Real Haunted Houses

Real Haunted House


San Francisco, California

Alcatraz, a harsh island prison deemed inescapable by its builders, was once home to a collection of our country’s most ruthless criminals. Today, it is haunted by some of the saddest spirits ever reported.

The island received its name after a Spanish explorer passed by and, noticing the amount of water fowl, called it “La Isla de los Alcatraces” (Island Of The Pelicans). Many years later, the government saw its potential as a strategic military position, and began construction of a large fortress. However, as weaponry became more modern, the need for such a place declined. Within a few decades, “The Rock” became obsolete.

Located offshore from San Francisco, the tiny island is constantly berated by splashes of freezing water and dangerously strong currents.  For this reason, the army recognized it as an ideal place for holding prisoners. It was first used for captives during the Civil and Spanish-American war, but by the 1920’s a large jailhouse had been built and filled with American criminals.

Made for the toughest of the tough, the environment of Alcatraz was unlike any previous prison. In fact, during the first few “silent years,” inmates were not allowed to talk or make noise of any kind except in short allotments. Cells were damp and empty, meals were 20 minutes long, and showers were only once a week. And that was if the prisoners behaved. Stories of torture began to circulate through the country, centered on two main methods of punishment. Those who committed major infractions were moved to the “Strip Cell,” a dark, steel-encased cell with no toilet or sink. As the name suggests, the prisoner would be stripped naked before entering. There they would be kept for 1-2 days, receiving food through an expanded opening in the bars.

The other feared penalty came in the form of five “hole” cells. These also lived up to the name-isolated, silent, and dark except for a single suspended light bulb. Inmates here were only given a substantial meal every third day, and were beaten often by the hardened guards.  Their screams could be heard throughout the entire block, which sometimes sparked fellow prisoners into making noise that then echoed all over the entire island. Worse yet, Alcatraz featured a dungeon where, on rare occasions, the worst offenders would be chained to a wall and subjected to the worst conditions of all.

With all of this, it’s not surprising the island has no shortage of unexplained spooks.  Even the infamous Al Capone has contributed; a park ranger once reported hearing banjo music coming from an empty room. While he could not explain it, those interested in Alcatraz’s secrets know that Capone’s sanity rapidly deteriorated in his last years there, resulting in his practicing the banjo in the shower room. Cell 14D, one of the “hole” cells, is described as having “a feeling of sudden intensity.”  It is also the coldest, no matter the outside temperature. The explanation can be found in an event reported in the 1940’s, where a prisoner started screaming almost immediately after entering the 14D hole. Shouts about a creature with “glowing eyes” were heard though the night. Come morning, guards opened the cell door to find the man dead, hand marks around his throat and a horrific expression on his face. Upon roll call days later, guards were surprised to count an extra. They caught sight of the strangled convict seconds before he vanished, and no one ever admitted to his murder.

Alcatraz was closed in 1963, but later reopened for touring and research. Those who visit claim to have heard sobbing, moaning, and gunshots with no explicable source.  Psychics and skeptics alike have witnessed strange happenings in Alcatraz, though maybe nothing stranger than what occurred when the building was still in use long ago.

184 comments on this haunted house. Share your story »


Leave a comment

Celeste says:

December 8, 2009, 6:26 pm

I believe Katie’s story because my house is some what haunted. Once I heard like little whispers in my ear and at first I thought that it was my sister because she likes to whisper before she comes upstairs but when I turned around and called my sister’s name no one answered me so then I heard my sister’s voice all the way downstairs. While I’m taking my shower I feel like I’m be watched but there is no one there but me. One time while I was sleeping I kept dreaming about my gradfather but then I found out what my dream meant. It meant that he wanted me to have a good life. My gradfather died on August 9 of this year and I am only 15 years so I’m a little afraid of being inside my house alone at night because that is when the things begin mostly.

