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The prison of Alcatraz


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Scary vibes at the legendary prison of Alcatraz

Published by Charlotte Mullender — 2 years ago

Normally I always like to write about nice and scenery places that I enjoyed the sight of or where you can do great things at. This article is about a little bit something else: the Alcatraz prison. Not really a place you want to spend your holidays or that is really great to look at. It is more of a little bit frightening thing, but nevertheless a very interesting placeto visit.

Scary vibes at the legendary prison of Alcatraz

The Alcatraz prison is situated in California, more precisely on the same named island of Alcatraz, two kilometres off the shore of San Francisco. It is often referred to as “the Rock”, as the prison pretty much sits on a big rock surrounded by the cold and dark water of the pacific ocean. Until 1963 it was a high security Federal prison, today it is a museum and visited by hundreds of tourists every day. To reach the island you can take a ferry from the Pier 33 close to the Fisherman’s dwarf of San Francisco. The entrance to the museum comes together with the ferry ride and costs a little more than 30€. There is no special time limit, so you can pretty much stay as long as you want during the time of the ferry transfers (normally from 9am to 6:30pm).

Once arrived on the island you will probably get a little spooky feeling (at least I did), this place is quite scary, especially when you visit in during bad weather like I did. And even in good weather it is a very cold place, from where after an interesting visit, you are just glad to leave again. Most parts of the prison have been restored and maintained, although it doesn’t change anything about the fact that it looks quiet run-down, but I guess that is the way it needs to be, to guard the uncomfortable prison atmosphere. You can visit the corridors, the cells, the dining halls, the visitor’s room and many other parts of the prison. The cells are really small, furnished very primitive and didn’t offer any privacy at all. There were four different Blocksin the jail, divided into categories, like for example African American inmates, or one just reserved for the worst of the worst, where they had different special cells, where a harder punishment was waiting for those who didn’t behave.

Scary vibes at the legendary prison of Alcatraz

When you enter the museum, there is a picture that says “Break the rules and you go to prison, break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz. ” Alcatraz was known to hold those prisoners that were causing troubles in normal prisons. The inmates here were the worst and ruthless criminals of the United States, under them famous names like the mafia boss Al Capone. Alcatraz has a legendary name, known to be one of the toughest prisons worldwide and as absolutely “escape proof”.

Scary vibes at the legendary prison of Alcatraz

Although not few of them tried to escape. And this was definitely the most thrilling part of Alcatraz to me: the stories about people trying to escape, and even better, those that might have made it! Over the 29 years the prison had inmates, 36 tried to escape. Officially it is not known of anybody who successfully escaped. Most of them were caught, some shot or drowned during the escape, but from five inmates, they didn’t find any evidence of death, leading to numerous legends about the putative escapes. The escapes were most of the time attempted in groups, during which the prisoners sometimes made intricate plans during weeks, leading to spectacular escape attempts.

When you visit the Alcatraz prison you can order an audio guide, which is something I can highly recommend you. During the audio presentation you are not just guided through the different parts of the prison, but the texts are spoken by voices of officers and inmates, making the experience seem even more real. They tell you all the facts about the prison and the island and tell you about stories of famous inmates and escape attempts, sometimes giving you goose bumps.

Scary vibes at the legendary prison of Alcatraz

A visit at Alcatraz is definitely a very interesting and informative experience, although it can be a little bit uncomfortable on this island, as it seems a little bit like a haunted place. For those who are brave enough they even offer special night tours. Although I guess that is just something for the really tough ones, as for me already during the daytime this place is scary enough!

After all it is a very thrilling experience and a topic that, also after coming back from my holidays in San Francisco had occupied me, wanting to read articles and see films, just to know more about the legendary Alcatraz prison and its famous escape attempts. Definitely a must-seeif you are in San Francisco!

Scary vibes at the legendary prison of Alcatraz

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