A Haunting Walk
With rich history comes the great unknown. Dawson City is known for its wild gold rush past, where the rich played dirty and the miners spent their gold on anything that was in reach. These streets were mean and full of trouble; crime was inevitable. We bet if you ask a group of locals about the ghosts, at least one will have an experience to tell. If only these streets could talk… luckily some of the buildings can.
The Palace Grand Theatre
Built in 1899 as one of the grandest theatres in Dawson, the Palace Grand Theatre is also arguably the most haunted building with many creepy stories to tell. The theatre is known to have a female resident that wanders throughout the halls, but no one is 100 per cent sure who it is. Some swear that it’s Klondike Kate, the most famous showgirl from the theatre’s lucrative performances. Others say that it could very well be the wife of Arizona Charlie Meadows, who had her thumb shot off mid-show by Arizona himself. In addition to the female ghost, many have claimed to hear heavy footsteps walking along the upper floors’ corridors. There has also been a presence felt in the owner’s booth on the third floor, with the smell of roses or rose water present. Lights are known to turn on and off without anybody around. Custodial staff have reported a feeling of being watched while working within the theatre. To hear more on the Palace Grand’s hauntings, check out this video created by Travel Yukon.
The Westminster Hotel
The Westminster Hotel, commonly known as ‘The Pit,’ houses two bars: the Tavern and the Lounge. With part of the building’s history dating back to the gold rush, its history certainly includes an array of mishap, mistakes, and regrets. Its walls are adorned with paintings and stories of local legends, some of whom may still wander here in spirit. Staff members often talk about seeing shadowy figures flit by out of the corner of the eye, including one recurring apparition of a man wearing a fedora. People believe this could be former hotel owner Fabien Salois. Night cleaners often hear knocks at the doors or windows, only to find no one outside; they also talk of cleaning supplies being mysteriously moved to unusual places throughout the building. Hotel guests have reported hearing children running down the halls when none are staying there. In one room in particular, the television will turn on at all hours of the day and night: the outlets have been tested and the t.v. even swapped for a new one, to no effect.
This historic home, built in 1901, has housed many artists-in-residence over the years, and though its residents come from all over the world and at different times, all have similar stories of apparitions and presences. Residents have reported the apparition of a little girl in a period dress, and a figure seen on the stairs. There are reports of trouble crossing the landing of the staircase and seeing apparitions in a mirror in an upstairs closet. An artist in residence has written an article about living with the ghost in the Yukon News, you can read it here.
The Commissioner's Residence
First built in the gold rush for the Commissioner of the Yukon, this beauty is home to more than just the Black family. After it was done being used as the Commissioner’s official residence, it was transformed into a nursing home. It was later refurbished to its 1916 state, and has been owned by Parks Canada ever since. However, the tours are not the only things to be known walking through the halls. It’s said that former residents linger here as spirits, walking along the upper floors and providing eerie voices, footsteps, and whispers. The attic still contains hospital beds, which adds to its creepy factor. It is also believed that the Black family’s youngest son, who was known to be a prankster, still lingers within his old bedroom on the second floor.