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Tagged In:  HM Prison Service, HMP, Prison

As we celebrate Halloween, we forget that many of our abandoned prisons across the UK have a terrifying and dark history, making them ideal for those who have a keen interest in ghost hunting. 

In recent years abandoned prisons have become an ideal location for guided ghost tours, with a variety of tour operators (such as Haunted Happenings) specialising in the provision of ghost hunts. 

So, if you’re keen to explore more of the paranormal, why not read through our suggestions for some of the most haunted prisons in the UK. 

The Galleries of Justice

Renowned as one of the UK’s most haunted buildings, the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham date back to 600AD, although written records show that the site was used as a prison from 1449 until 1878 when it was closed by the Victorians after falling into disrepair. The site is famous for being the only place in the UK where people could be Tried, Sentenced and have their punishment carried out all at the same location. 

Ghost hunters to the Galleries will have the chance to explore the condemned cell, execution cell, courtrooms and the women’s prison although beware – visitors have reported extreme drops in temperature, noises and even apparitions as they visit the medieval cave underneath the prison. 

The Old Victorian Gaol and Courts

Built in the 17th century, the Old Victorian Gaol in West Bromwich housed some of the UK’s most dangerous prisoners, with many of them meeting their fate at the gallows. With over 17,000 square feet of cells, corridors and safe rooms there is plenty for visitors to explore including the bullet proof prisoners box within the main courtroom.

Not much is known about the gaol or the courts as all records have been locked away from the public for over a hundred years, although there have been many paranormal reporters with visitors saying they have seen stones thrown or felt that they have been touched in the darkness. 

Shepton Mallett Prison

Before HMP Shepton Mallett closed in 2013, it had the honour of not only being the oldest prison in England, but it also held some of the most dangerous criminals including the Kray Twins.

It is unknown how many executions took place at the prison but during the Second World War, it was used as a military prison by both the British and the American armed forces and between 1943-1945, 16 US Servicemen were executed there.

Shrewsbury Prison

Although a Victorian prison, Shrewsbury Prison was built upon the foundations of a Georgian prison and many of the original tunnels are still evident today. Known as a place for executions, it was popular amongst members of the public who used to turn up early to make sure they could have a good view.

There is plenty of evidence of these executions throughout the prison, and visitors have reported the sighting of an apparition looking out of the window of the room where these executions took place. 

Gloucester Prison

HMP Gloucester is infamous not only for being the home of serial killer Fred West, but also because of it’s terrifying history of executions – between 1792 and 1864, over 100 executions took place with the remains of many of those executed buried in unmarked graves where they still remain. 

Despite only closing as a working prison in 2013, there have been numerous reports and sightings of ghosts and paranormal activity making the prison an ideal location for wannabe ghostbusters. 

What do you think? Would you be tempted to go ghost-hunting in any of these former prisons? Let us know your thoughts using the comments box below
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