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Things got seriously unsettling during this ghost hunt at Shrewsbury Prison

Ghost hunters have been having a busy time at a Shrewsbury landmark where things have apparently been going bump in the night.

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

Famous TikTokers Dan Spragg and Adam Oakley, had a few eerie moments during a visit to Shrewsbury Prison recently where their wide-eyed after dark experiences were broadcast live on their social media site.

A spokesman for the tourist attraction said there had been some "unmistakable" otherworldly feedback.

"At first some faint knocks were heard in response but when asking the direct question “What cell number are you?” the entity conveyed that they were in “Cell 6” followed by the statement “Do not!”

A five-minute preview was posted to Mr Spragg's Facebook page, Ghost Trip Investigation. Mr Oakley also shared an eerie clip on his TikTok, asking his followers if they believed the movement on camera to be an orb.

Shrewsbury Prison hosts regular ghost hunts and paranormal investigations operated by professional external organisations and paranormal groups.

They say that June has been a "massive success in the world of paranormal, with many unexplained occurrences and some exciting investigators joining them behind bars".

The prison also has a "paranormal supervisor" who had been "shocked and delighted to have witnessed the most haunted cell in C-Wing’s door slam open and closed three times and then stop suddenly". He also reports to have seen a shadowy figure in the same area, reputed to be the Grey Lady many have seen walking the landings from cell 203.

A prison update says the so called "execution suite" was a most active location, including an unexplained bang.

Towards the end of June the paranormal group Most Haunted went for a sleepover event.

Karl Beattie and Stuart Torevell, presenters of Most Haunted, provided an introduction for the group before they set off to start their investigations and were greeted with resounding gasps and applause.

It was reported that many bangs and footsteps were heard throughout the night as well as whistling on A-Wing, but when investigators went to check where the sounds were coming from all went quiet and nothing could be found…

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

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shrewsbury prison ghost walk

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Shrewsbury Prison Ghost Hunt & Sleepover - Saturday 15th June 2024

Shrewsbury Prison Ghost Hunt & Sleepover - Saturday 15th June 2024

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Shrewsbury prison (the dana) shrewsbury, shrop s hire, hangings, death and ghosts. those are three words to describe shrewsbury prison. the prison is a grade ii listed building that dates back to 1793, replacing the previous medieval dana gaol. hundreds of men, women and children were imprisoned here, with numerous public and private executions that took place. as many as 5 people were hanged each day at one point, with the building being the most haunted location in shrewsbury. dark shadow figures, poltergeist activity and a ghostly grey lady are all reported here. dare you investigate and sleepover inside the sinister shrewsbury prison  .

Shrewsbury Prison (HMP Shrewsbury) was originally built and completed in 1793. Prior to this, a medieval prison was located on this site called 'Dana Gaol'. In 1788, prison architect John Howard visited Shrewsbury to inspect the new prison design plans. He was dissatisfied with some of the design choices like the size of the interior courts. After many redesigns, the Georgian Prison was constructed by Thomas Telford and completed in 1793. At the front of the Gatehouse lies a bust of John Howard. While the remains of the original Georgian Prison are preserved underneath the current site, the Victorian construction was built in 1877.

Over the next seven decades, Shrewsbury Prison was a place of public executions, drawing in large crowds of people. People even used to arrive early on the execution days to ensure they would get the best view possible, with some even bring posters as souvenirs. The last public hanging at Shrewsbury Prison took place on the 9th April 1868, when 35 year old John Mapp was executed for murdering a 9 year old girl. The misfortune for John was that his execution happened a month before public hanging were abolished.

Women were imprisoned here at Shrewsbury Prison until 1922.

Between 1902 and 196 1 , eight hangings were carried out at Shrewsbury Prison, including 34 year old Richard Wigley on the 18th March 1902, 57 year old William Griffiths on the 2 4 th July 1923, and 43 year old Harry Huxley on the 8th July 1952 . All executions were carried out at 8:00am exactly. The last execution to take place altogether at the Prison happened on the 9th February 196 1 , when 21 year old George Riley was hanged for the murder of a 62 year old woman. There was a lot of troubled controversy surrounding George's death, as many people believed he didn't actually commit the murder, but in fact was framed and blamed for the murder. While we will never know the full truth behind this, it might explain why his apparition is seen throughout A-Wing.

During a period of redevelopment in 1972, the remains of 10 prisoners who were executed at Shrewsbury Prison were exhumed. 9 of the 10 prisoners were unrecognisable, and sadly were cremated shortly after being dug up. The last prisoner was identified by relatives as George Riley, and his remains were handed over to them.

In the mid-late 2000s, there was a number of enquiries and concerns raised about Shrewsbury Prison. In September 2004, George Stevenson MP called for an enquiry into the number of suicides that occurred at the Prison, after three inmates had hanged themselves in their cells in the space of two weeks. The following year revealed a report that Shrewsbury Prison was the most overcrowded prison in England and Wales. This was emphasised in August 2008 when another report stated that the Prison had 178 cells in use but held a whopping 326 inmates.

In March 2013, HMP Shrewsbury decommissioned as an active prison, and was soon turned into a museum and visitor attraction, hosting guided history tours, ghost tours and various other activities like ghost hunts and sleepovers.

