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Location: Shrewsbury Prison Ghost Hunt – HMP SHREWSBURY The Dana, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 2HR
Date: Saturday 27th April 2019
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Your Ghost Hunt at Shrewsbury Prison
With endless areas to investigate including ‘A’ Wing, the Vulnerable Prisoners Wing, long corridors, execution areas, the hanging room, kitchens and the cells themselves there is hardly enough time to cover all the ground at Shrewsbury Prison. This Victorian Prison that was erected over the original Georgian Prison grounds is a dire place to spend the night, it has a cold and dreadful atmosphere where misery is the key word.
The Georgian Tunnels of the original site are still in existence today and many secret entrances are evident. Your ghost hunt at Shrewsbury Prison will certainly open your eyes to how prisoners were treated and even in modern day they would have known about the hanging area which is still very evident. Spending the night here will not be easy by any means but if you are looking for that all important ghostly activity then this Shrewsbury Prison is definitely for you.
Ghosts of Shrewsbury Prison
The ghosts of Shrewsbury Prison are unknown as the prison has not been investigated to any great extent which means we are still learning about who or what is creating havoc here. With many bangs being heard in the corridors, cell doors crashing shut and people wailing it is not surprising that it is becoming popular for ghost hunting groups.
People were hung here and part of the hanging involved somebody having to pull down on the victims feet whilst choking to death by the hangmans noose. The evidence of these public executions is still there today and many people report the sighting of somebody looking out of the window or the room where the executions took place. There are areas that look quite normal but then again there are areas that look horrific and the combination of these two areas is disorientating and confusing. Perhaps this is why the ghosts and spirits that are here at Shrewsbury are so difficult to work out.
History of Shrewsbury Prison
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
Additional History of Shrewsbury Prison
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.
As the event finishes in the early hours, we recommend staying over especially if you’re travelling far! Click the link below to check availability…