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


  • "Sometimes, you just want things to stay the way they are forever. But you can’t. And they won’t." - Girl in Space

Because i'm trying this thing where I post each look in 3's to keep my Insta page even, and I seriously can't express how hauntingly gorgeous the intros are for each Girl in Space episode. I'm re-listening to the episodes now, and I so excited for 109 since I have NO CLUE what is going to happen! Also, after a few weeks without looking at them, this is one of my favorite pictures, and I can't believe I didn't post it first!
  • "Yeah, I’m glad I’m back, too." Episode 108 of the @girlinspacepodcast  left me with SO MANY QUESTIONS!!! Is Kai alive? Where the heck is Thor? Who is the "lion's paw?" But the biggest unknown is just how important the dwarf star "Ra" is likely to become in the plot of 109... and is why Ra is included in my makeup! The warm glowing orb on my eye is in reference to my suspicions that Ra will soon become a much more relevant part of the Girl in Space plot very soon. #girlinspace #findme #nomurdering #savekillbot #prayforkai
  • Galaxy in action! Quick peek at the movement of the makeup before I put on my wig, which covered a lot of the detail. Gotta love that "sunshine" glare on the shiny black surface! I bought a finishing powder this week to hopefully counteract this in the future. Or just back away from the light.... :P
  • Disappearing into the music...
I was really digging my latest playlist when I started my galaxy makeup last weekend, so I started blacking out everything besides my face to procrastinate taking off my headphones. I took this photo halfway through to see how well I would blend into my background, and kind of liked how this "progress" shot turned out. Funny thing was, this was the last pic where I had a true infinite background, my camera (phone) couldn't quite hang once I was fully blacked out. Time to consider a real camera?
  • Let yourself be found... Another shot of my galaxy inspired by the @girlinspacepodcast. If you haven't heard of this AMAZING audio novella, I highly recommend... trust me, you are in for a treat! #girlinspace #findme #nomurdering 
This look took around 3 hours, and while I love the images with the wig, it covered up a lot of the detail. If you try a galaxy look, allow yourself some patience. It didn't look like a lot until I was well into adding color. Take it slow, and keep layering colors, and suddenly it will start to take shape!

This look was completed using @mehronmakeup paradise paints from the standard, pastels, and brilliant pallets.
  • Find me... This galaxy makeup is inspired by my FAVORITE audio novella,@girlinspacepodcast, though I may be a bit biased. If you haven't yet started listening, you are in for a treat! Enter the world of the character "X" aboard the Cavatica, as she monitors the radiation from the Red Dawrf Star, Ra. Alone.

Season one is still in progress, so there is plenty of time to join the fun! #girlinspace #findme #nomurdering

This look was completed using @mehronmakeup paradise paints from the standard, pastels, and brilliant pallets. Honestly, this is the most color intensive look I have done so far, I had cosmetic wedges everywhere! I pulled it together with a @rockstarwigs long curly in Very Berry.
  • Finally, the last in my “sketched” look (for now). Thieve last few weeks have been absolutely insane, and im still processing. I’m going to have to set aside some time for another look this week, there is something so tranquil about turning yourself into a blank canvas in the most literal sense.
  • Theres nothing quite like painting yourself completely white to make you realize how yellow your teeth are getting. Time to cut back on the coffee! JK, that might actually kill me. #tissuetestfail #needsomewhitestrips #cresttotherescue #notanad #butyoucanpaymeanyway?
  • I sometimes can take well over 200 photos of various looks, just to make sure I get the right one... i don't pretend to be a photographer! Even with so many photos, I will often only post maybe 3-4, which makes me a little sad since I spend so much time on some of these! So here are a few more of my "Migraine" Twenty One Pilots inspired look. I managed to get quite a few shots of this look before adding the tears for the completed migraine look, and I really do love how it looks without any color.


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