GHOSTS & HAUNTINGS

Shrewsbury prison is deemed the most haunted building in all of shrewsbury, from ghostly apparitions and scary auditory phenomena to poltergeist activity. with hangings, suicides and mass death taken place on this site, the sinister feelings of this gruesome place still reverberates within the walls. in c - wing, the ghost of a grey lady has been seen on multiple occasions pacing along the upper walkway. she first appears outside of cell 203, aka the haunted cell, and then proceeds to walk along to the other side of the walkway, before vanishing into thin air. she is dressed in victorian clothing and is sometimes seen wearing a big coat. a young boy is also reportedly seen in this wing on the top of the stairs, pushing past visitors, staff and investigators. along with this, quick-moving footsteps and bangs are heard too. in a - wing,  cell doors are reported to slam shut causing loud bangs that echo throughout the area. many negative energies are felt and sensed in this part of the prison, with people reporting sharp pains around their bodies, and seeing dark shadow figures move across the walkways. some investigators have even witnessed apparitions inside of some of the cells before they disappear without a trace. objects are usually kept away from this part of the prison, as many have experienced violent poltergeist activity from the prisoners of the past throwing objects in the cells. horrid groans and voices are heard in the cells too. this part of the prison is extremely eerie and terrifying in the dark, but are you brave enough to challenge your fears here in the execution room where several hangings were carried out, guests have felt a choking sensation and struggling to breathe in general, as if those condemned are putting the impression of their final moments alive onto them. ghastly male spirits have manifested around the trap door, displaying a morbid scene to those unfortunate (or fortunate) to see. poltergeist activity has also been reported in this room, with the noose see n swinging on its own accord despite no drafts. in the exercise yard, many have experienced cries and groans close to their ears sending chills down their spines. faces have also been seen peering out the cell windows in a - wing. cold spots are also felt throughout the location, with women's bums being pinched by unseen hands at times.  , your ghost hunt experience, your night of ghost hunting with brookes paranormal is guaranteed a fun, safe and spooky one. experience this historic location with exclusive access after dark, as you explore the eerie rooms and areas in search for the ghostly spirits that haunt here. here at shrewsbury prison, you will get to investigate the whole of a - wing featuring 4 floors of cells, the whole of c - wing featuring the haunted cell 203, the execution room, the chapel and visitors rooms, and the exercise yard where numerous unmarked graves are located underneath (weather permitted). our team are friendly, professional, approachable and knowledgeable with paranormal inve stigating, and we will guide and support you to make sure you get the most out of your investigation. we welcome everyone from all walks of life, as our events are a safe space for all who love and enjoy the thrill of ghost hunting. whether you're a paranormal novice or an experienced investigator, you'll be well-looked after and treated like family. this is an honest ghost hunting experience, so there won't be any fakery or trickery during the night. we believe that if activity happens, it happens for real. on your ghost hunt, you will be split into smaller groups to give you the best, personal experience possible. you will also get hands on with various pieces of ghost hunting equipment and participate in interesting paranormal experiments. ​  while we encourage everyone to get involved in the night's vigils, you don't have to partake in experiments like ouija boards and the estes method if you don't want to, we have plenty of other equipment for you to use. you will also have a couple of breaks throughout the night, where we provide you with unlimited refreshments and snacks.  , your event includes, group photo of all guests which gets published to our page, small group extended vigils, refreshments and snacks like teas, coffees, hot chocolates, bottles of water, biscuits, crisps and chocolate bars, full use of ghost hunting equipment like k2s, emf meters, rem pods, mel meters, spirit boxes, motion detectors, dowsing rods, laser grid pens, itc apps and sls cameras, paranormal experiments like ouija boards, glass divination, table tipping, s é ances, estes method and human pendulum, an introduction to ghost hunting equipment and techniques for guests new to the paranormal, please note before booking, all attendees must be 18 years or older, heavily pregnant women are not allowed on these events, this location is not wheelchair accessibl e, this location has sleepover facilities - you will need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow and/or camping mattress, we operate a strict no alcohol/drugs  policy on our events, and if caught or believed to be under the influence of any alcohol or drugs , you will be removed from the event immediately and banned from all future events - no refunds, all attendees m ust bring a torch to the event, as we will be investigating in dark areas and low light conditions, sensible footwear is required for the location's environmental conditions, in the colder months we advise to wear warm layered clothing, and bring a warm coat with you as the night will get cooler as the event progresses, history tours are not provided at this location, but we will talk briefly on the location's past, ouija boards are brought to events at this location, however we don't force you to take part in them, please ensure you are able to attend this event; deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable, and full payments and remaining balances are non-refundable and non-transferable four weeks prior to the event date, address, event times & parking, address: shrewsbury prison, the dana, shrewsbury, shropshire, sy1 2hp, event times: 9:30pm - 3:30am / sleepover - 8:00am (arrive at 9 :1 5pm and wait patiently outside until a member of our team greets you at the door ), small car park opposite the prison, shrewsbury howard street station car park, local street parking, please note parking charges may apply..

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Shrewsbury Prison Ghost Hunt

Shrewsbury Prison

Choose a date to book, your ghost hunt at hmp shrewsbury prison “the dana” will see you exploring this haunted location in the dark. are you ready to be creeped out, shrewsbury prison ghost hunt.

Head over to the renowned Shrewsbury Prison for a ghost hunt, a chilling, gothic Victorian-era edifice and one of the most sought-after places in the UK for ghost hunters. As day visitors pack up, your brave friends and you will explore the venue, finding abandoned, dreary cells and hallways. During the evening you will seek to experience various communication with the spirits. With a unique experience such as this, make sure to be prepared for a night of thrills and adventure. Are you brave enough to visit?

Are you looking for a real paranormal experience? Don’t wait, sign up now and join us in exploring a spooky Prison. Prepare yourself for a night that you will not easily forget!

Welcome to your Ghost Hunt Experience

Are you ready to have a unique, unforgettable experience? Join us, Haunted Houses events, at Shrewsbury Prison for a night of ghost hunting, and you’ll have exclusive access to a mysterious building and the opportunity to unlock secrets and try to make contact with spirits. We have specially equipped scientific gear for you, and access to our well-informed staff to teach you about Ouija boards, glass divination and table tipping. In small groups, you’ll have plenty of time to maximize the evening and acquire all the ghost hunting knowledge you need. If you’re a paranormal novice or have gone ghost hunting before, you’ll definitely love your time at Shrewsbury Prison on a thrilling ghost hunt.

ABOUT YOUR GHOST HUNT: 

Join us for an immersive ghost hunt, in which we take precautions like spiritual white light protection and grounding. We don’t need any tricks or pretend activity here! If you’ve never done it before, we’ll introduce you to the tools and techniques, and show you how to use the equipment. This isn’t a history or ghost tour – it’s the real deal. During the night, we’ll let you experience the ghost hunting with experiments and solitary vigils, with unlimited drinks provided by us. In the end, we’ll all sit together and share what we’ve encountered, wrapping up a night that promises real paranormal investigation.

