Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Northern Frights

Magnet # 367:  Skagway Wolves Silhouette

Material:  Porcelain

Purchased By:  Mom & Dad

My folks took a trip to Alaska earlier this year, so I was finally able to score some magnets from the Last Frontier.  Actually, I went from having no Alaskan magnets to being more or less inundated, which is fine with me.  But, given that this time of year, I'm posting my scary-themed magnets, I decided to do a search of haunted places in Alaska and see if I could post at least one of them and tie it in with some hauntings.  I actually found out Skagway is one of the more allegedly haunted spots in the state.  And that works out perfectly, as this probably the creepiest magnet my parents bought during their trip.  Those wolves look almost sinister all blacked out except for the whites of their eyes.  I don't know what they're up to, but it feels like it's probably not good.  I don't think they could have intentionally picked a better one to fit in with this month's theme, and I'm thrilled that they just happened to pick it up.  It was also the only one that broke - perhaps there are bad vibes at work in Skagway, and they got to this magnet?  Alright I doubt it, but this one is at least a little unsettling.

In its early days of development, Skagway had a pretty rough start.  The Klondike Gold Rush brought crowds of prospectors to the area - gambling, prostitution, fighting, and drinking in the streets followed shortly.  And the town may still be stained by all of the hard living during those times.  Perhaps the most reportedly haunted spot in all of Skagway is its Golden North Hotel.  Built in 1898, it's the oldest operating hotel in the state and started off as a two-story building.  Later, it was moved, another story was added, and a gold dome was placed atop the structure.  It became the most recognizable building in town, and it soon also became known for supposedly having one guest who never left.  The staff have dubbed her Mary and with her fiancee, she checked into Room 23.  Not long after, her fiancee left to search for gold, and she became very ill.  She held on, hoping to see him again but her condition worsened, and she had perished before he could return.  She's now said to haunt the room, appearing in ghostly form and even one photo.  Guests claim they can feel a choking their throats as they lie in bed, almost as though they are suffering from the pneumonia that killed Mary.  There's also said to be a ghostly orb that appears at night in Room 14, moving about it, but there are no stories to account for the phenomenon.  But that's hardly the extent of Skagway's ghosts.  There's also supposed to be some in the Red Onion Saloon, which started off rather scandalously as a bordello.  Its second floor was filled with narrow rooms where the girls entertained their clients, and that's where the unexplainable tends to happen.  There, people have supposedly heard footsteps, although no one was around, and smelled perfume wafting around, though no one knows where it has come from.  A particularly helpful spectre may also be there.  Plants are watered by an unseen entity and some have also reportedly seen a ghostly woman watering phantom plants.  Skagway is also home to the White House that was once used as a hospital, hotel, and day-care center.  The woman who ran the day-care center is now said to haunt it as the "woman in white."  She's reportedly a benign spirit that often appears to children.  The White House was damaged by fire, so it has been abandoned for some time on the edge of town - sounds creepy!  Another reportedly haunted locale is Eagles Hall, home to the local Fraternal Order of Eagles, where the second floor is filled with unexplainable cold spots that are believed to be caused by ghosts.  And finally, there's the Mulvihill House, a charming Victorian residence that was once home to the chief dispatcher for the White Pass and Yukon Railroad.  He's said to have remained there since his death, closing doors, walking around in heavy work boots, and typing out messages on a phantom telegraph, just like he used in life.  While the house is privately owned and permission must be granted to enter, it's often included in the town's walking tour.  All in all, that's five spots, each said to be haunted, in a town of under 900 yearly residents.  Skagway certainly seems to have more than its fair share of apparitions!  It may very well be Alaska's most haunted spot and for anyone wanting to hunt for spirits in the Last Frontier, this town is a must-see.

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