Ghostly Figure Caught on Camera at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary Tour

Birmingham teaching assistant Sheila Sillery-Walsh and her husband saw more than the scenic view of the former prison site, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in an April 2014 tour. A shadowy figure of a girl can be seen staring directly through the window at the camera from the inside of the inmates’ visitation waiting room.

 The prison site, which is considered as one of the most haunted places in the US, was once home to hundreds of high profile convicts including, Al Capone. Situated off the coast of San Francisco, the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary has become infamous for paranormal activities. The 48-year old Sillery-Walsh was on a holiday in the Bay Area with her husband, Paul Rice, when they decided to go on a Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary tour. According to Sillery-Walsh, she didn’t feel comfortable in the prison as soon as she entered. Everything felt “eerie.”

She was taking pictures throughout the tour with her iPhone 5C when  during an audio-tour, she casually stopped to take a picture of the empty visitation block window. When she looked at the picture she took, she saw a dark figure looking directly at the camera, I looked at the window again but no one was there.


Her husband is a self-confessed skeptic but admitted that as soon as his wife showed him the picture, he was shaken. He rationalized that the figure may have been simply Sheila’s reflection but upon close inspection, it’s obvious that the woman in the picture was wearing period clothing.

“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.”

The couple tried to identify the woman in the picture by reaching out to the staff of the former penitentiary site but none of the old-timers could recognize the woman in the picture. While authorities that manage Alcatraz deny reports of ghostly apparition and paranormal activity in the former maximum high-security federal prison, former guards and park rangers are open to sharing their strange experiences in the prison.