  • This exciting event is a real ghost hunt experience
  • Your hosts are knowledgeable, experienced and friendly
  • We do not condone any tricks or the faking of activity
  • Ghost hunting with us is in small groups, we do not believe in overcrowding
  • Spiritual white light protection and grounding before you start
  • We can offer an introduction to ghost hunting techniques and equipment for all our first-time ghost hunters
  • Psychic and scientific experiments for you to try throughout the night
  • Lone vigils in the dark for the bravest or experienced ghost hunters
  • Full hands-on use with the equipment
  • Unlimited hot and cold drinks throughout the night
  • Guests may bring personal midnight snacks if they wish
  • A group discussion of findings at the end sharing experiences
  • This is not a Ghost Walk or History Tour. Your focus is paranormal investigation
  • FREE onsite parking
  • Nearby Hotels  check here

EQUIPMENT PROVIDED:

  • – EMF Readers: K2 Meters, Gauss Masters
  • – MEL Meters
  • – Laser Grids
  • – Thermal Imaging Cameras
  • – Spirit Boxes including the  Estes Method
  • – Trigger Objects / Sensor Lights / “Cat Balls”
  • – Ouija Boards / Glass Divination / Table Tipping
  • – Dowsing Rods / Crystal Pendulums

PLEASE NOTE BEFORE BOOKING:

  • This location has no sleeping facilities
  • This location is not suitable for wheelchair users sorry
  • Adults only – You must be at least 18 years to attend
  • Those aged from 16 may attend when accompanied by a responsible parent or parental guardian
  • Not suitable for those in pregnancy
  • This is a dark location, all attendees must bring a torch with them
  • Sensible footwear is essential, and warm layered clothing in cold weather

All of our booking  terms and conditions  are agreed to at the point of sale and we advise reading through these prior to booking.

When you book a spot at our event, please ensure you will be able to attend. We are  unable  to provide a refund, offer credit, or switch dates, as all payments are  non-refundable  and  non-transferable .

Haunted Houses Events Ltd was founded in 2014. It is one of the most experienced ghost hunt experience providers around. 

Reported Ghosts

With so many lives being taken within the hard-stone walls of Shrewsbury Prison, it is not hard to see why so many ghostly cries have been heard across this empty prison in the dead of night!

Victims of untimely deaths was not just confined to the hanging room, Clatter of objects thrown from the cells from angry spirits who remain, perhaps in protest to the torment from their harsh treatment.

Suicides, murders and of course hangings will have left its sinister mark all around this building. Many report dark and intimidating shadows, cold breath is said to be felt on your skin and hair pulling and bottom pinching of ladies has been experienced more than once!

The spirits here that remain can pass as quite threatening, being known to make bangs and slam doors shut, so this location is highly recommended to those with a brave disposition or having a real excitement for aggressive activity

Venue History

HM Prison Shrewsbury was a Category B/C men’s prison in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England and closed for good in March 2013. The former prison site, on Howard Street, adjacent to Shrewsbury railway station, is near the site of the Dana Gaol, a medieval prison.

There has been a prison on the site since 1793, the original building being constructed by Thomas Telford to plans by Shrewsbury architect John Hiram Haycock; the present prison building was constructed in 1877. The prison took female convicts until 1922.

The name The Dana is still often used for the prison, as well as being the name of the road to one side of the prison and the pedestrian route that runs from near the front of the prison into the town centre via a footbridge over the station. The now disused platform 8 at the station is masked from the opposite platform by a high wall which was used for transporting prisoners between 1868 and the First World War. A bust of prison reformer John Howard is above the main entrance to the prison. The street leading up to the prison from the main road is also named after him.

Between 1902 and 1961 there were several executions by hanging at Shrewsbury Prison. HMP Shrewsbury for the crime of murder:-

Richard Wigley aged 34 yrs on Tuesday, 18 March 1902 (Mary Ellen Bowen (girlfriend]) William Griffiths aged 57 yrs on Tuesday, 24 July 1923 (Catherine Hughes (mother) Frank Griffin aged 40 yrs on Thursday, 4 January 1951 (Jane Edge) Harry Huxley aged 43 yrs on Tuesday, 8 July 1952 (Ada Royce (girlfriend) Donald Neil Simon aged 32 years on Thursday, 23 October 1952 (Eunice Simon [estranged wife] & Victor Brades her lover) Desmond Donald Hooper aged 27 yrs on Tuesday, 26 January 1954 (Betty Smith) George Riley aged 21 yrs on Thursday, 9 February 1961 (Adeline Mary Smith [neighbour])

In almost every case the murder victim was female. Executions took place at 8.00 am and all executed prisoners were buried in unmarked graves inside the prison. These since have been dug up and the remains dealt with. The four executions which took place during the 1950s were all conducted by Albert Pierrepoint and his assistant. The last execution in 1961 was conducted by Harry Allen and his assistant. In February 2014 the Ministry of Justice stated that the remains of ten executed prisoners were exhumed from the prison in 1972, cremated at a local crematorium and the ashes scattered there.

In September 2004, Member of Parliament George Stevenson called for an enquiry into the amount of suicides which had occurred at Shrewsbury Prison. This came after 3 inmates had hanged themselves at the jail in 2 weeks. There are suicide cells where these men would have been held under close watch, but obviously not close enough.

A report in 2005 named Shrewsbury prison as the most overcrowded in England and Wales. In August 2008 a further report stated that the prison had 178 places in use but held 326 inmates – an overcrowding rate of 183%. A report in June 2012 by the Prison Reform Trust awarded Shrewsbury second place in England and Wales for overcrowding, holding 326 prisoners in space designed for 170 men, a figure exceeded only by Kennet in Liverpool at the time. In 1934, the prison had contained the larger number of 204 cells.

  • Shrewsbury,
  • Shropshire,
  • (Arrive for 9:15 pm)
  • This is a ticketless event, please sign in on arrival
  • This location has an onsite carpark. charges apply
  • Refreshments are provided by Haunted Houses Events and are included in the price
  • Guests may also bring own personal breaktime snacks
  • This is not a sleepover event
  • This location is not suitable for wheelchair users or those with mobility issues

£59.00 Per Person

Your ghost hunt at hmp shrewsbury prison "the dana" will see you exploring this haunted location in the dark. are you ready to be creeped out.

  • This is a TICKETLESS event

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Shrewsbury Prison Ghost Tour - Shrewsbury Prison

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Shrewsbury Prison Ghost Tour

A really good tour, made fun and informative by Stacey and Siobhan.It was a great experience that went by too quickly so will definitely be back for a longer visit soon

Hi Jodie W, Ghostie says👻 “It was great seeing you on the tour so please come back so I can spook you more”. Pleased you had a great time and thank you for your review. Kind regards Sandra

The two tour guides were brilliant,shivaun and Stacey.We were a small group and found it to be very informative.We werr made to feel very comfortable and felt relaxed.We experienced some strange goings on but were left wanting more.we will definitely be back for hopefully an investigation.thank you jailhouse tours for a brilliant time was left wanting more time 2 hours just isn't enough.

