What do we reckon about.... haunted Alcatraz?

My wife, Debi and I visited Alcatraz twice, during a lovely summer trip to San Francisco and Hawaii.  Our first visit was during the day, and it felt like a typical tourist's stroll around a place holding great historical interest. I remember going into the dining area, where we encountered a pretty strong smell of scrambled eggs. We both wondered if it was possible for the breakfast-style smell to be entrenched in the walls for so long - I guess it could be. The shower room also felt strange, but you knew from the audio tour that some pretty unsavoury things happened down there.

Our second visit was in the evening, and it felt.... a completely different place.

I took my camcorder - that's me there, facing some cells. The boat ride from Pier 33 was the same as the daytime trip, as was the audio tour, except I didn't listen so much, second time around. Even though it was bright outside, and the internal lights were on, the place quickly felt a bit intimidating.

At about 8:50, the Sun was down, and it was fast getting dark. We were told that the boat would be departing at 9:30. The other tourists left pretty quickly, heading for the shop at the bottom of the hill. The uniformed staff slammed a few doors shut, and retreated to the entrance lobby, leaving Debi and I in there - alone.

We walked around the place for a few minutes, in silence. It began to feel rather menacing, all of a sudden. We reached the door to the exercise yard, at the back. It had been left open, and we peered into the gloom beyond. Debi didn't want to go through, even though she had cavorted around out there like a schoolgirl, during the daytime tour. We took the plunge, and walked down the steps. You can see the wonderful night-time San Francisco shoreline in the distance, and the electrifying Golden Gate Bridge. But during a single circuit of the yard, Debi constantly begged me to go back inside. To be honest, I heard a few unusual sounds out there, seemingly movement of some sort, but I convinced myself that in all probability, there was a natural explanation.

We went back inside, to the infamous punishment Cell Block D. We stood there for a while, and I must say, it started to feel pretty awful. But I was determined to visit the notorious haunted cell 14. I went inside, through a big heavy door, and two sets of gates. With the camcorder running, I closed the gates, and sat on a bunk to the right. Even with the heavy door partially open, it sure is dark at the back of that cell. I asked Debi to close the door on me, but she couldn't do it.

I spent a few minutes in there, looking around, and chatting away. Every so often, Debi implored me to come out, as she was getting more and more scared, out in the open block, on her own. Eventually, she did leave the block, and waited in the library next door. Now I was truly alone. I heard a couple of sounds, like faint low sighs, but I guess they could have been extraneous. But then a fluttering sound started, and went across the ceiling, from the inside gate to the back wall. A few seconds later, it went back across the ceiling, to the gate.

I looked around the cell for an explanation. I didn't find one. Alcatraz is of course known for its birds and bats, they fly in through the broken windows all the time. Could a small creature have been in there with me, maybe a bat that took up residence the night before? The problem was that the gates were closed, and even if such a creature could have flown between the narrow bars, why didn't I notice it flying out, towards the lit cell block beyond?

I joined Debi in the library, pretty soon after that. She was anxious to leave, and I must admit, the library had an eerie atmosphere, like someone was keeping tabs on you, from behind the bookshelves. We walked a bit quicker than normal down the hill, to the waiting boat. When we eventually got back to England, the camcorder had picked up the sighs and fluttering.

So is Alcatraz haunted? It might well be. I certainly wouldn't recommend going there at night....

If you enjoyed reading this, try my post on the haunted Hotel Thirty Thirty, http://stevestonechat.blogspot.com/2011/06/steve-stones-chat.html

Also, please take a look at my series of sci-fi adventure novels, at http://steven-stone.blogspot.com/.

For further information on my novel 'Intrepid', a top 100 Kindle bestseller in science fiction, military and war, see;
Premise - http://stevestonechat.blogspot.com/2011/06/premise-for-novel-intrepid.html
Review - http://stevestonechat.blogspot.com/2011/06/review-of-novel-intrepid-by-martin-ince.html

For further information on the sequel 'Intrepid - The Two Storms', see;
Premise - http://stevestonechat.blogspot.com/2011/06/premise-for-novel-intrepid-two-storms.html
Review - http://stevestonechat.blogspot.com/2011/06/martin-ince-review-of-novel-intrepid.html

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