleep trying to keep my imagination at bay. As I began to fall asleep, I could have sworn something could have touched the back of my leg, but I reasoned it was likely that I jerked as I started to fall asleep and felt the sheet pull. Luckily for me, I was undisturbed by giggling ghosts or knocks at the door, as Damir, completely un-preturbed by staying in a haunted room, snored loud enough to wake the dead and I usually sleep with earplugs to keep from strangling him.

The next morning

I was quite glad to wake early in the A.M. to sunlight streaming in the windows, and rolled over for another hour in the comfortable bed. The only disturbance was that the next morning, the white sheets were spotted with a few drops of blood… This is most likely described by Damir picking at his shoulders before going to bed, but I do admit my heart stopped for a second before applying the rational.

Overall, a wonderful experience that I highly recommend for any thrill seekers traveling to the Black Hills!


Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!

Costume & Makeup Tutorials


  • My new favorite IG account... u need to scroll through these posts! #Repost @iamtheswimreaper (@get_repost)
Lol #justbeingbasic
  • Bahahahaha too funny not to share! #followyourdreams #freddykrueger
  • When I first saw @miss_stryx post her challenge, it really shook me. What AM I most afraid of? My first thought... was everything. Which made me realize that honestly, my biggest fear is losing control of my PTSD. I was diagnosed with PTSD 9 years ago, but it  took a good few years before I really understood what that even meant and how it impacted how I felt each day. It took even more years of counseling and amazing support from my friends and family before I was able to really get control of it. I'm happy to say that I'm now at a place where I live with PTSD but it doesn't control me. That being said, I'm always terrified of what might happen if it would spiral away from me again.
My second greatest fear is something that has plagued me from my childhood, but became an outright phobia and trigger once I developed PTSD. That is a fear of needles.  Shots, giving blood, and especially IVs.  Then it hit me... what is the perfect combination of both of these  fears? A lobotomy. A very controversial treatment used in the past on people with mental illness, involving a huge needle. 
From that terrifying vision came an awesome collaboration with some really great friends, and filmed and edited by the INSANELY talented @jibclimmer to complete my first ever horror short film. I'm so thankful to have so many talented and wonderful people that were willing and excited about making this vision a reality. I hope this isn't too dark for you guys, but I totally understand if it is! The idea actually terrified me and I put myself in the very center of it! Ultimately, filming this was actually not scary at all, as I have such incredible friends, and I was in a safe space the entire time. This particular version of the film is not the final version, since we were limited to 60 seconds on Instagram. Very soon we hope to have the entire short film up and posted and I will make sure to let you all know when that is live on YouTube! It is with great pleasure that I present to you my entry for round 1 of the #StrykingFEAR contest.
  • What would you do if you foresaw the telling of your own death? Here are some stills of my round 2 entry for the #StrykingFEAR contest. To see  the backstory on my Undead fortune-teller,  check out my last post for a quick short film introduction. The 2 part tutorial video should hopefully be up on the blog shortly!
  • For round 2 of the #StrykingFEAR contest, the character I was initially least excited about was the fortune teller. Why? Because fortune tellers are usually great beauty makeups. While I love doing horror looks, I really can't say I'm great shakes at beauty makeup. And then it hit me... what a great opportunity to do something outside my comfort zone AND something familiar with a two part makeup? I borrowed a crystal ball from a friend, ordered tarot cards, and learned a little bit on how to do a reading and pulled together an ending to this fortune teller's story… or should I say beginning?
  • When your sling gives you a full blown chronic pain flareup. Laying on the floor with my legs up to help take pressure off my lower back, and mystic seems pretty concerned. Good thing I have episode three of the @girlinspacepodcast to listen to!If you haven't started listening to this audio drama, you need to check it out ASAP! #chronicpain #chronicfatigue #lifeinasling #girlinspace #findme
  • Good things happen when you leave the apartment for the first time in a week! These must've gotten dropped off when I was taking a nap, I opened my front door to find this gorgeous Halloween bouquet on my doormat from @bkbecker! I just can't get over those adorable bats!!! #ihavethebestfriends #halloween
  • Rose Madder has an ethereal beauty and raw feminine power, however, something is off... something not quite human. The shadows under her skin would be perhaps leprosy, perhaps something worse, and her eyes are rabid with madness. “Don't look at her face! That is not for the likes of you.”
She was fascinated by the texture of the woman's back, her bare shoulder, and the lower part of her neck. The skin was finer than watered silk. But farther up on her neck... Rosie didn't know what those grey Shadows lurking just below her hairline could be, and didn't think she wanted to know. Bites were her first wild thought, but they weren't bites. Rosie knew bites. Was it leprosy? Something worse? Something contagious? 
Products used in this look are: 
Woochie cream makeup in Dead Guy Grey, @mehronmakeup aqua color in white and gray, Light green cream makeup from the zombie color set from Woochie, Eyeshadows from the @tartecosmetics artist palette.
Gold aqua color from the Mehron brilliant palette, @bennyemakeup bruise wheel.
Full tutorial on the blog!
  • One of the reasons I love Stephen King novels is because he illustrates just enough of the character for your imagination to kick in and fill in the horrifying details that make it real and terrifying for each individual. Because this has never before been made into a motion picture I was really excited to be able to make my own spin on how Rose Madder would appear for round 3 of the #StrykingFEAR contest. Check out the full tutorial, now up on the blog, link in bio!


Follow Me