Ruthin Gaol

 

Overview

A ghost hunt at Ruthin Gaol is sure to excite even the most experienced ghost hunter, with the building being used to torment and hold the cruelest of criminals!

Ghost Hunting at Ruthin Gaol in Denbighshire is not for the feint hearted. With the building being used to torment and hold the cruelest of criminals, a ghost hunt at Ruthin Gaol is sure to excite even the most experienced ghost hunter!

Walk in the footsteps of past criminals, incarcerated for wrong doing – or simply for being in debt! Will you brave locking yourself in a cell, calling out to those who now remain in spirit and invite them to sit beside you all alone in the dark.

What could be more terrifying than stepping back in time to the days of extreme punishment for crimes both big and small? What if you were innocent, as you hear the screams of your fellow inmates suffering under mistreatment. You shake in fear – will the jailor be coming for you next! Your ghost hunt at Ruthin Gaol will give you the chance to communicate with those who lived that very experience!

Your ghost hunt at Ruthin Gaol will see you exploring all areas of the building made available to us, where 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 on hand for you to use – all to aid your communication with the dead. Also, you will have a whole host of the most up-to-date ghost hunting gadgets to use whilst you carry out your ghost hunt. Taking part in spirit call-outs and wait to see what happens in the silence that follows. Haunted Houses likes to work in small teams to give you the very best experience possible. For the very brave lone vigils (ghost hunting in a room all alone) are very popular and plenty of opportunities to do so will be given.

Reported Ghosts

It is a common report that heavy prison cells door are known to slam shut on their own accord. What would you do if such a thing should happen to you when alone in the dark? The doors are also known to slam shut one by one along the whole corridor.

The spirit of William Hughes executed on site is said to still haunt the corridors and rooms of Ruthin Gaol. Particularly the “condemned Mans Cell.” His activities of a haunted nature are said to take place both day and night. William is said to be particularly attracted to women and has been reported to enjoy touching the females in places that should not be touched without consent.

Another William is said to haunt Ruthin Gaol, a mean jailer who simply “vanished” one day whilst doing his rounds. It is thought his life ended in the hands of his inmate though his mistreatment. Will you encounter William Kerr in the darkened corridors?

Another report here is of a young girl’s laughter being heard resonating throughout the jail. Many mediums have said that they believe a spirit of a happy young girl still resides at Ruthin. Other reports include the feeling of being followed, touched, and disembodied voices.

Venue History

Ruthin Gaol is a Pentonville style prison in Ruthin, Denbighshire. The first House of Correction, or Bridewell, was built at the bottom of Clwyd Street, next to the river, in 1654, to replace the Old Court House, where able-bodied idlers and the unemployed were sent to work. Following John Howard’s investigations into prison conditions the Denbighshire justices resolved to build a new model prison in Ruthin on the site of the old Bridewell. Work began in January 1775. In 1802 the prison had four cells for prisoners and nine rooms for debtors. By 1837 it could hold 37 inmates.

The Prisons Act of 1865 set new standards for the design of prisons — as the Ruthin County Gaol did not meet the standards plans were drawn up for a new four-storey wing, and the new prison accommodating up to 100 prisoners, in the style of London’s Pentonville Prison was built at a cost of £12,000. On 1 April 1878 the Ruthin County Gaol became HM Prison Ruthin, covering the counties of Denbighshire, Flintshire, and Merionethshire. As far as is known, only one person was ever executed in the prison, William Hughes of Denbigh, aged 42, who was hanged on 17 February 1903 for the murder of his wife, his plea of insanity having failed.

Another colourful prison personality was John Jones, known as Coch Bach y Bala – who was a kleptomaniac and poacher who had spent more than half his 60 years in all the prisons of north Wales and many in England; he twice escaped from Ruthin Gaol, first on 30 November 1879 when he walked out of prison with three others while the staff were having supper — a £5 reward was offered for his capture, which happened the following 3 January. On 30 September 1913 he tunnelled out of his cell and using a rope made out of his bedding he climbed over the roof of the chapel and kitchen and got over the wall; after seven days living rough on the Nantclwyd Estate several miles away, Jones was shot in the leg by one of his pursuers, 19-year-old Reginald Jones-Bateman. Jones died of shock and blood loss, while Jones-Bateman was charged with manslaughter, though the charges were subsequently dropped.

Ruthin Gaol ceased to be a prison in 1916 when the prisoners and guards were transferred to Shrewsbury. The County Council bought the buildings in 1926 and used part of them for offices, the county archives, and the town library. During the Second World War the prison buildings were used as a munitions factory, before being handed back to the County Council, when it was the headquarters of the Denbighshire Library Service. In 2004 the Gaol was extensively renovated and reopened as a museum.

Ghost Hunting at Ruthin Gaol in Denbighshire is not for the feint hearted. With the building being used to torment and hold the cruelest of criminals, a ghost hunt at Ruthin Gaol is sure to excite even the most experienced ghost hunter!

Walk in the footsteps of past criminals, incarcerated for wrong doing – or simply for being in debt! Will you brave locking yourself in a cell, calling out to those who now remain in spirit and invite them to sit beside you all alone in the dark.

What could be more terrifying than stepping back in time to the days of extreme punishment for crimes both big and small? What if you were innocent, as you hear the screams of your fellow inmates suffering under mistreatment. You shake in fear – will the jailor be coming for you next! Your ghost hunt at Ruthin Gaol will give you the chance to communicate with those who lived that very experience!

Your ghost hunt at Ruthin Gaol will see you exploring all areas of the building made available to us, where 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 on hand for you to use – all to aid your communication with the dead. Also, you will have a whole host of the most up-to-date ghost hunting gadgets to use whilst you carry out your ghost hunt. Taking part in spirit call-outs and wait to see what happens in the silence that follows. Haunted Houses likes to work in small teams to give you the very best experience possible. For the very brave lone vigils (ghost hunting in a room all alone) are very popular and plenty of opportunities to do so will be given.

