A couple believes they have photographed the ghost of a young woman through the window of a long defunct prison visitation block.
The image was taken at the notorious Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on Alcatraz Island, just off the coast of the coast of San Francisco, California.
It is considered to be one of the most haunted jailhouses in America.
The image was taken by British teaching assistant Sheila Sillery-Walsh, from Birmingham, who visited the jail with her partner Paul Rice in April.
Sillery-Walsh, 48, said: “As soon as we entered the prison, everything felt very eerie. I didn’t feel comfortable there.
“Whilst doing an audio-tour of the place, I casually stopped to take a snap of the empty visitation block window on my iphone.
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“When I glanced at the photo on my mobile, I saw this dark female figure in the picture. I looked at the window again and there was no-one in the room.
“I knew straight away that the woman in the photo was a ghost and showed the snap to Paul.
“From that point onwards, I wasn’t interested in the Alcatraz tour anymore. I just kept looking at the picture over and over again!”
School Site Manager, Paul, has never believed in ghosts but admits that the strange snapshot has shaken his confidence.
The 50-year-old from Birmingham explained, “When I first saw the photo, I tried to rationalize the female figure away by saying it was just Sheila’s reflection.
“But with closer inspection, it’s obvious that this is not the case at all. 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 have tried to find out the identity of the ghostly woman in the photo.
Sheila said: “I contacted the staff at the Alcatraz site but they replied, saying none of the old-timers could recognise the woman in the picture.
“I am so curious to know who she could be though – perhaps she was a female visitor of a prisoner who kept returning back. I would love to know why she’s shown herself in my photo.
“Weirdly when we were near that cell, a woman came on the audio tour who used to visit a prisoner. It makes you wonder.”
Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary was a maximum high-security Federal prison, which operated from 1934 to 1963.
The legendary jailhouse housed some of America’s most ruthless criminals including gangster Al Capone and Robert Stroud, the Birdman of Alcatraz.
Although officials for Alcatraz publicly dismiss reports of ghosts at the site, several former guards and park rangers have revealed their paranormal experiences at the prison.
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