In the unsuspecting town of Shrewsbury, England lies the remnants of a prison that is said to be one of the most haunted places in the United Kingdom. Her Majesty’s Shrewsbury Prison sits upon endless tunnels and corridors of what remains of the former Georgian era prison that once stood in its place.
The original Georgian era prison was built in 1793, though it wouldn’t stick around long, following severe overcrowding and declining conditions for convicts, which eventually led to the prison’s demise. A new prison was built on top of the old prison in 1877 and operated until 2013. Daily public hangings took place for the 220 offenses under what has been dubbed the ‘Bloody Code’, which could see someone sentenced to death for crimes we would consider petty by today’s standards, e.g. stealing livestock. The public executions would draw in large crowds, until in 1902, they were moved inside the privacy of the prison walls. The executed were immediately buried in unmarked graves within the prison grounds, solidifying the legacy of Shrewsbury Prison as one of England’s most haunted.
Ghostly tales of Shrewsbury Prison
Visitors to Shrewsbury Prison report seeing shadow figures amongst the numerous cell blocks, as well as hearing cries from inmates of the past. Some guests have even reported being pushed down the stairs, feeling a strange grip around their necks, described as being similar to that of a hang man’s noose, or hearing loud door slams suggesting that poltergeist activity is also commonplace within the prison.
In Cell 441 of A Wing there was an attempted suicide and many people that visit today report feeling a heavy pressure feeling on their chest. Many other visitors to this part of the prison have reported a shadow man that lurks around the multiple floors of the wing, and I personally was overcome with a strange, ill sensation while exploring this part of the prison.
Another area of interest at the haunted Shrewsbury Prison is C Wing, the oldest wing in the prison. This wing was generally reserved for women and children, which is fitting to the ghost stories associated with this area today. Officers that worked at the prison during its operational days would not work in this area of the prison on their own. A grey lady has been said to be seen coming out of cell three and making her way to the hanging room. Incidentally, while investigating the hanging area during our visit we could hear what we described as a woman giggling throughout the night.
Visiting Shrewsbury Prison
Unfortunately during my visit the underground tunnels that form part of the old Georgian prison were not accessible due to flooding. However, the rest of the prison was able to be explored either as part of a guided or self-guided tour, and is well worth the ticket price.
If you enjoyed reading about the ghost stories of Shrewsbury Prison, you might also be interested in the Oxford Castle and Prison which dates back even further than this one and has a few ghost stories of its own.
Thanks for reading!