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Haunted Prisons

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While looking through local ghost stories, I came across a reference to a ghost that has been seen at Manchester's infamous Strangeways prison.

Strangeways Prison in Southall Street, Manchester was built to replace New Bailey prison in Salford, which closed in 1868.

The building became the place of execution for the area after the closure of Salford prison. It initially had a purpose built execution shed in one of the yards, as this was the normal practice for private executions from 1868, up to around the end of World War 1. Later, a condemned cell and execution room were situated at the end of 'B' wing in the central area. Strangeways had a permanent gallows, one of the few English prisons to do so, until the 1960's.

The condemned block is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of one of the hangmen who officiated there. Staff on night duty have reported seeing a mysterious man in a dark suit carrying a small briefcase. He is always seen walking along 'B' wing from just outside the condemned cell towards the central control area. When they try to follow this dark suited man he vanishes just before the old iron staircase leading up to the main office. One suggestion is that it could be a man named John Ellis who committed suicide in 1932.

There must be other prison haunting stories out there, especially from the US, where executions are still carried out in many states.

Any takers?

Below, Strangeways, before it's recent refurbishment work.

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The condemned block is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of one of the hangmen who officiated there.

Guilty conscience ? or did he just really enjoy his work that much ?

Interesting story Cuffy, have never heard of a prison being haunted before

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Intereeesting article,i live five minutes away from the ladies prison in Cornton,but i doubt that is haunted.......

Liking the pun in the topic heading Cuffy laugh.giflaugh.gif

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Really, I would've thought that many a man would've gone into a ladies prison and not come out alive - therefore - lots of ghosts - lol

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Iv been in there a few times and come out alive.Once when i was a little firstman,my whole class went there to do football training.They are actually very nice people when you get to know them.One of them,one of my favourite peope i spoke to there,commited suicide a couple of years after it.I found out about it through the papers.Was not a nice experience,she was a good person.

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I'm surprised that you don't hear about haunted prisions more. In particular the older prisons where executions used to take place, I can certainly imagine there being plenty of very restless spirits. You can add to that suicides as well (I reckon every prision has probably had one). I think I'm correct in saying that executed prisoners were buried within the prision grounds, I know that bodies have been buried at Cardiff prison - whether it's all or some of the executed prisoners I don't know.

If you think about it dungeons in castles and forts could be considered as a type of prison and it not that unusual for there to be tales of haunted dungeons.

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If you think about it dungeons in castles and forts could be considered as a type of prison and it not that unusual for there to be tales of haunted dungeons.

Quite right, Algie, I'd forgotten about that. All those dungeons, torture chambers, oubliettes. Basically, making most modern prisons look like holiday camps.

Although, from what I hear, most holiday camps are like prisons. tongue.gif

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Although, from what I hear, most holiday camps are like prisons. tongue.gif

As an ex-Blue Coat, I can confirm this......... sad.gif

Haunted prisons?

Ummmmm...........a place where men are locked up for a period of their lives, a place to (hopefully) dwell on thier crimes and perhaps feel remorseful, mostly made from brick and stone........prime candidate for the ol' Stone Tape theory.

Many years ago, me and some friends had ben to Newquay for the Mini Rally, and came back via Bodmin. We saw this amazing building from the road, and decided to go and have a better look. It turned out to be Bodmin Goal. And what a creepy place it was! We were the only people in the place, and on the lower floors and in the 'dungeons' (underground cells) there was a real atmosphere of misery. It was quite upsetting. We spent hours there, then had a picnic in the grounds where the bodies of all the prisoners were buried.........un-hallowed ground. Then we had a few pics on the gallows and went home. A few weeks later, there was a very interesting photo published in the press. A man had taken his kids to Bodmin Goal (best place for the little horros) and took some photos. On one of them was the image of a man hanging by his neck................and on another, a ghostly face appeared to be staring into the lens............. dontgetit.gif

Alcatraz is also supposed to be haunted..........

Hammy x x x

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A man had taken his kids to Bodmin Goal (best place for the little horros) and took some photos. On one of them was the image of a man hanging by his neck................and on another, a ghostly face appeared to be staring into the lens............. dontgetit.gif

Yikes.

I wanna see these pics Hams........any idea where they can be found ?

