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Haunted Prisons: Alcatraz II

By Yona Williams    12/7/11

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Al Capone was one of the most famous inmates of the prison and his spirit is believed to still haunt the island prison. In this article, you will learn about other paranormal activity known to happen at the prison, such as haunted cell blocks and weird noises.

The Spirit of Al Capone

Capone spent his last years at Alcatraz, which weren’t very pleasant. He was suffering from the effects of untreated syphilis, which made his overall health quite poor. To pass the time, the ex-gangster joined the prison band and started playing the banjo. Capone feared that someone would try to kill him if he spent time in the 'yard' with other inmates; so he received permission to spend recreation time practicing his banjo in the shower room.

A park ranger claims to have heard banjo music coming from the shower room. The ranger was not familiar with the history of the prison and had no clue why the sound would be heard. He started to document the strange event. He was not the only one to hear the banjo music – other employees and some visitors reported hearing the sound of a banjo from within the prison walls.

Cell 14D

Cell 14D was one of the 'hole' cells that is suspected of lots of spirit activity. Visitors and employees have reported to feel a raw coldness and sudden intense sensations when around the cell. During the 1940s, an inmate that was locked in the cell kept screaming throughout the night that a creature with glowing eyes was killing him. The next day, the guards found the inmate had been strangled to death in the cell.

No one claimed responsibility for the death of the man, but while doing a head count on the next day, the guards counted one too many prisoners and some of the guards believed that they had come in contact with the ghost of a dead convict that was still in line with the other inmates. He appeared briefly because supposedly vanishing seconds later.

Haunted Cell Blocks

When visitors come to cell blocks A, B and C, they claim to experience strange happenings. Some say that cellblocks A and B is where unexplainable crying and moaning is heard. One time, a psychic visited the C Block and believed they came across an unsettled spirit named Butcher. When looking at old prison records, it was proven that an inmate in C Block was murdered by another. His name was Abie Maldowitz and he was a mob hitman that had the nickname of the 'Butcher.'

Other Paranormal Activity

Other paranormal reports associated with Alcatraz include the guards detecting the scent of smoke even though no fire burned. Unexplainable sounds and noises have been known to take place at the prison. In some locations of the prison, unexplained cold spots are felt. Reports of ghost sightings are documented, which range from former prisoners to military personnel. Whenever ghost hunters and psychics have visited Alcatraz, they have reported that certain parts of the island and the prison just don’t feel right and could be haunted.

Today, visitors take a ferry ride from Pier 33 (close to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco). Alcatraz is still as famous as ever – lingering in movies, TV shows, comics, and games.

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