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Talk:Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary

Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary has been listed as one of the Art and architecture good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
September 15, 2012Good article nomineeListed
A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on September 13, 2012.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that before the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary began operations in 1934 there was a citadel on Alcatraz Island?


GA ReviewEdit

This review is transcluded from Talk:Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Thine Antique Pen (talk · contribs) 21:49, 10 September 2012 (UTC)


No issues.


Paragraph 3 needs a ref on the end. Same for paragraph 8.

Done.♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:56, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Escape attemptsEdit

End paragraph needs a ref. No issues other than that, and it reads professionally. I'm not sure about "one of the most intricate escapes ever devised" though.

Done. A lot of sources state the intricate thing though, it is true.♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:45, 15 September 2012 (UTC)


  • Same as above for paragraph 2.

Is based on the map on Can't really source a flickr map, I could source it to the author with is Ocean publishing or something..♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:56, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Change "anything from $20-$43 a month" to "anything from $20-43 a month"
Done♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:56, 15 September 2012 (UTC)


Paragraph 2 and 4 need references on the end

Done, asked NVV for the other.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:09, 15 September 2012 (UTC)



Prison life and the cellsEdit

Paragraph 4, ref needed at end.

Done♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:15, 15 September 2012 (UTC)










Good, as above.


Ref needed on paragraph 1

Done♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:15, 15 September 2012 (UTC)


Could you possibly put a caption in for the image?

Done♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:15, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Notable inmatesEdit

Looks good.

Other buildingsEdit

Warden's HouseEdit


Building 64Edit


Social HallEdit


Power HouseEdit

Ref on end of paragraph 1?

Its taken from a photograph with the sign.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:15, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Alcatraz Water TowerEdit

Ref needed on end of paragraph 3.

Done.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:26, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Model Industries BuildingEdit

First and fourth paragraph need a ref on the end

Done. One though is a photograph/map observation♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:26, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

New Industries BuildingEdit

Ref needed at paragraph 2

Its also a photograph observation. Thanks for the review.♦ Dr. Blofeld 10:26, 15 September 2012 (UTC)


Formatted correctly.


I am putting this   On Hold until the issues are addressed. Thine Antique Pen (talk) 08:58, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:  
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:  
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:  
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:  
    C. No original research:  
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:  
    B. Focused:  
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:  
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:  
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content:  
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:  
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:  

I shall promote this to GA standard, as another source is going to be added, but it already meets GA criteria. Thine Antique Pen (talk) 10:17, 15 September 2012 (UTC)


Can we remove the pseudoscience and extensive coverage of "haunted" areas in the subsections of Alcatraz_Cellhouse#Prison_life_and_the_cells? You can't verify that stuff, and the most that I think would be appropriate would be briefly stating that the penitentiary has a reputation for allegedly being haunted. ❤ Yutsi Talk/ Contributions ( 偉特 ) 21:13, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

If you read it is says reported. I think its very relevant, the info is verifiable in multiple reliable sources, that's good enough for me.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 21:32, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

There is nothing "reliable" about a Web site full of "ghost stories." Mythical, nonsensical tosh has no place in an encyclopedia, and anything beyond what Yutsi said goes ridiculously into the direction of WP:UNDUE. Polarscribe (talk) 21:49, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

No, you can't verify that something is haunted but you can verify something which is reputedly haunted; there are even whole books on the ghosts of Alcatraz. It is cited by numerous reliable sources as "reputedly haunted". We don't claim it to be haunted but are merely reporting what has been reported in multiple places elsewhere. To not mention anything of it is wrong given the coverage on it. Blocks A-C could use information about the time as a prison though.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 21:33, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't think you understand what a "personal attack" prohibited by WP:NPA is. Making comments about the veracity of claims is not a prohibited "personal attack" and I have not made comments about any contributors. (Comment on the content, not the contributor.) I repeat, you have no right to repeatedly remove comments from a talk page. This article gives significant undue weight to nonsensical "paranormal" baloney that has zero serious scientific credibility. One brief mention is perhaps warranted of these pseudoscientific claims, but not endless repetition of ghost stories. Now let's stop the edit-warring and hash out what a (small) section on these claims should look like.
For example, I am quite sure someone, somewhere has made claims about the White House having ghosts. There is not a single mention of "ghosts" or "haunting" on the White House Wikipedia page - for good reason, and that's because those claims have no place in an encyclopedia entry. Polarscribe (talk) 22:16, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Really? there's no mentions of the ghost that Churchill saw or any of the other published sightings in the main article? I'm surprised that all the sightings by prominent people that have appeared in reliable sources aren't in the article or at the very least that there isn't "See also" linkage to Lincoln's Ghost and Reportedly haunted locations in Washington, D.C.#White House. Thanks for mentioning it. Shearonink (talk) 13:08, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

