Alaska is Home to an Abandoned Town Most People Don’t Know About

Alaska, a vast and beautiful state brimming with natural wonders and rich history, harbors a hidden, darker side. It shelters numerous abandoned places, some haunted by legends and mysteries. Among them is Portlock, a ghost town with a chilling history, supposedly abandoned due to a killer Bigfoot.

The Rise and Fall of Portlock

Situated on the southern coast along Port Chatham bay, Portlock, named after Captain Nathaniel Portlock, a British naval officer, was established around 1900 with the construction of a salmon cannery. The town attracted fishermen, lumbermen, miners, and cannery workers, primarily of Russian and Alaska Native descent. By 1921, Portlock boasted a post office and a population of around 100.

Portlock’s prosperity, however, was short-lived. Strange and terrifying stories circulated among the residents, describing a lurking menace in the woods – a colossal, hairy creature resembling a half-man, half-beast, known locally as Nantiinaq, meaning “those who steal people” in the Dena’ina language. Legends spoke of Nantiinaq being responsible for numerous deaths and disappearances, particularly among those who ventured into the forest or mountains.

Some alleged victims of Nantiinaq include:

  • In 1905, Native American workers at the cannery left the town due to something in the woods. Though they returned the next year, some were never seen again.
  • In 1921, logger Andrew Kamluck was found dead near the town, his chest crushed and neck broken.
  • In 1931, schoolteacher Albert Petka disappeared while berry picking; his body was never found.
  • In 1949, miner Tom Larson was killed by a large creature that tore off his head. His witness partner claimed it was not a bear but something much larger and more human-like.

These examples, among others, created an atmosphere of fear and paranoia in Portlock. Some residents armed themselves, while others attempted to appease the creature with offerings. Despite their efforts, Nantiinaq continued to stalk and kill, leading to the mass exodus of residents by 1950. Portlock became a ghost town, its buildings left to decay. While forgotten by most, a few adventurers and thrill-seekers still dared to explore its haunted grounds.

The Mystery of Nantiinaq

The identity and motive of Nantiinaq remain shrouded in mystery. Various theories circulate, with some believing it to be a Sasquatch, a legendary creature described as a large, hairy, bipedal ape-like being. Sasquatch sightings have been reported globally, but none scientifically verified. Others posit Nantiinaq as a spirit, demon, shapeshifter, mutant, or the result of secret activities.

Whether Nantiinaq was real, a hoax, or a product of mass hysteria remains uncertain. Portlock stands as a haunting reminder of a dark and deadly secret, where history, legend, and mystery intersect. The ghost town, still imbued with an eerie sense of dread, holds the potential presence of Nantiinaq, the killer Bigfoot, adding to its allure as one of Alaska’s most enigmatic and unsettling abandoned places.


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