Eerie Footage Shows Horrifying Life Of Prisoners Inside 'Croatia's Alcatraz'
Not many people have heard of Goli Otok. Plenty have heard of Alcatraz.
For forty years, Goli Otok was Croatia's version of the famous San Francisco prison, now it lies abandoned and eerie footage has shown what's left of it.
Now it features collapsed ceilings and crumbling walls, but once it was a home for prisoners who were forced to beat each other.
Images show walls with tally charts marked on them, rusted metalwork, and filthy padding.
Opening back in 1949, Goli Otok was initially designed to home those who supported Joseph Stalin after Yugoslavia had broken away from the country and their ideals. Political re-education was number one on the agenda.
Up to 1989 it housed 50,000 prisoners, 600 of which died. Prisoners battered each other under the instruction of guards in order to literally beat the Stalinism out of them.
Dutch national, Bob Thissen, 36, believes that the haunting history can still be felt walking around this site 28 years on.
He said: "Prisoners were tortured there, former inmates called it a living hell, even people who were not-guilty were deported to this prison.
"The cells are small, dark and uncomfortable, the conditions were unbearable."
Like Alcatraz, Goli Otok is an island, which, yes, can provide some stunning views, but it's history soon cancels that out.
"The history makes the atmosphere chilling," Bob said. "When you just visit it without information you're just walking between some ruins.
"Although you are on an island you miss vegetation a bit, 'Goli Otok' means barren island, it's a rough island where there's barely any vegetation."
Bob recommends people go to the island and explore the prison - which can be done without breaking the law.
He added: "It was a cool experience to spend the night at an uninhabited island, the isolation prison was impressive.
"I've been to Alcatraz as well, it's the same idea, a prison on a 'barren island'.
"The only difference is that Alcatraz is preserved better, I believe a lot of stuff was stolen from the island.
"It would have been cool to have seen it just after closure, it's a mix between a Gulag work camp and a prison."
The horrific conditions of the prison are noted in Goli Otok Witness, where Bogdan Bozinovski writes: "...The evil torture machine of Goli Otok was so thoroughly thought out and implemented that the prisoner had no protection from anyone.
"He was forced to beg those in control for every basic necessity of life. The extent of this repression exceeded that of the Siberian Gulag and camps of Nazi Germany."
Featured Image Credit: Caters