We walked through a haunted forest! Sica Hollow State Park was named by the Dakota people. ‘Sica’ means bad or evil. On our recent visit to Sisseton South Dakota we hiked The Trail of Spirits through the hollow.
According to legend, an evil white man named Hand visited a First Nations camp in the hollow and turned the young boys into cold-blooded killers. A medicine man asked the Great Spirit for help. A messenger named Thunderer arrived causing torrential rains. Thunderer trapped Hand in vines, filled his mouth with water and gouged out his eyes. The heavy rains caused by Thunderer, flooded the hollow. Everyone in the camp except one girl named Fawn drowned. The ghosts of Hand, Fawn and Thunderer are said to still haunt Sica Hollow.
As white settlers came to the area its legend as a haunted spot grew. People said they’d spotted huge bears and a beast that looked like a giant man. Fears were rekindled in the 1970s when several people disappeared at Sica Hollow. Parts of Sica Hollow contain quicksand. Some ravines in the area drop several hundred vertical feet. Because people refused to live in Sica Hollow it eventually became a state park. Apparently if you walk The Trail of Spirits in the park at night swamp gases and stumps glow in the dark. People who have stayed overnight in the park claim to have heard chanting, whooping, drumming and a few have even reported sighting ghosts.
Our hike through Sica Hollow wasn’t as eventful as I’d hoped it would be. I was looking for exciting material for my novel. Actually I found the hollow a place of beauty. The only thing that was the least bit troubling on our walk were some mosquitoes.