Haunted Prisons and Jails

 
 


Footfalls

Location: Belfast (County Antrim) - Belfast Prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: October 1986
Further Comments: A prison officer reported hearing the sound of heavy rubber-soled boots while on his rounds, even though all staff were issued with sneakers. Believing his co-workers were playing a joke on him, he checked up on them, and found that they were playing cards. A couple of hours later, the officer heard a voice call out 'numbers C3', though once again could not find who was responsible. Asking his co-workers if they were responsible, they denied it, and recommended that the officer didn't say anything to anyone.


 
 


Face in a Coffin

Location: Belfast (County Antrim) - Crumlin Road Prison (now a museum)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A visitor who lay in a coffin for a photograph later realised that the captured image showed a strange face next to his. It is worth noting that the photograph is likely to be a case of pareidolia rather than the paranormal. The prison is also home to a phantom man seen walking down C Wing, and the sounds of both male and female voices.


 
 


Grunting

Location: Bodmin (Cornwall) - Bodmin Jail (no longer a prison)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2005
Further Comments: After spending a night at the jail, a ghost hunting group reported recording EVP containing a strange grunt. Members of the organisation also reported having stones thrown at them, even though they were alone.


 
 


Screaming Skull

Location: Bury St Edmunds (Suffolk) - Moyse's Hall (Former prison)
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The skull of William Corder, infamous for the Red Barn Murder, was stored in the prison - it was thought to be possessed by evil, and a number of sounds and spectral figures were seen around it. The skull was finally removed and buried in an unknown local country graveyard.


 
 


Exorcism?

Location: Castlerea (County Roscommon) - Castlerea Prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: November 2008
Further Comments: Castlerea Prison hit the news after it was claimed an exorcism was required after reports of strange paranormal activity occurring in the gym. Governor Dan Scannel dismissed the reports.


 
 


David Davies

Location: Dartmoor (Devon) - Prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Weather dependent: Misty nights (Davies)
Further Comments: Davies tended to the prison sheep between 1869 and 1929. He died soon after being released, but his ghost returned, walking the prison grounds on misty nights. The prison is also haunted by French PoWs from the Napoleonic wars, while some inmates believe jackdaws which fly around the area contain the souls of dead staff.


 
 


The Condemned

Location: Derby (Derbyshire) - Derby Gaol (former prison), Friargate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2002
Further Comments: An Australian tourist who decided to spend the night in this haunted building, a former jail, reported hearing a number of strange sounds during the night. She also reported that her pillow moved by itself.


 
 


Banging

Location: Douglas (Isle of Man) - Victoria Road prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1967 - 2008
Further Comments: Norman Quilliam reported hearing of several ghosts while he worked here including banging on the ceiling of a cell in which someone had committed suicide.


 
 


Footsteps

Location: Dublin (County Dublin) - Kilmainham Gaol (former prison, now a museum)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: While being renovated, workers in this old gaol reported hearing strange footsteps. Other visitors have reported the feeling of being watched.


 
 


White Lady

Location: Dundee (Perth and Kinross) - HMP Castle Huntly, open prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Her white robes flowing as she walks, the white lady is said to leapt from the battlements to escape punishment after being caught with a manservant. A young boy that also haunts the site is thought to be Richard Paterson who drowned in the Tay in 1939.


 
 


Murdered Inmate

Location: Durham (Durham) - Durham Prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid twentieth century
Further Comments: A ground floor cell is said to be haunted by the scene of one prisoner murdering another with a table knife.


 
 


Dead Prisoners

Location: EC4 (Greater London) - Former site of Newgate Prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late nineteenth / early twentieth century
Further Comments: Newgate was haunted by several ghosts. Footsteps were reported along Dead Man's Walk late at night, one warden reported seeing the face of a decaying, hanged man in a cell, while others reported seeing an aging female form in the yard.


