Lancaster Castle, Lancashire
Lancaster Castle, a place steeped in chilling and brutal history ! Known for its strong history connections to the Pendle witches to which five of them were said to be held and imprisoned here before they meet their gruesome end and the many myths of the witches comes to an end.. Lancaster Castle was the final destination place for these women, Prior to being hanged for witchcraft they were incarcerated in a dark,disgusting gloomy cell known as the Well Tower and shackled to the floor. Demdyke one of the witches, met her death here whilst awaiting trial unable to withstand the barbaric conditions. This Castle has been used as a prison since 1196 and has held many of the worse criminals. The Castle has a very dark and sinister history many executions by hanging took place here until 1865. Lancaster Castle is a very eerie place by day and an extremely terrifying place by night.
The Many Ghosts of Lancaster Castle
There are many of reported ghosts at the Castle, Its No Surprise with well over a thousand years of history. you never know who you will encounter. Tour Guides within the castle has witnessed so much unexplained happenings from whispers, cries, footsteps and strange mists. CCTV Footage captured a shadow figure walking inside the gatehouse entrance. Visitors who visit during the daytime report the sound of cries and report being pushed by unforeseen hands. The Barristers Library is a hotspot for paranormal activity strange cries are often heard coming from that empty room !. Over 200 prisoners were executed on this site.
The Black Monk
Has been seen wandering the ground level of this vast Castle, Legend is that he was hanged here at the prison. Many people sense his presence.
The Young Girl
Many past inmates and prison staff have reported seeing a young girl, sometimes her cries can be heard from the long eerie corridors within the Castle.
Old Demdyke (One of Pendle Witches)
During the 1612 trials of the Pendle Witch Trials, Old Demdyke died in one of the cells. Her spirit is believed to be responsible for much of the paranormal and poltergeist activity in the old cell within the Well Tower.
The History of Lancaster Castle
One of the castle's earliest uses was as a prison, first recorded in 1196. This became a main function of Lancaster Castle during the English Civil War of 1642 - 1651. Royalist soldiers failed in their attempt to gain control and were imprisoned here. During the late 12th and early 13th centuries, the original timber castle was replaced with stone. The castle was again made stronger before for the Spanish Invasion. After Elizabeth I was excommunicated in 1570, she declared all Roman Catholics guilty of treason. Any living within the area were taken to Lancaster Castle for trial.
Lancaster Castle has served as a county gaol, a debtor's prison and a category C modern prison. The prison reformer John Howard visited in 1776 and noted the dirty conditions. Improvements were made to sanitation around this time. More prisoners died from gaol fever in the 18th century than from hanging. Public executions were moved indoors in 1868 and the last took place in 1910. The prison closed in 1916 but was used again during WWI to hold German soldiers.
Between 1931 and 1937, the council used the building to train police officers. It re-opened as a prison in 1955 and remained in full use until 2011 because it was outdated and costly.
The Pendle Witch Trials were held at Lancaster Castle in 1612. The 12 accused lived in the area around Pendle Hill and were charged with 10 murders by witchcraft. All but two were tried at the Lancaster Assizes on 18th-19th August, along with the Samlesbury Witches. The trials became known as the Lancashire Witch Trials. Nine women and two men were found guilty and hanged. Old Demdyke died in her prison cell in the Well Tower at Lancaster Castle before the trial began. In 1996, a petition was sent to the UK Home Secretary asking that the witches be pardoned, but was refused.
This dark history of Lancaster Castle is long and harsh. It dates back to Roman times where it stood against the ancient Picts and Scots tribes. Owned by the Duchy of Lancaster (The Queen), the castle has survived many invasions. The Lancashire Witch Trials were held here in 1612, including the notorious Pendle Witches. More than 265 public hangings took place from 1762 - 1865, for anything from murder to cattle theft. Until 2011, it was a Category C Prison and German prisoners were held here during the First World War.
This event includes
Guided Tour of the Castle, with brief history Working in small groups, Evp Sessions, table tipping and many other different techniques. Tea/coffee and light snacks throughout the evening.
Please remember to wear suitable footwear as this location has a lot of stairs and very uneven floors.
This Location is not suitable for people with walking and mobility issues.
OVER 18`s ONLY