Ghost Hunters (TAPS) returns to SyFy for a two-hour 100th episode featuring an investigation of Alcatraz. Often referred to as “The Rock”, Alcatraz is best known for its prison that housed the most hardened criminals of the time. Stories of violence, torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners seems to be enough to evoke ghosts and spirits of restless souls. However, the spooky history did not begin with the imprisonment of these disturbed souls.
Long before European settlers arrived, the Miwok Indians believed the island was inhabited by evil spirits and exiled tribal members to the island as punishment for their deeds. The island was otherwise avoided.
In 1861, the island served as a US military fortress to defend the shores against intruders. A lighthouse was erected to protect ships from the rocky shore and swift currents. In 1909, the Citadel was torn down and the island abandoned. The island served as a military prison for discipline and training and housed civilian prisoners from city jails.
In 1934, the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary was opened. Unlike other Federal Prisons designed to rehabilitate prisoners, Alcatraz was designed for punishment. Reports of severe punishment and inhumane treatment add to the eerie occurrences reported by visitors. Its location made it virtually impossible to escape as rocky shores and swift frigid currents surround it. The Alcatraz penitentiary closed its doors in 1963.
Tales of threatening spirits predate the closing with stories of a prisoner locked in the “hole”. He apparently screamed through the night declaring an evil being with red eyes was trying to strangle him. Screams subsided during the night. Guards discovered the dead prisoner in the morning with marks resembling strangulation wounds around his neck. Guards declared it was impossible for anyone to enter the locked cell and offered no explanation for his mysterious death. Later, guards reported headcounts that exceeded the prisoners by one. The mysterious extra person disappeared without explanation.
Since closing, reports of a woman sobbing, clanging, moaning, groaning, unearthly noises, apparitions and phantom smells have been reported by visitors.
Promos for the 100th episode indicate that it will be hosted LIVE by Josh Gates, but this appears to be another SyFy play on words. According to Jason Hawe’s twitter update on Jan 13 the episode has already been recorded., “In Cali. Investigating for the next few days. Looks like a good case. Looking forward to this one. Just finished filming our 100th Episode!”
Another twitter update from Jason on Jan 17 states, “Spread the word! March 3rd is our 100th episode! Plus we are doing a live interview And taking your questions that night to. Spread the word!” offers some insight into the live elements to the show.
Ghost Hunters’ fans can expect an entertaining evening with Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson and the rest of the Ghost Hunters Team as they investigate the Alcatraz Federal Penentiary in search of lost souls, evil beings and bumps in the night. The show airs on March 3, 2010 at 9 pm EST and is slated as a 2-hour special 100th episode anniversary celebration.