Ashwell Prison is immense in size and locked away behind prison fencing. This prison gives ghost hunters a real creep factor in the day but come night, that is when it takes on a real sinister appearance.
Siting in an unloved state with twisting corridors, pitch black rooms and cells – this location has the look of a haunted location you are looking for, and the paranormal activity to match.
Your ghost hunt at Ashwell Prison will see you exploring this location in the dark when everybody else you know has gone to bed. On your ghost hunt you will be able to experience glass divination, table tipping and a group human pendulum experiment. Plus, for those comfortable enough Ouija boards will also be available for you to use. All to aid your communication with the dead.
You will have a whole host of the most up-to-date ghost hunting gadgets to use whilst you carry out your overnight ghost hunt. Taking part in spirit callouts – inviting spirits to interact with the environment being measured by the equipment, then wait and see what happens.
Haunted Houses Events likes to work in small teams to give you the very best experience possible. For the very, very brave – lone vigils (ghost hunting in a room all alone) are very popular and opportunities to do so will be given – But be warned! Doing so should only be for our more hardened investigators.
For a modern prison, it is odd that so many reports have been witnessed here. Past staff have reported dark figures running into rooms, that on checking were found to empty.
Within very recent history a face has been seen to of peered out through a window, the site manager thinking somebody was in the building went to investigate but turned up empty handed – the figure had vanished!
Now sitting abandoned, footsteps echoing around the empty shell of the wings have been heard, with loud crashes that could just be caused by playful spirits. An unwelcome feeling as you walk amongst the cells has been reported, along with headaches coming and going as you enter and leave paranormally active areas.
Join Haunted Houses for an overnight ghost hunt which will see you securely held inside the former HMP Ashwell in Leicestershire.
Ashwell Prison was constructed on the site of a World War II US army base (home to part of the 82nd Airborne Division), and first opened in 1955 as an open prison for adult male prisoners. In October 1987 it was converted to an Adult Male Category C establishment.
In 2003 Ashwell Prison hit the headlines after four prisoners went on a wrecking spree, damaging £10,000 worth of office equipment, computers and windows. The trouble started when an officer found an inmate had been drinking alcohol in his cell. Despite this incident Ashwell achieved Resettlement Stage 1 accreditation in the same year.
A 2005 inspection report of Ashwell cited concerns about prisoners’ vulnerability, race relations and the quality of work and training at the prison. In the same year an inmate at the prison escaped from guards while receiving treatment for tuberculosis at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. The prisoner was recaptured days later.
In July 2008 a new £6m wing with an additional 64 cells was opened at Ashwell Prison. The new wing increased the overall capacity of the prison to 619 inmates.
A major riot at Ashwell Prison began on 11 April 2009. During the riot, a three-mile police perimeter was put in place, which extended to the edges of Oakham. Several prisoners were evacuated from the prison. Trouble started at approximately 0100 BST on 11 April and a fire broke out at the prison during the afternoon. The riot was successfully brought under control at 2245 BST that day.
The operation launched by authorities in response to the riot was called Operation Tornado which saw the introduction of specialist riot-trained prison staff. Three prisoners were injured and 75% of the prison was made uninhabitable.
The riot started when a prisoner, serving a three-year sentence, confronted staff and refused to return to his room. He began to cause damage and was joined by others. The unrest spread quickly throughout the prison and approximately 400 prisoners are thought to have participated. No member of staff was injured or directly attacked.
The damage done to three of the old wings was substantial. The rest of the prison was either undamaged or sustained superficial damage. The event provoked questioning of the UK’s overcrowded prison system leading to Category B prisoners’ downgrading so that they can be moved to Category C prisons.
In January 2011, it was announced that Ashwell Prison was to close, as the cost of repairing and maintaining the building was too high. The prison formally closed at the end of March 2011, when all inmates had transferred to other prisons.