UNDUE? It barely mentions it. Always makes me laugh to see a newbie citing UNDUE and wiki guidelines, sock puppet from Bloomington, Indiana!! Given the wealth of coverage with whole books dedicated to it I think this is perfectly acceptable to mention, although one could argue the alleged hauntings would be better but in a single paragraph at the bottom. Read Reportedly haunted locations in Washington, D.C..♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 23:01, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

That's an entirely separate article. The main White House article has no mentions of them. I would agree to splitting off all mentions in regards to this site into a separate article. Reportedly haunted locations in San Francisco has significant coverage already, and at best this subject deserves a single link in the main article. Polarscribe (talk) 23:04, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Interesting, now who's making personal attacks, referring to the contributor and not the content? I am not a sock puppet, but I am plenty knowledgeable about Wikipedia, and under a former account, a retired administrator. But that has nothing to do with this particular dispute, and neither does my current location. Polarscribe (talk) 23:04, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Reportedly haunted locations in San Francisco was written long after this was written. Retired administrator? Or banned administrator? I spent at least 10 hours of my time writing this article, heavily researching it and trying to write a good article which is valuable for wikipedia. I do not have time for arrogant professors who make snarky edit summaries belittling it. There are entire books existing on the ghosts of Alcatraz not to mention substantial coverage in multiple book sources. In fact I could probably write Reported hauntings of Alcatraz as a full article, in fact I think I'll do that tomorrow. The only point I can see is to put all mention of "psuedo science" into a bottom paragraph.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 23:10, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Wow. Seriously? You accuse me of personal attacks, and call me a "banned administrator" and an "arrogant professor"? More false, ridiculous personal attacks. I respect your efforts, but you do not own this article and I disagree with your focus. Polarscribe (talk) 23:15, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
The only point I can see is to put all mention of "pseudo science" into a bottom paragraph. As an encyclopedia it is not our duty to be scientists and make judge judgements, we are here to report existing information which is very well documented in books and newspapers. It might be rubbish but multiple RS write about its hauntings so its good enough for me.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 23:10, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Wrong. We do not treat fringe viewpoints as equally worthy. The idea that any place can be "haunted" by "ghosts" is fringe. Again, see White House - not a single mention in that article. Polarscribe (talk) 23:18, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
If you don't want to work through consensus, I'll just have to GAR this thing. If you want to write 10 pages on ludicrous ghost story nonsense, be my guest, but it has virtually no place in the primary encyclopedia article about a federal penitentiary-turned-museum. Polarscribe (talk) 23:22, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Furthermore, I demand that you retract your false personal attacks. Do you realize how ridiculous you sound, criticizing me for alleged personal attacks and then turning around and going ad hominem? Seriously, it's hilarious. Polarscribe (talk) 23:26, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

I have created a separate section entitled "Paranormal claims" and linked it to the current article on reportedly-haunted locations in San Francisco, which contains all significant information on the matter. If you wish to create a separate article on the phenomenon, then that would be an appropriate link as well. Polarscribe (talk) 23:45, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

I also added significantly to the "Reportedly haunted" article, from information that was removed from this article. Polarscribe (talk) 00:00, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Specifically, the issue here in WP:FRINGE is this: 2. Generally considered pseudoscience: Theories which have a following, such as astrology, but which are generally considered pseudoscience by the scientific community may properly contain that information and may be categorized as pseudoscience. Reports of "ghosts" or "hauntings" are generally considered pseudoscience by the scientific community, and as per the Fringe theories guideline, should not be given significant prominence in an article. Polarscribe (talk) 00:02, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

I have reverted the deleted entries. Perhaps you could discuss this here before you start edit warring over a few very minor points? Once you have a consensus to remove, that is the time to remove it, not before. - SchroCat (^@) 07:08, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

