Tuesday, 29 March 2016

‘Haunted’ Beaumaris Gaol and Courthouse

This Easter I visited Beaumaris Gaol on Anglesey. I’ve been a couple of times before and on a ghost hunt there. It was a dark, wet day so the atmosphere was eerie. The Gaol is said to be haunted by the ghosts of previous staff and residents…

It was built in 1829 to accommodate 30 inmates but closed 11 years later. It then became a police station until 1950 when its function changed to a childrens clinic. It finally became a museum in 1974. The Gaol housed the town’s air raid siren during WWII and was kept afterwards in case of nuclear attack. The furniture in the chapel is not native to the building and was sourced from another chapel. Could these objects have brought their own spirits? The gaol was a place of punishment and toil but not overly harsh by standards of the day. Although, modern audiences may wince at the chains, whippings, isolation cell and (functional) treadmill.

Two hangings took place there: William Griffith (1830) for the attempted murder of his first wife and Richard Rowlands (1862) for murdering his father in law. William did not go quietly to the gallows. On the morning of his execution he barricaded himself inside the cell. The door had to be forced open and he was dragged to his death. Richard protested his innocence and legend has it he cursed the church clock from the gallows, saying if he was innocent the four faces of the St Mary’s church clock would never show the same time. Both inmates were buried within the prison walls but the exact location is unknown.

Reported paranormal activity includes: dark shadows in the corridors, flashing lights, hair being pulled, stones thrown, doors opening and closing, sound of keys rattling, heavy footsteps and a figure of a man in the Governor's office. Some staff don’t like going alone to the first floor at closing time. 

Most Haunted visited the Gaol in 2007 and it was one of the few locations where parapsychologist Dr Ciaran O’Keeffe felt emotionally ‘affected’. I also went there on a ghost hunt in 2014 and caught an EVP in the punishment cell. I conducted EVP sessions in the Exhibition room and Chapel and it was interesting for me as the Welsh speakers ‘heard’ responses to their questions.

If you visit the Gaol you can get reduced entry to Beaumaris Courthouse. Whilst this isn’t haunted (as far as I know) it should be! It’s fascinating and well worth a visit. There’s also the coolest, macabre model I’ve ever seen – a ‘witch’ ducking stool diorama.

You can see photos of the Gaol and Courthouse below as well as links to my videos of the locations, EVPs and diorama. 


 
 








 

 





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