Golden North Hotel, Skagway, AK

Categories
Haunted Places

Date of Establishment

            The Golden North Hotel was built in 1898 to provide accommodations to ‘gold-rushers’ making their way through the city of Skagway every week. In 1908 the hotel was moved, then another story was added to it, as well as the dome.

Name

Golden North Hotel is also known as the Golden North to local Skagway residence.

Physical Description

            The Golden North Hotel was beautiful off white, 3 story building, with large windows and golden trimming. On the roof, there was a large golden-colored dome clearing marking its place on

Origin

            The origin comes from the height of the rush when a prospector Klondike Ike was staying at the hotel with his beloved fiancé Mary. Mary took residence in Room 23 while awaiting Ike’s return from the goldfields with hopefully their new fortune.  This is where legends split for dear Mary; some say she grew ill with pneumonia and died. Other variations say that Mary grew sick with worry when her lover didn’t return, locking herself away from the town and passing away alone. Hotel staff found her in Room 23, and for years since have reported experiences with her spirit.

Mythology and Lore

            The true nature of ‘Scary Mary’ also comes with a variety of reported sightings. Some claim to see a woman roaming the halls and watching from windows while others hear strange noises, feel colder then one should in Alaska. Some guests reported waking up in the middle of the night choking as well.

            They are another Supernatural event claiming a room at the Golden North, this is Room 14. Staff and guests have reported mysterious lights ‘sparkling’ and also ‘twinkling’ around the room. There’s also an orb about the room that visits guests and workers. None of these “lights” have an apparent source, all reports state they are non-threatening to the viewer.  

            Though the hotel officially closed in 2002, the Golden North did let guests take a turn at staying in the ‘haunted rooms. Room 23 was on the 3rd floor toward the northwest corner, and Room 14 is believed to be on the 2nd floor. The build is currently the Frontier Excursions & Adventures but features the Golden North sign.



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Index

Govan, WA

Date of Establishment

After the construction of the Central Washington Railway in 1889, Govan was the spot to be. The town boomed in 1890 and sand extraction was a bustling business to support this railway town. Govan was a small farm town, with merely two churches, a post office, one school, and a handful of businesses. Even once the town boomed a disastrous fire claimed the town, sending it back into the ghost town era. This central Washington ghost town only has 3 residents to this day, a married couple and one other local.

Name & Location

Govan Schoolhouse

The abandoned town of Govan, WA sits about 50 miles west of Spokane, just down Highway 2 in Lincoln County. The town’s name is derived from R. B. Govan, who was an engineer for the Central Washington Railway.

Psychical Description

Govan was a large sandbank area in Lincoln County WA. With large plains of sands and minimal foliage to remove, it became easy to settle in the late 1800s. In the 1900s the town would have had full streets, schools, shops, and diners. Machines and railway workers digging pits of sand out of the countryside it would seem.

However, by 1933 Govan would be declared a passed by the town as US Route 2 came along. The town grew old, beaten down, and ghostly to outsides. Locals themselves ever relocated and moved on to better things. Leaving the barren mark of what was, and can never be again.

Origin

One haunting lead back to 1902 when a robbery leads to “the most brutal crime” committed in the county. Judge J.A. Lewis and his wife Penelope were murdered during a robbery, but being hacked with an ax. Mr. Lewis was known to keep large sums of money at his estate. Police concluded that was the motive, yet never solved the case and caught the killer.

Years later C. S. Thennes was killed by a masked gunman in the Govan Saloon. The saloon no longer stands today, as most of the business district of Govan, which was destroyed in the fire of 1927. Many believed that locals focusing on rebuilding the town, rather than avenging their dead helped to “haunt” this ghost town.

In 1941 a woman was founded murdered on her farm property, and her son went missing. Eight years later the son’s body was found in the fields on the property. Some claim this is the reported “shadowy figures” seen in the distant fields.

Along with the murders going on in the town, and the first fire, the town was once again seeing tragedy. A second in 1974 left the town unfixable in many local eyes and marked the end of Govan. Many homes and families were affected and even suffered losing loved ones. Within that fire burned most of the written records for the town, so linking any spirit to a real person is undoable.

Mythological and Lore

Although today most of the buildings from this ghost town are gone, a few remain that were from the town’s heyday. One of these is the Govan School which closed in the 1940s, but still gets visitors today. Some leave trinkets, shines, candles, and boxes of keepsakes at the schoolhouse. The residents the Sullivan’s reported have everyone from thrill-seekers to photographs come out to the property.

Various sites around the internet back up claim that the schoolhouse is haunted by shadowy figures. These figures are supposed to be the murder victims attempting to draw attention to the unsolved crimes. Yet, past a few bolstering claims there is little information on the Govan haunting. Few claim to see a shadowy or formless figure in windows or around the surrounding wheat fields. Most visitors claim to have a pleasant experience around the ghost town, however, that doesn’t stop urban tales. The creepy and rundown presence of the last few standing buildings surely adds belief to the “haunted” rumors and tales.

Many photographs visit the old schoolhouse to get some amazing shots of the skies. However, every few have commented past an eerie feeling and overload of spider webs. Some have claimed they may have seen, felt, or hear something ominous; but chalk it up to their minds playing tricks. Most visitors report known about the ax murderer as well as the saloon, which does lead them to be on guard for the paranormal. You will have to take a visit to make the choice between beautiful or haunted.

Modern Pop-Culture References
Movies
Index
  • Run of the River
  • Ghost Towns of Washington
  • King5.com
  • Pacific Northwest Photoblog

Is there anything we missed about “Govan, WA”? Let us know in the comments section below!