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Shrewsbury Prison Ghost Hunts & Sleepovers


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Shrewsbury Prison (The Dana)
Shrewsbury, Shropshire


Hangings, Death and Ghosts. Those are three words to describe Shrewsbury Prison. The Prison is a Grade II listed building that dates back to 1793, replacing the previous Medieval Dana Gaol. Hundreds of men, women and children were imprisoned here, with numerous public and private executions that took place. As many as 5 people were hanged each day at one point, with the building being the most haunted location in Shrewsbury. Dark shadow figures, poltergeist activity and a ghostly Grey Lady are all reported here. Dare you investigate and sleepover inside the sinister Shrewsbury Prison?



Shrewsbury Prison (HMP Shrewsbury) was originally built and completed in 1793. Prior to this, a medieval prison was located on this site called 'Dana Gaol'. In 1788, prison architect John Howard visited Shrewsbury to inspect the new prison design plans. He was dissatisfied with some of the design choices like the size of the interior courts. After many redesigns, the Georgian Prison was constructed by Thomas Telford and completed in 1793. At the front of the Gatehouse lies a bust of John Howard. While the remains of the original Georgian Prison are preserved underneath the current site, the Victorian construction was built in 1877.

Over the next seven decades, Shrewsbury Prison was a place of public executions, drawing in large crowds of people. People even used to arrive early on the execution days to ensure they would get the best view possible, with some even bring posters as souvenirs. The last public hanging at Shrewsbury Prison took place on the 9th April 1868, when 35 year old John Mapp was executed for murdering a 9 year old girl. The misfortune for John was that his execution happened a month before public hanging were abolished.

Women were imprisoned here at Shrewsbury Prison until 1922.

Between 1902 and 1961, eight hangings were carried out at Shrewsbury Prison, including 34 year old Richard Wigley on the 18th March 1902, 57 year old William Griffiths on the 24th July 1923, and 43 year old Harry Huxley on the 8th July 1952. All executions were carried out at 8:00am exactly. The last execution to take place altogether at the Prison happened on the 9th February 1961, when 21 year old George Riley was hanged for the murder of a 62 year old woman. There was a lot of troubled controversy surrounding George's death, as many people believed he didn't actually commit the murder, but in fact was framed and blamed for the murder. While we will never know the full truth behind this, it might explain why his apparition is seen throughout A-Wing.

During a period of redevelopment in 1972, the remains of 10 prisoners who were executed at Shrewsbury Prison were exhumed. 9 of the 10 prisoners were unrecognisable, and sadly were cremated shortly after being dug up. The last prisoner was identified by relatives as George Riley, and his remains were handed over to them.

In the mid-late 2000s, there was a number of enquiries and concerns raised about Shrewsbury Prison. In September 2004, George Stevenson MP called for an enquiry into the number of suicides that occurred at the Prison, after three inmates had hanged themselves in their cells in the space of two weeks. The following year revealed a report that Shrewsbury Prison was the most overcrowded prison in England and Wales. This was emphasised in August 2008 when another report stated that the Prison had 178 cells in use but held a whopping 326 inmates.

In March 2013, HMP Shrewsbury decommissioned as an active prison, and was soon turned into a museum and visitor attraction, hosting guided history tours, ghost tours and various other activities like ghost hunts and sleepovers.


Shrewsbury Prison is deemed the most haunted building in all of Shrewsbury, from ghostly apparitions and scary auditory phenomena to poltergeist activity. With hangings, suicides and mass death taken place on this site, the sinister feelings of this gruesome place still reverberates within the walls.

In C
-Wing, the ghost of a Grey Lady has been seen on multiple occasions pacing along the upper walkway. She first appears outside of Cell 203, aka the Haunted Cell, and then proceeds to walk along to the other side of the walkway, before vanishing into thin air. She is dressed in Victorian clothing and is sometimes seen wearing a big coat. A young boy is also reportedly seen in this Wing on the top of the stairs, pushing past visitors, staff and investigators. Along with this, quick-moving footsteps and bangs are heard too.

