10 Most Haunted Crime & Punishment Locations

September 10, 2022 1:00 AM ‐ GhostsTop 10 Most Haunted ListsParanormal
Accrington Police Station And Courts
We've already covered off the most haunted prisons in the UK, but this list focusses on historic locations with links to crime and punishment, such as old courtrooms, buildings with local holding cells and police headquarters. These centres of law and order have a great deal of history, with grim tales of incarceration, murder and judicial execution.

10. Bradford City Hall, Bradford

 

The Grade I listed, 19th century town hall in Centenary Square is one of the city's most recognisable landmarks because of its distinctive clock tower. The building has had several uses over the years, the cellar once housed the city's police cells and it is a former prisoner called Charlie who is said to haunted the building today. He was held in the cells before being executed.

His ghost has been blamed for a general feeling of unease and for what has been described as poltergeist activity. Staff have also reported hearing the sounds of a full court in session, but upon entering the old courtroom have found it to be completely empty.

9. Dorchester Shire Hall, Dorchester

Dorchester Shire Hall

 

A hall has stood on the land in some form as far back as at least the 1640s, but the building that we see today opened in 1797 and became the centre of law, order and local government for Dorset until the 1950s. In 2018, the building opened as the Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum.

In 2010, paranormal investigators claim to have captured an image showing the ghostly figure of Judge Jeffreys in one of the corridors. Known as the "Hanging Judge," Jeffreys does have strong links to the town. A little further along High West Street you will find his old lodgings, however the current courthouse was built more than a hundred years after his death.

During recent renovations in 2018, workmen reported that their tools were moving around and being found in obscure places. To test the possibility of a paranormal explanation, they placed several objects on a table in an old cell and marked their outlines with chalk. They locked up the building and left the experiment overnight, the next day they found their tools had indeed moved despite the building being completely empty.

8. Leeds Crown Court, Leeds

 

Leeds Crown Court has for many years been the place of emotional trials, where sentences have been passed. Those working and visiting the building have regularly reported seeing the spirit of an old bald man, he's been given the nickname Fred by the staff. The hauntings actually date back further than the court rooms, which were open in 1974. It's said that the ground the buildings stands on is haunted, with stories from as far back as 1874 of locals gathering to try to spot the ghosts roaming the grounds.

7. The Guildhall, Leicester

 

Built in 1390, the Guildhall is one of the best timber-framed halls in the country. It dates back 600 years and has had many different uses, a meeting a place, library, courthouse and lock-up, a theatre, a school and the headquarters of the Leicestershire police force.

In the library on the building's first floor a phantom known as the White Lady has been seen on several occasions. Furniture, including tables, has also been known to move on its own and doors are said to unbolt themselves once they've been locked. Another apparition, that of a monk, has been seen standing over a large King James I bible on display in the room and the pages are said to mysteriously turn on their own.

The great hall is said to be haunted by the ghostly black cat, seen sitting on the stairs and in the jury room, loud footsteps have been heard, objects are said to move around on their own and the apparition of a police man has been seen. Cries and moans have been heard coming from the old cells and the figure of an old man wearing rags has been seen swaying from side to side.

6. Judge's Lodging, Presteigne

 

The building and its courtroom were first used in 1829, and over more than 150 years was a place where hundreds of people were tried for their crimes, many of whom paid the ultimate price for their misdemeanours and were sentenced to death.

The cries of a woman who was sentenced to death is often said to be heard, many believe she wanders the building looking for her baby, which she was prosecuted for the murdered off.

In the building's basement visitors have reported hearing strange growling and groaning coming from the empty cells. As well as cell doors slamming, before being pounded on from the inside.

In the courtroom itself, witnesses say they've heard voices and noises, even the banging of a gavel, as if the court is in session. Upon entering the room, they've found it to be completely empty.

The upper floors are where you'll find the lavish living quarters which were inhabited by the visiting judges, this area of the building is believed to be haunted by a woman dressed in white. She's said to have been seen walking through closed doors. In the lodging's kitchen, there has been reports of objects being thrown at unsuspecting guests.

5. Exeter Old Courts, Exeter

 

The old jail and court rooms ave a long and often bloody history, they were built on the site of an old Roman settlement following the Norman conquest.

In the old cells visitors report a feeling of depression and even uncontrollable anger. The ghost of an angry male prisoners is said to lurk here and chains have been heard rattling. Out in the courtyard many have reported seeing the ghost of soldiers and others have seen witches hanging from the gates.

Two spirits are said to haunt the post room, one is a female who is seen distressed and crying, the other is a tall man. This area is also said to be haunted by the ghosts of mischievous children.

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4. Tron Theatre, Glasgow

 

The city centre theatre has a long and dark history, including its former uses as a place of execution, a police station and a meeting place for the infamous Hellfire Club. The paranormal activity in the building ranges from reports from staff of the uneasy feeling that they're being watched or even touched and doors open on their own, through to visitors witnessing full apparitions.

The most active parts of The Tron is said to be the Victorian Bar and the back two rows of the auditorium. The ghostly sightings included reports of phantom children and the apparition of a man seen roaming the building dressed in riding gear. There's also said to be a menacing spirit which lurks in the boiler room, which sits on the former site of St Mary's Crypt.

3. The Old Nick Theatre, Gainsborough

Most Haunted At Old Nick Theatre

 

There are so many reports of paranormal activity in the building, that used to be a police station and small prison, that some people refuse to enter alone at night, and even in the daytime. The reported phenomenon includes furniture moving, doors slamming, the sound of men and women crying, and reports of people being pushed on the stairs.

Many have witnessed apparitions of faceless policemen as well as convicts, most often wandering around the cells and in the police common room.

2. Accrington Police Station And Courts, Accrington

Accrington Police Station And Courts
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The grade II listed building, also known as the "urban lockup", is situated on the edge of Accrington town centre and was previously jointly used as a magistrates court and police station by the Accrington division of Lancashire Police.

Since the police moved out in 2016, the building has been abandoned and become a popular haunt for paranormal investigators. The activity experienced at the building is said to range from unexplained knocks and bangs through to loud footsteps and disembodied voices and slamming doors.

1. National Justice Museum, Nottingham

Galleries of Justice, Nottingham

 

The first records of the National Justice Museum, formerly the Galleries of Justice, being uses as a prison was in 1449. It is built on the site of a Saxon settlement dating back to 600AD, and is said to play host to ghostly apparitions, poltergeist activity, disembodied voices, slamming doors and unexplained drops in temperature.

As well as the prison, the building housed court, and many executions took place on the steps of the building, making this the only location in the UK where you could be tried, sentenced and punished under the same roof.

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This is an ever changing, dynamically updated page. Haunted locations may move up or down the list as new locations are added to our database and scores are reviewed to reflect new activity.
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