That's quite simply wrong. You're reinserting fringe lunacy into an article where it has absolutely no place. There is not a single shred of scientific evidence that ghosts exist. Any claims to the contrary are fringe theories deserving of nothing more than a brief mention. Now I remember why I quit the first time. polarscribe (talk) 07:26, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Also, if you'd spend three minutes looking at something before you revert it, you'd realize that the citations you reverted go to the exact same document - the link I put in simply goes to an OFFICIAL copy of that document hosted on a U.S. Government Web site rather than a terrible white-on-black ad-filled version. The document in question is the [ National Park Service Historical Resource Study] conducted by the NPS about Alcatraz Island. It is a highly reliable source and we should connect to the official version. polarscribe (talk) 07:29, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
You reinserted a link to a Web site entitled "Psychic Phone Readings" - - that is, almost by definition, not a reliable source. polarscribe (talk) 07:36, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
You are allowing your own POV to cloud an issue. There are valid sources cited in this article and removing them based on your own POV and without getting a consensus is simply the wrong approach on Wiki. Furthermore, please do not edit war, try and remeber WP:BRD. The D is for "discuss", not "ignore what the sources tell me and hammer home my own POV regardless of others". - SchroCat (^@) 07:41, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
An article written by psychics is not a reliable source for any factual claim. That you don't understand that is mind-boggling. polarscribe (talk) 07:48, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
I have not said that particular source is reliable, so you can knock off the ad hominem comments. I reverted the deletions as a whole because you were edit warring over something that needs to be discussed first, not fought over. - SchroCat (^@) 07:55, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

@ Bloomington professor, you removed the content without at least trying to verify it in more reliable sources. We'd show you a lot more respect if you returned it and stopped your snotty nosed comments like " That you don't understand that is mind-boggling." We are both intelligent individuals and have contributed many FA quality articles to wikipedia, so why not start showing us a little respect eh? If you weren't so aggressive and presumptuous with your approach on this, treating us like dullards, you'd find you'd be more likely to get somewhere. Your tone of voice on this comes across as highly condescending, as if we know nothing and you know it all. Yes, it comes across as pure arrogance. If you don't want to be perceived in this way, I recommend you start treating others in the way you'd expect yourself to be treated. ♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 13:22, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

How about you stop calling me "Bloomington professor?" polarscribe (talk) 17:19, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

"The idea that ghosts exist is fringe nonsense and 80 dozen references to it as if they are real do not belong in a historical article." Your views on ghosts itself is gross POV. You dismiss it as nonsense, yet the purpose of life and indeed the idea that people are spiritual beings we can't possibly know. There are an awful lot of unexplained mysteries surrounding life and so many people have reported phenomena which they can't explain that one cannot arrogantly dismiss them as complete nonsense. I can't prove that people are not spiritual beings which may manifest after they've left their body anymore than I can't prove the existence of God and heaven and hell. Alcatraz, folklore, legend, maybe, its what thousands of people have reported and which hundreds of writers have written about so whether there are actually ghosts in Alcatraz or not it is not up to us to judge, but to report what has clearly been reported in masses of sources. No kidding, it would be like me editing the Islam article and removing any mention of Allah or the Christianity article removing any mention of God because I can't literally prove he exists; science doesn't recognize him so therefore its automatically nonsense? I doubt quite a few things in regards to religions but that's my opinion and my opinion only, I can't dispute the fact that multiple reliable sources document it and many people are convinced its true. It is not up to us as an encyclopedia to judge if the reports are fabricated or not, but to look at what reliable sources choose to write about which makes a topic noteworthy. It is a fact that Alcatraz is widely documented and claimed to be haunted. And you say my focus is on nonsense, when the amount mentioning paranormal activity amounted to just a few sentences and a relatively small section at the end of the article which seems appropriate. ♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 14:40, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Reversions are unacceptableEdit

This article is under dispute - cease removing the tags that express the disputed nature of this article. polarscribe (talk) 17:22, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

How about you hold off with the reverting until this issue is sorted? I have not ignorantly ignored your edits. In fact I have monitored and readded most of them you made myself. But if you think this content is unacceptable you'd be better off posting on the village pump and trying to get some support on it. There is really nothing wrong with this article and its very well sourced and verifiable information.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 17:43, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

