HMP Shepton Mallet

HMP Shepton Mallet

Date:Saturday 16th September 2017
Time: 9.30pm-3.30am

Originally built as a House of Correction in 1625, HMP Shepton Mallet is a foreboding and terrifying prison.
The prison finally closed it’s doors in 2013, and up until this point, held the title of the UK’s oldest, working prison. 
HMP Shepton Mallet now lies abandoned, but it’s empty corridors and prison cells await anyone brave enough, to spend the night inside, looking for proof of the paranormal.
Over the years, HMP Shepton Mallet has been used as a military prison, it’s seen executions and inmates have endured extreme punishments for their crimes.
If only walls could speak, this prison would surely have a tale or two to tell regarding it’s brutal, gruesome and torturous past.

Location History:

HMP Shepton Mallet, sometimes known as Cornhill, is a former prison located in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England. When it closed in 2013, it was the United Kingdom’s oldest operating prison, and had been since the closure of HMP Lancaster Castle in 2011. Before closure Shepton Mallet was a Category C Lifer Prison holding 189 prisoners. The prison building is grade II* listed.
The prison was established as a House of Correction in 1625, to comply with an Act of King James I in 1609 requiring that every county have such a House. In the 17th century, Shepton Mallet was not the only place of imprisonment in Somerset: the County Gaol was in Ilchester, and there was another House of Correction at Ilchester and also at Taunton. In these times all prisoners, men, women and children, were held together in reportedly dreadful conditions. The gaoler was not paid, instead making an income from fees from his prisoners.

The total number of executions at Shepton Mallet in its early years is unknown, however seven judicial executions took place within the prison walls between 1889 and 1926:

  • Samuel Ryland (or Reylands), aged 23, was hanged on 13 March 1889. He was convicted at the Assize Courts in Taunton, Somerset on 20 February 1889 for battering to death 10-year-old Emma Jane Davies at Yeabridge, Somerset on 2 January 1889.
  • Henry (Harry) Dainton, aged 35, was hanged on 15 December 1891 by James Billington. He was convicted for drowning his wife in the River Avon.
  • Charles Squires, aged 28, was hanged on 10 August 1893 by James Billington. He was convicted at the Assize Courts in Wells, Somerset for smothering to death his wife’s two-year-old illegitimate son.
  • Henry Quarterly (or Quartly), aged 55, was hanged on 10 November 1914 by Thomas Pierrepoint and George Brown. He was convicted at the Assize Courts in Taunton, Somerset on 20 October 1914 for fatally shooting 59-year-old Henry Pugsley at Parson Street, Porlock, Somerset on 3 June 1914.
  • Verney Asser, a 30-year-old Australian soldier of the 2nd Training Battalion, was hanged on 5 March 1918 by John Ellis and William Willis. He was convicted at the Assize Courts in Devizes, Wiltshire on 16 January 1918 for fatally shooting his room-mate 24-year-old Corporal Joseph Harold Durkin at Sutton Veny Camp on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire on 27 November 1917.
  • William Grover Bignell, aged 32, was hanged on 24 February 1925 by Thomas Pierrepoint and Robert Baxter. He was convicted at the Assize Courts in Devizes, Wiltshire on 20 January 1925 for fatally cutting the throat of his 37-year-old girlfriend Margaret Legg in a field near Tetbury, Gloucestershire on 25 October 1924.
  • John Lincoln (aka Ignatius Emanuel Napthali Trebich Lincoln), aged 23, was hanged on 2 March 1926 by Thomas Pierrepoint and Lionel Mann. He was convicted at the Assize Courts in Devizes, Wiltshire on 21 January 1926 for fatally shooting 25-year-old Edward Richards at Victoria Avenue, Trowbridge, Wiltshire on 24 December 1925.

Their remains were buried in unmarked graves within the walls of the prison, as was customary following British executions.

In 1930, the Prisoner Commissioners recommended to the Government that Shepton Mallet Prison should be closed because it was under-used, having an average population in recent years of only 51 inmates. The prison closed in September of that year, with the prisoners and some of the staff transferring to other jails in neighbouring counties. The prison itself remained empty except for a caretaker until the outbreak of the Second World War.

Use during the Second World War-
The prison was reopened for British military use in October 1939. It soon housed 300 men from all three armed services, with some having to live in huts in the prison yard.

