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Alcatraz Night Tour: An Inside Look At A Night in Alcatraz

May 15th, 2017 · No Comments · Alcatraz, One Day Tours, Reviews, San Francisco Tours

Alcatraz Island, home of the notorious Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, has been said to be one of the most haunted places in America.  Located just off the coast of San Francisco, Mark Twain once referred to the island’s atmosphere as feeling “cold as winter, even in the summer months”. The island is now a well-preserved and well-funded National Park, and good news for all you fans of the paranormal, you can take a tour of the most haunted prison in the country…at night.

Tickets for the Alcatraz Night Tour can be purchased here through Alcatraz Cruises or by phone (415) 981-ROCK. These tours are in high demand and fill up very fast so try and reserve your spot well in advance. Night tours are limited to just a few hundred visitors each night, so plan ahead. Make sure to arrive early if you want good seats on the ferry, but don’t worry too much about getting a seat inside because you’ll want to catch the sunset views over the Golden Gate Bridge from the deck anyways.

Who’s to say the night tour is better or worse than the day tour, but there are definite advantages to going at night: fewer people, more audio and visual programming not offered during the day, access to normally closed-off areas of the prison, and of course, the naturally eerie ambiance provided by the night.

The boat takes you around the entirety of the island before docking, an added bonus to the night tour – aside from the ghost catching opportunities. Guests have the opportunity to listen to a pre-prison history over the loudspeaker while the captain circles you around the island: you’ll catch views from all angles, and learn a little history, before stepping foot on the island and exploring the prison. Be sure to bring your photo ID, comfortable shoes, camera, and a jacket (and an EMF meter if you have one…)

A night on Alcatraz…

The feeling of pulling up to the island and docking, with the prison towering above you, is indescribable. Alcatraz is unlike any other prison in the world. It’s isolated on an island, but the city taunts in the distance, just out of reach. Almost as if to show the inmates how close, yet so far, they were from their lives as they knew it. To add to its inherently spooky vibe, inmates, guards, and visitors alike have reported oddities around the island – men’s voices, screams, whistles, clanging metal doors and terrifying screams are said to be heard within the cellblocks, especially near the dungeon.

The hospital wing is especially eerie – and another perk of the night tour? You have full access to roam the hospital wing on your own. Just think about every scary movie you’ve ever seen that had anything to do with a hospital, mental patients, or deranged doctors (queue American Horror Story theme song), and then multiply that feeling by 10. Old gurneys, wheelchairs, medical tools, combined with chipped paint and the natural ambiance of the night – needless to say, prepare to be spooked.

While you will be provided with a headset audio tour upon arrival, telling you all about the history of the island and the prison, there’s nothing quite like letting your mind wander while you yourself wander through these hallowed halls. After about 3 hours of exploring the prison, you will be ushered back to the boat and back to the city, with the nightmares to prove it.

Night Tour Tip: Make sure you get back to the dock on time, as the night tour return ferry is the last boat back to the city until morning!!! You wouldn’t want to get stuck on The Rock…

Are you ready for a night on Alcatraz Island? Tell us about your experience on the night or day tours below!

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