Haunted Locations: Alcatraz Island

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Alcatraz Island, also known as “The Rock”, served as a maximum security prison from 1934 to 1963. The prison held some of the most notorious criminals. It is said that the island is haunted by the spirits of some of the prisoners who died there. Learn more about this fascinating story after the jump.

image via Not Frisco

In 1847, the U.S. government saw the strategic location of Alcatraz as a possible setting for a military fort. By 1853, the construction of the fort had started and cannons and guns were added to the settlement. As years went by, the military fort lost its purpose since the defences used were becoming obsolete. However, the U.S. army found a new use for Alcatraz – a confinement for captives.

The location was ideal since it was surrounded by freezing waters and any prisoner who attempted to escape would surely die before reaching land. By 1898, the island was housing over 400 prisoners. From a small prison, Alcatraz was converted to a maximum security prison.

image via Not Frisco

Life in Alcatraz was far from easy. There were very strict rules to follow and if one failed to obey, he would be sent in the “hole”, an underground cell for solitary confinement. The “hole” is said to be one of the haunted spots in Alcatraz. One prisoner who was confined there claimed to have been attacked by an unknown entity. Disobedient prisoners would spend up to 19 days in the “hole”.

images via Not Frisco and NPS

Alcatraz is also home to some famous outlaws, such as George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Al Capone, Robert “Birdman of Alcatraz” Stroud and Alvin “Creepy Karpis” Karpis. Al Capone would play the banjo with the prison band to pass the time. In some accounts, guards and caretakers would hear banjo music coming from a prison cell where Al Capone stayed during his time there.

Al Capone, charged of tax evasion image via Mugshot Alley
Birdman of Alcatraz, charged of manslaughter, murder and assault image via Wikipedia
Machine Gun Kelly, charged of kidnapping and bank robbery image via FBI
Creepy Karpis, charged of kidnapping image via Alcatraz History

Alcatraz is now open for tours. There have been plenty of stories surrounding this place. There are reports of moaning, crying, cold spots and footsteps. There are even instances wherein visitors would smell smoke when there is clearly no one around. Since the place has a violent history, there could possibly be spirits of guards and inmates still lingering in Alcatraz, a place where they met their demise.

View this short clip of Alcatraz for a brief history and information on alleged hauntings:

Here are more photos of Alcatraz from our community:

Credits: dabai, parky, meiration, dirklancer, maryannclark, street_smile, sopo_lomo, nickystyxx & floriansimon

Additional Information:
Alcatraz History

Do you have pictures of haunted locations or stories that you would like to share? Check out our Requested Posts for October!

written by jeanmendoza on 2011-10-14 in #lifestyle

One Comment

  1. emperornorton
    emperornorton ·

    I have spent the night in Alcatraz not once, but twice. On neither occasion did I hear anything more eerie than the snoring of the people in the other cells. That would send anyone over the edge.

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