Kennecott Copper Mines – Alaska

There are many ghosts roaming our world from the old pioneer days and the northern state of Alaska is no exception to this.  Alaska is littered with countless abandoned Russian settlements, these deserted sites are scattered with the artifacts of doomed explorations into the cold and mysterious tundra.  Old spirits are said to be trapped within the animals roaming the cold white northern land.   Legends say that the animals are carrying the spirits of those crossed over from this realm and into the next.

Alaskan Miners - Copper Mines
Alaskan Miners – Copper Mines

The lore of many spirits and haunts wondering the forest, haunting the old cabins, sliding through the mountain passes and dwelling around old broken ships is quite abundant, however there is only one story that claims to have scared away the Alaskan state government.

It is no surprise that the majority of ghost stories in Alaska’s vast land have been reported near the site of the world’s richest copper and gold mines.  The old railroad that once serviced the Kennecott copper mines in the Valdez and Chitina mining districts is said to be so haunted, so scary, that to this day (73 years later, since it’s last production) the phantom spirits plague repetitive attempts by even Alaskan government to re-develop the area.

Kennecott Tourist on Rails
Kennecott Tourist on Rails

The old railroad is an abandoned, 200 mile long stretch of railroad tracks winding from Kennicott Glacier south to Cordova on Prince William Sound. Copper was shipped south to smelters in Tacoma, Washington after being processed there.  The railroad, built by the J.P. Morgan-financed Kennecott Copper Corp. around 1909, completed in 1911, was built over many unstable areas. One of those areas included a massive glacier, which required that the tracks had to be moved continuously, as the glacier shifted around , day by day.  The track bridged gaping canyons and clung to rugged rock walls above the wild Copper River. While the railroad was being constructed, thousands of laborers had to dig through the deep snow and even avalanches.  Others had to blast their way through miles of rock. With these horrendous conditions it is not a surprise that many of the workers were reported to have met their maker during construction of the railroad.

Copper Railways Bridge
Copper Railways Bridge

The rail line was no cheap endeavor and ended up costing Kennecott Corp. around $20 million to build.  That would be comparable to around .5 billion dollars in our time.  The investment did ultimately pay off and eventually produced millions of tons of copper ore that passed south over the Chitina River Bridge, and many other unstable bridges.  The acronym for the CR & NW railroad came to mean something different for the workers, their claim is that it humorously mean’t “Can’t Run and Never Will.”

Chitina is where most Alasakan ghost stories came from, and many spread through out the large area where the railway ran.  For many years, tourists and passer-bys have claimed they’ve seen tombstones just off the old dirt path where in places it parallels with the tracks of the Old Copper Railroad.

Kennecott Historic Mill
Kennecott Historic Mill

The same travelers have consistently reported that the grave markers disappear, virtually vanish into thin air when they look for them on their way back.

Near end of the twentieth century, the state of Alaska began developing government housing along the once marked ‘CR & NW’ trail.  During the housing’s construction, many workers regularly saw phantom visions and heard disembodied voices of both children and adults along the “Old Copper Railroad” which made continuing the work there completely impossible.

Abandoned Railways of  Copper River and Northwest Rails
Abandoned Railways of Copper River and Northwest Rails

Things became even worse after that.

Construction workers had already seen the grave stones and often heard the wailing of dead miners from earlier times.  The spooked construction workers started losing their tools, sometimes right off of their belts and boxes.  The stories and sitings were enough to scare away even the bravest public servants.  The whole construction project is rumored to have been canceled due to the ghosts of the mines.

Kennecott Historic Mill
Kennecott Historic Mill

If you’re looking to venture out to see the old ghost mines, getting out to the abandoned track will not be easy, as most any other place in Alaska.  There are very few haunted places that have as many spirits deterring resettlement as the abandoned ghost towns and railways of the Kennecott Copper Mines.

Video featuring the ghost mines:

Haunted West High School – Anchorage, Alaska

Some witness have seen a lady in white haunting the old auditorium of Anchorage’s West High School. The highschool is located on the south bluff overlooking Westchester Lagoon. The Lady in White has been seen time and time again for decades. She is sometimes seen standing in silence among the seats of the empty auditorium as if she is waiting for the show to begin, sometimes just escaping through corridors as if she is running from something, sometimes lurking around the corners backstage or in the dimly lit basement halls.

West Highschool Outside
West Highschool Outside

“I’ve never, ever seen a ghost in there and I can’t say I even believe in ghosts,” West theater teacher David Block told some of his past students. “I haven’t ever seen her, but enough people have seen her that I have to believe that something is going on.”

Block does however admit that the sightings do have an almost unbelievable consistency. He says that it is always a female who is wearing whispy white clothes and she always slips just out of sight when the witness attempts to investigate closer. There have been many reports which have varied from school staff to students. There have been several school officials, students who hadn’t previously known of the legend and even visitors. A good portion of the witnesses claim have no knowlede of the lady in white prior to their reporting of the encounter.

The lady in white however is not alone in her haunting of the West Highschool. Another phantom encounter has been reported of a former janitor who has been long deceased. The janitor was seen many times sweeping the lobby when no one should have been present. There have also been several reports of poltergeist type activities, such as footsteps clacking in empty halls, slamming doors, lights switching flickering on and off and even toilets flushing with no one in the bathrooms.

Scary Corridor








It was once reported that a stage-manager saw a student open an off-limits backstage door during a dress rehearsal and almost jumped out of her skin from fright. When the manager who saw her opened the door into the same space to confront the student for violating the rules, he saw that no one was there.

Another report is that two assistant principals and a security guard were shaken-up when a figure in white flashed by them in the dark, narrow corridor behind the balcony.

West Highschool Auditorium - Lady in White
West Highschool Auditorium – Lady in White

“To this day, one of those assistant principals will not talk about what happened, he simply refuses to discuss it,” Block said. “Even I don’t like going into the passage behind the balcony”.

Another incident is that a student was entering the supposedly empty theater last year with a group of classmates and she noticed a woman in white clothes standing above them glaring down from a balcony. When she motioned to her friend and asked, “Do you see her?”, the woman had vanished.

The student knew nothing of the legend of “the lady in white” before seeing her in the balcony.

This school is definitely experiencing a poltergeist armed with several spirits. As there is yet another story of a different spirit. The school has a basement vault which was formerly used as a rifle range but is now filled with props and costumes for plays. One time a female student reported that she had opened a door into a small side room and was screamed because she saw scary and strange man glaring at her. Some say that it could have been the janitor’s spirit but the girl claimed he was not wearing a janitor’s uniform.

One student threatened to drop the teacher’s class after hearing his story.

Haunted West High School Hallway
Haunted West High School Hallway, Anchorage Alaska

Block has admittedly spent time alone in the theater and sometimes at night he has heard footsteps up in the haunted corridor.