Nicknamed “The Rock,” Alcatraz can be found in the state of San Francisco. The prison on the island is officially named Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. It’s one of the most haunted places in the Bay Area and the country’s most haunted prison.

Is Alcatraz Haunted?

Alcatraz Island and the prison have been the home of infamous gangsters, hardened criminals, and yes, you guessed it – ghosts! The prison is rumored to be haunted by the people imprisoned within its cells. There are feelings of loss of freedom, fear, regret, and anger.

See Also: The Most Haunted Hotels in San Francisco

Alcatraz Ghosts

One of the most feared entities in the former prison is “The Thing.” The Thing has glowing eyes, and the inmates and the guards have supposedly seen it. There have been reports of disembodied voices, putrid smells, sobbing, and banging metal doors.

Being a high-security prison, anger, grief, and death aren’t strangers to Alcatraz. Jacob Unger and Daniel Pewter are two of the first to die in prison. They passed away in a landslide while doing some excavation work.

There was also an incident in the part of the prison, which is referred to as “The Cell.” It’s in Cell Block D, where inmates who tried to break the rules were kept. They would be stripped naked and held in a cold cell where they had access to just the basics. Mattresses were only given at night and promptly taken away in the morning.

A guard reported that there was a figure haunting the block. The apparition had been seen numerous times, and several people have claimed to have been attacked by a man with glowing eyes.

On one occasion, a prisoner screamed and claimed he was being attacked throughout the night. The guards ignored him, thinking he was hallucinating or just trying to aggravate them.

After screaming for some hours in the night, he finally fell silent. When guards opened the cell in the morning, they found the man dead, and there were visible hand-prints on his throat.

Psychics that have visited the prison have reported cold spots; sudden emotional outbursts while in the building; apparitions that claimed they had been abused; and other traces that point to ghosts and spirits in unrest.

The American gangster, Al Capone, lived some of his later years in Alcatraz. He lived in fear of a ghost named Jimmy throughout his time incarcerated here. Whether it was his deteriorating mental state or a real haunting is unknown.

The ghost of Al Capone himself haunts the shower area, where he would often play his banjo in peace away from other prisoners.

Alcatraz Prison History

Alcatraz is a Spanish word for the Island of Pelicans. Originally an island prison was built here during the American Civil War, and it was called “The Citadel” back then. The Citadel served as both military defense and prison. However, it collapsed, and the current jail was built on its remains.

When it was still in operation, it had full-blown security, and because of the tight security, only one person has ever escaped it and made it to the San Francisco mainland, John Paul Scott.

He escaped in 1962 and was so exhausted from his swim from the island that the two boys who found him thought he was trying to commit suicide. They called the police to report the apparent suicide, and he was promptly arrested and sent back to prison.

The prison had a horrific execution punishment. Executions were carried out via hanging and the electric chair. Alcatraz housed some of the most notorious criminals in the world, including Al Capone.

A guard was murdered in the 1930s, and two died during the ill-fated 1946 escape attempt. Five prisoners committed suicide, and at least twelve died trying to escape.

Find Haunted Hotels Near You!