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I had one of the pics in an old 'Mysteries' mag.............buggered if I can find it! If I do I'll scan it I promise.

Maybe you could find it in Google?

Hammy x x x

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Haunted prisons?

Ummmmm...........a place where men are locked up for a period of their lives, a place to (hopefully) dwell on thier crimes and perhaps feel remorseful, mostly made from brick and stone........prime candidate for the ol' Stone Tape theory.

Exactly, Hams. God only knows what must be wandering around in those places. And I'm not just talking about the living.

Oooh...new thread idea. Haunted holiday camps.

Imagine the misery those places have seen?

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Yeah it is pretty unplesant to think about what could be wandering round a prison as there must of been some pretty disturbed people locked up. Personally I wouldn't fancy bumping into the ghost of some twisted murderer or pervert. scared.gif

The site of the former public gallows is about 10mins walk from where I live (amongst the people exectued there were two Catholic priests) - so there's a fair old history. I've been past there many many times day and night and never experienced anything unusual. I've not heard any stories directly related to this site either despite the fact that its site is where 5 busy roads now meet so has 1000's of people going past every day. There is one story relating to one of the roads leading away but that seems to be a ghost of a boy and probably isn't directly related to the site.

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I have a cracking story from two local ladies who had a very unpleasant experience near some crossroads where the local gibbet once stood *shudder*

Anyhoo, a picture of Bomin ~ not one with a ghostie on sadly .......... sad.gif

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and another .......... creepy old place ......... blink.gif

post-10-1070814433.jpg

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Great article english dude ! thumbsup.gif

Their are apparently many prison hauntings in america crying.gif

So I will tell you about just one , The Southern Ohio correction institue ( Lucasville Prison ) had the largest prison riot in U.S history in 1993 . About 20 prisoners nd gaurds were killed their and as I recall they boosted five of the prisoners up to death row because of their participation in the killings .

Some time later , gaurds started hearing doors slamming and mysterious shadows in the cell block the riot happened in . Sometimes they even see a prisoner walking don the hall ... and then he suddenly vanishes . ph34r.gif

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I have a cracking story from two local ladies who had a very unpleasant experience near some crossroads where the local gibbet once stood *shudder*

Stop teasing and tell us. wink2.gif

Nice pics, btw. Looks like a level from Tomb Raider. tongue.gif

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Still waiting, Hammyboots. Still waiting. blink.gif

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maybe the reason we dont hear more about haunted prisons is because most of the people who do come out of them dont want to talk about the time they have spent inside! ph34r.gif

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because most of the people who do come out of them dont want to talk about the time they have spent inside! ph34r.gif

Good point. The authorities tend to deflect any questioning too.

Last week I passed Lewes prison in East Sussex, which reminded me it is haunted by a woman of Victorian vintage who drifts along one particular corridor. It seems a couple of warders have admitted recently to having met her.

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Last week I passed Lewes prison in East Sussex, which reminded me it is haunted by a woman of Victorian vintage who drifts along one particular corridor. It seems a couple of warders have admitted recently to having met her.

Glad you made that clear, Agent. wink2.gif

Think I'll look into that story, though, unless anyone beats me to it.

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hiya all...

After reading about our local Strangeways spectre...I felt I had to add these couple of tales regarding English prisons..as a deterrent to anyone wanting to end up in one....here goes...ahem....

LONDON - Clerkenwell House Of Detention

Prisons on the site of the House of Detention have been dated back over 300 years - it soon became Londons biggest remand prison detaining as many as 10,000 prisoners a year. Since the House of Detention was re-opened in 1983 as a tourist and visitors attraction, strange phenomena has been reported there ever since its re-opening. An old lady has been seen frequently who seems to be searching for something, many people have heard the little girl whose "heart-rending" sobs reverberate from the inner depths of the jail, the sound of unidentified footsteps, and the subsequent sighting of a man walking across the same area is commonly seen - the activity is so great, and of such a negative nature that mediums and "sensitives" can not spend too long in the atmosphere without suffering feelings of nausea and intense sadness.

DEVON - Dartmoor Prison

The graveyard at the back of Dartmoor prison, built to house French prisoners during the Napoleonic wars, is haunted by the spirit of a short man with long, dark hair, who can sometimes be seen gliding across the grass in the dead of night.