Hi Billy S, Ghostie says: “ 👻 So glad you enjoyed your tour. I had great fun too, spooking you.” We look forward to seeing you again soon. Thank you for your review. Kind regards Sandra

This prison only closed in 2013. It gives real perspective to the idea that life inside is a picnic. They still have the noose in the hanging room, made me realise even more how glad I am we no longer have capital punishment. An insight experience which is very worthwhile but can not honestly say enjoyable. Highly recommend.

Hi Fromwirral, Good to hear you had an informative tour and now have a good insight into Prison Life. Thank you for your feedback. Kind regards Sandra

This prison only closed in 2013 and this visit really brought home that “doing time” is not the picnic it is thought to be. It still has the hanging room and it just makes you realise how awful it was. It’s an interesting and very insightful place to visit. Would recommend.

Me and my daughter visited Dana Prison during January as she needed to take photographs for her A level art course. After speaking to a very helpful lady on the desk we decided to do the self guided tour so we could go round at our own pace and take photos as we went. The guide for the day arrived as we were going into the prison and offered to point us in the right direction. He showed us A wing and gave us some really interesting facts and information and things that may be of interest. HE was very knowledgeable. Once he left us (to go and do his guided tour!) we wandered around for a good couple of hours. It was fascinating and we intend to go back and do a guided tour...when it is warmer. thought it was a lovely touch that there is a room where you can make yourself a cuppa.

Had a great time wandering about, fascinating place and a must for anyone visiting Shrewsbury. Will definitely be back again

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Shrewsbury Prison Ghost Hunt - Shrewsbury. Shropshire - 2024

17th february 2024 ~ 9:00pm until 3:00am ~ tickets £59 per person, what to expect.

Our team of experienced investigators will be on hand throughout the night so that you can participate in:- - Séances - Vigils (in the dark) - EVP (Ghost Voice) Experiments - Ouija boards / Glass Divination - Automatic writing, Dowsing and Pendulums - Table tilting & rapping - Use of our ghost hunting equipment and much more with our experienced Mediums & Paranormal Investigators. Event will include:- - Usual group size 8/10 people (but may be a maximum of 15 on rare occasions) - The number of groups depends on venue size. - No lengthy briefings or workshops - Controlled sessions & 45mins - 1 hour with our Mediums - Free time for you to investigate / explore on your own - Opportunity for lone vigils throughout the evening - Regular breaks We can't guarantee spiritual or ghostly activity but we can guarantee that everything you experience will be 100% real.

Shrewsbury Prison Ghost Hunt Date: 17th February 2024 Time: 9:00pm until 3:00am Tickets: £59 per person - Deposit (£20) bookings available

SOLD OUT for 17th February 2024

Add Name to Waiting List

Book Shrewsbury Prison on Saturday 12th October 2024 - £59 per person - 30 tickets available

Please note

Over 18s only - No accommodation provided - Unsuitable for guests with limited mobility Complimentary Tea, Coffee and Biscuits are provided for free in the breaks.

Watch our edited highlights

Location of Shrewsbury Prison

What happens at the event.

Our events are always 100% investigation and vigil events, we won't waste time by taking you on a history tour of the venue. We will not usually talk about the history of the building unless people ask us to do so. We don't hold workshops or briefing on equipment usage. Any equipment that you will be using throughout the event will be explained at the start of each session by our team leaders. For the first few hours (usually 1 hour per session) you will be in a group and you will spend time with our Mediums doing séances, where they will try to get the active spirit to move you in some way (this is not designed to scare you) and with our paranormal investigators doing experiments, table tilting, glass divination, Ouija boards, EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena a.k.a. ghost voice) experiments and other equipment experiments using the latest ghost hunting equipment. After these controlled sessions you will have the opportunity to venture off on your own or in small groups to explore the venue or to hold lone vigils or re-visiting an activity that you enjoyed in our controlled sessions. In this part of the night you can use our ghost hunting equipment to do your own ghost hunt. You may take photos/videos with your own cameras throughout our ghost hunts. You may also use any of your own ghost hunting equipment during our controlled sessions.

What our customers say about this event (previous 8 comments):-

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Ghost walk - Shrewsbury Prison

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We did the 19.30 ghost walk it was very interesting ,the two young ladies who were the guides had a great deal of knowledge and amazing story's to tell. We didn't see anything out of the ordinary but there were a few bangs and noises on A wing ,it was very enjoyable and would definately recommend the tour.We will de returning next time we are in Shrewsbury for a guided day time tour or the tunnel tour .

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

Hello, Thank you for this review. We are glad you enjoyed your Ghost Tour! The paranormal activity we experience is very hit and miss sometimes but the building still holds a certain eeriness! We appreciate your recommendation and look forward to seeing you again! Thanks Lauren

There is so much history to this place, very interesting.The guide was very good and provided us with a lot of his knowledge. we really enjoyed it. highly recommended.

Hello, Thank you for this review! We are glad you enjoyed your tour with us and we appreciate your recommendation! Thanks! Lauren

Really interesting afternoon. Mike our tour guide was great, lots of great stories. He was very friendly and helpful.

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

Hello, Thank you for your review! We are so glad you enjoyed your tour with Mick! He certainly has lots of great stories! We hope to see you again! Thanks, Lauren

Mick our tour guide was fantastic. Told us many amazing facts about the prison. He engaged and included everyone in the group and answered lots of questions we asked. We were not rushed in fact the tour ran over as he patiently answered everything we had to ask. What a amazing tour thoroughly enjoyed it money well spent.

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

Hello, Thank you for this review! We are so glad you enjoyed your tour with Mick! He is very good at being inclusive for everyone, and he loves questions! We hope to see you again! Lauren

Visited Shrewsbury prison for the ghost tour, stacey and Siobhan were our guides. They were absolutely brilliant they explain everything in great detail to the best of there knowledge. They make you feel comfortable they dont push you to believe anything. I would definitely recommend going. The history behind the tour is amazing.

Hello, Thank you for this review! We are so glad you enjoyed your tour with Stacey and Siobhan! They definitely know their stuff when it comes to our Ghost Tours! We appreciate your recommendation! Thanks Lauren

We were in Shrewsbury for a short break and decided on a guided tour following reviews. Easy to find and parking was no issue. My first bit of advice is, if it is cold , wrap up warm. The prison tour is cold !! Keith took our tour , a really likeable , super knowledgeable chap who used to work as a prison officer at Shrewsbury. Keith have a brilliant and informative tour of the prison , telling stories and a few jokes as we went. What I liked what his open honesty about the transformation of the prison service from when he worked there as to how it is today . My personal view is that self guided tours would be interesting but you only really get the full story from a guided tour of someone who actually saw the running of the prison. You have time after the tour to walk around at your leisure. Will be recommending this to friends and look forward to taking my daughter back here. Many thanks Keith !