 
 


Bluidy MacKenzie

Location: Edinburgh (Lothian) - Kirkyard, Coventanter's Prison
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1996
Further Comments: While George MacKenzie has been blamed for the phantom attacks on sightseers at this locale, other people say it is the spirits of the prisoners. Either way, many visitors on the local 'ghost walks' have been pinched, pushed, pulled and even cut while at this spooky site.


 
 


Lady Charlotte Watson-Taylor

Location: Erlestoke (Wiltshire) - Erlestoke Prison and village
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Both prison workers and villagers have reported seeing this phantom lady inspecting the prison grounds, and even driving her horse and carriage over a road close by where a bridge once stood.


 
 


The Last Executed

Location: Exeter (Devon) - Exeter prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1973
Further Comments: Two prisoners reported seeing a middle-aged man walking along the upper gallery, vanishing as he reached a cell door. After staff carried out a little research, they discovered the man was the last person to be executed in the prison.


 
 


Woman with a Lantern

Location: Glasgow (Lanarkshire) - Barlinnie Prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The area outside the surgery wing and the bricked up entrance to the old execution block are home to a phantom woman dressed in Victorian clothing, holding a lantern.


 
 


Female Prisoner

Location: Gloucester (Gloucestershire) - Prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This ghost is thought to be a woman who was held in the cells of the nearby abbey - she now appears in the jail and mocks the prisoners. Another story says she was killed by an inmate, and returns to continue her search for him. Activity is said to be particularly strong in cell 25 on the A3 landing.


 
 


Women

Location: Lancaster (Lancashire) - Lancaster Castle (prison)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Stories from twentieth century, and experiences in 2008
Further Comments: This building is said to hold both prisoners and several ghosts. A middle-aged woman with a young girl were reported moving around near a cell, while another prisoner again reported the young girl, but his time with a haggard old woman. Also, the grey form of a monk has been seen, reportedly once hanged here. A former inmate recently experienced a shadowy figure which walked past him and mild poltergeist effects.


 
 


Travelling Light

Location: Leeds (Yorkshire) - Armley Prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s
Further Comments: This phantom manifests as a light that moves around the cells. One former employee reported prison officers in Victorian uniform and the sounds of clanging chains, with the most paranormally active areas being the new wings which were constructed over executed prisoner's graves.


 
 


Victorian Woman

Location: Lewes (Sussex) - Lewes Prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s
Further Comments: This ghostly figure is thought to have dropped dead in the prison after seeing a relative in the nineteenth century.


 
 


White Woman

Location: Lincoln (Lincolnshire) - Victorian Prison, Lincoln Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Woman unknown, footsteps in October 2003
Further Comments: This pale woman is thought to have been a former prisoner who died during her stay. Witnesses have also reported the sounds of doors slamming and keys jangling in the area. One witness heard footsteps and the rustling of a dress - when they looked around, no one could be seen.


 
 


William Kennedy

Location: Liverpool (Lancashire) - Walton Gaol, prison cell G2
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Executed for murdering a policeman in the 1920s, Kennedy's shade remains in his former cell and continues to unnerve inmates.


 
 


Man in Dark Suit

Location: Manchester (Lancashire) - Strangeways Prison, condemned cell, B Wing
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: This phantom man wearing a dark suit and carrying a briefcase has been reported by staff. If follows, he vanishes near the condemned cell. Some have named him as John Ellis, a former executioner who committed suicide in 1932.


 
 


Sitting Prisoner

Location: Parkhurst (Isle of Wight) - Parkhurst Prison, unstated cell in A Wing
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s
Further Comments: A prisoner who committed suicide in the jail reportedly returned to his cell after death, and was seen with his legs dangling over the edge of his former bunk. Newspapers reported that the shade caused other inmates to demand relocation to other cells.


 
 


Napoleonic Prisoners

Location: Princetown (Devon) - Prison burial ground
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: A burial place for French POWs, their shades still lurk in the area.


Records 1 - 25, of 30

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