You've come a long way, and the sign up ahead says, "Welcome to Creepy Alaska." This is the Last Frontier, a realm of vast untracked wilderness, where monsters and evil spirits slither through the darkest parts of the land's day-long nights. There aren't many Alaskan urban legends. But that doesn't mean the state is devoid of local legends and tall tales. On the contrary, the state is home to dozens of monster and ghost accounts, chronicling everything from UFOs to murder. Here's some of the best scary stories from Alaska.
The Alaska Triangle Rivals the Bermuda Triangle
The state of Alaska is one of the most remote places in the U.S., boasting more unsettled wilderness than any other part of the country. It also has a missing persons rate of nearly twice the national average, and a large portion of those people have disappeared in a region of the state (and part of Canada) known as the Alaska Triangle.
The Triangle covers an area of the state from the Juneau/Yakutat area in the south, up to Barrow Mountain range in the north, with Anchorage situated to the west of both of them, and roughly equidistant from those two points, as well.
Thousands of people have disappeared without a trace in this area of the Last Frontier -- on foot, in boats and cars, and in airplanes.
The most famous case was the October 1972 vanishing of a Cessna 310 airplane carrying then-U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Hale Boggs, Rep. Nick Begich, their aide Russell Brown, and their pilot, Don Jonz. This disappearance led to one of the largest manhunts in Alaska's history, lasting 39 days, and involving 400 aircraft and 12 U.S. Coast Guard vessels. But no trace of the missing congressmen or their plane was ever found - not even any wreckage that could have been associated with their Cessna - and to this day, their true fate remains a mystery.
A Serial Killer Literally Hunted Women in Alaska's Bush Country
This Alaskan monster is 100 percent real.
Robert Hansen, later known in the media as "the Butcher Baker," was a serial rapist and murderer in Anchorage, AK, who abducted, raped, and murdered at least 17 but up to 30 women in the area between 1971 and 1983.
Particularly gruesome and terrifying was the fact that Hansen, after imprisoning and raping the women for an extended period, would fly them in his private plane to a remote area, release them, and then hunt them like game animals, killing them with a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle and other weapons.
Hansen was only discovered because one of his victims managed to escape in 1983, which led to a police investigation, and Hansen's eventual conviction.
His case was the basis of the movie The Frozen Ground, starring John Cusack and Nicolas Cage, in 2013.
Three UFOs Chased a Japanese Plane Through Alaska's Skies
In 1986, a Japanese airliner en route to Anchorage, AK, from Iceland encountered three UFOs who followed it for nearly 400 miles above the Alaskan wilderness (and yes, right through the middle of the Alaska Triangle.)
One of the objects, described as twice the size of an aircraft carrier, appeared to be some kind of mother ship. The two others were possibly scout vessels. The pilots, with permission from air traffic controllers in Anchorage, engaged in evasive maneuvers to try and avoid the UFOs, but to no avail. The strange, spooky craft maintained pursuit, outmaneuvering the airliner, for almost an hour, not backing off until the plane approached the skies near Fairbanks, AK.
When asked to speculate why the UFO was so interested in their flight, the pilot humorously remarked that the plane had been carrying Beaujolais wine from Paris, and maybe the aliens wanted some of it.
Talk about grace under pressure.
A Prehistoric "Saberwolf" Might Be Stalking the Alaskan Wilderness
Inuit legends describe a wolf-like evil spirit of the Nahanni Valley that kills people by biting their heads off. Though the so-called "Headless Valley" lies in Canada, its resident monster has been sighted in Alaska at least once by an American mechanic who described it as a "wolf on steroids." And the crew of the American TV show Alaska Monsters claims to have narrowly escaped an encounter with the beast.
Cryptozoologists speculate the saberwolf might actually be a remnant population of dire wolves, or even amphicyonids - also called "bear dogs" - of the Eocene. Descriptions of the creature make it sound more like a bear-dog than a wolf, but who can tell with evil spirits, really?