Steelhouse Lane Lock-up, Birmingham
Birmingham’s Steelhouse Lane Lock-up is an old prison dating to the 1890s. The facility closed in 2016 and today holds the West Midland’s Police Museum.
During its operational years the prison acted more as a remand center, holding prisoners for short time periods while they were processed through the court system, which was conveniently adjoined to the prison via an underground tunnel. It is rumored to have seen over one million prisoners pass through its doors, including many of the original Peaky Blinders, who were members of street gangs in the late 1800s and early 1900s, recently made infamous by a Netflix television show called Peaky Blinders.
The prison remains a fascinating place with much associated history. Visitors to the building will notice its striking glass ceiling, which was purposefully built to allow light into the space, as it was one of the earliest adopters of ‘mug-shot’ photography. With such a long history and having seen so much pain and torment, the old prison is claimed by many to be haunted.
Ghosts of the Steelhouse Lane Lock-up
Many to work within, be kept at, or just to have visited the Steelhouse Lane Lock-up have claimed the building to be haunted. Some have heard screams, wails, cries and voices originating from empty cells. Others have heard keys jangling or heavy footsteps as if guards are still making their rounds.
Poltergeist activity has also been reported with objects such as chairs mysteriously moving on their own. Shadow figures and even apparitions have been sighted. Some of these have been described simply as a pair of legs walking along one of the steel catwalks.
Many other strange occurrences have been reported especially around cell B23 (which has sadly been converted to a lift now) and cell T2 on the upper floor.
Visiting the Haunted Steelhouse Lane Lock-up
The Steelhouse Lane Lock-up is today run as the West Midlands Police Museum. It contains a lot of history and prison/police memorabilia. The museum can be visited during the day, or even at night as part of an organized ghost tour or investigation event.
If you are interested in other English prisons, I recommend checking out the Viaduct Tavern in London, which contains remnants of an infamous past jail in its basement.
Thanks for reading!