Room 315 And The Brutal Hauntings Of The Alaskan Hotel

By
Marcus Lowth
Published Date
March 29, 2022
Estimated Reading Time
13 min read
Posted in
Supernatural, Ghosts & Hauntings

Perhaps what makes the accounts of bizarre and harrowing hauntings at the Alaskan Hotel is that it resides within the boundaries of one of the most intriguing places in the United States – the Alaskan Triangle. Indeed, all manner of paranormal encounters take place with thin this section of Alaska, ranging from strange Bigfoot-like creatures to UFOs, and, of course, demonic entities and displaced souls.

A hotel door with a face pushing through the wall imposed next to it

Room 315 in the Alaskan Hotel is one of the most haunted locations in America

Whether the activity at the Alaskan Hotel is down to its location or not is uncertain. However, the activity witnessed and reported there puts the hotel high on the list of paranormally active locations. With sightings of dark shadowy figures to people even being prodded and pushed by unseen hands, to objects moving and doors opening of their own accord, the entire building is seemingly wired up to another realm of existence that allows those who reside on the other side of the great beyond access to our world.

There are also reports of encounters that we could only describe as time slips, which adds yet another layer to this intriguing and mysterious location. Indeed, as we will examine a little later, the surrounding location may be as important as the buildings and the tales tied to it. Before we move on to those contemplations, though, we will turn our attention fully to the Alaskan Hotel, and the many strange encounters that have taken place there.

Many Strange Happenings From The Basement To The Bar

The infamous Alaskan Hotel in Juneau, Alaska, dates back to 1913 when brothers James and John McCloskey, along with Jules Caro, opened the hotel following them striking it lucky in the Klondike Gold Rush (or the Yukon Gold Rush). [1] The hotel offered 46 rooms over three floors and quickly became the center point of an ever-growing community of people who had flocked to the region in search of their fortune.

According to an online article in 2019, the current owners of the hotel are Mike and Bettye Adams, who have owned the building for 40 years. During that time, they have witnessed a plethora of paranormal incidents. They claim that strange goings-on occur all over the hotel, from the bar to the basement and to various rooms. What’s more, not only have the Adams witnessed the bizarre activity themselves but many of the hotel’s staff and guests have also done so.

The entrance to the Alaskan Hotel

The entrance to the Alaskan Hotel

One of the rooms – Room 315, which we will examine in more detail shortly – appears to be the most active part of the hotel. It is seemingly not uncommon for those who have requested to stay there to change their minds in the middle of the night. Many report a feeling of despair and ill intent permeating their bodies.

Even more bizarre, are the several reports from guests claiming that the modern bathroom of the room would morph into a typical Victorian-era bathroom for several seconds before morphing back to the modern appearance. This would perhaps suggest as much as a haunting at the Alaskan Hotel, there is some kind of timeslip encounters taking place. Once more, we will return to this idea later.

There is, though, one apparent entity that appears more than many.

Alice – A Victim Of Murder Whose Spirit Remains At The Alaskan Hotel

One of the most famous spirits said to reside at the Alaskan Hotel is Alice, who legend says was murdered in Room 219. Alice had arrived at the hotel with her husband who, like many, was determined to find his fortune in the gold rush. However, after he didn’t return to his wife after several weeks, and with no money left to buy food or pay for the room, Alice turned to prostitution in order to support herself.

It was while she was with a client in the room when her husband returned. Some retellings of the account state that he allowed the man to walk out of the room, while others state he immediately withdrew his pistol and shot him dead. Regardless of the truth of the matter, he then turned his attention to Alice and strangled her to death.

It is said that her spirit remains, not only in Room 219 but in other rooms around the hotel, such as 218 and 319. Hotel staff would often walk into the room to discover towels taken from the shelves and thrown around the room, as well as other various items moved from one location to another.

Even more amazing, many guests who have stayed in these rooms often request to be moved in the middle of the night, with some even fleeing the hotel completely, unable or unwilling to contemplate the entities they have witnessed.

The bar of the Alaskan Hotel

The bar of the Alaskan Hotel

According to one hotel employee, Alice is often seen sitting on one of the beds in room 219 (and sometimes in 218), while some staff members even report being pushed or touched by her. Other accounts speak of employees walking up the stairs leading to the room and of seeing Alice briefly in the large mirror in the hallway. [2]

There have been further sightings of Alice in the hotel bar, as well as people who have reported seeing her walk down the stairs and disappear.

As well as the physical sightings of Alice, many people report items being moved in the room or even going missing entirely. Even more ominous is an almost palpable feeling of dread that some people report when entering the room. This is often accompanied by a sudden feeling of dizziness and intense sickness.

