Just in time for Halloween…

This week on Frontiers, we feature a few ghost stories collected and told by Rick Goodfellow. You might have seen him around town in his top hat and tails, with tourists in tow, as he conducts his ghost tours of Anchorage. 

The other hat Rick wears: He’s owner and founder of KLEF, the classical radio station in Anchorage, his day job, which he also does with a lot of flair. And in the course of his broadcasts, he promotes Anchorage’s arts and culture scene, as well as a number of public service projects.

As if he doesn’t have enough to keep him busy…

Rick is also a history buff – and a few years ago, began researching ghost stories with his wife, Jan Ingram. They hoped these spooky tales would hook Alaskans and acquaint them with Anchorage’s colorful history, which has been one of rapid changes.

Here are some of the highlights from this week’s haunted histories:

  • Historic Anchorage Hotel: A downtown business with a few guests, who never check out. The hotel keeps a ghost log for guests to document spectral comings and goings -- from chess pieces that move all by themselves, to the scent of perfume that wafts through the air at odd times.
  • Club Paris Restaurant: Club Paris is known mainly for its thick steaks, so it’s not surprising that most people don’t realize this 5th Avenue establishment once housed the city’s first morgue, a bit of history that doesn’t seem to hurt business. There are, however, a few friendly ghosts who consider themselves permanent staffers.
  • Fourth Avenue Theatre: Even before this historic movie palace closed its doors years ago, there were lots of ghost stories – from the little girl who lives under the stage -- to reflections in the ladies’ room mirrors of the mysterious lady in white – to appearances of Cap Lathrop, the millionaire who built the theatre. He died in 1950.

Want to say a word about Matt Faubion, a photojournalist at KTVA. Some disclosure here: He happens to be my son. We don’t get a chance to work together much, partly because our schedules are different and the relationship makes it a little awkward for both of us. But I must say, I enjoyed how he and Rick Goodfellow teamed-up to thoroughly entertain us with their “Haunted Anchorage” series, which originally aired on the KTVA News and was compiled this week for Frontiers. Rick is our guest on the show as well, so we hear a little more of the back story behind these paranormal tales. What a delightful conversation!

It’s good to know that many of Anchorage’s older buildings have some curious past incarnations. As Rick is fond of saying, “The dead bring Alaska’s history back to life.”

 

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