Alcatraz is a former maximum-security prison and also home to some of the city’s strangest ghost stories. In the late 1850s, it's first inmates were military prisoners who were put to work building a new prison that later became known as "The Rock." The U.S. Army used the island until 1933, until the Federal Government stepped in, and decided to open a maximum-security, minimum-privilege penitentiary to deal with the most incorrigible inmates.It's a small surprise once the government got "The Rock" built that they wanted to use it to make money, not be used by the United States Army. That wasn't nearly as lucrative. Alcatraz was designed to break rebellious prisoners by putting them in a structured, monotonous routine until their release. Prisoners only were given four basic things - food, clothing, shelter and medical care.Anything beyond that had to be earned. Famous criminals, such as Al Capone, George "Machine-Gun" Kelly, Alvin Karpis and Arthur "Doc" Barker, spent time in Alcatraz. Mobsters in other prisons often managed to manipulate special privileges from guards, but not at Alcatraz.
In recent years, a park
ranger claimed he heard banjo music coming from the shower room. Not
familiar with the history of Alcatraz, the ranger could not find a
reason for the sound and documented the strange event. Other visitors
and employees have reported hearing the sound of a banjo coming from the
prison walls. Other odd events experienced over the years include guards smelling
smoke, but finding no fire; sounds of unexplained crying and moaning;
unexplained cold spots in areas of the prison and claims of seeing
ghosts of prisoners or military personnel.Could it be Alcatraz is haunted? Ghost hunters have said they feel parts of the island and Visitors to the island often claim to see
apparitions walking the cell blocks, and sometimes hear voices emanating
from what was once the cafeteria. This would be a cool place to visit. There are so many ghostly encounters and stories told about this famous prison; by guards, prisoners and visitors. Even though they were there for a reason, no one would be happy at all about being behind bars; making the tales of inmates being tortured and of their bitter spirits
coming back to haunt the halls of Alcatraz more feasible.
According to records, there were eight people murdered by inmates at Alcatraz. Five men committed suicide. Fifteen died from natural illnesses. Also, one little girl died on the Island.The Island had a morgue, but no autopsies were ever performed there. Instead, the dead bodies were brought back to the mainland and released to the San Fransisco County Coroner. So that's at least 29 people who died there, on record. Most were prisoners, miserable souls confined in 5'9" cells, and at least some of them probably walk haunt Alcatraz to this day.
One lost soul is believed to be Yvuonne Oakes, the 13 year old daughter of occupants during the 1969-1971 Native American Alcatraz Occupation Period. Yvuonne tragically fell to her death in January 1970. She was the only known casualty of the Native American Alcatraz occupation period. She fell down 3 flights of stairs to her death. How did she fall down 3 flights of stairs? Was she playing and stumbled down stairs? Was she perhaps looking for her mother? Perhaps she simply wanted to show her mother a new picture she had drawn. But she never did. Does she still wander the hallways looking for her mother? Does she haunt the stairway where she died?
Perhaps the inmates that were murdered wander the prison with vengeance in their very souls. Do the guards killed during a riot haunt the hallways? Still patrolling? Are their still lost souls connected to their jail cells, confined for eternity? What an interesting history and most likely a pretty haunted stop.
Stay tuned for the next Coolest Place in the United States to Visit! If you are into ghosts and paranormal activity of course. It is definitely not for the faint of heart!