Photo: karina y / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Spooky Stories From Denali, AK

Alaska is a vast land of natural beauty - its national parks attract thousands of visitors every year. But prospectors and travelers alike should be wary of scary stories from Denali National Park - formerly Mount McKinley National Park - a protected expanse of nearly 6 million acres and home of North America's tallest peak.

Some of these Alaska ghost stories originated during the Alaska gold rush in the late 1800s, but over the years people have reported a range of paranormal activity, hauntings, and other strange and inexplicable phenomena throughout Alaska's wild lands.

Spooky national park stories are the perfect yarns to weave around a fire beneath the northern lights. Pull up a camp stool and snuggle in closer under that blanket - Denali National Park has some of the eeriest tales ever told, and most of them are rooted in truth.

Photo: karina y / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

  • Igloo City Is An Abandoned Hamlet In The Middle Of Nowhere
    Photo: Diego Delso / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    Igloo City Is An Abandoned Hamlet In The Middle Of Nowhere

    Deep in the park's wilderness is a unique city called Igloo. Created in the 1970s as a potential vacation destination, the city was abandoned and never finished - the buildings stand eerily alone in the depths of Denali, only inhabited by animals. The abandoned or never-finished buildings include an igloo-shaped hotel and a dried-up gas station.

    One journalist described the eerie place as "something out of a film set." Travelers passing through have reported seeing a woman wearing white standing in one of the hotel's windows.

  • Scary Mary Might Haunt The Golden North Hotel
    Photo: Walter J. Smalling, Jr. / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Scary Mary Might Haunt The Golden North Hotel

    Prospectors discovered gold in Alaska in the 1890s, and thousands of people descended on the area around Denali to try their luck at finding their fortune. A prospector known as Klondike Ike brought along his fiancee, Mary, and set her up in the Golden North Hotel. The lonely lover shut herself away in Room 23, reportedly either sick from pneumonia, hiding from local criminals, or just worried something bad would happen to Ike. In any case, Mary died at the hotel - one story said she was found wearing her wedding dress.

    Guests in Room 23 sometimes wake up in the middle of the night choking, as if they have pneumonia. Inexplicable gusts of cold air blast through the hotel, and some visitors spot Mary's ghost waiting at a window for her lover to return.

    In addition, unexplained lights appear in Room 14. Visitors describe them as orbs that sparkle or twinkle.

  • UFOs Supposedly Followed A Plane Above Denali

    In what some claim is "one of the most compelling UFO close-encounter cases of all time," in 1986, UFOs allegedly followed Japan Airlines Flight 1628 for hundreds of miles in the airspace over Alaska. The flight was en route from Paris to Tokyo, and when it passed over Alaska, the pilots reported contact with multiple unknown craft.

    The aircraft apparently got so close, the plane's safety lights lit up the cockpit, and crew members could feel the heat of the thrusters from their engines. The UFOs allegedly followed the airplane for nearly an hour and broke off contact near Denali.

    The pilots reported the incident to ground control, and the FAA investigated the incident. The investigation included radar analysis that confirmed an unidentified flying object, but ruled it was the result of a malfunction and was not due to the presence of an alien craft.

  • A Giant Pyramid Might Exist Underneath The Park

    When China tested a nuclear bomb in 1992, the shock waves allowed scientists in Alaska to study the geology underneath the state. The study allegedly revealed a giant underground pyramid larger than the Great Pyramid in Egypt. A military official who learned of the discovery claimed the government attempted to cover up the story and declined to share the results of a study on the structure.

    The supposed pyramid is located 50 miles from Denali and may have been part of a giant prehistoric global power grid, according to paranormal expert Linda Moulton Howe.

  • Ghosts Supposedly Haunt Cabins In The Denali Woods

    Denali National Park is one of the most picturesque natural landscapes in the world. Renting a cabin is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area while avoiding potentially dangerous local wildlife - unless that cabin happens to be haunted. One visitor reported putting a key in the door of their cabin only to have it open all by itself. Weirder still, glasses allegedly began falling from the shelves.

  • Alaska Has Its Own Bermuda Triangle

    Covering an area ranging from the Arctic to southern Alaska and parts of Canada, Alaska's alleged Bermuda Triangle has claimed thousands of lives over the years. Since the late 1980s, more than 16,000 people have gone missing in the uncharted area. One famous case in 1972 involved the disappearance of two congressmen whose airplane vanished without a trace.

    Locals blame the disappearances on a number of factors, including a shape-shifting figure Alaska Natives call the "Kushtaka." The region could also be a "vile vortex" - an area with intense electromagnetic activity that supposedly causes electrical equipment to fail and makes people feel disoriented and even hallucinate.