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The Jist- Built in 1913, this is the oldest building in Juneau. Said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who was murdered in the hotel. Rooms 218 and 308 seem to be the most active for the paranormal.
Directions- 167 S. Franklin St., Juneau, AK 99801
Tours- ? 800-327-9347
Skagway- Eagles Hall
The Jist- Said to be haunted by many different ghosts.
Directions- 590 Broadway St., Skagway, AK 99840
Tours- ? 907-983-2234
Skagway- Golden North Hotel
The Jist- - This hotel was built in 1898 and is the oldest operating hotel in Alaska. In 1908 horse and capstan moved the hotel to the present location. After it was moved, a third story was added to the hotel. In 1997 it became under new ownership, and they put in roughly $1 million to restore and renovate the hotel to bring it up to code. Each of the 31 rooms are now dedicated to a gold rush family, which is filled with momentos and other family heirlooms.
There have been numerous reports of paranormal activity in this hotel. The most notorious reports deal with a ghostly apparition who is said to be Mary. It is believed that Mary’s fiancé was part of the thousands who joined the gold rush band wagon. He was one of the lucky few to strike the gold and brought Mary to be with him in Alaska. She supposedly stayed in this hotel. During her stay she had acquired pneumonia and passed away in room 23. Due to this tragic story, many people believe that her presence is still in this room and several believe that they have seen her. The other popular haunting that is reported on frequently is the unexplainable light that occurs in room 14. Both staff and guest have reported about this light.
Directions- Corner of 3rd Ave and Broadway in Skagway
The Jist- This building was built in 1897 with planks cut by the, then owner, Captain William Moore. He was also the founder of Skagway. The saloon opened to the public in 1898. Liquor was sold on the first floor and there was a brothel on the upper floor. The brothel had ten rooms, known as “cribs” that were only 10 feet by 10 feet. Each crib had a whole in the floor that was connected to the cash register downstairs by means of a copper tube. Due to the amount of customers the brothel had, the bartender created a system in order to keep track of which girl was busy and which was not. There were 10 dolls that represented each girl working upstairs; when the girl was busy with a “client” the doll was laid down and when she was available the doll was stood up.
Business only lasted for a little over a year; in 1899 many people started to move north. In 1914, the saloon was moved with a single horse to its current location on Broadway. During this move, the saloon incurred severe damages to both the front and back and both had to be replaced. During World War II the saloon was used as army barracks and in the following years was used for a variety of different businesses. However, in 1978, Jan Wrentmore purchased the building and a liquor license and reopened the building as a saloon.
We had the opportunity to speak with Liz, the Operations Manager at the saloon. Just recently the Red Onion Saloon was added to a list of stops on the Skagway Tour. The town of Skagway is well known for its haunted stories and high energy! Liz told us that there are numerous reports, from both guest and staff, over the years of paranormal activity. The most common occurrence that people have reported about is the feeling of not being alone, especially during the morning hours.
One of the most popular “ghosts” that people encounter is Lydia. She is said to mainly haunt the brothel area. There have been reports of a presence of a woman who is said to be aggressive, especially towards men. In the back staircase, several men employees have reported that they have been pushed down the stairs. This presence is thought to be Lydia. Another occurrence was during a brothel tour. There was a little girl in this particular tour group and she had asked the tour guide when the lady standing next to her was going to speak. This lady that the little girl reported seeing was apparently Lydia, because no one else had seen her or recognized another woman in the group! Those who have had the opportunity to see Lydia have reported that she has a scar on her cheek. Now, it is known that during the gold rush days, women were marked (or branded) if they had syphilis. This “marking” prevented these women from working in brothels. Is it just a coincidence that this Lydia is claimed to have a marking on her face? We will let you be the judge!
Another popular ghost that many have encountered is Joe. There have been a few reports of a man-shaped apparition seen in the saloon. Some people have sent in pictures to the saloon that they have taken, there is one photo that Liz said seems to have some true validity to it.
In addition to these ghostly encounters, there have also been other paranormal claims such as feelings of uneasiness and cold spots. Liz was able to tell us about the eeriest claim. The former Head Madame Joy Ride had finished up with a tour of the brothel and was pulled aside by a gentleman who had a rather interesting story. This gentleman worked at a radio station and was a part of a show in which people could call in with their ghostly encounters. Well he continued on and told this Madame Joy Ride that he received a call from another guy who had claimed he experienced something at the Red Onion Saloon. Well the man from the radio station got the feeling that the guy who called in was fabricating the story and trying to make a mockery out of the show. However, the interesting part of this story is that when the guy who called in was “telling his experience” their was a disembodied voice who said, “Who are you” a couple of times. This disembodied voice was heard by the man at the radio station as well as any listeners and occurred at the same time that the other gentleman was speaking. After this disembodied voice said this statement two times the phone line went dead! Quite a story, I would say!!
Like we said before, Skagway is a town known for its haunted and paranormal energy and stories. Liz told us that you cannot go more then a block without a paranormal claim at one of the buildings. Skagway is situated in a very steep valley. Many years ago the Native Americans chose not to settle in this valley because they felt as though anyone who died, their spirit would be unable to leave the earth. Does this have anything to do with all the hauntings that are claimed to occur here? Who knows, what we do know is that there seems to be much activity not only in Skagway, but especially at the Red Onion Saloon!
Directions- 205 Broadway, Skagway, AK 99840
Tours- If you're going by cruise ship, check with your Shore Excursion Manager about available tours. Brothel tours are offered daily.
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