There is a book that the owners keep at the hotel. In it, guests are welcomed the document their encounters, with Alice or other ghostly entities, which many have done. A good portion of those occur in Room 315, where we will turn out attention next.

The Bone-Chilling Incidents Of Room 315

One of the most intriguing and unnerving parts of the hotel is Room 315, which Bettye describes is “just creepy” during a 2018 interview with Alaska Public Media. [3]

Room 315 is certainly unremarkable enough – two single beds, a painting of two women from the 1900s on the wall, a single window, and a replica antique telephone on the wall. As journalist Jacob Resneck wrote, “there aren’t many clues that you’re still in the 21st century”.

One particularly unsettling encounter occurred in May 2007, when a United States sailor from the USS Bunker Hill emailed the hotel saying he like to stay in Room 315 while the ship was in port. The owners agreed to his request. What followed was bordering on the unbelievable.

Shortly before midnight, Juneau police received a call regarding a “complaint” at the hotel. When they arrived, they immediately noticed several people beckoning them toward them and upstairs. They quickly found themselves outside Room 315. The door was locked and there was no response from inside. When they finally did break the door down, the scene that met them was one of sheer carnage.

Room 315

Room 315

One of the police officers who entered the room was Officer Chris Gifford. He would recall that “the walls were covered in blood” and that it “looked like something very bad had happened” in the room. By this point, it appeared the sailor had jumped from the single window in the room. When they looked down to the street, to their amazement, the sailor was struggling to his feet. Although he was suffering from “injuries all over his body”, he survived the ordeal.

Other guests in the hotel recall hearing the sailor’s descent from the hotel window. One was an Americorps volunteer named Jill Weitz. She recalled hearing a sudden yelling, but as there was a band playing in the bar downstairs, she assumed it was connected to that. Then, she heard the sound of glass shattering, and only moments later, their hotel window simply shattered.

The following morning, Navy officers arrived at the hotel to undertake their own investigations. According to Adams, they made it clear they wanted no publicity regarding the incident involving one of their personnel. What’s more, despite the police being involved there was no coverage of the incident in the newspapers or other media platforms.

Even stranger, the owners would receive a phone call from a woman claiming to be the sailor’s mother. She was extremely angry and accused the owners of “almost killing her son” by allowing him to stay in a room that was they knew was haunted.

Just what the sailor saw in the room and why he decided to leap from the window, only narrowly avoiding death remains unknown.

A Plethora Of Paranormal Encounters All Over The Hotel

There are, it would appear, several other ghosts and entities that inhabit the Alaskan Hotel. One employee stated that there was “probably a couple of ghosts” hanging around the hotel. The same employee would state that many other staff members and guests alike had told them of seeing strange people in the hallways – many of whom appear dressed in clothing that is more in tune with late nineteenth and early twentieth century. And although this particular staff member had not seen anything untoward themselves, they did say that some “parts of the hotel just don’t feel right”, and in these parts of the hotel they “just don’t feel safe at all”.

Other strange accounts are said to take place in Room 313 – the room directly next to the infamous Room 315. There, it is said that the spirit of a fisherman who used to regularly use the hotel when he docked in Juneau. Many people who believe they have encountered him claim to have been alerted to his presence by a sudden overpowering aroma of fish. Another location worth noting is Room 321. Their guests can expect to see objects move of their own accord, some of which will fly through the air as if thrown by a pair of invisible hands.

We have mentioned that Alice is often seen in the hotel bar or coming down the stairs leading to it. However, she is far from the only spooky manifestation reported in this particular room. As we might imagine, many people would have used the bar over the decades of the hotel’s existence. And in the early days of the twentieth century – with still very much a “wild west” approach to law-keeping in the infant town – many disagreements often ended up in bloodshed.

Not only do people report seeing shadowy figures out of the corner of their eyes in the bar, but many report seeing glasses moving by themselves, some of which will seemingly be pushed to the ground and shatter.

On the television program The Alaskan Triangle, the hotel owners told of a strange presence in the hotel basement – one that appeared to “push back” against people being there. According to the story, in the late-1990s, a hot tub facility was set up on this part of the building. However, one evening, a hotel guest was discovered drowned in the tub. Although there doesn’t appear to have been any reports of foul play around the man’s death, it is said the presence in the basement is the unfortunate hot tub user.

The video below examines the infamous hotel a little further.

Other Nearby Haunted And Mysterious Locations And Happenings

By way of comparison and in an attempt to widen our understanding of the location of the hotel, we should perhaps examine some of the other otherworldly haunted locations in Alaska, particularly within the Alaska Triangle. As we will see, while each retains its own unique aspects of activity, many of the encounters and details are similar to those at the Alaskan Hotel. We start with a location that is perhaps just as active with paranormal incidents.

