For many travelers amenities play a pivotal part when picking the perfect hotel—for some a stunning view is requisite, for others a giant, garden tub to soak their cares away is imperative, and then there are those who want something a little more… ethereal.
For adventurers in pursuit of a spooky experience, we present Alaska’s most haunted hotels (reportedly).
Historic Anchorage Hotel
Over the years guests at “one of the most haunted hotels in Alaska” report seeing the ghosts of children, a woman who died and appears in her wedding dress, and Anchorage’s first Chief of Police, Jack Sturgus, who was shot and killed near the hotel in 1921 and is said to be seeking justice for this still unsolved crime. For those in search of a ghostly experience, make sure to request room 215 or 217, both reported to be the most active with spirits.
Hotel Captain Cook
The women’s bathroom, in particular the last stall on the left, is the spiritual hotspot at the Hotel Captain Cook. The story goes that the young woman who took her life in the bathroom is so angry and caused such a ruckus and feelings of unease among visitors and staff over the years that hotel management eventually decided to solve the problem by bolting the stall door shut. It remains bolted shut today, though whether the spirit is contained inside is up for debate.
Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites
The Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites is home to two spirits, according to some paranormal-seeking patrons. Visitors are reportedly treated to the sounds of laughter as the ghost of a little girl ru nd plays on the hotel’s ground floor. Others report having seen the spirit of a repair man who was killed in an elevator accident still hanging out in the elevator, just riding up and down… up and down… up and down. While there are no official reports of either death, the Inlet Hotel is a regular haunt for ghost aficionados.
The Golden North Hotel
It is said that the Golden North Hotel is home to two spirits who regularly make their presence known to both guests and staff members. Mary was a guest at the Golden North Hotel who succumbed to pneumonia in room 23 while awaiting the return of her gold-prospecting fiancé. Mary died before being reunited with her love and is said to remain in the room to this today, causing guests to wake feeling as if they’re choking. Visitors to room 14 may see the hotel’s second spirit, which often manifests as an “orb of light” just before dawn.
Van Gilder Hotel
This historic hotel is reportedly home to the ghost of Fannie Guthrie-Baehm. Exactly when and where Fannie died is unclear with some saying she was murdered in room 201 in 1947, while others report she still haunts room 209 after dying there in the ‘50s. Ghost hunters all seem to agree that the Van Gilder Hotel is one of the state’s most haunted hotels, with multiple reports of objects being moved, windows inexplicably being opened or closed, and some guests even being woken up to the building shaking. Whether staying in room 201 or 209, visitors who come across a young lady with long blonde hair in a blue dress might just be encountering the apparition that is Fannie.
Tonsina River Lodge
Like many ghosts before him, Charlie’s exact cause of death is a mystery, but by all reports, he’s a playful ghost who “brings a sense of peace and gentleness” to the lodge. Stories about Charlie’s death vary widely, but they all end with him dying in room 18. It’s said he was wanted for murder and finally shot by police; that he committed suicide after being spurned by his beloved; or, and perhaps most believably, he found work as a cabin boy during the depression and lived happily at the lodge until he died after many years of peace and happiness. He was reportedly buried on a hill behind the lodge and sticks around his favorite place to this day. The only way to know for sure? Visit Tonsina River Lodge and see if Charlie comes by to say hi.
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Spreading the Word
When Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) first aired TV commercials featuring the tagline, “A Place That’s Always Been,” the reaction was surprising. Not only because they received numerous accolades and marketing awards for the campaign but because, at the time, it was rare for Alaska Native corporations to market themselves through the media.