When you think of Alcatraz, you may envision the former maximum-security prison that once served as a military stockade. Today, tours are given of the area, which is now considered a historic site, managed by the National Park Service. Once nicknamed “The Rock,” this site has contained negative vibes and sadness within its walls before it became the well-known, remote prison that no one could escape. The site is considered to have been haunted for many, many years.
Hundreds of years before the prison was built on this small island, Native American Indians who lived in the area did not dare set foot within because they believed that the place was filled with “evil spirits.” When the Spaniards visited the island, they called the area The Island of the Pelicans. Throughout the 19th century, the United States decided to build a military fortress on the site. The structure was built upon the blood, sweat, tears and lives of many men.
It wasn’t until August of 1861 that Alcatraz was regarded as an operating military fortress and detention center. The years would pass and Alcatraz became the final destination of a variety of characters, including Indian chiefs, confederate soldiers, German prisoners-of-war, as well as an array of infamous criminals. Some former prisoners at Alcatraz include bank robber, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, as well as the well-known Al Capone. Many of those who were incarcerated within this site, met an unimaginable death under brutal living conditions, creating an assortment of twisted, lost, angry souls. It is said that many are still trapped within the prison.
Alcatraz was shut down in 1963, leaving it empty and abandoned for six years. It is now the responsibility of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Park service rangers and tour participants have plenty of intriguing accounts of their experiences while in the presence of what they describe as a “gloomy,” “disturbing” and “depressing” sight.
Tales involving the opening and closing of iron cell doors; crashing and banging sounds, as well as the ear piercing screams of what is thought to be phantom prisoners. There have been many reports of a feeling of being watched while participating in the tour of the prison.
There have been claims of a strong energy felt within some of the individual cellblocks. The D block of cells has been visited by a variety of psychics who believe that this area contains the most wicked energy. This is where solitary confinement prisoners were kept. D block is described as being dark, damp and chilly. There are 14 cells in this block, measuring 4×8 in size. Cells 9 to 14 in the D block were given the nickname of “The Hole.” This area was known to be void of windows or lights. The only light that was in this area came from a dim flicker located in the exterior hallway. Whether or not the light stayed on was up to the guards, who usually opted for the prisoners in this area to be subjected to complete darkness.
D block prisoners were exposed to routine beatings and torture while stripped of all of their clothing. Many would die of starvation or exposure during their stay in this area of D block. Some were allowed to leave their cells once during the week in order to take a 10-minute shower, but many never made it that far to experience it.
D block is comprised of six cells with cell 14D considered to the darkest. It possesses an eerie coldness that disturbs the bravest visitor. If you take a thermometer to measure the temperature of this particular cell, you will find it to be about 20-30 degrees cooler that the other cells in the area. Those who actually bring themselves to step inside cell 14D can feel the feeling of sadness and hopelessness. For those who have braved the task, they have reported to feel odd sensations on their legs and arms.
Cell 14D has claimed many lives throughout the prison’s existence. One of the oddest tales surrounding the cell, deals with a former prison guard who worked at the prison in the 40s. During this time, this guard and his followers found pleasure in the suffering of their prisoners. They told tales of a ghost roaming the D block looking for inmates that it could possess, torture and destroy during the night. The spirit was described as being a former inmate who passed away in D block in the late 1800s. The guard recalled a time when an inmate in cell 14D was screaming uncontrollably one night and would not stop when told. He soon became silent and in the morning, the guard found him dead in his cell. Handprints were found on his throat. The autopsy revealed that the man died of “non-self-inflicted strangulation.”