Ruthin Gaol is a Pentonville style prison in Ruthin, Denbighshire. The first House of Correction, or Bridewell, was built at the bottom of Clwyd Street, next to the river, in 1654, to replace the Old Court House, where able-bodied idlers and the unemployed were sent to work. Following John Howard’s investigations into prison conditions the Denbighshire justices resolved to build a new model prison in Ruthin on the site of the old Bridewell. Work began in January 1775. In 1802 the prison had four cells for prisoners and nine rooms for debtors. By 1837 it could hold 37 inmates.

The Prisons Act of 1865 set new standards for the design of prisons — as the Ruthin County Gaol did not meet the standards plans were drawn up for a new four-storey wing, and the new prison accommodating up to 100 prisoners, in the style of London’s Pentonville Prison was built at a cost of £12,000. On 1 April 1878 the Ruthin County Gaol became HM Prison Ruthin, covering the counties of Denbighshire, Flintshire, and Merionethshire. As far as is known, only one person was ever executed in the prison, William Hughes of Denbigh, aged 42, who was hanged on 17 February 1903 for the murder of his wife, his plea of insanity having failed.

Another colourful prison personality was John Jones, known as Coch Bach y Bala – who was a kleptomaniac and poacher who had spent more than half his 60 years in all the prisons of north Wales and many in England; he twice escaped from Ruthin Gaol, first on 30 November 1879 when he walked out of prison with three others while the staff were having supper — a £5 reward was offered for his capture, which happened the following 3 January. On 30 September 1913 he tunnelled out of his cell and using a rope made out of his bedding he climbed over the roof of the chapel and kitchen and got over the wall; after seven days living rough on the Nantclwyd Estate several miles away, Jones was shot in the leg by one of his pursuers, 19-year-old Reginald Jones-Bateman. Jones died of shock and blood loss, while Jones-Bateman was charged with manslaughter, though the charges were subsequently dropped.

Ruthin Gaol ceased to be a prison in 1916 when the prisoners and guards were transferred to Shrewsbury. The County Council bought the buildings in 1926 and used part of them for offices, the county archives, and the town library. During the Second World War the prison buildings were used as a munitions factory, before being handed back to the County Council, when it was the headquarters of the Denbighshire Library Service. In 2004 the Gaol was extensively renovated and reopened as a museum.

It is a common report that heavy prison cells door are known to slam shut on their own accord. What would you do if such a thing should happen to you when alone in the dark? The doors are also known to slam shut one by one along the whole corridor.

The spirit of William Hughes executed on site is said to still haunt the corridors and rooms of Ruthin Gaol. Particularly the “condemned Mans Cell.” His activities of a haunted nature are said to take place both day and night. William is said to be particularly attracted to women and has been reported to enjoy touching the females in places that should not be touched without consent.

Another William is said to haunt Ruthin Gaol, a mean jailer who simply “vanished” one day whilst doing his rounds. It is thought his life ended in the hands of his inmate though his mistreatment. Will you encounter William Kerr in the darkened corridors?

Another report here is of a young girl’s laughter being heard resonating throughout the jail. Many mediums have said that they believe a spirit of a happy young girl still resides at Ruthin. Other reports include the feeling of being followed, touched, and disembodied voices.

  • Feel safe! Hosted by a friendly, genuine, safety conscience, and knowledgeable team of experienced people
  • Experience the atmosphere! Enter one of the UK’s most haunted buildings, communicating with its resident spirits and ghosts in the dark
  • Honesty is our only policy! This is a real ghost hunt experience. There is no faking or trickery of paranormal activity. If it happens, then it is for real!
  • Keep refreshed! Unlimited hot and cold drinks, crisps and biscuits available all night and included in the ticket price unless specified. Dietary requirements also catered for
  • Teamwork! Your ghost hunt will be run in a small and personal group giving you maximum involvement
  • Be hands on! You will have access to everything you need to conduct your experiments throughout the night – no sharing equipment with other groups or waiting around
  • Don’t be disturbed! Exclusive night-time access to the location for your overnight ghost hunt
  • Learn about various ghost hunting techniques and try them out for yourself on your investigation or share any knowledge you already possess to aid the investigation
  • Discover more about the high-tech ghost hunting gadgets. Many as seen on T.V, hold them in your hands and freely use them
  • Take part! Help to lead a scientific vigil, or perhaps a more traditional ghost hunting experiment- or simply just be an observer. The choice is yours
  • Working respectfully. Start your evening by learning how to apply spiritual protection, and work using the upmost respect for the sprits we encounter and fellow guests
  • Lone vigils (ghost hunting in an area all alone) can be made available for the brave
  • A building representative/owner will be on site to help with any building or historical questions you personally have
  • All attendees must be 18 years or older
  • Not suitable for those in pregnancy
  • This is a very dark location, all attendees must bring a torch with them
  • All attendees are expected to wear sensible shoes and warm layered clothing
  • This location has no onsite carpark, parking is either street parking or public car park (fee may apply)
  • Refreshments are provided by Haunted Houses Events and are included in the price
  • Guests may also bring own personal breaktime snacks
  • This is not a sleepover event
  • This location is not suitable for wheelchair users or those with mobility issues

Ruthin Gaol

£49.00 Per Person

A ghost hunt at Ruthin Gaol is sure to excite even the most experienced ghost hunter, with the building being used to torment and hold the cruelest of criminals!

£49.00 Per Person

There's currently no upcoming dates for this venue.

Kathy Beresford

Great fun – loads of exciting stuff happening. Thanks for a great night!

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