Most Haunted At HMP Shrewsbury Prison, A-Wing - Series 19, Episode 8 Review
Karl Beattie was the victim of an unexplained fall during Most Haunted's two night long vigil at the disused HMP Shrewsbury prison.
Yvette Fielding spent a night behind bars with her team of ghost hunter at the disused HMP prison in Shrewsbury. There's been a prison on the site since 1793, however the building as it currently stands was built in 1877.
The prison has seen thousands of prisoners come and go over the years, including women up until 1922. In a 2005 report, HMP Shrewsbury was named the most over populated prison in England and Wales.
Behind the more modern Victorian facade, the remains of the original Georgian prison are still eerily visible. It was named The Dana after Reverend Edmund Dana.
The thick stone prison walls have witnessed many deaths over the years, including, murders, and inmates taking their own lives, so many suicides in fact that an enquiry was opened after three inmates hanged themselves over a period of just two weeks.
Plenty of judicial execution were also carried out at the prison. In 1885 five prisoners were hanged in a single day. The last public hanging in Shrewsbury was that of Edward Cooper, carried out in 1863 for the murder of his own son.
After that, all executions were brought inside the prison and there was little let up on executions at Dana in the 20th Century. Seven men paid the ultimate price for their crimes at the end of a rope before the last ever hanging at Shrewsbury in 1961, the controversial execution of 21-year-old George Riley.
Is HMP Shrewsbury Haunted?
The prison's A-wing is said to be the most haunted, perhaps due to its dark history of suicides resulting in sad, angry souls being trapped between this world and the next. Most of those who took their own live did so on A-wing, at one point there was one a week.
Many have said that they feel like hundreds of pairs of eyes are watching every move they make in this part of the prison. Others have reported doors slamming, disembodied voices, whistling and poltergeist activity.
Yvette said, "we've been into a lot of prisons, but I have to say, this is the most atmospheric prison I think I've ever been into," she adds "the paranormal activity here is very regular, and there's a lot of it."
Yvette has a theory that, "prisons are very active because of all the emotion, like theatres and that sort of thing, but it's all negative here. I think we've got to watch our back tonight, there's something very negative here."
The show's resident skeptic, Glen Hunt had a bit more of a rational take, "I don't think there's anything really to be fearful of, I'd rather be in a prison that's empty than a prison that's full." But demonologist Fred Batt reminded Glen, "but it's not, the spirits are here."
It was then time for the team to split up, Karl and camera man Stuart Torevell went out held lone vigils in the disused cells of A-wing. Straight away Stuart started to panic, thinking he'd locked himself in, which made a funny moment of viewing.
Meanwhile, Karl asked the spirits to copy a whistle. After whistling an eerie copy of a whistle echoed back at him from the darkness.
Stuart calling out to the spirits, said "please make a noise, a bang, anything you can. I don't mean you any harm, I just want to know you are here in cell 20." Then suddenly there were three big bangs on the cell door, he jumped out of his skin, and opened the door... only to find there was no one there.
Stuart went to find Karl at the opposite of the wing. As he was explaining to Karl what had happened, there was another huge bang, this time coming from the cell door behind Karl on the landing they were stood on.
That was enough for Karl, he said "let's all regroup, I think we should regroup. It's freaking me out a little"
The Lower Levels
Two floors below Karl and Stuart, the rest of the team were holding a vigil. Yvette was joined by Fred, Glen, sound man Darren Hutchinson, Eamonn Van-Harris and camera man, Gregg Smith.
Almost straight away they heard an almighty clatter coming from the far end of the wing, and ran off to investigate leaving Glen and Darren behind. They then heard another clatter and ran back toward Glen and Darren, where Glen had found a crowbar on the hard cellblock floor, which seemed to have fallen from above and could have explained the sound.
With so much happening and everyone on edge, the team decided to take a short break before regrouping together in A-wing.
The team were all huddled together on the lower level of the cellblock, and straight away Karl thought he heard someone say something behind him. Moments later the crowbar which had been left on the floor made a sound as if it was being moved.
They then heard a distant whistling sound, and almost simultaneously, Karl thought he saw a figure in the dark.
Glen said, "it feels like we're surrounded," as the heavy rumble of a door opening somewhere in the cellblock was heard.
After ten minutes or so, the team were still huddled together wing with noises seemingly coming from every direction. Karl said the fact they haven't gone after any of the sounds so how scared they are. Glen said this was because the sounds seemed to be coming from every direction and it's hard to pinpoint them.
Karl then made a crazy suggestion, "let's do Scooby Doo and split up." Of course, all the team said no. But Karl insisted, "come on, this is what we're here for," and reluctantly they split into two groups.
Gregg, Fred, Glen, Eamonn went to the upper landing, Glen speculated that the whole place is ice cold and there's lots of metal, are the noises just the metal contracting? Their time upstairs was pretty uneventful as all the action happened on the lower floor.
Yvette, Karl, and Stuart stayed downstairs, as well as Darren who refused to leave, grabbing on to Yvette's arm for protection.
Entering cell 20 they heard a whistle coming from out in the cellblock, they narrowed the activity down to cell 23 on the lower floor. Suddenly Karl felt like he'd been kicked in the leg and stumbled forward.
Stuart then called out to the spirits of A-wing, "OK, can you come and kick me? Come and kick Yvette." To which Yvette scream, "no, I don't want to be kicked thank you!"
There was then a loud metallic crash, Yvette speculated, "crowbar, crowbar, I bet it's the crowbar." And of course it was. It seemed to have been thrown past the team, much to Yvette's horror. She pointed out it could have killed someone.
The guys from the upper landing came back down to rejoin the team. Karl said, "I don't want us to be too far apart from each other any more, if that's what it can do, that can take one of us out." Darren really wasn't happy, "what are we even doing in here now? This is crazy."
Moments later Karl got kicked in the leg again by an unknown force. They then head what sounded like a cup or something plastic being thrown, some of the team including Karl ran off to investigate. Darren said, "whoever's doing this is trying to split us up."
Then suddenly Stuart shouted, "where's Karl gone?" Before finding him led face down on the floor. "Yvette, Karl's down!" he shouted.
Karl seemed like he had been unconscious and was a little disorientated as he came around. At first he said he could remember what happened and later said it had been like walking on a swaying ship.
The fall signalled the end of the first part of this mammoth three-part investigation. HMP Shrewsbury has already proved to be a dramatic location for the Most Haunted team, but something tells me there's plenty more action to come in the next two parts.
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