Hello, Thank you for this review! We are so glad you enjoyed your tour with Keith! He certainly has a lot of stories to tell..As well as having a great sense of humour! We do tend to recommend the guided tour, the officers make it! Thank you for your recommendation! Thanks! Lauren

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Shrewsbury Prison Night Behind Bars

Home / Night Behind Bars

The Ultimate Sleepover

Night Behind Bars at Shrewsbury Prison is a 12 hour overnight stay in a prison, without the sentence! Could you handle a whole night?

Is this possible? At Shrewsbury Prison it is and we promise to let you out in the morning – good behaviour permitting, of course! This is a rare opportunity to spend 12 hours behind bars at the 6th ranked Dark Tourism site in the world - one of the UK’s most haunted jails. This event is an 18+ event only.

Event Overview

Stay overnight in a real prison at Shrewsbury Prison

There is a whole world to explore. It is a fantastic experience for couples, groups of friends and those with an interest in the paranormal .

At 8pm you will be met by prison staff, let into the prison through the huge wooden gates and shown to your cell for the night. This is a traditional Victorian cell providing a truly authentic experience.

As part of this awesome experience, a Prison Officer will take you and your fellow inmates for a tour of the jail. You will visit, amongst other areas of the prison, two Victorian wings, a number of themed cells, the segregation unit (including the strip cell), and finish in the execution room. After the tour you are free to explore the site or, of course, retire to your cell for the next few hours. Some will choose to go ghost hunting and others to play games – the choice is yours. BUT don’t even think of escaping – you won’t have time to burrow out Shawshank Redemption style and the walls are VERY high.

Spend the night in a real prison at Shrewsbury Prison

Dinner Behind Bars

The original prison kitchen, now serving as a restaurant, provides hot meals and snacks. There is also a licensed bar on-site, all open ‘till 10pm.

For the night owls amongst you, the prison staff are on-site all-night checking for good behaviour and also available to answer any questions you may have.

You will be woken early in the morning (no tardiness in prison!) to the smell of fresh coffee and a hearty breakfast. We open the giant security gates at 7am when we release you back into the world with your memories of a very unusual night. And, we are confident, many tales to tell!

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I Spent The Night In Shrewsbury's Haunted Prison

This article is more than four years old and was last updated in September 2020.

What better way to start October than by getting into the spirit of Halloween with a nightlong ghost hunt at a creepy disused prison in Shropshire with the Most Haunted team.

HMP Shrewsbury, Shropshire

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For more from Yvette and the gang, check out our ' Most Haunted ' hub, where you will find up to date news on the show, highlights and evidence from the latest investigations, and a complete 'Most Haunted' episode guide .

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Shrewsbury Prison: The Ghosts And Shadows Behind Bars

  • Haunted Places
  • By Sam Ashford
  • First Published: January 12, 2024
  • Last Updated: January 13, 2024

Shrewsbury Prison

The History Of Shrewsbury Prison

There has been a prison on this ominous land in Shropshire, England, for over two centuries. This now-forsaken institution, constructed on top of the original Georgian prison in 1877, is also often referred to as The Dana, as it is near the site of an old mediaeval prison that was known as Dana Gaol, named after Rev. Edmund Dana. 

This haunted penitentiary has witnessed multiple executions where prisoners were hung and cases of suicide occurring within its malevolent walls. The bodies of the executed prisoners were buried within the prison’s unmarked graves; however, according to the Ministry of Justice, nine were exhumed and cremated. Their ashes were scattered on the grounds, which they’ll now haunt for eternity.

In 2013, Shrewsbury Prison officially shut down. After various ideas of what should become of the grounds, it was officially bought by the Campbell Group in 2020, who have been operating the site as an attraction for the last five years and swore to continue doing so. 

A Dark Tourism Destination

Isn’t it strange how thousands of tourists flock to this prison and pay to experience a life so many convicts dreamed of escaping? Some spirits are still held captive inside The Dana’s walls to this day.

There are multiple tours and paranormal events as well as an escape room and even axe throwing available at this immersive dark tourism attraction.

Guided tours

These tours are led by prison guards and are an excellent experience for the whole family. You’ll explore the exercise yards and the inside of this abandoned prison. Your tour guide will even take you into the execution room to learn about the spine-chilling history and what it was really like for prisoners behind bars in Shrewsbury.

Self-guided tour

If you dare, you can also wander around the hallways of The Dana without a tour guide. You’ll be given a map and the chance to explore every corner of the prison at your own pace.

Ghost tours

This ghost tour is the only tour that’ll take you into the Georgian underground tunnels. It takes place every Wednesday and an ex-prison officer will take you through the prison and into the A-wing. It is here where the Shadow Man is often seen walking the landings. This is the perfect tour to bring your ghost-detecting gadgets on.

You’ll hear the spine-chilling stories of the Grey Lady and little Georgian boy as you experience for yourself what life behind bars was like… But more on the ghosts that haunt these premises later.

Prison break challenge – Escape Room

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to attempt a prison break from an actual jail house? Shrewsbury’s jail offers state-of-the-art escape rooms that’ll make your heart race. Fully immerse yourself in this dark tourism attraction with this thrilling escape room experience.

There are also various prison break events that are held on the property. You’ll be put behind bars and have to overcome multiple obstacles to conduct a successful prison break and earn your freedom. If only the original prisoners had been as lucky…

Ghost Detecting Gadgets

You can’t embark on this adventure behind bars without taking some equipment with you. You’ll certainly want to detect the supernatural energy that can’t always be seen with the human eye.

Definitely consider packing these essential ghost-detecting gadgets :

  • EMF meter / EMF Analytic Pro App – Both this device and the app are great for picking up the change in electromagnetic fields when a ghost is present.
  • 8 GB Digital EVP Recorder – This will detect low-frequency sounds that the human ear won’t be able to pick up.
  • Kodak PixPro Camera – IV and UV light filters have been removed, so you can take photos and videos in full spectrum.
  • Pendulum – Light and easy to travel with, you can wear this pendulum around your neck and use it to communicate with the spirits by asking “Yes” or “No” questions.