The whole point of the dispute tags is that they are to remain until the issue is sorted. You disagree with my disputation of the article - well, the reason for the tags is to make clear that the article is disputed and that editors disagree with it. FCYTravis (talk) 18:00, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
I am puzzled...what rationale could justify placing the {{fringe theories}} tag on this article? That there are reliable sources which state ghosts haunt Alcatraz is not in dispute, that this information is verifiable is also not in dispute. What seems to be in dispute is an editor's insistence that this information and its sources do not belong in the article. What any editor's personal beliefs might be about this issue are irrelevant, what matters is what reliable sources say. Removing information and sources based merely on an editor's personal beliefs is against Wikipedia guidelines.
As to {{disputed}}... the editor in question has not disputed any other sections of the article, only the Hauntings section, so {{Disputed-section}} would be more appropriate. However, Wikipedia:Accuracy dispute#Resolving disputes states that
  • Once you have found the correct information, edit the page to correct it, remove the warnings, and put something like the following in your edit summary:
Verified article – removed accuracy dispute
And if ghosts/hauntings are fringe theories, then there is a lot of work to do on Category:Ghosts. Shearonink (talk) 18:46, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

───────────────────────── certainly ghost/hauting legends may be included if the alleged haunting is notable. I think the key is if we are reporting on the haunting as a factual occurance, vs being a notable legend. The notable legend is not a fringe theory. An actual factual haunting probably is. Gaijin42 (talk) 22:08, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

? Well, the article reported on what reliable sources said, I don't think it veered into WP:OR. Besides, as another posted stated below, the hauntings section is now a short summation with sub-article linkage. Shearonink (talk) 05:06, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Also, the issue may be moot now as Blofeld has left the building, but I think its fairly obvious that the "do not remove another editors tags" was just psuedo-quoting the policy/guideline in its own 3rd person, and not an attempt at sockpuppetry, but that it is in general better to only use one account per article to avoid that impression. Gaijin42 (talk) 22:19, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

I will make it clear again here that both accounts are mine, and have been merged - I had no intent of appearing as multiple editors. polarscribe (talk) 22:47, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Ghost stories are a rich element in popular culture around the world. Alcatraz has attracted more than its share. A short, non-committal paragraph pointing to a sub-article that discusses the subject in more detail is fully appropriate and in line with all Wikipedia policies, guidelines and goals. Repeatedly defacing this article with {{disputed}} and {{fringe theories}} templates is childish vandalism. Aymatth2 (talk) 01:17, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

As Aymatth said above Jehoman. ♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 21:02, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Full protectionEdit

I've full-protected due to the edit warring for 3 days - please discuss. --Rschen7754 02:30, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

I think its probably unneeded. Blofeld has "retired", so whatever level of warring was going on is likely over. Gaijin42 (talk) 03:56, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Unprotected, but any edit warring will result in protection again. --Rschen7754 03:59, 7 November 2012 (UTC)


Under the "History" section there is an incomplete sentence. Hopefully someone has the correct information to fix this:

"The $260,000 conversion to the federal prison took place from January 1934.[9][10]" Mateck (talk) 00:31, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

In the section "Prison Life" there is the sentence

They were permitted to subscribe to magazines but crime-related pages were torn out and newspapers were not prohibited.

Should this be either "not permitted" or "prohibited"? It reads "wrong" somehow Yendor1958 (talk) 07:57, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

General language (tin ear)Edit

I notice from reading Talk:Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary that there has been a bit of contention. For that reason I'm raising a few examples of phrases that don't flow too well or are not precise. I'd like to do some copy editing but want to give a chance for comments first.


In the lead sentence the phrase "was a maximum high-security Federal prison" ought to be just "was a maximum security Federal prison"; if it's a maximum security prison, no need for 'high'.
In the second paragraph, the phrase "to meet the requirements of a top-notch security prison." uses 'top-notch' a bit too colloquial for an encyclopedia article. The fix likely will involve adjusting several sentences.
In the third paragraph, first sentence - in the phrase "most notorious and best known prisons" there is more than a bit of redundancy.
In the third paragraph, second sentence - "some 1576" well, is 1576 the precise number and no need for 'some', or is it a fuzzy number that needs more recognition than 'some'.
In the third paragraph, last sentence - the phrase "Faced with high running and maintenance costs" could be improved to 'Faced with high operations and mantenance costs".

