The Hauntings of Alcatraz

English General

Located in San Francisco Bay with a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown San Francisco, you’ll find perhaps the most famous prison in the world. Alcatraz, nicknamed “The Rock”, was originally known as “La Isla de los Alcatraces” or “The Island of the Pelicans” because of its appearance as a barren white rock. The white was caused by pelican droppings, hence the name. It served as a lighthouse, then a military fortification, then a military prison followed by a federal prison until 1963, when it became a national recreation area. Today it is maintained by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and nearly a million visitors per year stop by to check the place out. The island, believed to be an evil place by Native Americans, has seen centuries of death from accidents, murders, and suicides. With this dark history, it’s no wonder Alcatraz is said to be one of the most haunted places in the nation. If ghosts return to haunt the places where they suffered traumatic experiences when they were alive, then Alcatraz must be bursting at the seams with spirits. For years there have been reports of mysterious happenings on Alcatraz Island. These reports come from visitors, former guards, former prisoners, and national park service employees. From the original lighthouse reappearing on occasion to clanging, screaming, and sobbing, there are too many tales to put into this short article. It would definitely take a book to tell them all. Some of the strange occurences are recounted in the following paragraphs. The Lighthouse – There have been several reports that on foggy nights the old lighthouse, built in 1854 and torn down after it was damaged in the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake, will suddenly appear, accompanied by an eerie whistling sound and a flashing green light that makes its way slowly around the island and then vanishes as suddenly as it appears. The Grounds – Many guards and park rangers have reported experiencing unexplainable crashing sounds, cell doors mysteriously closing, unearthly screams, and intense feelings of being watched. A number of guards from 1946 through 1963 experienced something out of the ordinary at one time or another. There have been reports of sounds of sobbing and moaning, horrible smells, phantom cannon shots, gun shots, and screams. Once in a while, groups of phantom prisoners and soldiers appear in front of startled guards, guests, and…

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