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Ashwell Prison Oakham Ghost Hunts 

Leicestershire Ghost Hunts 

Ashwell Prison Ghost Hunts / Ghost Hunting Events / Ghost Hunting Experiences 

Ashwell Prison Ghost Hunts / Paranormal Eye UK 

Ghost Hunts at Ashwell Prison can be a genuinely terrifying experience; this location is vast with its many different blocks ( buildings). This is a daunting place. On previous ghost hunts here, our ghost hunters all heard and saw doors slamming closed, the feeling of being on edge and being watched nearly every guest reported. Ghost hunting at Ashwell Prison in Rutland is not for the faint-hearted. Paranormal Eye ghost hunts at this location are incredibly intense.

Ashwell Prison, formerly known as HM Prison Ashwell, was a Category C men's prison in Rutland, Leicestershire, as with many prisons comes negative energy due to the imprints of the former inmates. However, this location has given many ghost hunters so much in the way of paranormal activity. Ashwell Prison has many separate areas, so it can be any ghost hunter’s ideal location for sitting alone in rooms holding a watch and waiting for the vigil. Poltergeist activity was witnessed here on our first visit; many guests refused to return to that block. Will you be ghost hunting at Ashwell Prison? 

History of Ashwell Prison 

In February 1944, the US 82nd Airborne Division set up base at Ashwell. The riggers of the 82nd Parachute Maintenance Company immediately got to work. Their job was to pack and repair parachutes for training at the 'jump school'. The 505, 507, 508 and the parachute infantry regiments trained at the nearby airfield in preparation for the Normandy jump.

In 1955 Ashwell Prison opened, initially as an open prison for men. In 1987 it was converted into a secure Category C adult male prison. Ashwell Prison featured in the news in 2003 as inmates rioted, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage as they barricaded themselves into one of the wings and began destroying the contents; eventually, control was regained and order restored. The offenders were transferred from HMP Ashwell.

Ashwell Prison was constructed on the site of a World War II US army base (home to part of the 82nd Airborne Division) and first opened in 1955 as an open prison for adult male prisoners. In October 1987, it was converted to an Adult Male Category C establishment. In 2003 Ashwell Prison hit the headlines after four prisoners went on a wrecking spree, damaging £10,000 worth of office equipment, computers and windows. The trouble started when an officer found an inmate had been drinking alcohol in his cell. Despite this incident, Ashwell achieved Resettlement Stage 1 accreditation in the same year.

A significant riot at Ashwell Prison began on 11 April 2009. During the riot, a three-mile police perimeter was put in place, which extended to the edges of Oakham. Several prisoners were evacuated from the prison. Trouble started on Saturday 11 April at approximately 0100 BST, and a fire broke out at the prison during the afternoon. The riot was successfully brought under control at 2245 BST that day. In response to the riot, the operation launched by authorities was called Operation Tornado, which saw the introduction of specialist riot trained prison staff. Three prisoners were injured, and 75 per cent of the prison was made uninhabitable. The riot started when a prisoner, serving a three-year sentence, confronted staff and refused to return to his room. He began to cause damage and was joined by others. The unrest spread quickly throughout the prison, and approximately 400 prisoners are thought to have participated. No member of staff was injured or directly attacked.

The damage done to three of the old wings was substantial. The rest of the prison was either undamaged or sustained superficial damage. The event provoked questioning of the UK's overcrowded prison system leading to Category B prisoners' downgrading so that they can be moved to Category C prisons. In January 2011, it was announced that Ashwell Prison was to close, as the cost of repairing and maintaining the building was too high. The prison formally closed at the end of March 2011, when all inmates were transferred to other prisons.

This prison has been a source of interest for quite a few months in the ghost hunting world because of the paranormal evidence captured here. The main area of activity is the isolation block where the apparition of a man has been seen along with footsteps and whispers. A woman's voice has been heard in one of the cells, which is strange as women were not imprisoned there.

Ashwell Prison is a vast location with a strange and eerie feel. You almost get a sense of those imprisoned here because the prison is sectioned, housing some of society's most dangerous criminals. Their despair is evident by the graffiti that you see written on the walls of the cells in each segregation block. We should never forget that some of the incarcerated prisoners are still alive, as are the relatives of some of those who have since died. We will work with respect and dignity for all those connected with Ashwell Prison.

In January 2013, Rutland County Council announced that it had finalised a deal to buy the former prison from the Ministry of Justice to convert the site into a business park. The site was redeveloped throughout 2013, with some accommodation blocks damaged during the riots demolished and new units built in their place. Oakham Enterprise Park has now opened with units converted for business use.

A 2005 inspection report of Ashwell cited concerns about prisoners' vulnerability, race relations, and work quality and training at the prison. In the same year, an inmate at the jail escaped from guards while receiving treatment for tuberculosis at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. The prisoner was recaptured days later. In July 2008, a new £6m wing with an additional 64 cells was opened at Ashwell Prison. The new wing increased the overall capacity of the prison to 619 inmates.

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