World’s Most Haunted: Alcatraz Prison

Alcatraz is located on the southwest coast of California, USA and is famous mainly for its military prison. Because of its isolation from the outside by the cold, strong, hazardous currents of the waters of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz was used to house Civil War prisoners as early as 1861.

The earliest known inhabitants of the island were native Americans known as Ohlones. They used the island as a prison and sent notorious criminals there as they believed that evil ghosts and spirits inhabited it. In 1759, when the Spanish discovered the island and started spreading Christianity, the native Americans who didn’t want to convert also started inhabiting the island.


Alcatraz was designed to break rebellious prisoners by putting them in a structured, monotonous routine until their release. Prisoners were given four basic things – food, clothing, shelter and medical care. Receiving 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.

Cell 14D, one of the ‘hole’ cells is believed by some to be very active with spirits. Visitors and employees have reported feeling a raw coldness and at times a sudden ‘intensity’ encompasses the cell. Tales have been told of an event in the 1940s, when a prisoner locked-in 14D screamed throughout the night claiming that a creature with glowing eyes was trying to kill him. The next day guards found the man strangled to death in the cell. No one ever claimed responsibility for the convict’s death, however the next day when doing head counts, the guards counted one too many prisoners. Some of the guards claimed seeing the dead convict in line with the other inmates, but only for a second before he vanished.

Alcatraz prison cell

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