Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Juneau’s Alaskan Hotel

The U.S. bought Alaska from the Russians in 1867. Just 13 years after this in 1880 Joe Juneau and Richard Harris discovered gold in the Silver Creek Basin-- soon after the Alaskan Gold Rush began with a vengeance. 

A small tent city named after one of these men, located along the Inner Passage became the capital of the territory--Juneau, Alaska.

The McCloskey brothers, who struck it rich during this rush--along with another investor, Jules B. Caro had a 3-story hotel built near the steamship docks in Juneau in 1913. 

When visitors walk into this 101- year old hotel today they often get a strong sense that they have entered another time. For the Akaskan Hotel has retained most of its original frontier charm.

The hotel also retains several ghosts. It is said after the Alaskan was renovated in 1978 this ghostly activity became even more pronounced. 

One ghost that resides in the hotel is called, Alice. The local legend states Alice first came to the Hotel during the gold rush with her husband. His goal like thousands of others was to strike it rich.

Alice's husband left the hotel promising her he would return within 3 weeks. But when he didn’t return even after many weeks Alice believed her husband was dead. She became desperate for she had used the little money she had. 

In Alaska, the men have always outnumbered the women -- this was especially true during the early 1900s so there were several brothels.

Alice stranded and feeling she had no choice became a lady of the evening. But in a tragic twist of fate, her husband returned just a few weeks later. When he discovered what she had done he became enraged and killed her in a room located in the back of the Alaskan Hotel.

Present day staff and guests have encountered Alice's ghost on many occasions. Her presence is most often felt in the back of the hotel--in Rooms 218 and 219. Several guests who have stayed in these rooms who had no prior knowledge of this haunting have demanded to be moved.

Various staff members have stated that they are always uncomfortable when they are in this area of the hotel. Housekeepers recount how they often discover towels or other items either moved or misplaced in these two rooms. Several have seen Alice's ghost sitting on one of the beds.

One visitor told the staff after his stay that he felt waves of unhappiness and disappointment in one of these rooms. 

Alice’s ghost is sometimes seen walking up and down the hotel’s staircase. One desk clerk at the hotel saw her ghost walk up these stairs late one night. He described her as a blonde lady wearing a white dress.

Alice’s ghost has also been seen in the hotel’s bar. This room has several mirrors and many patrons have seen her form reflected out of the corner of their eye.

One summer resident of Juneau had her own strange encounter in the Alaskan Hotel but not with this ghost. One day while visiting a friend she used the hotel's restroom. She was surprised as she entered this room to see how outdated and old-fashioned it was.

Later that same day she was back in the hotel--she again entered this restroom--but this time it was modern. Flustered she came rushing out to query the staff on what had happened to the quaint décor she had seen earlier that day. They had no idea what she was talking about. Evidently, she experienced a “time slip.”

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