The Equally Bizarre Goings-On At The Anchorage Hotel

Another intriguing, haunted hotel is the Historic Anchorage Hotel in Anchorage, which also sits within the triangle. [4]

The hotel itself is an annex of the original hotel and was built in 1936. It is claimed by those local to the region that rumblings of strange goings-on at Anchorage have persisted for decades. However, in 2004 with the arrival of manager, Terri Russi, the encounters spilled out into the public arena.

One particularly unnerving incident occurred in December of that year, as Russi was standing behind the front desk of the hotel. As she ran her eyes over the figures of the hotel’s paperwork, she happened to glance into a mirror on a nearby wall. When she did there appeared to be the reflection of a “smoky silhouette” in a white dress standing near a painting that hung on the wall opposite. She immediately turned to face the painting but there was nothing there. Although she was unnerved by the incident – and certain she had seen something – she attempted to put it from her mind and went back to her work. Several days later, though, Russi would witness another strange encounter.

Russi was once more at the desk with one of the hotel employee’s boyfriends sitting in the lobby waiting for her. Then, without warning, one of the large, heavy paintings suddenly lifted itself from the wall and then flew across the room as if it had been thrown by a pair of huge, invisible hands. It crashed to the floor, smashing the glass coffee table into pieces as it did so. Initially, Russi believed they were in an earthquake. However, when she realized that nothing else in the room was moving, she cast her mind back to the shadowy figure earlier in the week.

Russi took the decision to collect as many accounts of strange incidents in the hotel as she could and urged her staff, and guests to log them with the hotel. Many did just that.

Many of the incidents report lights being switched on and off by themselves, or of strange sounds such as giggling or whispering. Others even state that the temperature in their rooms drops suddenly, or even of being pushed by an unknown presence.

One account, recorded on 30th May 2007 claimed that guests in Room 202 complained to the desk of somebody knocking on their door and seemingly running away, although the guest could hear children giggling when they opened the door. A quick check of the hotel records showed that no guests had children with them that evening.

Another log from October of the same year is altogether more spinetingling. On this occasion, a guest reported checking into their room and finding “a small child standing in the closet smiling” back at them.

Ultimately, Russi’s conclusion is there are over 30 spirits that reside at the Anchorage Hotel. And while some of these otherworldly individuals maintain a permanent presence, others appear to simply be “passing through”. This is perhaps interesting, suggesting once more that hauntings may indeed be connected to some kind of portal or gateway that allows entities in a different realm to pass into our world.

Not all hotels offer experiences that will leave you wanting to run fleeing for your sanity. The Silverbow Inn Bed and Breakfast in Juneau (the same town as the Alaskan Hotel) is said to be haunted by the founder of the oldest bakery in Alaska, Gus Messerschmidt. His spirit is said to wander around the Inn which was converted from the old bakery, although encounters with him are said to be of a friendly, playful nature.

The Bizarre Goings-On At The Motherlodge Lodge

While the Anchorage is equally as mysterious as the Alaskan Hotel, there are many other locations that have their own paranormal events. And, interestingly enough, all are within the confines of the Alaska Triangle.

One of these is the Motherlodge Lodge in the town of Palmer, a building where guests have seen all manner of bizarre happenings. [5] These accounts largely tell of a “black apparition” that seems to move about the lodge. Some of the most chilling claims are those of guests who have been alone in a room only to see the reflection of a gentleman dressed in old-fashioned attire standing behind them in the mirror. When they have turned around, there is, of course, nobody there.

The Motherlodge Lodge also boasts strange noises, loud bangs, and even unnerving voices that fade in and out of nowhere. It is further said that doors open and close of their own accord, while curtains are often drawn back by apparent invisible hands.

The strangest event of all, though, came when the lodge was temporarily closed in order to carry out repairs in 2015. In what was deemed “suspicious circumstances” the entire building burned to the ground. As it was not operating at the time, it was not insured (which is important to point out). Just what happens remains a mystery.

Of equal intrigue is the Tonsina River Lodge, where people claim to have seen things so strange and unthinkable that they can’t truly describe what they have seen. It would appear that incidents range from suddenly appearing entities to hearing ominous voices coming from nowhere. It is regarded as one of the most bone-chilling locations in the Alaska Triangle.

UFOs, Strange Creatures Of The Wild, And Everything In Between

Of course, it doesn’t just hauntings that occur in the Alaska Triangle. There are, for example, multiple reports of UFOs throughout Alaska, with many of those unfolding within the boundaries of the Alaska Triangle. In fact, one of the most well-known and credible UFO encounters took place in this region in 1986, when the JPL Flight 1628 encountered two UFOs before the appearance of a huge mothership near their aircraft. Many of these UFO sightings are intertwined with claims of alien abduction, while several researchers have suggested some kind of alien base exists somewhere deep below the wilderness of the Alaskan terrain.

