Alcatraz wasn’t always a prison, it was built in 1910 and used as a military outpost to guard the San Francisco Bay Area, it wasn’t until 1933 that it turned into what we all know it as today.
Alcatraz was a high security federal prison for continuous offenders, even though the security at the prison was good, some inmates did manage to escape, but they didn’t get very far – the icy cold shark infested waters ensured they remained prisoners.
Whilst on the tour we managed to see and hear cell doors being opened and closed – its eerie and if it doesn’t send a chill down your spine I don’t know what else will.
The tour is audio guided along with some talks from members of staff. All the tales were gruesome; people being stabbed, escape attempts and day to day life.
Alcatraz’s most famous inmate was the notorious Al Capone. He spent 4 and a half years on the rock, he attempted to gain favours with the wardens and prisoners but in there he was just another inmate. No favourites!
The tour itself has a lot of information, about how the prison was run, what jobs the inmates were given, who was in which cell and for how long. It’s crazy to think such awful things happened within those walls. You really don’t leave as the same person you were when you went in – even as a guest on a tour.
We visited at night, which made things 100 times more scary than in the day. At night the smells of the blocks became more apparent, theres a chill in the air and you’re walking along listening to accounts from previous inmates.
I’d highly recommend the tour, its terrifying but eye opening.
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