The Dark Side of San Francisco: Why is Alcatraz So Haunted?

Alcatraz prison is often called one of the most haunted places in the world, but why?

Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Arthur “Doc” Barker all spent time in Alcatraz, as did many other notorious criminals of their time.

Want to know who still haunts the empty cells of Alcatraz and where you should go to meet their restless spirits? Keep reading.

Why is Alcatraz Haunted?

Alcatraz was built to break the spirits of even the most rebellious criminals.

In 1933, the US government decided to open a maximum-security, minimum-privilege prison to deal with the worst criminals of all time.

Inmates who broke one the prison’s many rules would be punished by being sent to what was known as the “strip cell.”

Before entering the strip cell, the prisoners were stripped naked.

The cell had no mattress, no sink, and no lights, of course.

The only toilet? A hole in the ground.

The dark steel room removed what was left of hope and humanity in the criminals who earned a stay there.

Therefore, it’s no surprise some of their spirits can’t move on from the experience and from the Alcatraz Island itself.

Could one of their ghosts still be hanging around there, too?

How to Meet The Ghosts of Alcatraz

The best way to learn about the haunted history of a place is to jump right in and see it for yourself, right?

1. Visit Cell 14D

Cell 14D is one of the cells that prisoners were sent to as punishment.

Visitors often report feeling raw coldness enveloping the room, like more than one spirit is still present there.

In the 1940s, a man actually died in cell 14D.

The guards found him strangled on the floor of his room.

Rumor has it, the night before his death, he kept screaming that a creature with glowing eyes was trying to kill him.

If that doesn’t scare you, go ahead and explore the cell yourself!

2. Take a walk through Cell Blocks A, B, and C

This is where Alcatraz visitors frequently hear crying and moaning.

In addition to that, a psychic reported encountering a malevolent spirit named Butcher here.

Want to guess what the prison records show? A man nicknamed Butcher was assassinated here back in the 1940s.

3. Listen for banjo music in the showers

Al Capone, the infamous American gangster, spent his last years in Alcatraz strumming along with the prison’s banjo band.

Due to fearing that he would be killed if he dared to play the banjo out in the open, he resolved to practice it in the showers.

Some say they can still hear the banjo music playing there on occasion… Can you?

The Wild SF Experience

Alcatraz Island will certainly give you the chills, but it’s not the only creepy place in San Francisco.

Did you know San Francisco is actually one of the most haunted cities in the United States?

In our Haunted San Francisco Ghost Tour, we take you on an unforgettable journey through the streets of San Francisco to show you why.

Our haunted tour has been known to stir up some restless spirits, so if you are in the mood for a ghostly encounter, come join us!

Ready to discover the dark side of San Francisco?

Book a tour now.