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It’s coming from inside the studio

KYUK's TV studio.
Sunni Bean
KYUK's TV studio.

When I first got to Bethel, I lived in the apartment above the station. It wasn’t long before I started hearing strange sounds. Then, a few weeks in, I was sitting on the couch and it sounded like footsteps were coming up the stairs. The noise stopped at the top of the stairs, but nobody walked in, which you would be able to hear. They’re creaky steps.

KYUK's multimedia producer, MaryCait Dolan, said that she heard something similar last week while working after hours.

“So I left the station at, like, probably quarter to seven to go set up some cameras at the library,” said Dolan. “And then I decided I wanted to come back and grab another camera to test out. So I did that. I was in the back hallway, which is a place that I've been late at night alone many times.”

That’s when she heard footsteps coming towards her from the TV studio. Dolan said that at first she thought that it might have been another person.

“But then no one came back and blah, blah, blah. So I just kept doing my thing,” Dolan said. “And when I was walking out to go back out the door. So back out the hallway through the TV studio. Like, before I even made it out of the hallway I heard the noise again.”

Dolan said then, she thought it sounded like it was a dog walking around.

“I swear it sounded like it was coming toward me. I froze. And I was waiting in anticipation,” said Dolan.

But there was nothing there. The KYUK office is one of the oldest buildings in Bethel. Sometimes it creaks in the wind, ravens walk on the roof, and there are radios playing 24/7 in the various studios.

But that sound of footsteps coming towards you is distinct. Radio Producer Iris Jimmie said that she’s heard them while working after hours too. Then she heard it again. She went into the studio to say hi.

“I don't know anything about the ghost,” said Jimmie. “But I know John Active, who used to work here, he would smoke cigarettes. And when he would come into work, I would smell cigarettes around him all the time.”

We have a couple of guesses for who the ghost may be. It could be former station manager Ron Daugherty, who lived upstairs and had an allergic reaction in the building before passing away. But some staff, like Jimmie, say that it could be the ghost of Active, a radio personality known for his friendly, playful, and vivid personality.

“So I walked in and I turned the lights on. And it smelled like cigarettes in there!” said Jimmie. “And we have a window, but the window was closed. But, um, I didn't hear the stomping walk back out of the radio office. I just walked in and it smelled like cigarettes.”

Jimmie said that she called her mom, who also blamed the smell on Active’s ghost. His brother, Oscar Active, wasn’t surprised. John loved the supernatural. For Halloween, John would make a haunted house with Jello in plastic bags for ghost blood, a fan to blow clothes hanging down, spooky statues, and, of course, candy.

“He was a natural. He was naturally good at making people scared or whatever,” Oscar laughed, recounting his brother's pranks.

Now when the frequently strange technical issues come up, staff joke that it’s just the beloved former host messing with them.

Shane Iverson, KYUK’s general manager, says that the rumors of the station’s haunting precede both of the employees passing away.

“I started working here almost 20 years ago, and I was told by many people, 'KYUK is haunted,'” Iverson said.

Iverson said that at least one music host was convinced they had a ghost encounter. They claimed that there was something that moved or a sound that was inexplicable to them. Iverson has heard the rumors, but said that he hasn’t had any encounters himself.

Iverson said that the closest he’s gotten was a prank he and a colleague pulled on a coworker. They told tales and made it seem like a ghost pushed a chair across the TV studio.

“That person was convinced that they had just had a paranormal experience. Of course we were just laughing and looking at each other,” said Iverson. “But the thing is, at the time, the general manager and his wife lived upstairs and they heard the bang that I caused. And they also heard, like, the screams coming from our friend. And so they called the police and the police showed up.”

Since there’s no photos of ghosts or even audio recordings of the footsteps, any claim of a specter is just speculation.

Sunni is a reporter and radio lover. Her favorite part of the job is sitting down and having a good conversation.