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Port Chatham Alaska

Port Chatham is a remote and abandoned town on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. Once a bustling cannery town, it is now known for its spooky legends and creepy atmosphere. The town has a long history of disappearances and murders, which have led to rumors of a Sasquatch-like creature haunting the area.

Captain Nathaniel Portlock of the Royal British Navy landed in the area in 1787 and established the village of Portlock. The town became a center for the fishing industry in the early 20th century, with a cannery and a school. However, the town was abandoned in the mid-20th century due to economic decline and a series of tragic events.

Despite being abandoned for decades, Port Chatham remains a popular destination for ghost hunters and thrill-seekers. The town’s eerie atmosphere and mysterious history have captured the imagination of many, making it one of the spookiest places in Alaska.

History of Port Chatham

Native Heritage

Port Chatham, also known as Portlock, is a small village located on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. The land on which the village is situated has been inhabited by the Alutiiq people for thousands of years. They were the original inhabitants of the area and have a rich cultural heritage. The Alutiiq people were known for their hunting and fishing skills, and they relied heavily on the natural resources of the area.

European Contact

The first European to visit the area was Captain James Cook in 1778. Cook was followed by Russian explorers who established trading posts in the area. The Russians established a cannery in Port Chatham in the early 1900s, which became the center of the village’s economy. The cannery brought in many workers from other parts of Alaska, and the village grew rapidly.


However, the village’s fortunes took a turn for the worse in the early 1950s when the residents fled en masse. The reasons for the abandonment of the village are not entirely clear, but legends have it that the residents were being terrorized by a Bigfoot-like creature called Nantiinaq. The village has been abandoned ever since, and it remains a mystery to this day.

In conclusion, Port Chatham is a small village with a rich history and cultural heritage. The village has been abandoned for many years, but its legacy lives on.


Location and Topography

Port Chatham is a bay located on the south coast of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. It is situated 16 miles south of Seldovia and 2 miles north of Elizabeth Island. The bay is approximately 1.5 miles wide and is nestled between the Chugach Mountains. Port Chatham was named in 1794 by Captain George Vancouver of the Royal Navy for one of his vessels, the tender H.M.S. Chatham.

The topography of Port Chatham is characterized by rugged mountains, dense forests, and a rocky coastline. The area is rich in wildlife, including brown bears, moose, and bald eagles. The bay is also home to several species of fish, including salmon and halibut.

Climate and Weather

Port Chatham experiences a subarctic climate, with long, cold winters and short, cool summers. The average temperature in January is around 20°F, while the average temperature in July is around 55°F. The area receives an average of 60 inches of precipitation annually, with the majority falling as snow during the winter months.

Due to its location on the coast, Port Chatham is also prone to strong winds and storms. The area has been known to experience severe weather conditions, including hurricane-force winds and heavy snowfall. It is important for visitors to be prepared for changing weather conditions and to exercise caution when traveling in the area.

Legends and Mysteries

Hairy Man Accounts

Port Chatham, Alaska, has been the subject of many legends and mysteries over the years. One of the most famous legends is that of the Hairy Man, a creature that supposedly stalked the village and terrorized its inhabitants. The Hairy Man was said to be a large, hairy creature that walked upright and had glowing red eyes. Many people claimed to have seen the Hairy Man, and some even reported being attacked by it. While some dismiss the Hairy Man as a myth, others believe that it was a real creature that once roamed the area.

Ghost Stories

Another popular legend surrounding Port Chatham is that of the ghost town itself. According to local lore, the town was abandoned after a series of unexplained events, including disappearances and sightings of ghostly apparitions. Some claim that the town is haunted by the spirits of its former inhabitants, who were driven away by the Hairy Man and other unknown forces. While there is no concrete evidence to support these claims, many people still believe in the ghost stories of Port Chatham.

Unexplained Phenomena

In addition to the Hairy Man and ghost stories, there are many other unexplained phenomena associated with Port Chatham. Some people have reported hearing strange noises and seeing unusual lights in the sky, while others have claimed to have experienced feelings of unease and dread while visiting the area. While these phenomena could be attributed to natural causes or the imagination of those experiencing them, they add to the overall mystery and intrigue surrounding Port Chatham.

Wildlife and Ecology


Port Chatham is a place of stunning natural beauty with a diverse range of flora. The area is covered in dense forests of Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and western red cedar. The underbrush is dominated by salmonberry, devil’s club, and skunk cabbage. These plants provide a habitat for a variety of animals and birds.


