Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, looming like a crypt off the coast of San Francisco, California, is infamous as one of the most haunted sites in the United States.
Alcatraz was active as a federal prison from 1934-1963, and was home to about 1,545 unwilling men during that time.
Updated 9/19/2019 – Twenty-eight prisoners died on the island, with eight murdered by their fellow inmates and five more committing suicide.
With so many tumultuous souls confined in such a tight space, it’s no wonder that ghost sightings and other paranormal activity on Alcatraz are so commonplace.
By the very definition of the place, everyone there had unfinished business on the mortal plane, whether it was to enjoy freedom and see their families, or seek revenge on those responsible for their predicament.
Nobody dies at peace in prison.
Alcatraz is widely known for otherworldly sights and sounds.
Ghostly clangs, footsteps, screams, and even clanking chains frequently reverberate through the concrete halls.
Perhaps most alarmingly for its seeming innocence, the twanging sounds of a banjo can sometimes be heard from the shower room.
Notorious gangster Al Capone, incarcerated in Alcatraz for years, was a known aficionado of the instrument, and frequently practiced in the showers.
One of the most baffling ghost sightings on the island occurred just recently, in April 2014.
British tourists Sheila Sillery-Walsh and her partner Paul Rice were vacationing in San Francisco and took a self-guided audio tour of the island facility.
While exploring the visitation room, where prisoners could be visited by family members and loved ones, Sheila casually took a cellphone photo of the viewing window.
It wasn’t until she checked the photo later that she noticed she wasn’t alone.
Who is the ghostly woman staring through the window?
She appears to be dressed in the style of the 1930s or 1940s.
Could this be a girlfriend of Scarface himself, waiting decades for her man to come put down the banjo and come to the window?
Sheila and Paul quickly returned to the visitation room and inspected the window.
Unsurprisingly, there wasn’t a trace of the mysterious woman.
This may be yet another mystery of “Devil’s Island”, as the prison was nicknamed, that goes unsolved.