But the article Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary is long and a LOT of work went into it. I don't intend to produce new content, just some dusting and polishing. Perhaps I should leave it as is? Neonorange (talk) 21:16, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Paranormal fringe cruftEdit

Hi. I have removed an attempt to restore fringe cruft. [1] I recommend that we have a discussion here about home much attention (if any) this article needs to give to the idea that Alcatraz is "haunted". As far as Wikipedia is concerned, there is no such thing as "haunted". This is just folklore. If reported in reliable sources, it could be noted in brief. We should not be referencing dubious sources at all in relation to this issue. What fringe writers believe is of no bearing on the article. Only if the fringe beliefs are so notable that mainstream publications have taken note, would we mention it. Jehochman Talk 21:02, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

As Aymatth said above, it is perfectly fine to have a short paragraph on this. Lucky seems quite happy to use newspaper sources, which I have done. Please stop being a nuisance. Folklore or not, the wealth of coverage on it makes it perfectly valid to mention and in my opinion for coverage. If anything it affects neutrality more so by ignoring what has been documented in masses of sources and dismissing what has been reported as complete nonsense. It is not up to wikipedia the encyclopedia to assess whether ghosts exist or not but to document what has been covered in masses of sources. Alcatraz has been widely cited in reliable sources as one of the most haunted places in America.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 21:04, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

I think your sources are largely being misused. The Huffington Post mention is clearly in the context of a Halloween amusement feature. It's by no means an authority on "the most haunted places in America" (if there is such a thing). And you can't take a news story of a native ceremony mentioning spirits and another source where Mark Twain thought the atmosphere was eerie and stitch them together to show how haunted you feel the location is. That's WP:SYNTHESIS. It's fine to mention that ghost-hunter TV shows think the place is haunted, but ‪Alcatraz Island in popular culture‬ is a more appropriate article. - LuckyLouie (talk) 21:17, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

I'm not claiming it is haunted, But "eerie atmosphere" is probably the best description you can give Alcatraz, and it is documented in many sources. I've written pretty much this entire article with some assistance from my collaborators. WP:OWN or not, I would have much preferred that Jechoman had contacted me on my talk page to discuss the issues and also notified me of the AFD he opened. This was out of process and done in a way which is below what I'd expect for such an experienced editor. The article was stable for a long time with no concerns raised, seems funny you jump in in support for Jerichoman. What you seem to be missing is that "haunted Alcatraz" myth or not has so much coverage in what we normally consider reliable sources that it makes the topic notable. It isn't up for an encyclopedia to agree or disagree that ghosts exist or not, but it is up to us to report what information has been widely covered in the real world. Dismissing it as fringe theories is as much nonsense as Al Capone still playing his banjo in the showeroom. Myths do have a place on wikipedia, and we have thousands of articles on folklore and far moire bizarre topics. ♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 21:22, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Nobody is disputing that myths exist that Alcatraz is haunted. What is being disputed is the present paragraph you have installed in which sources are being misused in a way that is counter to policy. - LuckyLouie (talk) 21:54, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Only because you kicked up a stink about the sources which preceded it not being reliable sources which directly referenced the material, which I dispute.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 22:13, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, those sources were not reliable. I don't think there's enough reliably sourced material for the extensive article you first envisioned, but I think you could safely use something like this, along with some other similarly reliable sources to construct a tight little paragraph that's within policy. Check out how the Queen Mary article handles it; all reliable sources with content briefly summarized, and no original research needed. - LuckyLouie (talk) 23:40, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Says who? Having done much research on this article some of those writers have actually produced some of the best books on Alcatraz which I can confirm the information can also be verified in other sources. I see absolutely no reason to question their reliability or that the authors are inventing stories. The topic has been well reported and I think they've done their research.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 07:07, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I am not afraid of ghosts. Really and truly, cross my fingers and hope to die. But many sources discuss them. Alcatraz has accumulated its share of ghostlore. An article on Alcatraz would be badly deficient if it did not cover this aspect. There should be much more about the Alcatraz ghosts. I may add some. It does not scare me to see this sort of content included, or not much, anyway. I don't think they can get at me over the internet. I mean, they can't, can they? Aymatth2 (talk) 01:33, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
    Which are the "many" sources that discuss them? Wikipedia is not the place for documenting every non-notable bubbe meise. Jehochman Talk 01:40, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Non notable is your opinion and your opinion only, only you are too arrogant to see otherwise. The amount of decent sources covering them reflects a different story. Folklore about Alcatraz is well documented beyond silly ghost sites, it is your view on their truth which is hampering your view of this. i agree with Aymatth, an article which completely ignores covering it would be deficient given the coverage of it. No we don't need to cover every "non-notable bubbe meise" but this is hardly that.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 07:00, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
    • The Alcatraz Effect: Belief and Postmodernity (Andrew Ross 1984) opens with the promising "Visitors to Alcatraz Island, former Federal Penitentiary, know what to expect. To make the excursion worthwhile, however, demands a certain state of mind; their knowledge must be left hanging in the balance of a suspension of disbelief." But I have to admit that the rest is a bit short of ghostlore. According to the Weekly World News. 1994-03-29. p. 21. ISSN 0199-574X. "These ridiculous ghost stories will stop tourists from visiting," says an Alcatraz official, who wouldn't let her name be used. "And how can these people say they heard canaries? We don't have any birds in here." I think the Weekly World News is reliable - I saw Men in Black. Person, Stephen (2010-08-01). Ghostly Alcatraz Island. ISBN 978-1-936087-97-6. seems like a promising starting point. Varney, Philip (2001-05-01). Ghost Towns of Northern California: Your Guide to Ghost Towns and Historic Mining Camps. p. 110ff. ISBN 978-1-61060-080-4. and Rule, Leslie (2006-08-01). When the Ghost Screams: True Stories of Victims Who Haunt. p. 124ff. ISBN 978-1-4494-0280-8. also seem promising. According to paranormal investigator Mollie Stewart, "It is an extremely haunted site." Wood, Maureen (2010-09-18). A Ghost a Day: 365 True Tales of the Spectral, Supernatural, and...Just Plain Scary!. p. 122. ISBN 978-1-4405-0863-9. tells us that California Indigenous people believed Alcatraz island to be inhabited by evil spirits. Many of the JSTOR hits confirm that. There are many sources. Aymatth2 (talk) 02:19, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, indeed. I've found The Alcatraz Effect: Belief and Postmodernity which refers to something termed the "Alcatraz effect" as a term in psychology but doesn't document the alleged hauntings. This newspaper archive picks up 2734 articles on "haunted Alcatraz" but I don't have a subscription.♦ Dr. ☠ Blofeld 07:28, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Image of Alcatraz from America's Cup PierEdit