Prison Life: Past Paranormal Sightings

Although it now operates as an immersive dark tourist attraction, the prison is still believed to hold prisoners captive within its walls…

During the tours that regularly take place in The Dana, there have been reports of multiple paranormal encounters.

Ghost-hunting teams have ventured into Shrewsbury Prison to gather evidence of paranormal activity that allegedly takes place behind bars. There are strange sounds and unexplained phenomena coming from the cells that are assumed to be haunted by the convicts who used to inhabit them.

One recent encounter between famous TikTokers Dan Spragg and Adam Oakley took place in June 2022, when after asking an entity what cell number it was in, it responded with “Cell 6” and “Do not!”

Creepy, right? 

The Shadow Man

The restless spirit that has been spotted the most by visitors on jail house tours. The Shadow Man haunts the end of the A-wing in Shrewsbury prison. People have claimed to see his massive shadowy figure standing in a doorway where he is said to have died.

The Grey Lady

You’ll spot the Grey Lady walking the landings of the C wing. While her true identity is a mystery, some believe that she’s the ghost of a nurse who used to tend to the sick and injured prisoners. A few people who have had closer encounters with this spirit claim that she appears to be wearing a Victorian-era uniform.

Little Georgian Boy

This young ghost makes himself visible as he creeps through the dark and chilly tunnels of the Georgian prison. Why he haunts these corridors remains a topic of speculation among visitors. Perhaps, if you’re curious, you could take the interactive talking bear with you on the ghost tour to communicate with this young spirit yourself.

Why did they shut Shrewsbury Prison?

Shrewsbury Prison was mainly shut due to the government’s decision to modernise the prison system. The goal was expensive to maintain, so it was shut down in 2013. Today, it operates as a tourist attraction, hosting self-guided or guided tours as well as prison break events. It’s a great opportunity to experience a real prison. And you can even try your hand at axe throwing.

What was filmed in Shrewsbury Prison?

Shrewsbury Prison has been featured in many movies and TV series . Some of the more widely known ones are:

  • Brassic (Season 3)

What category is Shrewsbury Prison?

Shrewsbury Prison is an old, closed-down jail. It falls under the category of historic and decommissioned prisons. It’s known for its eerie ghost stories and spooky sightings that may stick with you if you happen to see them in person.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re fascinated with the history of the most haunted prison in England, interested in the reality of prison life or just want to test your nerves by attempting a prison break, Shrewsbury Prison is worth a visit.

Exploring The Dana promises a glimpse into the harrowing world of incarceration, but brace yourself—this is not an excursion for the faint-hearted. The goal houses both a dark past and the lingering presence of tormented souls. It’s no wonder it has been quoted as being the “6th Dark Tourism Destination in the World”.

Sam Ashford

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!

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Shrewsbury Prison: The Ghosts And Shadows Behind Bars

There has been a prison on this ominous land in Shropshire, England, for over two centuries. This now-forsaken institution, constructed on top of the original Georgian prison in 1877, is also often referred to as The Dana, as it is near the site of an old mediaeval prison that was known as Dana Gaol, named…

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Amy’s Crypt

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Paranormal Investigation at the Haunted Shrewsbury Prison

Shrewsbury Prison

In the unsuspecting town of Shrewsbury, England lies the remnants of a prison that is said to be one of the most haunted places in the United Kingdom. Her Majesty’s Shrewsbury Prison sits upon endless tunnels and corridors of what remains of the former Georgian era prison that once stood in its place.  

Haunted Shrewsbury Prison,

The original Georgian era prison was built in 1793, though it wouldn’t stick around long, following severe overcrowding and declining conditions for convicts, which eventually led to the prison’s demise. A new prison was built on top of the old prison in 1877 and operated until 2013.   Daily public hangings took place for the 220 offenses under what has been dubbed the ‘ Bloody Code ’, which could see someone sentenced to death for crimes we would consider petty by today’s standards, e.g. stealing livestock. The public executions would draw in large crowds, until in 1902, they were moved inside the privacy of the prison walls. The executed were immediately buried in unmarked graves within the prison grounds, solidifying the legacy of Shrewsbury Prison as one of England’s most haunted.

Haunted England Prison.

Ghostly tales of Shrewsbury Prison

Visitors to Shrewsbury Prison report seeing shadow figures amongst the numerous cell blocks, as well as hearing cries from inmates of the past. Some guests have even reported being pushed down the stairs, feeling a strange grip around their necks, described as being similar to that of a hang man’s noose, or hearing loud door slams suggesting that poltergeist activity is also commonplace within the prison.  

haunted prison in Shrewsbury.

In Cell 441 of A Wing there was an attempted suicide and many people that visit today report feeling a heavy pressure feeling on their chest. Many other visitors to this part of the prison have reported a shadow man that lurks around the multiple floors of the wing, and I personally was overcome with a strange, ill sensation while exploring this part of the prison.

Haunted block in Shrewsbury Prison,

Another area of interest at the haunted Shrewsbury Prison is C Wing, the oldest wing in the prison. This wing was generally reserved for women and children, which is fitting to the ghost stories associated with this area today. Officers that worked at the prison during its operational days would not work in this area of the prison on their own. A grey lady has been said to be seen coming out of cell three and making her way to the hanging room. Incidentally, while investigating the hanging area during our visit we could hear what we described as a woman giggling throughout the night.  

Grey lady ghost of Shrewsbury Prison.

Visiting Shrewsbury Prison

Unfortunately during my visit the underground tunnels that form part of the old Georgian prison were not accessible due to flooding. However, the rest of the prison was able to be explored either as part of a guided or self-guided tour , and is well worth the ticket price.  

Ghost Hunting at Shrewsbury Prison.

If you enjoyed reading about the ghost stories of Shrewsbury Prison, you might also be interested in the Oxford Castle and Prison which dates back even further than this one and has a few ghost stories of its own.

Thanks for reading!

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shrewsbury prison ghost walk

Amy is a world traveller and explorer of creepy locations. She has visited some of the most famously haunted places around the world in search of evidence of the paranormal. Follow Amy's Journey:

Comments (4)

Hi Amy. Ive been binge watching your video’s since I found you on You Tube and they’re fantastic. I live in Aus, but am traveling to England next year specifically to go ghost hunting. I’ve sensed spirits since I was 5. The question I wanted to ask as a newbie to investigating and documenting evidence with equipment, is, how easy or difficult is it to get access to locations and what your advice would be? I’ll be working on a budget too. (If you don’t mind answering that). I’d so appreciate any advice. Thanks so much for all your video’s. Your professionalism and approach to the paranormal is brilliant. Tamsin

Depending on the country, getting into venues (at least to yourself) can be very expensive. I would suggest joining a public paranormal investigation/evening which is normally less than $100. You will be sharing with others, but in big venues it doesn’t matter too much, plus its a good way to get your feet wet.