The wildlife in Port Chatham is abundant and diverse. The area is home to a large number of black bears, brown bears, and moose. The forests are also home to a variety of birds, including bald eagles, great horned owls, and northern goshawks. The waters surrounding Port Chatham are teeming with marine life, including humpback whales, orcas, and salmon.

The Alaska Center for Conservation Science conducts research on wildlife ecology in the area. They focus on mapping habitat and nutrition for herbivores in Alaska, particularly understanding how vegetation and food resources affect movement, survival, and productivity. Visitors can also learn about the local wildlife at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, which is dedicated to preserving Alaska’s wildlife through conservation, research, education, and quality animal care.

Overall, Port Chatham is a haven for wildlife and nature lovers, offering a unique opportunity to explore the natural world.

Economic Development

Port Chatham has a rich history of economic activities that have contributed to the growth of the region. The town has been a hub of commercial activities since the early 1900s. Over the years, the town has seen several industries come and go, but the local economy has remained resilient.

Historical Industries

In the early days, Port Chatham was a bustling town with a thriving timber industry. The town was surrounded by dense forests, and logging was a major source of income for the locals. The timber industry provided jobs for many residents and helped to fuel the local economy.

Another industry that flourished in Port Chatham was fishing. The town was located on the shores of the Gulf of Alaska, and the waters were teeming with fish. Salmon and halibut were the most common catches, and the local fishermen made a good living from the trade.

Current Economic Activities

Today, Port Chatham is a small town with a population of around 100 people. The town’s economy is still largely based on fishing and logging. The local fishermen continue to ply their trade, and the town is known for its high-quality seafood. The logging industry has also seen a resurgence in recent years, with many locals working in the forests and sawmills.

In addition to fishing and logging, Port Chatham has also seen some growth in the tourism industry. The town’s natural beauty and rich history have attracted visitors from all over the world. The locals have taken advantage of this by setting up small businesses such as bed and breakfasts, restaurants, and gift shops.

Overall, Port Chatham’s economy is diverse and resilient, with a mix of traditional and modern industries. The town’s residents are proud of their heritage and are committed to ensuring that their local economy continues to thrive.

Tourism and Recreation

Hiking and Camping

Port Chatham is an excellent destination for hiking and camping enthusiasts. The area offers a wide range of hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding wilderness. Visitors can explore the nearby mountains, forests, and beaches. The area is also home to several camping sites, which provide a perfect base for exploring the region’s natural beauty. Visitors can camp in the wilderness and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the area.

Fishing Opportunities

Port Chatham is a great destination for fishing enthusiasts. The area is home to a wide range of fish species, including salmon, halibut, and trout. Visitors can fish in the nearby rivers, streams, and lakes. The area also offers excellent opportunities for saltwater fishing. Visitors can charter a fishing boat and explore the nearby waters. The area is also home to several fishing lodges, which offer comfortable accommodations and guided fishing trips. Fishing in Port Chatham is an unforgettable experience that visitors will cherish for a lifetime.

Cultural Significance

Local Traditions

Port Chatham, Alaska has a rich cultural history that dates back centuries. The Alutiiq people, who have inhabited the area for thousands of years, have passed down their traditions and customs from generation to generation. These traditions include subsistence hunting and fishing, as well as the use of natural resources to create art and clothing.

One of the most important traditions of the Alutiiq people is the celebration of the Qik’rtarmiut, or the return of the salmon. This festival is held annually and is a time for the community to come together to celebrate the bounty of the sea and to give thanks to the spirits for their blessings. The festival includes traditional dances, songs, and ceremonies, and is an important part of the cultural heritage of Port Chatham.

Cultural Sites

Port Chatham is home to several important cultural sites that are of great significance to the Alutiiq people. These sites include burial grounds, petroglyphs, and traditional hunting and fishing grounds. These sites are considered sacred by the Alutiiq people and are protected by law.

One of the most important cultural sites in Port Chatham is the Qik’rtarmiut Native Cemetery. This cemetery is the final resting place of many Alutiiq people, including some of the earliest inhabitants of the area. The cemetery is a reminder of the rich cultural heritage of Port Chatham and is a testament to the enduring spirit of the Alutiiq people.

Overall, the cultural significance of Port Chatham cannot be overstated. The traditions and cultural sites of the Alutiiq people are an important part of the history of the area and are a reminder of the enduring spirit of the people who have called Port Chatham home for thousands of years.