Public Records storage-
At almost the same time as it took its first British military prisoners, the prison also took into protective storage many important historical documents from the Public Record Office in London, including Domesday Book, the logbooks of HMS Victory, the Olive Branch Petition (1775), and dispatches from the Battle of Waterloo. In all, about 300 tons of records were transported to Shepton Mallet.

American military use-
Between mid-1942 and September 1945, the prison was used by the American military as the “6833rd Guardhouse Overhead Detachment”, later “The Headquarters 2912th Disciplinary Training Center — APO 508 United States Army”. The prison was entirely staffed by American military personnel during this period. The first Commandant was Lt Colonel James P. Smith of the 707th Military Police Battalion.
At times during its use by the Americans, Shepton Mallet held many more men than it had ever held before. At the end of 1944, there were 768 soldiers imprisoned, guarded by 12 officers and 82 enlisted men.
Under the provisions of the United States of America (Visiting Forces) Act 1942, a total of eighteen American servicemen were executed within the prison walls. Sixteen were hanged in the execution block and two were shot by firing squad in the prison yard. Three of the hangings were double executions, i.e. both condemned prisoners stood together on the gallows and were executed simultaneously when the trap-door opened. Of the 18 men executed, nine were convicted of murder, six of rape (which was not a capital offence in the United Kingdom), and three of both crimes

In September 1945, the prison was once again taken over by the British Army and became a British Military prison for service personnel. It was used for soldiers who were going to be discharged after serving their sentence, provided that sentences was less than two years (if more than two years, the sentence was served in a civilian prison).
Shepton Mallet was notorious amongst British servicemen and known as ‘the glass house’. Amongst the soldiers held there were the Kray twins who, while serving out their national service in the gaol after absconding, met Charlie Richardson.
Discipline was very strict and the punishments meted out to prisoners were reportedly extremely severe.

The prison was finally returned to civilian use in 1966. It was initially used to house prisoners who, for their own protection, could not be housed with ‘run-of-the-mill’ prisoners, and also well-behaved first offenders.
The gallows in the execution block was removed in 1967 and the room became the prison library.
HMP Shepton Mallet closed on 28 March 2013

Reported Paranormal Activity

With a history as extensive as this,it’s really not surprising to learn that HMP Shepton Mallet is described as being ridiculously haunted.
Countless inmates and military personnel have lost their lives during their time spent here, and some of those are said to still be haunting the building to this very day.
A White lady has been witnessed on numerous occasions and is believed to be the ghost of a woman executed during the 17th century.
Staff have also reported seeing the ghost of an American serviceman, thought to be related to the period when the site was used by the US military.

Your overnight ghost hunt at HMP Shepton Mallet includes:

  • Vigils in small groups
  • An equipment demonstration before the investigation begins
  • Full use of our vast array of paranormal equipment
  • Refreshments, Tea/coffee & cakes
  • The guidance of our experienced investigators
  • Lone vigils at the end of the night where time is on our side
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Ghost hunt at Harwich Redoubt Fort

EXCLUSIVE EVENT!
Ghost hunting with the cast of Ghost Chasers!

Harwich Redoubt Fort, Harwich
As featured on episode 3 of Ghost Chasers!

Date: Saturday 9th September 2017
Time: 9pm-3am

Ghost Chasers, Insight’s brand new TV show, is taking the ghost hunting world by storm thanks to its fresh and honest approach to investigating tales of the paranormal. 
The show is presented by Kay Nambiar and features celebrity psychic medium Ian Lawman, along with paranormal investigators Chris Howley and Paul Hobday.

Ghostly Goings On are thrilled to announce details of an exclusive event which will see Ian and Paul join us as special guests at Harwich Redoubt Fort! 

Harwich Redoubt Fort is a unique military structure and one which is said to be home to a number of ghosts!
Some of the reported hauntings of Harwich Redoubt Fort, are said to be so intense, that many will not venture into certain parts alone.
People have witnessed apparitions walking past windows, along with the sound of footsteps echoing from seemingly empty corridors.
This is your opportunity to spend the night locked inside, investigating alongside Ian Lawman, Chris Howley & Paul Hobday from Ghost Chasers!

Location History:

Harwich Redoubt Fort is a circular, moated fort that was built between 1808 and 1810 to defend against the threat of a Napoleonic invasion. French prisoners of war were said to be have been forced to help in the construction. The Fort is now surrounded by allotments and houses, but when it was built it stood alone on top of a hill, with views in all directions, protected from canon fire by the earthworks. The Fort was home to a regiment of soldiers with heavy artillery mounted on the upper level ready for use, along with enough supplies to withstand a lengthy siege. Thankfully, the invasion never came.
The need for the Fort gradually declined over the years and by the 1920’s it had become abandoned, until WW2 when it was brought back into military service for a brief period and used to hold British troops who were awaiting trial. The Redoubt Fort was eventually handed over to The Harwich Society, who are in the process of restoring the Fort and have opened it up to the public as a museum.