Frank says:

December 25, 2009, 1:32 am

Went to Alcatraz back in 1992 with friends. We went on our own tour. We went to the end of a hall and either you go left or right my friends went right but because I saw a yellow tape across saying not to enter I went left. about 15 yards into the hall it was getting darker then about 20-30 yards my hair on my arms stood up I had a creepy feeling that someone was watching me and I felt cold. I felt so uncomfortable I turned and ran out of there. That happened on a Sat on Sun when we came back to L.A the was a special on Sightings a program back in the 90’s. The psychic was in the same place I was in he felt a presence and also felt cold. Yeah this place is haunted.


January 5, 2010, 7:06 pm

omg y would they spen da night there “common sense”!!!!!!!!???????????

Frank says:

January 12, 2010, 11:27 am

People are curious aren’t you? I mean just the fact that you saw something or heard something is enough. I’ve seen a dark misty cloud at a theater in Montebello , CA AMC theater then I found out it was haunted. The employees there name sthe ghost “Charlie”

Inmate1577 says:

February 15, 2010, 11:00 am

I worked at Alcatraz with the Park Service for 3 years and spent many a night on the island. The story that always comes up, in the net, print etc, is this story of the “green eyed” monster that supposedly drove an inmate to commit suicide in one of the solitary cells. That never happened and there is no record of any inmate committing suicide in that cell, I believe its #14…cant recall right off-hand. We’ve had “psychics” come to the island many times, most of which are frauds, others give vague information that cant be verified either way either true or false. We also have many ghost hunters come to the island and take thousands of dusty orb pics and say “GHOST”! I have audio recordings that are very interesting but I have shot video, film etc and most of the outcome cannot be concrete evidence of hauntings. Is Alcatraz haunted? You Bet! But these paranormal groups either want to see a ghost and will…or just never do any research prior to their visit.

Politically Correct says:

March 5, 2010, 3:00 pm

Please everybody contact congress for a bill that makes it a federal offence for a non-hispanic to speak spanish because it causes hispanics to think they’re being made fun of and they think it’s racist and it causes violent responses, if you have a comment please post me one.

Catalina Kylie says:

March 5, 2010, 7:12 pm

MY BLADDER WON’T CLOSE, OUCH!!!! It should be made a felony for anyone with incontinence to go out in public, and public urination in your pants should be a federal offense!

Frank says:

March 5, 2010, 11:07 pm

No record perhaps they don’t want the public to know the curious would but maybe it would not be good for tours. I watched Ghost Hunters but was dissapointed it should have been live none stop.

lilgirllovesu says:

June 23, 2010, 6:08 pm

dude im only 12 and im going 2 alkatraz tomorrow its going 2 b freaken awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lilgirllovesu says:

June 23, 2010, 6:09 pm

i’m only 12 and im going 2 alkatraz tomorrow its going 2 be freaken awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


September 11, 2010, 1:21 am

To Inmate1577
I want to spend the night on alcatraz. I want to hide until the last boat has left and in the morning just go back to the city with the first boat returning to the city. Can it be done? Is there someplace to hide and accomplish this? This is a life long dream of mine.

Inmate1577 says:

October 12, 2010, 2:45 pm

Yes you can hide on Alcatraz. But there is security on the island 24/7 and if you are caught, its a federal offense and min. 6 mos. in prison. Add to that, the cellhouse is locked down every night with no access.

Mac says:

October 12, 2010, 5:17 pm

I have spent the night on Alcatraz 2yrs ago. I’m lead investigator with a Paranormal investigation group, and was brought in to investigate the cell blocks stayed in D block and was allowed full access except for A block which is in very bad shape. We went into the dungeons under the cell blocks as well as the hospital. We filmed a shadow sitting on a cot 3rd level on Broadway as well as many unexplained EVPs it was an experience I will not soon forget!

inmate1577 says:

October 13, 2010, 7:34 am

I worked there for 3 yrs and I wont soon forget either!

The Enlightened One says:

October 25, 2010, 1:41 pm

You can stay the night in Alcatraz and many have done just that during the last 20 years or so. It is open for parties and also they had a stay over for a night when they came out with the movie with Sean Connery in it.

