Alcatraz. The most notorious prison in the world. Sure, largely because of movies like “The Rock” and “Escape From Alcatraz”, but still, the island has housed some pretty vicious criminals, such as Al Capone, Machine-Gun Kelly, Mickey Cohen, Whitey Bulger, and many more. Part of its legend and lasting appeal in the imagination of its 1.5 million yearly tourists is due to the claim that during its 29 years running, no one ever successfully escaped.
Note: I said “successfully”. Multiple felons died during the attempts which is probably part of why so many supernatural legends have sprung up around the location. The other part being the Native Americans who used to deport and bury their criminals and psychologically unstable tribe members there who claimed it was full of evil spirits. Either way, serious fodder for ghost stories.
Despite officials claiming the place is all just brick and mortar with nary a trace of ectoplasm in sight, there have been no shortage of ‘ghostly’ experiences reported over the years by rangers, prisoners, and tourists. Claims of strange occurrences run into the hundreds; the tales of spectral whispering, floating lights, cold spots, glowing red eyes in the dark and many more will almost certainly send a chill or two down your spine. But no one has gotten a snap-shot of any spectral visitors…until now.
Sheila Sillery-Walsh, a British tourist visiting the island with her partner, was snapping shots inside the prison (as ya do). When she took a shot of the empty visitation window, this (above) is what showed up on her camera. “When I glanced at the photo on my mobile, I saw this dark female figure in the picture. I looked at the window again and there was no-one in the room. I knew straight away that the woman in the photo was a ghost and showed the snap to Paul. From that point onwards, I wasn’t interested in the Alcatraz tour anymore. I just kept looking at the picture over and over again!”
Of course. my first instinct was to say it was just her own reflection. But that was her friend’s reaction as well, “When I first saw the photo, I tried to rationalize the female figure away by saying it was just Sheila’s reflection. But with closer inspection, it’s obvious that this is not the case at all. The woman’s hair and clothing is from a different era – it looks like she’s from the 1930s or 40s. I have no logical explanation for the girl in the picture – I’m baffled by her! It’s funny because she’s staring right at the camera, with a knowing look. I was really skeptical about ghosts before but I’m a bit more of a believer now. I do think that the woman in the photo is a ghost.”
Add this pic and story to the many ghost photographs that have surfaced over the years. Even the Museum of the Weird has had its own ghost pic that was taken over the skeleton of a young woman, which you can see displayed during our ghoulish tour. Whether or not these images display evidence of spirits is an argument that won’t be solved anytime soon. But there’s no question they fuel the imagination.