Thursday, August 13, 2009
Many tourists flock to "The Rock" daily.Have you been among them? It is quite an interesting place.The tour guides seldom discuss the hauntings of Alcatraz.
You may know that earlier this week in 1934, the first federal prisoners arrived at Alcatraz, the island prison in San Francisco Bay. Though closed in 1963, the prison is said to be haunted to this day by ghostly presences.
An interesting article discussing both the history and the hauntings may be found at
I found this the most interesting of those ghostly encounters discussed:
"Several of the guides and rangers have also expressed a strangeness about one of the "hole" cells, number 14D. "There’s a feeling of sudden intensity that comes from spending more than a few minutes around that cell," one of them said. Another guide also spoke up about that particular cell. "That cell, 14D, is always cold. It’s even colder than the other three dark cells. Sometimes it gets warm out here - so hot that you have to take your jacket off. The temperature inside the cell house can be in the 70’s, yet 14D is still cold... so cold that you need a jacket if you spend any time in it."
Oddly, the tour guides were not the only ones to have strange experiences in that particular cell. A number of former guards from the prisons also spoke of some pretty terrifying incidents that took place near the "holes" and in particular, Cell 14D.
During the guard’s stint in the middle 1940’s, an inmate was locked in the cell for some forgotten infraction. According to the officer, the inmate began screaming within seconds of being locked in. He claimed that some creature with "glowing eyes" was locked in with him. As tales of a ghostly presence wandering the nearby corridor were a continual source of practical jokes among the guards, no one took the convict’s cries of being "attacked" very seriously.
The man’s screaming continued on into the night until finally, there was silence. The following day, guards inspected the cell and they found the convict dead. A horrible expression had been frozen onto the man’s face and there were clear marks of hands around his throat! The autopsy revealed that the strangulation could not have been self-inflicted. Some believed that he might have been choked by one of the guards, who had been fed up with the man’s screaming, but no one ever admitted it.
A few of the officers blamed something else for the man’s death. They believed that the killer had been the spirit of a former inmate. To add to the mystery, on the day following the tragedy, several guards who were performing a head count noticed that there were too many men in the lineup. Then, at the end of the line, they saw the face of the convict who had recently been strangled in the "hole"! As they all looked on in stunned silence, the figure abruptly vanished...."
If, as many believe, ghosts return to haunt the places where they suffered traumatic experiences when they were alive, then no wonder the place has many ghosts about.