Haunted Histories Part 3: Alcatraz

To continue my 4 part series on haunted locations to visit, I would have to give Number 3 to Alcatraz. One of the reasons that I chose this place for my list is the extensive history of this island. As Fort Alcatraz it was home to Civil War soldiers, prisoners, and was also used as a lighthouse.
Between 1934 and 1963, Alcatraz is most widely known because of its time as a Federal Prison. During this period it saw its share of famous inmates such as Al Capone, “Machine Gun” Kelly, and the “Birdman of Alcatraz” Robert Stroud.
In 1969 Alcatraz was occupied by Native Americans for about two years after the government turned down their request to turn Alcatraz into a Native American cultural center and school. There are still reminders of this occupation around the island today.


Alcatraz just off of the Ferry
 As I poured through the websites for things to do in San Francisco this tour ranked as one of the most popular, and it was something that both my husband and myself always wanted to see. One suggestion that I have is if you are planning a trip ahead of time to get tickets as soon as possible; these tours sell out quickly. I think we booked our tour a few months in advance and all they had left were tickets for the day tour.
I’m really glad that we did get to do this tour on our trip because we were able to see more of the outer buildings than during the night tour. The tickets are booked by time selection so that they can ferry you over to the island. As long as you leave on the last boat, you can spend as much time there as you want.

Once you step onto Alcatraz island, a tour guide takes you up to the main building. During our walk, we stopped at different locations along the way; the Warden’s house and the Morgue for example. While we were there, restorations were taking place on some of the buildings because of damage from weather and salt water.


As you’re exploring the facility, the audio tour does a good job of guiding you to the different locations while you listen to personal accounts from previous inmates. It’s kind of like being thrown back in time to when the prison was up and running.


With the riots, failed escape attempts, and multiple deaths there is no doubt why this island is considered haunted.
Alcatraz Island at Night
Not long after visiting San Francisco for the first time, I found myself traveling back for a work function. Since we had the evenings off I was fortunate enough to book the night tour of Alcatraz. This time we weren’t able to tour the buildings around the main structure, but the hospital ward (which wasn’t included in the day tour) was open to us. Being there as the sun was setting cast an eerie feeling over everything. You could hear the sounds of cars and people projecting from across the bay, and the dimming light allowed us to experience what it would’ve been like for the inmates at night.
“Broadway” at night
One of the most unique aspects of the night tour, was the option of being locked in a solitary confinement cell with a small group of visitors. As we filed in, I made my way to the back so that I could stand as close to the wall as possible. The whole time we were locked in I couldn’t help feeling like there was someone behind me in the pure darkness of the cell.
Due to the time of our tour we didn’t have long to stay in the hospital ward, but I felt that this was by far the creepiest place in the entire structure.


After reviewing the pictures that I took of the hospital, I came across one that I believe has an orb in it, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide. Here are two pictures I took, one right after the other.
Alcatraz is a unique place to visit, and if you are ever in San Francisco I highly recommend that you book a tour to this island. If possible, book both the day and night tours to get the full perspective of what life was like on “The Rock”.
View of San Francisco from Alcatraz

4 thoughts on “Haunted Histories Part 3: Alcatraz

Add yours

  1. I never knew how creepy Alcatraz looked, or how many buildings were actually on the island. This made me interested in checking it out more. Thanks!


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