Have u ever tried pluckley in kent the uks most haunted village

I have not but thanks for the suggestion!

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Top 13 places in Russia where you may face a ghost

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

1. Kusovnikov House in Moscow

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

In the 19 th   century house № 17 on Myasnitskaya street in central Moscow was inhabited by a rich, but very greedy couple – Pyotr and Sofya Kusovnikov, who scrimped on almost everything. Extremely suspicious, they used to hide money from their servants in different places. Once they hid some in the fireplace, but the janitor accidentally burned it when lighting the fire. When she found out, Sofya died instantly of a broken heart, her husband passed away a little later. Since then, the ghost of a hunched old man in a coat has routinely appeared on the street near the house – this is Pyotr Kusovnikov mourning his lost money.

2. Sokol metro station

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

During WWI, not far from the modern Sokol station of the Moscow metro, a cemetery for fallen soldiers was located. In 1918, mass executions of White officers and priests by the Reds were held there. All this led to the appearance of ghosts in the dark tunnels of the station. Early in the morning diaphanous figures with festering wounds can be seen there.  

3. St. Michael’s Castle in St. Petersburg

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

This castle was a royal residence built by order of Tsar  Paul I. On March 21, 1801, he was killed there by a group of conspirators. It is considered that the restless spirit of the tsar was unable to leave the castle. It appears there in the corridors with a burning candle in its hand.

4.   Znamenskaya Tower in Yaroslavl

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

During the Civil War in Russia (1917-1922), a group of White troops held positions in the Volkovsky theater in Yaroslavl. The Red commissar in command of the siege promised to spare their lives. However, he lied and all the Whites were executed at the Znamenskaya Tower. Since then, the ghost of the commissar who didn’t keep his promise has been seen at the place of his crime.

5. Igumnov House in Moscow

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

The house at 43 Bolshaya Yakimanka Street in Moscow, also known as “Igumnov House,” serves today as the residence of the French ambassador. It was built at the request of the industrialist Nikolay Igumnov in the late 19 th   century. He settled his young mistress here, but one day caught her with a lover. The lover was kicked out, but the girl was never seen again. It is believed that the outraged Igumnov bricked her up in a wall. During Soviet times, people often saw the ghost of a young girl walking through the walls with deep, plaintive sighs.     

6. House of Rasputin in St. Petersburg

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

The flat on the second floor at 64 Gorokhovaya street in St. Petersburg is today a usual residential apartment. However, in the early 20th century it was home to one of the most mystical figures in Russian history – Grigory Rasputin. His ghost sometimes appears here, scaring inhabitants with its clunking steps and grunting in dark corners.

7. House on the Embankment

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

This house at 2 Serafimovicha Street, simply known as “House on Embankment,” is among the most famous in the Russian capital, known as the place of residence for the Soviet   crème de la crème : writers, artists, actors, generals, athletes. However, it also has a dark history. During the Great Purge, a campaign of political repressions in the USSR, dozens of the house’s inhabitants were arrested and executed. Today, the house is full of the ghosts of those victims, who sometimes appear in their old dwelling place. 

8. Tower of the old hospital in Ryazan

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

Among the high-rise modern buildings at 15 Gorky Street in Ryazan is an old tower – all that remains of the old hospital. At night, a lonely dark figure can be seen walking in this tower. This is the ghost of Alexander Smitten, who administered the hospital more than a century ago.

9. Griboyedov Canal in St. Petersburg

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

During a misty night in March, one can see the ghost of a young girl near the Griboyedov Canal in St. Petersburg. Her face is blue because of asphyxiation, and there is a big red mark on her neck caused by a rope. This is famous revolutionary Sophia Perovskaya, who assassinated Tsar Alexander II and was hanged for her deed. To meet this ghost is a bad omen, and can cost nocturnal pedestrians their lives.

10. Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

There is a legend that when the Kremlin in Nizhny Novgorod was being built, the constructors were unable to finish one of the towers. It kept falling down. In the end, they decided to make a sacrifice and to build the tower on the blood of the first person who passed by. It happened to be a pregnant woman hurrying to the river for water. She was seized and bricked up in the tower alive. The ghost of a pale woman holding a baby has appeared near this place ever since.

11. Oldenburg Palace near Voronezh

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

Built in the late 19th century, the palace belonged to Princess Eugenia of Leuchtenberg. Today her ghost rises from the deep casemates of the palace to wander through its rooms and corridors. There is also another ghost there, much older — the ghost of a young peasant girl. It is even said that Princess Eugenia saw it when she was alive.

12. Stalin’s country house near Sochi

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

Stalin’s ghost can be seen at his country house, located today within the Green Groove hotel near Sochi. The “father of the nations” walks in his white jacket, smoking his trademark pipe.

13. Psychiatric hospital near Nizhny Novgorod

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

Near the modern psychiatric hospital in the village of Lyakhovo near Nizhny Novgorod, one can see an abandoned old building. Several dozen years ago a young girl hanged herself there because of unrequited love. At night it is possible to see a white silhouette and hear the moaning and cries of the “love-stricken schoolgirl” as the locals call her.

And if you want to see a UFO, here are several places in Russia where you will have a chance.

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shrewsbury prison ghost walk

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Norilsk: The city built by gulag prisoners where Russia guards its Arctic secrets

Environmental activists are frustrated by how authorities handled a diesel spill which poured into two Arctic rivers in late May.

shrewsbury prison ghost walk

Moscow correspondent @DiMagnaySky

Friday 3 July 2020 23:41, UK

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Arctic suffers worst ever industrial spill

The drive from Norilsk airport to the city takes you past mile after mile of crumbling, Soviet-era factories.

It looks like an endless, rusting scrapyard - a jumble of pipes, industrial junk and frost-bitten brickwork. If you were looking for an industrial apocalypse film setting, this would be your place - but you're unlikely to get the permissions.

Norilsk was built in Stalin's times by gulag prisoners. This gritty industrial city is a testament to their endurance both of the cruelty of Stalin's regime and of the harsh polar climate. There were no thoughts then on how to build to protect the environment, just to survive it.

