Jun 19, 2014 I Paul Seaburn

Alcatraz Ghost Sighting Spooks Visitors But Not Officials

A British tourist visiting Alcatraz, the most famous former prison in the U.S., got an other-worldly surprise when she took a picture of an old cell block while on an audio tour – on the other side of the window of the cell door was what appeared to be a woman.

Sheila Sillery-Walsh from Birmingham took the photo on her iPhone 5c while touring the famous and allegedly haunted Rock with her partner, Paul Rice.

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.

couple 570x379
Sheila Sillery-Walsh and Paul Rice holding the alleged ghost picture.

How did she know it wasn’t just her reflection? Because her partner Paul told her it didn’t look anything like her – duh!

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.

It doesn’t look anything like any of the other apparitions reportedly spotted over the years at Alcatraz, including the Man With Glowing Eyes in the Hole, Al Capone playing his banjo in the shower and enough cold spots to make it an historical beer cooler.

Since it’s a woman, Sillery-Walsh thinks she might be a former prison visitor looking for an inmate.

Weirdly, when we were near that cell, a woman came on the audio tour who used to visit a prisoner. It makes you wonder.

As always, park officials, who refuse to sponsor ghost tours of the facility, dismiss the photo.

So what is it? Hoax? Ghost? Sext message from a long-ago prisoner’s girlfriend?

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

Join MU Plus+ and get exclusive shows and extensions & much more! Subscribe Today!