Reported Paranormal Activity:

One of the most famous apparitions to be witnessed by visitors, is that of the headless soldier.  It is reported that the soldier was decapitated by a cable which snapped after being attached to a canon. Visitors have reported seeing the soldier walking around the fort with his head under his arm. 
People visiting the lower casements are often touched by unseen hands which sees them flee in terror.
A lot of audio activity has also been captured at Harwich Redoubt Fort, including the sound of distant talking and whistling. 

Your night with us and the Ghost Chasers cast at Harwich Redoubt Fort will include:

  • Welcome drink upon arrival
  • Meet Ian & Paul from Ghost Chasers
  • A screening of the Harwich Redoubt Fort, Ghost Chasers episode
  • Q&A session with Ian, Chris & Paul after the episode
  • Paranormal investigation of Harwich Redoubt Fort, working with all the crew
  • Full use of our paranormal equipment
  • Free refreshments provided throughout the night
  • Entry into a competition to win 2 free tickets to a future event!

You can read about the Ghost Chasers episode at Harwich Redoubt Fort here 

How do I book & pay?

You can book your tickets with just a £20pp deposit, with the remaining balance due no later than close of business on Friday 25th August 2017.

Click here to book! 

Where can I watch, Ghost Chasers?

Ghost Chasers is available now on Insight, Sky channel 564 or catch-up free online at www.insight.tv

You can also follow the cast on their social media pages for behind-the-scenes info from the series:

Ian Lawman: Twitter & Facebook

Paul HobdayTwitter & Facebook

Chris HowleyTwitter & Facebook

Burg Reichenstein

 

Halloween 2017

With TV’s ‘Ghost Chasers’- Paul Hobday & Chris Howley

Burg Reichenstein, Germany

Date: Sunday 29th October 2017- Wednesday 1st November 2017

Halloween 2017 just got epic-
Here at Ghostly Goings On, we have been working hard, to ensure that this years Halloween event is bigger and better than any we have done before. 
It’s time to dust off those passports, as we are taking you to the fabulously haunted Burg Reichenstein, Germany,  for an exclusive haunted excursion!
Whats more, we will be joined by TV’s ‘Ghost Chasers’, Paul Hobday & Chris Howley. Burg Reichenstein features in episode 8 of Ghost Chasers along with Rheinfels Castle-which you will also get a guided tour of!
Please note that Ian Lawman WILL NOT be present on the trip due to other work commitments. 

This beautiful castle sits on the bank of the Rhine River and is the perfect place to explore the paranormal.
With parts of  Burg Reichenstein dating back to the early 11th century, it’s not surprising to hear that it’s rumoured to be haunted by a plethora of restless spirits. 
This three night ghost tour of Burg Reichenstein is a once in a lifetime experience-and one that shouldn’t be missed!

Sunday 29th October 2017:

Your tour will begin Sunday morning in Dover,  where we will be met by our executive coach and driver who will then drive us the short journey to the Ferry Port.
The Ferry crossing to Calais will take approximately 1.5 hours, giving you time to relax on board before we continue our journey to Burg Reichenstein.
We hope to arrive in Calais at around midday/early afternoon which will enable us to arrive in Germany at around 8pm/9pm. This time includes comfort stops on route. Please note that these times rely on the journey going smoothly-we cannot be responsible for any delays caused by traffic.You will be responsible for purchasing your own refreshments/lunches during the journey. 
Upon our arrival at Burg Reichenstein, you will be checked in and allocated your rooms. You will be given some time to unpack before you are served with your evening meal in the castles restaurant. 

