Tales from the Beowulf Saloon
The wonder material of the late nineteenth century, ghost rock is a pale crumbly rock found in underground structures not unlike coal seams. In its natural state, it gives off fumes which are very flammable and have been known to disturb the wits of miners who work too long without taking a break in the fresh air.
It burns easily, with a white-hot flame and a shrill whistling sound, in which some say they can hear the screams of the dead. It can also be alloyed with steel, creating a very light but strong metal. For these reasons, it is in great demand for modern industry.
Several seams of this substance can be found in the Black Hills, accounting for the rush of miners to Deadwood. The most famous of the local mines was the Chance Venture mine, about five miles to the south. It was destroyed in a ghost rock explosion that killed its owners and still burns today, creating the pillar of screaming fire known as Satan’s Garden.