The old mining town of Kennecott is a once-abandoned ghost-town built in the early 1900s. Originally settled to access the rich copper deposits found in the cliff-sides, Kennecott has now become an attraction for history buffs and adventure seekers. Over the years we’ve been asked a lot of off-the-wall questions about this historic site, but one question in particular is impossible to answer – are there ghosts in Kennecott? 

Whether or not you believe in ghosts, you’ve probably heard a ghost story or two, and we’re here to tell you ours! In honor of Halloween, we’ve decided to share a haunted tale (Goosebumps-style)…

abandoned mining bunkhouse Alaska

Perched high atop a cliff-side, Erie Mine Bunkhouse is one of the few buildings in Kennecott that has stayed intact without any restoration efforts. Challenging to get to, you gain nearly 2,000 feet of elevation within ½ a mile and scramble through exposed sections of rock to access the old bunkhouse. For those able and willing to take on this hike, the views can be extremely rewarding!

Our story begins on a crisp fall day, as we join a pair of hikers who set out to explore the old bunkhouse. Since summer had recently come to an end, the nights were getting colder…and darker. Their goal was to hike to the old bunkhouse and set up camp for the night, in the hopes of seeing an early-season Aurora Borealis. After a long hike up to the cliffside, the two set down their packs and carefully peered in through a bunkhouse window that long-ago lost its glass pane. Seeing peeling paint, lopsided hallways, and caved-in floors, the two decided to set up camp beside the precariously perched building, rather than in it. Knowing that the Northern Lights are often most active between 9pm-3am, they set a series of alarms so that they could periodically check the sky. Little did they know they wouldn’t need the alarms at all…

Not long after closing their eyes, one of our brave hikers woke up with a start. Hearing footsteps nearby, they turned to their tent buddy in the hopes they had just stepped out for a late-night stroll. Much to their dismay, they were slumbering away. Suddenly, they weren’t feeling so brave. Quietly listening, they heard a slow creaking sound every time the mystery person took a step, almost as if someone was walking on old wooden boards…like the wooden floorboards they saw in the bunkhouse. Unable to lay there quietly any longer, they woke up their friend to see if they heard the same sounds, and unfortunately, they did. Now both of our hikers were awake, camped out on an isolated cliffside, listening to creaking steps coming from a long-abandoned bunkhouse in the middle of the night. 

“H-hello, is a-anyone there?” they called out, voices cracking. Just as suddenly as the footsteps started, they stopped. They were relieved when no one answered back until they realized that just because no one answered, doesn’t mean no one was there…

One very long, sleepless night later our two hikers made their way back down to Kennecott. As they walked through the streets they heard all the excited chatter about how great the northern lights were from the night before. Too afraid to open their tent in the dark, they never saw the lights fill up the night sky.

Whether or not you think what they heard was a ghost, you can’t deny the fear that comes with being woken up in the middle of the night by an unexpected creepy sound!

 

*We do not recommend hiking to the Erie Bunkhouse without a guide. There is no trail and navigation is challenging. To learn more about this hike, click here. If you do hike on your own, please be sensitive to the historic site and do not enter or disturb the bunkhouse.

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