He was even once seen by a governor (now retired) as he made his rounds through the old part of the prison.

Another Dartmoor ghost is that of a former prisoner, David Davis. He was first imprisoned there in 1869, and spent most of the next 50 years behind bars. He was given the job of looking after the prison's sheep, and soon he knew each one by name and would stay with them during the lambing season. Eventually he was released, but he begged the governor to let him stay and look after the sheep. The governor refused, but joked that he'd keep the job open. Davies replied that he'd be back, and a fortnight later he was indeed back behind bars. He died in prison in 1929, but several times his ghost has been seen following his flock of sheep.

CO.DURHAM - Durham Prison

In December 1947, an inmate murdered a fellow prisoner in the main wing of Durham Prison with a table knife. Shortly after the murder, a prisoner put into that cell was discovered next morning crouched in the corner of the cell gibbering in fear. After the warders had calmed him down, he told them he had seen the entire crime re-enacted in front of his eyes. After several other prisoners objected to being locked up in the cell, it was left empty, later becoming a store-room.

DEVON - Exeter Prison

In 1973, two inmates serving long sentences were walking back to their cells when they noticed the figure of a middle-aged man moving along an upper gallery. On reaching a particular cell door he suddenly vanished. The two witnesses were so upset by this incident that they asked to see the Governor of the prison, who understandably dismissed the story as imagination. The two men, however, persisted in their report and the details they related were so identical that the officer was persuaded to examine some old architectural plans of the building, and earlier scheduled of inmates. All three men were surprised to learn that the figure was that of the last murderer to be kept in 'Death Row' the site of the haunting, before being hanged. The Governor immediately arranged for the affected cell and the one immediately below to be cemented over and the end of the gallery to be sealed off. Nevertheless, inexplicable footsteps are still heard in the locality.

GLOUCESTER - Gloucester Gaol

One of Britain’s oldest prisons, Gloucester Gaol is haunted by the ghost of a 15th century girl who was brutally murdered on the site of what is now Landing A3. Cell 25 on that landing is particularly haunted and poltergeist activity has included books and utensils being hurled around the cell. On one occasion a disembodied hand was seen pointing at one of the prisoners.

During a seance held in the cell in December, 1969, with the use of a Ouija Board, the ghost described herself as Jenny Godfrey and said that she had been murdered by an drunken Irishman after an argument.

OXFORDSHIRE - Oxford Prison

Apparitions of the executed are said to roam here. A slowing white shape coming out of one of the cells on the second floor has been caught on camera by investigators. There was no one there at the time the picture was taken and it showed on the negative, as well.

LONDON - Pentonville Prison

The reason for closing two cells in the 'E-wing'of this well-known prison and converting them into a canteen for the officers, was the unaccountable footsteps and 'a weird and rather unpleasant atmosphere' was experienced by the inmates. Rumour has it that a former prisoner was able, by some unknown means, to kill himself in one of the affected cells a few years ago.

SHROPSHIRE - Shrewsbury Prison

Across the lane from the police house this building has a very mischievous spirit who walks various item of stationary across the main upper hall. This is now used as offices. One story is of a roll of sellotape "floating" about the room at waist height as if it were being carried by the invisible man.

MERSEYSIDE - Walton Jail

Liverpools Walton Jail has a haunted prison cell. In the late 1920's it housed William Kennedy, who had an accomplice named Guy Frederick Browne. Together, they murdered a Police Constable and shot out both his eyes. Both were hanged for their crimes, but prisoners staying in that cell have reported seeing a black figure standing at the foot of their beds. Some prisoners would even go into solitary instead of occupying that cell.

LONDON - Wandsworth Jail

The ghost of a middle-aged woman wearing a grey woollen dress has often been seen, appearing out of nowhere and vanishing just as quickly. Wandsworth Annie (as she is known to the residents) is thought to be the ghost of a woman who used to work at the jail in the mid 19th century and has been seen by both prisoners and officers alike.

regards....

cookster!

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That makes interesting reading. Thanks.

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There really is a lot of haunted prisons isnt there? A bunch of prisons around my area are supposedly "haunted".Maybe if old prisons didnt hang people from stairwells and whatnot while a crowd a people gawk,there wouldnt be restless souls,or whatever if you will,wandering around.

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