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Halloween 2020 Four True Tales of South Dakota Terror

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There are hundreds of ghost towns and forgotten settlements in South Dakota.  Some of these abandoned structures still stand as silent monuments to the ambitions of men long dead.  A few are now grassy fields with perhaps, only a graveyard to mark the name of a community long dead and buried with its deceased residents.  Each of these places once thronged with noises of life and generated thousands of stories, the byproduct of the dramas of life on a frontier.  Those stories are for another time.  For it is October, and the grass is browning, the crops drying, and the earth is slowly dying.  A ghost story is in order.  But which ghost story?  South Dakota has so many. 
In this episode, four documented stories of strangeness and tragedy.  The gruesome death of a mysterious foreign woman and subsequent haunting make her the first ghost report ever recorded in Deadwood. The Sisseton tell a tale of a valley where the earth bleeds and cries. A lady card shark plays her final hand. Still, sh…

Wessington Hills

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Yankton Sioux Elders told a story of a group of these Potawatomi (Potawanami) and Miami, who made their way west to find new land.  The Potawatomi tried to claim the hills and great spring of the hills for their own, but the Yankton were a proud warrior people and would not allow their territory to be taken without a fight.  Near the sight of the Big Spring, a great and terrible battle ensued.  The Potawatomi were led by a war chief with a legendary name, Little Turtle.  Chief Little Turtle may have wielded the pistols and sword personally gifted to his family by George Washington into the battle.  But the Yanktons were great warriors, fighting on their own land, and in the end, the Potawatomi were defeated.  Little Turtle died bravely and was honored by the Yankton.  They buried him on the highest nearby point overlooking the land Little Turtle had hoped would be a new promised land for his people.  The Yankton marked his grave with two stone turtle mosaics on the ground.  
On this ep…

The Rise and Fall of the Ku Klux Klan

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Without warning Four shots ring out and echo through the valley of Poorman’s Gulch outside of Lead South Dakota.  Father Belknap lies bleeding on the ground.  He’s been shot at point-blank range by four .45 Caliber rounds.  Here on the ground, he will bleed to death in his priestly vestments that he’d quickly put on, having been lured to this spot by being told a member of his flock desperately needed last rights.  The brutality of this crime will shock both Catholics and protestants across South Dakota.  The year is 1921 and Father Belknap’s killers will never be found. The rise and fall of the Klu Klux Klan in South Dakota is next.


Learn more at https://www.thesiouxempirepodcast.com/
This episode features interviews with:
Dr. Michael GĂ©rard White, Film professor and head of the Hot Attic Film school at Wayne State College and teaches film criticism and production. https://www.wsc.edu/info/20079/communication_arts/197/michael_white
Shelby Hagerdon, a historian with a major in film theory.…