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Regan Lee is also a columnist for UFO Magazine. Check it out !

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Alcatraz Stories

Fox's Alcatraz, is one of the new shows I find myself enjoying. Mainly because it's about Alcatraz; the conspiracy/mystery part is a bonus. (A Trickster moment: the lead role is played by Sam Neill; on The Dead Files last Friday, the psychic did an investigation of Alcatraz, and found that one of the prisoners (or was it a guard? I don't recall) was named Sam Neill.)

I've had a fascination with Alcatraz since I was a child. A combination of factors probably contribute to this interest: a love of all things watery, the mystery of the island as prison, growing up in Los Angeles, the 1969 Native American take over (which is rarely if ever mentioned on shows about the island, particulary if it's a program about hauntings. Whether that's out of respect or political, as in propaganda, I'm not sure) and ... the nuns.

I went to Catholic school when I was a kid (even though I'm Jewish-- don't ask) and our nuns were the last crop of the psycho Irish nun variety. Head to toe in black habits with heavily starched white "bibs", huge black rosaries hanging from their belts, and stories of eternal torture in hell if you didn't do what Jesus told you to do. To keep us born-with-sin-so-we're-doomed kids in line, we were told stories. Those stories could easily fill a book, but one of the stories we were told was about one of Alcatraz's most infamous prisoners: the Birdman of Alcatraz, alone in his wet dark cell.

We were also told of another California criminal, Caryl Chessman, kidnapper and rapist. (Chessman didn't serve time at Alcatraz, but at San Quentin, where he was excuted in 1960.)

Why would nuns tell us -- elementary kids -- these horror stories? I suppose the purpose was the same for all the negative and gruesome stories they told us. Fear. Without Jesus, you're in danger of either being attacked and possibly murdered, or of becoming the attacker and murderer yourself.

Of course Alcatraz is haunted. You simply don't have that kind of history of human despair consolidated in one place -- and by water, which intensifies those energies -- without it being haunted by the spirit energies imbued into both the landscape and the prison.

Image source: Public Domain