From creepy to downright scary, these haunted places in Alaska bring history alive with its many ghosts and restless spirits. Ghost towns, abandoned gold mines, rowdy saloons, and tragic endings offer lots of paranormal encounters only possible in Alaska.
Red Onion Saloon
Skagway's Red Onion Saloon is ideal for adults wishing a fun and adventurous step into the past. The saloon's resident ghost, a madam named Lydia, offers a little glimpse into its risqué history during the Gold Rush. Many considered the Red Onion Saloon to be the classiest dance hall and saloon. Gold miners were entertained in the upstairs 10-room brothel where much of the paranormal activity occurs. The website warns that Madam Lydia can be aggressive toward male visitors. If you're seeking a personal ghost encounter, Lydia just might oblige. You never know. Phantom footfalls and sudden whiffs of overpowering perfume followed by cold spots are just a few of the various paranormal happenings at the Red Onion. The spirit of Lydia moves about the upstairs rooms, tending to non-existent plants.
The Hotel Captain Cook
Get spooked in style when you stay at The Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. The hotel hauntings are some of the best known in Alaska. No one really knows who the Lady in White is or what her story is, but she loves to wander about the hotel. It's widely believed the spirit is a woman who committed suicide in one of the hotel restrooms sometime in the 1970s. She often appears in the restroom, startling staff and guests alike. She loves to prank guests by turning the lights on and off in the restroom and other areas of the hotel. If you stay at the hotel, don't be surprised if you see doors opening and closing on their own. The Hotel Captain cook is one of the Historic Hotels of America listed with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Historic Anchorage Hotel
Unlike many haunted hotels, the Historic Anchorage Hotel boasts about its many ghostly residents. As a unique and fun service, the hotel features a ghost log for guests to record their paranormal experiences during their stay. The hotel fell into neglect but was restored in 1989. The cozy historic hotel's most notable one is the spirit of former Chief of Police, Jack Sturgus. In 1921, the Chief, also known as Black Jack, was murdered with his own gun outside the hotel. Shot in the back of his head, the Chief's murder was never solved and he won't rest until he has justice. His spirit returns to the scene of the crime on the anniversary of his death.
A little girl wanders the halls of the second floor. She turns the TVs on and off in Rooms 217 and 215. She also likes to prank guests by turning on the tub and sink faucets. Another scary ghost is the disturbing apparition of the suicide bride appears dressed in her wedding gown, still looking for the groom that stood her up. In her rage, she throws pictures from the wall. Perhaps it's her way of working out her anger. Just to make sure you are fully creeped out, you may see the ghastly faces and silhouettes that manifest on the walls of the halls.
Dimond Center Mall
The Dimond Center Mall in Anchorage is the largest enclosed mall in Alaska. During construction, workers unearthed an ancient burial sites of Alaskan Natives. However, this didn't stop the construction, and the mall was built over the sacred ground. It isn't surprising that there are numerous reports of paranormal activity and ghosts roaming about the mall. The phantom sound of beating drums and a flute melody, disembodied voices, and a malevolent entity that hisses and pinches customers are commonplace. Frightening apparitions of wolf spirits roam the mall and Alaskan Natives dressed in ancient clothing walk along the halls.
Located in Juneau, Silverbow Inn is a boutique hotel that was originally founded as a bakery in 1898 by Gus Messerschmidt, who died in 1938. Over the years, as the bakery transformed into different variations of a bakery and finally into a hotel and suites, guests and staff see Gus's spirit. He wanders about the current restaurant and other areas of the buildings. Early birds have the best chance of catching a glimpse of Gus as he begins his morning duties.
Whittier Camping & Parking
When you camp at Whittier Camping & Parking, you get a bird's-eye view of the town that's located at head of the Passage Canal. But, first, you must travel the one-lane, 2.5 mile long tunnel to get there. You're now in the right mood for a foggy, creepy setup in the campground. The town has seen tragedy with 13 Whittier residents dying in the 1964 Alaskan Earthquake. Years before the earthquake, 1,000 military personnel were stationed at the now abandoned Buckner Building, completed with secret underground tunnels running throughout the town. This daunting building served as a vital military defense during the Cold War, but it was abandoned in 1966.
Ghosts and various paranormal activities haunt the building that is now owned by the city and fenced off to keep ghost hunters and curiosity seekers out. However, if you walk past the building at night, you might be able to hear those disembodied voices engaged in conversations inside the windowless and doorless building. Those phantom footsteps often creep outside the fence and might just follow you back to your campsite. At night, campers hear unusual noises outside their tents or RVs but when they investigate who might be snooping about, no one is there.
Independence Mine State Historical Park
The Independence Mine was created when two mines were consolidated into one mining company in 1938. At its peak, over 200 employees and their families lived in the mining town. Visitors hear phantom footsteps following them while exploring the buildings in the ghost town. Several apparitions appearing to be corporeal and moving about inside the buildings vanish when noticed. Cigar smoke is a prevalent aroma throughout the abandoned buildings. Tour guides and visitors feel as though they are being watched. During World War II, the mining operation was shut down as a nonessential activity and reopened after the war. The mine closed in 1951 and was transformed into a state park in 1980. Today, Independence Mine State Historical Park buildings and the mine are open to visitors.
At The White House
At the White House in Skagway was built in 1902 and is on the National Historic Register. It has been used as a hospital, day-care center, and hotel. The building caught on fire in the 1980s and was restored. Soon after the restoration of the house, the apparition of a young woman appeared. She is believed to be the former owner of the house when it operated as a child-care center. The ghost is gentle and appears at the foot of guests' beds, often startling guests awake who sense her presence. She naturally gravitates to the guest children and engaging them in conversation.
Kenia Municipal Cemetery
The Kenia Municipal Cemetery is city owned and operated. The final resting place for the small fishing town residents, the cemetery has a ghostly caretaker named Arthur. He walks among the graves, stooping over to brush debris aside. He tends the graves mostly at night. Other spirits move about the cemetery. Apparitions dressed in Gold Rush era clothing, along with other ghosts from the decades, don't seem to be resting in peace in this cemetery. Cold spots, disembodied voices, and phantom footsteps make this a haunt you don't want to miss.
Golden North Hotel
Scary Mary is the ghost haunting the Golden North Hotel in Fairbanks. A great name like Scary Mary is sure to attract most ghost hunters, if for no other reason than the opportunity to say you investigated a ghost named Scary Mary. This legendary Alaskan ghost has been haunting Skagway since the days of the Gold Rush. Mary, before she was scary, arrived in Skagway as a young bride and checked-in the Golden North Hotel. Her fiancé left her at the hotel to seek his gold fortune in the mines.
Poor Mary waited for her lover to return. She became more depressed with each passing day and soon isolated herself in her room. She refused to allow housekeeping to enter, keeping her door locked. Concerned when unable to get a response from knocking on her door, the hotel manager barged into her room. Mary was dead. It appeared that she donned her wedding gown and lay down on the bed and waited for death.
Soon after her death, Scary Mary appeared throughout the hotel wearing the never used wedding gown. Today, her spirit continues to wait on her lost lover and peers out different hotel windows, searching the streets below. She frightens guests who wake up to find her peering down at them. Of course, she doesn't always materialize. A rush of cold air might whip past you in the hallway as she hurries to see if her beloved has returned.
Visited Alaska's Most Haunted Places
From the ghost of a brothel madame to abandoned brides, Alaska is a cornucopia of ghost tales and haunted places. Make a plan for the places you wish to visit and be sure to bring your ghost hunting equipment to capture your own evidence.