Yes it is haunted but it takes a lot of quiet time to get any evidence and you can’t do much on a day tour. Some people have seen Robert Stroud, (bird man) and have also felt his presence. He was supposedly able to manipulate people by just talking to them. The reason he was in solitary confinement was to keep the other inmates from rioting.

If you want to stay the night, contact the state of California Parks Dept.

I also agree with the poster complaining about the spelling errors on blogs these days, but what do you expect when over 40% of the teens don’t even graduate from High School. The population of the U.S. is dumbing down. Easier to control the masses now.

Inmate1577 says:

October 27, 2010, 10:09 am

Speaking of dumbing down, Alcatraz is NOT a state park, it is Federal so you need to contact the Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service or the Golden Gate Nat. Rec. Area. at Fort Mason. No one I know has ever reported seeing Robert Stroud and not anyone can just stay the night on the island. You have to apply for a permit first.

katherina says:

December 25, 2010, 7:28 am

i have been there and it is really freaky i have experianced chills all over my body and it was very unplesant i soon droped on the floor and was dragged into a cell i can not explain it and neither can the gaurds that were there i soon went to the lowest part of alcatraz and heard banggings on the cell i belive i was something supernatural and the prisoners are tring to ecape thier traps were they got traped


April 1, 2011, 6:17 pm

Hahaah. You said “traped”

Keke says:

April 21, 2011, 6:42 pm

Al Capone was a convict. He used to hang ouut with some kids intill he eventualy got caught. I know all this because there is a red book called “al capone does my shirts” and “al capone shines my shoes” read it. aand this did take place in alcatraz!


May 26, 2011, 8:54 pm

when i type this…no im not drunk!!! >_<
One person named Barney would only be crazy enough to go in that place!! I MEAN THAT PURPLE DINOSOUR GUY THAT SINGS ALOT!!!!!! …ONLY HE CAN HAVE THE SUPER POWERS OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP!!!!
He is our last and only hope to stop those mean ghosties from saying….boo! =_=
(. .)

virus wildwolf says:

May 26, 2011, 8:59 pm

ive heard of really and i mean really scary going ons at alcatraz. ive even heard of red evil eyed demons in cells and electronics running out of power on a full charge there is no way im going to spend the night there trust me im the wimp of our investgation team

avery says:

August 13, 2011, 10:08 pm

great i know im going to alcatraz beacuse i’ll get a lot of engry cause im related to the two men who escaped from alcatraz the anglin brothers they were distant cousins but since im related mabye i’ll get higher paranoraml insedents

Inmate1577 says:

October 26, 2011, 10:10 am

Its a federal offense with a minimum of 6mos in prison if you are caught on the island after it closes. Also there is 24/7 security on the island. My advice is ….dont.

julianna says:

November 14, 2011, 4:08 pm

I would stay in the night to see if its true:D

Armando says:

November 20, 2011, 4:44 am

You guys sound so dumb really random *** people can’t just walk up in a haunted place and be like its not haunted cause it is you just don’t know I would know about ghosts my dads house is haunted an old couple died and that house my dog dided in that house everytime I go over to my dads you’ll just barely hear little cries from my dog you’ll hear ppl walk around up the stairs in the upstairs living room at night ! Me and my friend did an evp session I asked “if anyone is here can you make a sound and or touch one of us ” ? Id say 10 seconds after that it felt like someone lightly ran there finger across the back of my neck so you have to encounter first before you say all this **** !

Sandra says:

January 19, 2012, 12:29 am

This game on the IPAd called Cauase of Death talks about a man who killed women on this island. His name is Brian Resler but undercover as “Eric Mills”. He’s called the “maskmaker” because he puts plaster over women’s faces! EEK!

Inmate1577 says:

February 16, 2012, 3:08 pm

There were no women killed on the Island, because there were no women who had any inmate contact on the Island. I love it when people “research” the internet, but have never bothered to research FACTUAL history of Alcatraz.

