The Halloween season brings with it typical tales of ghosts, goblins, and other high strangeness–stories most hope are only fiction. This year, a very real event is unfolding in South Dokata. Perhaps there is no better time than October to explore a modern mystery: Why did a church buy an abandoned ghost town anyway?
The town of Scenic SD was once popular for people traveling to Rapid City from the Badlands to the east or Pine Ridge Reservation to the south. Now it’s filled with high weeds, dusty brush, an empty saloon, and rusted jail cells.
It’s no wonder, therefore, that when the AP reported that a church bought the town for $700,000, it peaked interest not only in the town but around the globe, as well.
As the AP reports, the town has one business: A post office. And that post office has one employee.
The entire town was listed recently for $3 mil–and with no interest in the town for the price it dropped down fast.
Recently, the Iglesia ni Cristo church, established in the Philippines in 1914, bought the property for $700,000–with no official word coming from them or the real estate company as to the plans for Scenic.
The church is a conservative Christian establishment and its original founder, Felix Manalo, broke away from the Catholic church.
Meanwhile in South Dakota, no word from the church has been given to officials on the plans either. According to a report in the Rapid City JOURNAL, a listing on the church website indicates members being in Rapid City.. But an entire town to house them?
According to reports, Coldwell Banker realtor Dave Olson won’t give answers either: a non disclosure document exists on the sale.
However, another person from Coldwell, Joe Bennington, told the Rapid City JOURNAL that the plan for the town will make it ‘fully functioning’ and ‘positive.’