Firstly, this location is huge! In size and fear factor! Ghost hunters from around the UK strive to investigate Shrewsbury Prison; and rightly so!
At this old Victorian prison you can expect dark, cold, isolated cells, a maze of corridors and the uneasy feelings brought about by standing below the executioner’s noose in the execution room – where many met an unpleasant death as payment for their crimes, being hung by the neck until dead.
Your ghost hunt at Shrewsbury Prison will see you exploring this vast location, accessing many different areas in the dark when all day visitors have 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 also 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 callouts, inviting spirits to interact with the environment that is 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 in the execution room should only be for our more hardened investigators.
With so many lives being taken within the hard-stone walls of Shrewsbury Prison, it is not hard to see why so many ghostly cries have been heard across this empty prison in the dead of night!
Victims of untimely deaths was not just confined to the hanging room, Clatter of objects thrown from the cells from angry spirits who remain, perhaps in protest to the torment from their harsh treatment.
Suicides, murders and of course hangings will have left its sinister mark all around this building. Many report dark and intimidating shadows, cold breath is said to be felt on your skin and hair pulling and bottom pinching of ladies has been experienced more than once!
The spirits here that remain can pass as quite threatening, being known to make bangs and slam doors shut, so this location is highly recommended to those with a brave disposition or having a real excitement for aggressive activity.
HM Prison Shrewsbury was a Category B/C men’s prison in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England and closed for good in March 2013. The former prison site, on Howard Street, adjacent to Shrewsbury railway station, is near the site of the Dana Gaol, a medieval prison.
There has been a prison on the site since 1793, the original building being constructed by Thomas Telford to plans by Shrewsbury architect John Hiram Haycock; the present prison building was constructed in 1877. The prison took female convicts until 1922.
The name The Dana is still often used for the prison, as well as being the name of the road to one side of the prison and the pedestrian route that runs from near the front of the prison into the town centre via a footbridge over the station. The now disused platform 8 at the station is masked from the opposite platform by a high wall which was used for transporting prisoners between 1868 and the First World War. A bust of prison reformer John Howard is above the main entrance to the prison. The street leading up to the prison from the main road is also named after him.
Between 1902 and 1961 there were several executions by hanging at Shrewsbury Prison. HMP Shrewsbury for the crime of murder:-
- Richard Wigley aged 34 yrs on Tuesday, 18 March 1902 (Mary Ellen Bowen (girlfriend])
- William Griffiths aged 57 yrs on Tuesday, 24 July 1923 (Catherine Hughes (mother)
- Frank Griffin aged 40 yrs on Thursday, 4 January 1951 (Jane Edge)
- Harry Huxley aged 43 yrs on Tuesday, 8 July 1952 (Ada Royce (girlfriend)
- Donald Neil Simon aged 32 years on Thursday, 23 October 1952 (Eunice Simon [estranged wife] & Victor Brades her lover)
- Desmond Donald Hooper aged 27 yrs on Tuesday, 26 January 1954 (Betty Smith)
- George Riley aged 21 yrs on Thursday, 9 February 1961 (Adeline Mary Smith [neighbour])
In almost every case the murder victim was female. Executions took place at 8.00 am and all executed prisoners were buried in unmarked graves inside the prison. These since have been dug up and the remains dealt with. The four executions which took place during the 1950s were all conducted by Albert Pierrepoint and his assistant. The last execution in 1961 was conducted by Harry Allen and his assistant. In February 2014 the Ministry of Justice stated that the remains of ten executed prisoners were exhumed from the prison in 1972, cremated at a local crematorium and the ashes scattered there.
In September 2004, Member of Parliament George Stevenson called for an enquiry into the amount of suicides which had occurred at Shrewsbury Prison. This came after 3 inmates had hanged themselves at the jail in 2 weeks. There are suicide cells where these men would have been held under close watch, but obviously not close enough.
A report in 2005 named Shrewsbury prison as the most overcrowded in England and Wales. In August 2008 a further report stated that the prison had 178 places in use but held 326 inmates – an overcrowding rate of 183%. A report in June 2012 by the Prison Reform Trust awarded Shrewsbury second place in England and Wales for overcrowding, holding 326 prisoners in space designed for 170 men, a figure exceeded only by Kennet in Liverpool at the time. In 1934, the prison had contained the larger number of 204 cells.