Haunted: Chelmsford Prison, Essex
Stewart | On 14, Jun 2017
The Ghosts of Chelmsford Prison
You may be surprised to learn that not all the ghosts at the prison are ex-inmates or prison guards.
In fact, a couple of the most common apparitions to be witnessed are that of ghostly children and a lady in a crinoline dress and bonnet!
The ghost of the lady has been witnessed by startled prison officers at the double gates to the inner forecourt, in an outer office within the prison, on the stairs in G Wing and on a landing on A Wing.
The eerie sound of phantom children playing is commonly reported by both inmates and prison officers alike.
They seem to like to play their ghostly games on B and C Wing and also in the prison’s exercise yard.
It’s believed that the ghosts of the lady in the crinoline dress and the children date back to the Victorian period.
In the mid 1800’s it was common for prison wardens to live with their families within the prison complex.
The second governor of Chelmsford Prison was Captain Henry McGorrey.
He lived at the prison with his wife and children but unfortunately tragedy struck his family.
His seven year old son and twelve year old daughter both died from diphtheria.
Then his five year old daughter died from scarlet fever followed by his wife and ten year old daughter.
Some people believe that the ghostly lady in the crinoline dress and the playful phantom children are in fact the spirits of Captain Henry McGorrey’s wife and children!
Another apparition from the 1800s often witnessed at Chelmsford Prison is that of a Victorian prison warden carrying an old fashion lamp.
His been seen by prison officers on F Wing and on two landings on A Wing.
One of the inmates also witnessed him staring at him from within his cell!
The lady in the crinoline dress, the children and the Victorian prison warden are the most witnessed apparitions of the prison.
But, other ghostly apparitions have been reported too…
A ghost of a priest has been seen entering the kitchen from the staff room by a frightened prison warden.
An apparition of a spooky man wearing a hat and smelling of strong aftershave has been witnessed by a couple of prison officers on the night shift.
Also, shadowy figures have been witnessed on A Wing, in the Performance Management department, on E Wing and on the ground floor of the Old Hospital.
It’s also said that the ghost of the infamous 19th century hangman William Calcraft who carried out many hangings at the prison haunts it today!
Apart from the ghostly apparition being witnessed, a lot of poltergeist activity has also been reported within the Victorian prison.
Scared prison officers have reported plastic cups being kicked at them and being pushed up against walls by unseen entities.
Rubbish bins being mysteriously moved, lights being turned off and on, banging from empty cells, phantom footsteps, eerie whistles, unknown voices and temperature drops within cells have all been reported by the prison officers at Chelmsford Prison.
Even prison officers monitoring the CCTV system have reported seeing shadowy figures and orbs in the Health Care Centre and on E Wing.
It’s safe to say that Chelmsford Prison is a very active place!
Jason Day (2012) Haunted Chelmsford. The History Press
FEATURED HAUNTED HOTEL: The Arnos Manor Hotel
Along the Bath Road in Bristol you’ll find the Arnos Manor Hotel.
The hotel was first built as a private home for the business merchant William Reeve in 1760.
It was once a girl’s school which was run by nuns and it’s the ghost of one of these nuns that is said to haunt the hotel today.
Local legend says that a nun had committed suicide because she fell pregnant.
To hide the scandal, the other nuns bricked up her body behind a wall at the hotel.
During the Second World War the hotel was bombed by the German Luftwaffe.
The workmen who were sent in to repair the bomb damage area of the hotel uncovered a female skeleton.
Apparently, to avoid delay, the workmen just buried the bones elsewhere within the building!
Since then, poltergeist activity has taken place throughout the hotel.
Terrified guests have also witnessed a ghostly brown figure within the hotel especially within Room 160.
Guests have heard a female voice calling their name and have felt a figure pinning them down whilst they’ve slept in Room 160.