Michele says:

March 10, 2012, 6:38 pm

Just last weekend I visited Alcatraz and took the tour. As I was walking in the “Cutoff” area I was listening to the tape. For some reason no one else was with me and this was very unusual it was extremely crowd and a record day. As I walked to the middle of the hall I heard a whisper in my ear “Hey”. I felt freezing, but I just thought it was the old bldg. I tried to reply the tape over and over to see if it was on the tape and didn’t find anything. I just wrote it off as I overheard someone else conversation. Then at the end of the tour my husband and I was offered an exclusive tour to the physic ward which was off limits. When we walked into the “Birdmans” cell I heard “Hey” again. This freaked me out because everyone was in the room with me and no one else heard it. My be I am going crazy. It was quite the experience.

nicole says:

May 14, 2012, 5:15 pm

went there for my anniversery 🙂 creepy place. tour guide said only 7 people died there in the entire time it was open. BULLSHIT. there is a morgue. with two operation tables and a ‘cremation station’ if only 7 had died…why even have a morgue. ship them back to the mainland. also gaurds dropped 3 grenades in a holding cell. where about 20 inmates were supposidly standing waiting for chow…you can see where they exploded and there is blood everywhere. i caught many ‘orbs’ in pictures. mostly in the chow hall. where the knives were kept. …strangly enough lol. also on the dock 😉

Chris says:

December 25, 2012, 9:25 pm

My great aunt used to work there as a part-time nurse, and hated that place. I don’t believe all that ghost stuff although what happened there was true. The only scary thing there was the living conditions.

Nobody says:

July 23, 2013, 1:59 am

I wish I could stay the night there but your not aloud apparently. If I could I would live there and make friends with all spirits, and it wouldn’t be the first time. At my old house I had a spirit for a friend. I think her name was Elizabeth or something like that. I really miss her…

Nobody... says:

July 23, 2013, 2:18 am

I guess she committed suicide, I really don’t remember though. She went biolistic when my mom decided to move away. who would’ve thought she’d turn out to be a poltergeist! 😛

George H Freeman says:

October 15, 2013, 1:21 pm

I am a 63 yrs. old Native American male and a member of the American Indian Movement . I was out at Alcatraz for three weeks in 1970. I had traveled from Round Valley Indian Reservation in Mendocino County by hitch hiking Grey hound bus from Willits. I was really tired by the time I reached Alcatraz and it was near dark when I walked to back of main cell block. I was alone when I found a place to roll out my sleeping bag. I went to sleep and awoke to sounds of cell doors opening and closing, foot steps on the tiers in the pitch black dark. I rolled up my sleeping bag and boogied out of the main cell block with the foot steps and cell doors clanging. I never really seen anything but heard it. I talked with some other Indians and they all had experienced the same when trying to sleep in main cell block area. On the west end of Island facing the ocean there are small lime stone caves with initials, names from the 1860’s inscribed in walls and on heavy wooden doors that locked from outside. The man made caves aren’t very big and you get a eerie feeling when in them. I experienced these same eerie feelings of mental anguish in the main cell block also. I practice the old traditional ways of my ancestors and believe there is a spirit world. I feel these spirits or eerie vibes as well as see and hear things of the spirits who are with us on this earth.
This Indian reservation I live on has many spirits here. Some are good and some are bad. Massacres of 1000’s of area Indians was carried out by California final solution to ridding the area of Native people in the mid 1800’s. There was a Fort Wright here where many Indians, settlers and soldiers were hanged from the big oak trees also.

The Rising Storm says:

May 16, 2014, 3:09 pm

OMG, please just comment on what was posted, also, Alcatraz sounds rly scary!ð??¶

Leave a Comment

Name (required)

Email (will not be published) (required)


Please use correct grammar, capitalization, and punctuation. Let's try to keep this place looking classy.
Real Haunts reserves the right to remove any comment that does not adhere to this requirement or is otherwise
inappropriate. Any post containing a link will be flagged for moderation due to recent comment spam. Feel free
to include relevant links, but please know that it will delay your post.

About Real Haunts

Do you believe in the supernatural?

This is the best resource for haunted houses, spooky stories, ghostly tales and all things paranormal.


We have mountains of stories about ghosts, ghouls, and specters.


HomeStatesSubmit a Haunt


Copyright © 1998-2019

The Dumb Network LLC

Privacy Policy