The Paranormal at Home: Hauntings in 50 States – Alaska’s Anchorage Hotel

Please click here if you would like to read the first article in the series.

The second state in our alphabetical review of haunted locations in the U.S. takes us to wild Alaska. Despite being the fourth least populated state, this area is rife with strange happenings. While most would chalk it up to the severe isolation that some Alaskan regions are subject to, there are many areas that are well-populated that have had numerous ghostly reports associated with them. One such location is the historic Anchorage Hotel.

Haunted Anchorage Hotel
Alaska’s haunted Anchorage Hotel
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Haunted Alaska: The Anchorage Hotel

The Anchorage Hotel was constructed in 1916 however an annex was later added and opened in 1936. The original structure suffered due to lack of maintenance in the 1950s and was completely demolished in the 1960s. During its heyday, the Anchorage Hotel was considered the place to stay in the city. Many well-known celebrities visiting Alaska spent time there, including Wiley Post and Will Rogers – both of whom would perish in a plane crash two days after checking out.

Paranormal Activity at the Anchorage Hotel

Many rumors had been circulating about strange occurrences at the Anchorage Hotel.  Employee Terri Russi was working at the front desk when she caught a glimpse of a strange reflection in a mirror hanging on a nearby wall. She had seen something that appeared oddly smoky that looked like a woman’s white dress. There was nothing in the area that looked remotely like what she had seen that might have caused the anomalous reflection.

Police Chief J.J.Sturgus
Police Chief
John J. Sturgus

Her boyfriend would have his own encounter that same week. While sitting in a chair close to the lobby fireplace, he passed the time trying to knot his tie. As he concentrated, a framed photograph of artist Sydney Laurence (who maintained a studio in the hotel lobby for many years) suddenly leapt from the mantel and flew across the room before shattering against a glass coffee table.

The unexplained phenomena inspired Terri to set up a “ghost log” that gave guests a place to record their personal experiences while staying at the Anchorage hotel. Many curious but tame details have been penned by patrons, including lights that switched on and off, disembodied voices that giggled and shower curtains that seemed to move on their own. Some were more unsettling, such as one guest’s vision of a young child that smiled up at them from inside a closet. Others have felt physical sensations that were akin to being pushed or leaned on.

The area’s first Police Chief, John J. “Black Jack” Sturgus, was shot with his own gun just outside the Anchorage Hotel. The case remains unsolved and is believed to be the cause of strange footsteps and voices in the room that runs along the wall closest to the crime scene.

J.J. Sturgus Grave
Grave of murdered Police Chief John J. Sturgus
Courtesy of

The Anchorage Hotel Today

There are many tragic tales associated with the Anchorage Hotel. The doors are still open for business and guests still bear witness to the unexplained. Terri has since had paranormal investigators, mediums and experts explore the building. They have come to the conclusion that the hotel contains almost three dozen spirits that come and go.

Have you been to the Anchorage Hotel (or would you like to go)? Share your personal experiences or investigative approach to this location in the comments.

2 thoughts on “The Paranormal at Home: Hauntings in 50 States – Alaska’s Anchorage Hotel

Add yours

  1. So I didn’t believe in any of this till four days ago.
    When I go to sleep, the instant I hit that split second spot between wake and being asleep, something physically grabs me. I haven’t slept for four days. I’m in anchorage Alaska. Is there anyone I can talk to about this up here?


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