Derby Old Gaol Ghost Hunts Derby
Derby Gaol has a reputation for being one of the most haunted buildings in Derby, a city known well as the ghost capital of England, which is renowned for its many ghostly occurrences.
Built-in and opened in 1756, Derby Gaol was the 2nd of three county jails built in the county and was a place of terror, torment, and death.
The Gaol housed hundreds of prisoners during its time who were brutally executed and incarcerated, held whilst awaiting their trials, often in cramped and terrible conditions.
There were over 200 hanging offences in England for exceedingly minor crimes such as poaching and stealing; during these times, many were held at Derby old Gaol before meeting their untimely death by the hangman’s rope.
Sadly, some deaths took place here, including the sad demise of two Brothers who were imprisoned together, who both took their own lives in their cell the night before their trial, to ensure that they didn’t have to face a gruesome execution the following morning,
Tormented souls and ghosts are thought to roam and haunt this old building, the original cell doors showing markings where the prisoners engraved effigies and calved their names before they met their gruesome end.
The Gaol contains a plethora of paranormal activity, such as phantom fragrances, strange moving lights and the eerie sounds of scraping and dragging within the darkness.
Objects have been recorded moving during investigations, along with the chilling sound of the bolts on the old cell doors being pulled open, so as you can see, this is a building worth exploring!
There is a strange and oppressive feel to this location, particularly at nightfall, smoky mists, shadows and dark apparitions are said to have all been witnessed here, so join us as we try to communicate with the many souls and energies thought to remain forever, inside this creepy and atmospheric old Gaol in the heart of the haunted city of Derby.
History of Derby Gaol
History of Derby Gaol
The old gaol in Friar Gate has a particularly gruesome past. Today, all that survive the original prison are its cells, which now form part of a working museum that tells the story of its gruesome history.
The cells are also haunted and form part of a famous city ghost walk. People can even stay in the cells overnight.
The gaol first opened in 1756. It replaced one in the Cornmarket, and materials from that building were used to construct the Friar Gate gaol, which was deliberately sited close to Nun's Green. In this place, executions had traditionally taken place.
The gaol was not meant to hold prisoners for an extended time but to be a holding pen for the courts or the gallows. By the end of 1756, the new building was up and running with its first prisoners. It was designed to house a maximum of 29 prisoners - including those destined for execution.
Its capacity was later extended due to something called the Bloody Code (1770 to 1830), which saw people hanged in England for a whole range of minor crimes. Capital offences included stealing cheeses geese and breaking into a weaving shop.
Records show that there were 58 hangings carried out at the gaol between 1756 and 1825, including the Pentrich Martyrs of 1817, who were executed on charges of treason in front of the building following their failed revolution. However, a far grander building was used as a gaol near Vernon Street, and the Friar Gate gaol closed in 1846.
As for the Vernon Street gaol, in 1886, it was renamed, HMP Derby. It lasted until 1919 when most of the building was demolished.
Until 1929 the remaining part was used as a military prison, and by 1930 the area behind the frontage had been converted into a greyhound stadium which lasted until 1988.
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