Ghost Hunting at Alcatraz
Located in the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island has been home to a lighthouse, a military fortification, and a federal prison. Today, the island is operated as a national park by the National Park Service and is one of California’s top tourist destinations. But despite its popularity, there are still many mysteries surrounding Alcatraz…including the question of whether or not the island is haunted.
Alcatraz Island has been abandoned for over fifty years, but that doesn’t mean it’s uninhabited. Rumors abound of ghosts haunting the island, and whether you believe in them or not, a ghost hunt at Alcatraz is a unique and spooky experience. Here’s everything you need to know about hunting ghosts at The Rock.
The History of Alcatraz
In 1775, Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala became the first European to sail into what is now known as San Francisco Bay. He named the small island on which he landed “Isla de los Alcatraces” or “Island of the Pelicans.” Over the next century, Alcatraz would change hands several times between Spain, Mexico, and finally the United States. In 1859, construction began on a fortress on Alcatraz Island which was intended to protect San Francisco Bay from enemy ships during the American Civil War. However, the fort was never completed due to budget constraints.
In 1886, the U.S. government transferred ownership of Alcatraz to the Department of Justice with the intention of using it as a military prison. The prison housed some of America’s most notorious criminals including Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. In 1934, control over Alcatraz was transferred to the Federal Bureau of Prisons and it became a civilian prison. It remained in operation until 1963 when it was closed due to high maintenance costs and reports of inhumane conditions.
History of Ghosts at Alcatraz
Alcatraz Island was first inhabited by Native Americans, who called it “The Rock.” It was later turned into a military fortification, and then became a federal prison in 1934. The prison was only in operation for 29 years, but during that time, it housed some of America’s most notorious criminals, including Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. Due to the brutal conditions at Alcatraz, there were dozens of attempted escapes; many inmates were caught, but some disappeared without a trace and were presumed dead. It’s these missing inmates whose ghosts are said to haunt the island today.
Reports of paranormal activity on the island date back to the 1950s, when native tribes began holding ceremonies there again. Since then, hundreds of people have reported seeing ghosts, hearing strange noises, and feeling uneasy on the island. There are even reports of tourists being chased by ghosts! Whether you believe in ghosts or not, a visit to Alcatraz is sure to give you the chills.
How to Go Ghost Hunting on Alcatraz
If you’re interested in going ghost hunting on Alcatraz, there are a few things you need to know. First, book your tour in advance; tickets always sell out quickly. Second, wear comfortable shoes; you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Third, bring a sweater or jacket; it gets cold on the island, even in summer. Finally, be respectful; this is a place with a lot of history, and it should be treated with respect.
There are two ways to go ghost hunting on Alcatraz: during the day or at night. Daytime tours are led by park rangers and last about three hours. These tours focus on the history of the island and don’t include any ghost hunting. If you want to go ghost hunting, you’ll need to take the nighttime tour.
Nighttime tours are led by paranormal investigators and last about four hours. These tours include use of EMF meters and dowsing rods, as well as access to parts of the island that are normally off-limits during daytime tours. Keep in mind that these tours do not guarantee that you will see a ghost; however, they’re a fun way to learn about the history of Alcatraz while getting a glimpse into the world of paranormal investigation.
A visit to haunted Alcatraz Island is sure to be a unique experience! Whether you’re interested in its history or its ghosts, make sure to book your tour in advance and dress for cold weather. Who knows—you may just see a ghost!