The image taken from the America's Cup Pier of Alcatraz, especially at a large size, is of high quality and a very good addition to the article. It is the only image to clearly show the craggy and sheer nature of the island with the prison perched on top. Let's not get involved in an edit war nor act on feelings of ownership. Neonorange (talk) 21:28, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

"Most of the prisoners were notorious bank robbers and counterfeiters, murderers, or sodomites"Edit

The word "sodomites" is deprecated in modern English. And further clarification is needed: what is a "notorious sodomite"? Were they sent to Alcatraz simply for being homosexual, or for sexual assault against other prisoners? (talk) 07:28, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Not at the time of the penitentiary and that was the formal word on the casefiles to describe an offender. As for "notorious sodomite" try reading it again "and a group of notorious bank robbers and counterfeiters, murderers, or sodomite" "or" makes it very clear notorious isn't referring to that. Presumably most of them were rapists who committed forced sexual crimes in public or which were reported and they were convicted for rather that if being "jailing people purely for being homosexual"♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:02, 19 November 2013 (UTC)


since were not going to have a gallery here, we should then have a link to the gallery at the commons, not just the category. i just copied our former gallery to there, adding it to the already existing set of images. I assume poeple put some work into selectiong the gallery here. I think maybe a subsection here called gallery, with a --SEE COMMONS-- link, would be nice. Does anyone think this is close to featured article status?Mercurywoodrose (talk) 07:04, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

I thought the gallery was important actually in covering rooms not detailed in the article, but I agree it already has plenty of images. This is one of my proudest articles given that I started it and the topic, but the prose IMO is not even close to FA at the moment although it is very comprehensive. It's too haphazard and scruffy at the moment. I'm not sure those tables are a good idea either, they look ugly and disrupt the flow of the article. If you're interested we can work on polishing it gradually and prepare for FA. It needs a lot of work on the prose though.♦ Dr. Blofeld 08:43, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

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As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete the "External links modified" sections if they want, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

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Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 06:56, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

External links modifiedEdit

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete the "External links modified" sections if they want, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 19:57, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Alcatraz Federal PenitentiaryEdit

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "auto":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 21:59, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

Recent IP editEdit

I haven't found any source that describes the Cole/Roe escape as damaging Alcatraz's reputation. Calling this into question

Ahh. My apologies, I thought you were raising a different point. Yes, there seems to have been very little doubt that was not a successful getaway. Qwirkle (talk) 13:57, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

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