It was a dark and stormy November morning. I headed downtown to interview “Jane,” an employee at Juneau Drug Co., about the store’s basement being haunted by an angry ghost.
Jane had heard heard numerous stories from other employees, mostly female, who felt like they were stalked by a malicious, unseen male presence while they were in the basement. Some men have had experiences too, including objects flying off shelves. Many began refusing to go to the basement when asked to grab merchandise to stock the shelves. One said she frequently felt something breathing on her neck when she was down there. Jane did some research and her sources led her to believe the basement might have been used as a morgue for the bodies recovered from a shipwreck.
The story she heard is that nearly 200 corpses were recovered after a horrific accident, brought to Juneau, and stored until they could be identified and shipped to appropriate burial grounds. Most of the victims had died from being covered and asphyxiated by the thousands of gallons of oil the ship gushed out as it sank. There was a building across the street that was used for storage of corpses, but there was an overflow. The basement was used to store the excess. Jane’s story sounded a lot like the sinking of the Princess Sophia, the biggest maritime disaster in Southeast Alaska probably ever, which occurred six years after the Valentine Building was constructed. . .
Read more spine-chilling stories in Bjorn Dihle’s Haunted Inside Passage.