Alcatraz Island Morgue
Originally, the site was the entrance to an 1870s tunnel used by soldiers to cross to the opposite side of the island. In 1910, the Army built the morgue, which contained three vaults and an examination table.
Deceased Army personnel from Alcatraz were buried in the military cemetery on Angel Island. When the burial ground was closed in the early 1900s, funerals were conducted at the National Cemetery in the Presidio of San Francisco.
The morgue structure has a steel door, a grated skylight, and a hard, scored examination slab. It had only one documented use - overnight storage of bodies of prisoners who died after the last boat run.
No autopsies were performed there. All deceased inmates were brought back to the mainland and released to the San Francisco County Coroner.
The morgue is reputed to be haunted. A child crying has been heard, and a native American child-like figure has been seen in the shadows of the back corners.
November 20th, 2011
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