(Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary)

(The Rock)

San Francisco Bay

(415) 561-4900

Status: Former Military Base, Former Military Prison, Former Federal Penitentiary, Formerly Abandoned, National Recreation Area



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All Photos Courtesy of Kim H


Often referred to as “The Rock” this small island located 1.5 miles off the coast of San Francisco in the bay has had many has had many uses including a lighthouse, a military fort, a military prison and a federal maximum security prison.

The island is now operated by the National Parks Service and day and night tours are given from a ferry departing from Pier 33 in San Francisco Harbor.

The island now contains the abandoned prison, the oldest lighthouse on the west coast of the United States, ruins of military fortifications and a seabird colony.


Paranormal Activity

During the day Alcatraz is filled with tourists and guides but when the sun goes down the island becomes what has been described as one giant haunted house.

The utility corridor leading from the visitor’s room where two prisoners were killed by machine guns and grenades during a failed escape attempt in 1946 has become one of the locations of focused activity. Clanging noises have often been heard that stop immediately when the door is opened; in fact, this door was welded shut for a period of time possibly due to this activity.

Sounds of man running on the upper levels in the main cell block have been heard. Voices and screams have been heard coming the dungeon and the hospital ward. Cell 14D has been found to be constantly much colder than other cells as well as an overwhelming feeling of anxiety is felt inside the cell.

When the prison was open a prisoner was found dead in cell 14D after screaming about seeing something with glowing eyes that was in there with him and kept attacking him. A few days after the incident guards doing a head count saw the dead man at the end of the line up before he disappeared right before their eyes.

The sound of banjo music has been heard coming from the shower room where “Al Capone” used to be allowed to practice fearing that his instrument would be broken if he took it into the exercise yard.

All manner of other paranormal activity has been reported in this location over the years including: apparitions of prisoners and soldiers; sounds of crying, moaning and gunshots; light anomalies; cold and warm spots; mysterious mists and phantom smells including that of smoke from the laundry room.