Swett: South Dakota Ghost Town Up for Sale

Are you in the market to buy your very own town? Nothing’s wrong with it. Like, it’s not haunted or anything. I swear…

What Swett Has to Offer

South Dakota’s six acre town, aptly named Swett, is indeed on the market…again, but this time at a reduced price! For only $250,000 you could officially own your own town. Not only will the buyer get the six acres of land, but there is a purportedly haunted house, a store and a bar. Since Swett was taken off of the market last year, work has been done to improve its condition. A large area of land was cleaned up by getting rid of an old transport truck and mobile homes. The bar may seem like a logical way to get people to visit the town again, but a new owner may have a reputation to fix.


The first time Swett was on the market, local cowboys were still gathering at the watering hole to take a load off and cool down. Gerry Runnels, a third generation patron of the Swett Tavern, recognized that the gathering place holds a rough reputation for the type of clientele it attracts. Runnels quoted an Oklahoman passing through saying that he “need[ed] a Bowie knife to get in this place and a chainsaw to get out.” Road signs reflected this image of an abandoned Wild West town as well. They had to be replaced because of bullet holes.

Swett’s History

Swett first went on the market during the summer of last year for $399,000. There was interest around the world in buying the little town, but all three serious offers fell through for different reasons. The real estate agent who listed the property last year, Stacie Montgomery, said hundreds of people expressed interest in buying Swett, but there were only a few serious offers. Reasons for purchasing this ghost town included people wanting to be mayor, live in seclusion and even wanting to film a reality TV show. Another utilization for the town was to run cameras constantly while a couple thousand women from Russia and 600 male felons built houses. Montgomery still gets contacted about Swett today, so, with the reduced price, the town may not be on the market for long.

Located about 100 miles from Rapid City, South Dakota, Swett was founded and named after a farmer in 1932 when a post office was added to the local grocery store. The town’s heyday was in the early 1940s when the population reached into the 40s. By the mid-1940s, however, the town was deemed too small to support a post office, so Swett closed for business. The current town owner is Lance Benson, who is the one who put Swett up for sale before the bank took it.

Does the word ‘Mayor’ look good in front of your name? Buy Swett today to make it a reality!

Would you ever buy a ghost town like Swett?



Kirstin Wright
Kirstin Wright
Kirstin is an IT worker by day and a freelance writer by night. When not behind a computer screen, she can be found exploring one of central Florida's famous theme parks or embarking on a new adventure. You can read about her adventures at Fun Orlando Ideas!