Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska
Established in 1898 as a brothel for miners during the Klondike Gold Rush, Alaska’s Red Onion Saloon had a feature that set it apart from other bordellos: It used dolls to help run its business. (Always a good sign.) Every day, 10 dolls would be placed on the bar downstairs, each one representing one of the ladies working in the upstairs rooms. A customer would choose one of the dolls, at which point it was laid down on the bar to indicate that particular worker was occupied. When the customer came back downstairs, the doll would be returned to her sitting position to let other potential clients know she was available. Fast-forward to 2019, when the Red Onion Saloon still operates as a bar and restaurant (yep, the dolls are still on display), and offers tours of the upstairs rooms, which are preserved as a sort of makeshift brothel museum. As if licentious dolls weren’t creepy enough, there are reports of Lydia—a former madam of the brothel—haunting the site, complete with cold spots and lingering smells of perfume wafting through the halls.