Norilsk in Russia. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Vasily Ryabinin doesn't think much has changed, at least in ecological terms. He used to work for the local branch of the federal environmental watchdog, Rosprirodnadzor, but quit in June after exposing what he says was a failure to investigate properly the environmental impact of the gigantic diesel spill which poured into two Arctic rivers in late May.

At 21,000 tonnes, it was the largest industrial spill in the polar Arctic .

Despite the Kremlin declaring a federal emergency and sending a host of different agencies to participate in the clean-up, just last week Mr Ryabinin and activists from Greenpeace Russia found another area where technical water used in industrial processes was being pumped directly into the tundra from a nearby tailing pond. Russia's investigative committee has promised to investigate.

"The ecological situation here is so bad," Mr Ryabinin says.

"The latest constructions such as the tailing pond at the Talnack ore-processing plant were built exclusively by Nornickel chief executive Vladimir Potanin's team and supposedly in accordance with ecological standards, but on satellite images you can see that all the lakes in the vicinity have unnatural colours and obviously something has got into them."

Nornickel Plant and container (on the left) which had the leak. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Mining company Nornickel would disagree. It has admitted flagrant violations at the tailing pond and suspended staff it deems responsible at both the Talnack plant and at Norilsk Heat and Power plant no 3 where the diesel spill originated from.

On Thursday it appointed Andrey Bougrov, from its senior management board, to the newly-created role of senior vice president for environmental protection. It has a clear environmental strategy, provides regular updates on the status of the spill, and its Twitter feed is filled with climate-related alerts.

But what investors read is very different to the picture on the ground.

21,000 tonnes of diesel oil has spilled into two rivers in Norilsk

Norilsk used to be a closed city - one of dozens across the Soviet Union shut off to protect industrial secrets. Foreigners need special permissions approved by the Federal Security Service (FSB) to enter the region. It would take an invitation from Nornickel to make that happen and, for the past month since the spill, that has not been forthcoming.

Unlike in Soviet times, Russian citizens are now free to come and go. That's why our Sky News Moscow team were able to fly in and travel around the city, even if getting to the spill site was blocked. What they were able to film provides a snapshot of the immense challenge Russia faces in upgrading its Soviet-era industrial infrastructure, particularly at a time when climate change is melting the permafrost on which much of it was built.

The Russian city of Norilsk. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Just downwind from one of the rusting factories on the city outskirts is a huge expanse of dead land. The skeletal remains of trees stand forlorn against the howling Arctic winds. Sulphur dioxide poisoning has snuffed the life out of all that lived here. Norilsk is the world's worst emitter of sulphur dioxide by a substantial margin.

"For 80km south of here everything is dead," Mr Ryabinin says, "and for at least 10km in that direction too. Everything here depends on the wind."

Sample took by Vasily Ryabinin near the Nornickel plant in Norilsk, Russia, on the day of an accident. Pic: Vasily Ryabinin

Immediately after the spill, Mr Ryabinin filmed and took samples from the Daldykan river just a few kilometres from the fuel tank which had leaked. By that point the river was a churning mix of diesel and red sludge dredged up from the riverbed by the force of the leak. Norilsk's rivers have turned red before and the chemical residues have sunk to the bottom, killing all life there. Nothing has lived in those rivers for decades.

In his capacity as deputy head of the local environmental watchdog, Mr Ryabinin says he insisted that he be allowed to fly further north to check the levels of contamination in Lake Pyasino and beyond.

Nornickel at the time claimed the lake was untouched by the spill. Mr Ryabinin says his boss encouraged him to let things be.

"I can't be sure I would have found anything, but this sort of confrontation - making sure I didn't go there with a camera, let alone with bottles for taking samples, it was all very clear to me. It was the final straw."

Rosprirodnadzor refused to comment to Sky News on Mr Ryabinin's allegations or suggestions that the agency was working hand in hand with Nornickel.

The Nornickel plant and the place where diesel meets red water (polluted by other chemicals). Pic: Vasily Ryabinin

Georgy Kavanosyan is an environmental blogger with a healthy 37,000 following on YouTube. Shortly after the spill, he set out for Lake Pyasino and to the Pyasina River beyond to see how far the diesel had spread.

"We set out at night so that the Norilsk Nickel security wouldn't detect us. I say at night, but they've got polar nights there now, north of the Arctic Circle. So it's still light but it's quieter and we managed to go past all the cordons."

He is one of the few to have provided evidence that the diesel has in fact travelled far beyond where the company admits. Not just the 1,200km (745m) length of Lake Pyasino but into the river beyond.

He says his measurements indicated a volume of hydrocarbons dissolved in the water of between two and three times normal levels. He thinks after he published his findings on YouTube, the authorities' vigilance increased.

Greenpeace Russia have spent the last two weeks trying to obtain samples from Lake Pyasino and the surrounding area. They have faced difficulties getting around and flying their samples out for independent analysis.

They are now waiting for results from a laboratory in St Petersburg but say the samples remain valid technically for just four days after collection and that they weren't able to make that deadline due to the authorities' actively obstructing their work.

Vasily Ryabinin and Elena Sakirko from Greenpeace. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Elena Sakirko from Greenpeace Russia specialises in oil spills and says this has happened to her before. This time, a police helicopter flew to the hunter's hut where they were staying and confiscated the fuel for the boat they were using. Then a deputy for the Moscow city parliament tasked with bringing the samples back from Norilsk was forced to go back empty-handed.

"We were told at the airport we needed permission from the security department of Nornickel," Ms Sakirko says. "We asked them to show us some law or statement to prove that this was legal or what the basis for this was, but they haven't showed us anything and we still don't understand it."

Nornickel announced this week that the critical stage of the diesel spill is over. The company is now finalising dates for a press tour for foreign media and for other international environmentalists.

Mr Ryabinin thinks this should have happened weeks ago.

"If we don't let scientists come to the Arctic region to evaluate the impact of the accident, then in the future if anything similar happens, we won't know what to do."

A spokesperson for Nornickel said the company "is actively cooperating with the scientific community and will meticulously assess both the causes and effects of the accident."

The Russian city of Norilsk. Pic: Anastasya Leonova

Nornickel considers permafrost thawing to be the primary cause of the accident, but is waiting for the end of investigation before making a final statement, the spokesperson said.

They added that the company "accepts full responsibility for the incidents on its sites these past two months and holds itself accountable for any infrastructural deficits or poor decisions by personnel.

"The imperative is to do everything to clean up our sites, instil a stronger culture of transparency and safety in our workforce, and ensure that such situations do not occur in the future."

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