Furthermore, there are multiple sightings of strange Bigfoot-like creatures in the mountainous woodlands of the region. And these encounters are all the more interesting as they occur in similar locations to the UFO incidents reported above.

Mountains in Alaska

Alaska is one of the most mysterious locations on the planet

Perhaps most interesting of all, as grim a detail as it is, are the many people that simply go missing in the state of Alaska – particularly in the Alaska Triangle itself. [6] What’s more, many of these people, or indeed their remains, are ever found. In total, it is estimated that over 16,000 people have simply disappeared without a trace in this region of the world.

Although the terrain in this part of the world is treacherous, to say the least, many people believe there is a more ominous cause behind these disappearances. And these theories, as we might imagine, revolve around the many reports of paranormal activity we have touched on above.

Some researchers firmly believe these missing people are the victims of alien abduction, while others lay the blame at Bigfoot’s door. Or maybe the claims of portals opening temporarily are responsible for the many people who appear to disappear into thin air.

Might There Be A Connection To The Alaska Triangle?

We mentioned earlier that the reports from some guests of the hotel bathroom in Room 315 morphing into how it appeared over a hundred years ago before their eyes, possibly suggesting some kind of time slip experience. This is potentially interesting as it might suggest a connection between time slip encounters, portals, and ghostly apparitions, maybe even further suggesting a dynamic that connects and explains all aspects of the paranormal.

With that in mind, we return to the detail that the Alaskan Hotel sits within the confines of the Alaskan Triangle, which might explain why the building is an apparent hub of extraordinary events.

If, for example, we accept that many paranormal encounters are the result of manifestations of energy, then might these speculative portals not only allow access to our world to UFOs, and Bigfoot creatures but provide the energies required for the otherworldly manifestations we typically understand and perceive as ghosts?

The fact that all kinds of paranormal encounters take place in this part of the world should alert us to the fact that something very much out of the ordinary is taking place there. And that something likely has a catalyst that intensifies the activity witnessed and experienced by many. An understanding of the Alaska Triangle will undoubtedly help us to understand the many paranormal encounters, including those at the Alaskan Hotel, and, in turn, some of the secrets of the paranormal universe.

One Of The Most Paranormally Active Locations In The United States

Without a doubt, then, the Alaskan Hotel is one of the most paranormally active locations in the United States, and perhaps the world. That so many people have reported bizarre and unnerving experiences there is a testament to that. And while the study of the building itself in its own right is undoubtedly valid, placing the data that comes from such studies alongside data from other fields of interest may very well open our eyes to a much bigger and far-reaching paranormal picture.

And, particularly in this case, we may find out that location as much as anything else has an important role to play in the intensity of paranormal activity. Why is it that UFO sightings, Bigfoot encounters, and haunted locations co-exist within the same (relative) locations? While the Alaska Triangle is certainly one of the most mysterious locations on the planet, there are other locations where we find similar apparent concentrations of all manner of paranormal activity.

The strange sightings and occurrences at the Alaskan Hotel continue today and look likely to for the foreseeable future. It will also undoubtedly continue to lure paranormal investigators and enthusiasts to it as they look to get to the bottom of what is causing these strange happenings, or just to experience them. Through those investigations, we might, ultimately, gain a greater understanding of the paranormal world that permeates each of our lives.

Check out the video below which looks at the haunting of the Alaskan Hotel a little further.

References

References
1 The Alaskan Hotel, Briana Prieto, Medium https://medium.com/@eatreadcreep/the-alaskan-hotel-728cc6c34963
2 Ghosts in the Far North: The Haunted Rooms of the Alaskan Hotel, Brent Swancer, Mysterious Universe https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2019/03/ghosts-in-the-far-north-the-haunted-rooms-of-the-alaskan-hotel/
3 The haunting of Alaskan Hotel’s Room 315, Alaska Public Media https://www.alaskapublic.org/2018/10/26/ak-the-haunting-of-alaskan-hotels-room-315/
4 Ghost sightings at downtown Anchorage hotel draw paranormal investigators, Katie Medred, Anchorage Daily News https://www.adn.com/features/article/ghost-sightings-downtown-anchorage-hotel-draw-paranormal-investigators/2012/10/31/
5 Haunted Histories in America: True Stories Behind The Nation’s Most Feared Places, Nancy Hendricks, ISBN 9781440 868719
6 More People Disappear in the Alaska Triangle Than Elsewhere, Mike Richard and Sam Schild, The Manual https://www.themanual.com/outdoors/alaska-triangle/

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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