San Francisco, CA

San Francisco. What you need to know if you want to visit Alcatraz.

Barbara Fava

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The cell of BirdmanDylanstours

Some of the oldest and most haunted places in America are the prisons that have been abandoned.

The history of Alcatraz Island is filled with stories from alleged supernatural encounters to escapes by inmates, many of which are still unproven to this day.

The tours offer a glimpse into what life on this infamous island was like for those who lived there.

Alcatraz Island is not for the faint-hearted.

The former prison island, made legendary by guests like Al Capone, is considered the number one haunted place in the United States; and one in the top ten in the world.

Alcatraz Island is still considered "off-limits" for a reason.

The prison became operational in 1934 and was home to some of the most notorious names in America's criminal history.

The island was damaged by a massive 6.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of California on August 22, 1989.

It continued to serve as a maximum-security prison until 1963 when it became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is currently open to visitors.

Though the prison was closed in 1963, inmates made quite a story with their escapes from there.

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What Al Capone Was Up to in AlcatrazFBI/U.S. Bureau of Prisons

Visitors can see what the island would have looked like during that period, exploring various locations on the island.

The National Park Service attempts to maintain information on Alcatraz's history, its access for the public, and the general tour.

You can purchase a ticket through several travel companies.

These companies even offer "Alcatraz" tours that include stops at other famous locations in San Francisco like Fisherman's Wharf and The Presidio.

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Fisherman’s WharfDylanstours

Fancy some paranormal activity?

Due to the island's natural isolation, many say it is the perfect storm for paranormal activity.

The island has one of the largest collections of Native American burial grounds.

Some people who have tried to enter these areas claim their feet were glued to the ground or thrown back as if electrostatically charged.

A former guard is even said to have experienced this on a nightly basis.

One visitor claimed his body was physically thrown out of his boat by a horrible feeling of dread and anxiety as he entered the waters around Alcatraz Island on a calm day.

Though there have been no deaths reported on Alcatraz Island since its closing in 1963, visitors often report having an unexplained fear while touring this site.

The Prison Hospital and the old Cell House.

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The HospitalJan Stürmann

The most haunted locations on Alcatraz are the basement of the prison hospital and the old cell house.

Though this is an "off-limits" location to most visitors, many who have made this trek claim that they could hear screams of inmates coming from the cells and banging on doors.

Some say it felt as if they were being chased by someone or something.

Also reported are cold spots in several areas, unusual knocking sounds, disorientation, and feelings of being watched.

One visitor even reported having an odd encounter with a Native American chief who told him to "leave the island" through a ghostly apparition.

The island's lighthouse keeper has also been reported seen in the lighthouse.

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The lighthouse.Dylanstours

During a full moon, strange shadows are said to move around behind the windows of the prison.

The water surrounding Alcatraz Island is also said to be haunted, but not in a threatening way.

Some people have reported seeing bodies of people floating on the water near this island and vanishing into thin air once approached.

Others claim that they have seen strange lights and even people rowing boats at night.

Al Capone

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Al Capone playing the banjo in Alcatraz9gag

Perhaps the most famous tale of haunted Alcatraz Island is that of Al Capone.

Many people report feeling the presence of this notorious criminal during their visit, even saying they could feel his breath on the back of their necks.

A visitor even claimed that a security officer told her about a woman who visited Alcatraz Island for many years.

She was said to have her picture taken around the cell that The Scarface was being held in; every time she visited.

One day, she returned to find out that not only had her camera not worked, but there was no film in it either.

The guard told her, "Al didn't want you to have your picture taken."

Well, Al Capone may dislike photos, but we love a spooky tour!

Enjoy your visit to Alcatraz, and do not forget to share this article!

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Italian as the espresso and currently based in Belgium, born in 1986 in Milan, I work as a communication specialist, a blogger as well as a professional sports announcer, mainly for motocross and freestyle motocross. I post about beauty, fashion, lifestyle, and travels. I have been living in Los Angeles and Mexico City until 2019, where I worked as a stunt woman, to relocate then back to Europe.

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