In A
-Wing, cell doors are reported to slam shut causing loud bangs that echo throughout the area. Many negative energies are felt and sensed in this part of the prison, with people reporting sharp pains around their bodies, and seeing dark shadow figures move across the walkways. Some investigators have even witnessed apparitions inside of some of the cells before they disappear without a trace. Objects are usually kept away from this part of the prison, as many have experienced violent poltergeist activity from the prisoners of the past throwing objects in the cells. Horrid groans and voices are heard in the cells too. This part of the prison is extremely eerie and terrifying in the dark, but are you brave enough to challenge your fears here?

In the Execution Room where several hangings were carried out, guests have felt a choking sensation and struggling to breathe in general, as if those condemned are putting the impression of their final moments alive onto them. Ghastly male spirits have manifested around the trap door, displaying a morbid scene to those unfortunate (or fortunate) to see. Poltergeist activity has also been reported in this room, with the noose see
n swinging on its own accord despite no drafts.

In the Exercise Yard, many have experienced cries and groans close to their ears sending chills down their spines. Faces have also been seen peering out the cell windows in A

Cold spots are also felt throughout the location, with women's bums being pinched by unseen hands at times.



Your night of ghost hunting with Brookes Paranormal is guaranteed a fun, safe and spooky one. Experience this historic location with exclusive access after dark, as you explore the eerie rooms and areas in search for the ghostly spirits that haunt here. Here at Shrewsbury Prison, you will get to investigate the whole of A-Wing featuring 4 floors of cells, the whole of C-Wing featuring the Haunted Cell 203, the Execution Room, the Chapel and Visitors Rooms, the Governors Office and Chief Officer Rooms, and the Exercise Yard where unmarked graves are located underneath (weather/time permitted).

Our team are friendly, professional, approachable and knowledgeable with paranormal investigating, and we will guide and support you to make sure you get the most out of your investigation. We welcome everyone from all walks of life, as our events are a safe space for all who love and enjoy the thrill of ghost hunting. Whether you're a paranormal novice or an experienced investigator, you'll be well-looked after and treated like family.

This is an honest ghost hunting experience, so there won't be any fakery or trickery during the night. We believe that if activity happens, it happens for real.

On your ghost hunt, you will be split into smaller groups to give you the best, personal experience possible. You will also get hands on with various pieces of ghost hunting equipment and participate in interesting paranormal experiments.
​ While we encourage everyone
to get involved in the night's vigils, you don't have to partake in experiments like Ouija Boards and the Estes Method if you don't
want to, we have plenty of other equipment for you to use.

You will also have a couple of breaks throughout the night, where we provide you with unlimited refreshments and snacks.


  • Group photo of all guests which gets published to our page

  • Small group extended vigils

  • Refreshments and snacks like teas, coffees, hot chocolates,
    bottles of water, biscuits, crisps and chocolate bars

  • Full use of ghost hunting equipment like K2s, EMF Meters,
    REM Pods, Mel Meters, Spirit Boxes, Motion Detectors,
    Dowsing Rods, Laser Grid Pens, ITC Apps and SLS Cameras

  • Paranormal experiments like Ouija Boards, Glass Divination,
    Table Tipping, S
    éances, Estes Method and Human Pendulum

  • An introduction to ghost hunting equipment and techniques
    for guests new to the paranormal



  • All attendees MUST be 18 years or older

  • Heavily pregnant women are NOT allowed on these events

  • This location is NOT wheelchair accessible


  • We operate a STRICT No Alcohol/Drugs Policy on our events, and if caught or believed to be under the influence of any alcohol or drugs, you will be removed from the event immediately and banned from all future events - No refunds

  • All attendees MUST bring a torch to the event, as we will be investigating in dark areas and low light conditions

  • Sensible footwear is required for the location's environmental conditions

  • In the colder months we advise to wear warm layered clothing, and bring a warm coat with you as the night will get cooler as the event progresses

  • History tours are NOT provided at this location, but we will talk briefly on the location's past

  • Ouija Boards are brought to events at this location, however we don't force you to take part in them

  • Please ensure you are able to attend this event; deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable, and full payments and remaining balances are non-refundable and non-transferable
    four weeks prior to the event date


ADDRESS: Shrewsbury Prison, The Dana, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 2HP

EVENT TIMES: 9:30pm - 4:00am / Sleepover - 8:00am (arrive at 9:15pm and wait patiently outside the front until a member of our team greets you at the entrance for registration)


  • Small Car Park opposite the Prison

  • Shrewsbury Howard Street Station Car Park

  • Local Street Parking

Please note parking charges may apply.

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