NO. 201 Red Onion Saloon
Stepping into Skagway's Red Onion Saloon is like stepping back in time. With its finely crafted bar, vintage memorabilia, and old-time ambiance, the saloon transports visitors to the height of the Klondike Gold Rush. But beneath the veneer of historical charm, the Red Onion Saloon also boasts a haunted history that brings a whole different kind of thrill.
Established in 1898, the Red Onion Saloon served as a dance hall, saloon, and bordello for the hardworking miners who flocked to Skagway in search of gold. Located on Broadway Street, the saloon was at the heart of the city's bustling activity and quickly became one of the most popular establishments in town.
As the Gold Rush faded, so too did the fortunes of the Red Onion Saloon. It went through various transformations, serving as a barracks, bakery, television station, and even a union office, before being restored as a saloon in the late 20th century.
As with any place steeped in history and high emotion, the Red Onion Saloon has its share of ghost stories. Over the years, both staff and visitors have reported a range of paranormal activity, from mysterious apparitions and disembodied voices to objects moving of their own accord.
The most famous spectral resident is said to be the ghost of a woman named Lydia, a former madam of the brothel. It's believed that Lydia still takes her role seriously, tending to the bordello upstairs even in death.
Many employees have reported sensing Lydia's presence, often accompanied by the strong scent of perfume. Some have even claimed to see her apparition, always dressed elegantly as befits a woman of her position. Objects have been known to move inexplicably, and mirrors in the bordello have a habit of reflecting images of a woman who isn't there.
The Red Onion Saloon's resident ghost doesn't limit herself to the upstairs bordello, however. On the ground floor, bartenders and patrons alike have reported wine glasses moving on their own and sudden cold spots, both classic signs of a haunting.
Today, the Red Onion Saloon remains a popular attraction in Skagway, not just for its historical significance and lively atmosphere, but also for its ghostly tales. The haunted history adds an element of intrigue to this already captivating establishment, making a visit to the Red Onion Saloon an experience like no other.
Those who walk through the swinging doors of the Red Onion Saloon find themselves in a place where history, myth, and the supernatural blend seamlessly. Whether you're sipping a drink at the bar, exploring the bordello museum upstairs, or simply absorbing the old-time atmosphere, you might just feel Lydia's presence or witness some inexplicable happenings.
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