Monday 30th October:

You will be served breakfast at around 9am before getting ready for your tour of Burg Reichenstein.
The castles manager, Katrina, will guide you around the castle where you will learn all about the history of Reichenstein.
After the tour. we will gather for lunch at the castles restaurant. Burg Reichenstein will provide you with a set menu to choose from. Please note that this lunch is not included in your ticket price.
After lunch, you will then have the option of either exploring the local area, or you may prefer to take part in a paranormal workshop. These workshops will be led by Paul Hobday & Chris Howely– Two of the UK’s top paranormal investigators and stars of the current paranormal TV show, ‘Ghost Chasers’. You could not wish to be in more knowledgeable hands with both Paul & Chris being members of the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP) and registered with the National Register of Professional Investigators (NRPI). There is literally nothing that these two do not know about the paranormal! 
The team at Ghostly Goings On will also be leading a workshop, on how to get the most from your paranormal investigation at Burg Reichenstein. There will also be a couple of group activities to participate in, all with the aim of being fun and informative.  
After the workshops have finished, you will again be given some free time to relax and unwind before your three course evening meal at the castle restaurant-and their food is simply divine.
After dinner, we will embark on a investigation in hope of warming up the spirits ahead of our Halloween ghost hunt!
The night will end at around 1am so that you can get a good nights sleep ahead of your busy Halloween.

Tuesday 31st October 2017:

Your Halloween breakfast will be served at around 9.30am before getting ready for your excursion to Rheinfels Castle.
Rheinfels Castle is a short drive from Burg Reichenstein and should take no longer than around 30 minutes to arrive. Once there, you will be greeted by an English speaking tour guide who will walk you around the top level of the castle,where you will get to view the Battlements. The tour should last approximately one hour.
After the guided tour, you will be free to explore the rest of the castle at your own leisure.
Schloßhotel Rheinfels is the castles restaurant, where you can choose to lunch after your walk around the castle. The restaurant offers regional specialities, as well as delightful international dishes that can be savoured with magnificent views of the Lorelei valley. Alternatively, you might like to dine in The castle tavern ‘Der Landgraf auf Rheinfels’. Small,light dishes, ranging from freshly baked Flammkuchen (tarte flambée) to delicious salads await you in this quaint and original pub. Please note that this lunch is not included in your ticket price.
After lunch, you will be given some time to walk down and explore the local village of Sankt Goar before heading back to Burg Reichenstein.
Once you are back, you will have a couple of hours free time to relax.
At 6pm you will be seated for your three course evening meal in the castles restaurant. 
After dinner, the real fun begins- The Halloween ghost hunt!
We are aiming to begin the investigation at 8.30pm where you will then spend the next six hours investigating different parts of the castle.
You will be split into three smaller groups, and will be led by the GGO team along with Paul & Chris. You will also have full access to our paranormal equipment.
The investigation will end at approximately 2.30am.

Wednesday 1st November 2017:

Breakfast will be served at the slightly later time of 10am, which will hopefully enable you to have a little extra sleep after the nights investigation. 
At midday, we will board our coach and depart Burg Reichenstein to begin our journey back to Calais. Again, we will be given comfort stops so that you are able to purchase lunch and refreshments.
We will catch the Ferry back to Dover where we aim to arrive at approximately 10pm.

What’s included on the three day ghost tour of Reichenstein Castle? 

  • Three nights, half board accommodation inside the haunted, Reichenstein Castle.
  • All travel from Dover to Reichenstein Castle, Germany. Including executive coach travel and Ferry crossings.
  • Joined throughout the trip by Paul Hobday & Chris Howley from TV’s ‘Ghost Chasers’.
  • The chance to visit both locations featured in episode 8 of ‘Ghost Chasers‘.
  • A screening of the episode filmed at both Rheinfels &  Reichenstein Castle.
  • Guided tour with an English speaking tour guide of Rheinfels Castle.
  • Guided tour with an English speaking tour guide of Reichenstein Castle.
  • Paranormal workshops.
  • An exclusive Halloween ghost hunt inside Reichenstein Castle.

What’s NOT included?

  • Refreshments/lunches during the journey from Dover to Germany. The same also applies for the return trip.
  • Lunches. Burg Reichenstein will provide you with a set menu for Monday which will help keep costs for food down. You will however be responsible for sourcing your own lunch during our trip to Rheinfels Castle. You do not have to eat where we may of suggested in the itinerary. 
  • Drinks throughout the duration of the trip.

The Coach:

We will be using Rover European, a coach hire company based in Gloucestershire.
Established in 1947, the family business has been providing first class travel for more than 60 years to thousands of happy customers.
We have hired one of their executive coaches which include the following features:

  • Large, tinted windows offering panoramic views
  • Independently controllable fresh air supply
  • Reclining seats and arm rests
  • Full air conditioning
  • Washroom and toilet
  • DVD Player
  • Radio & CD Player
  • Double Glazing

Important factors you need to consider before booking:

The price of this trip is £419pp and this is based on two people sharing a double room. We cannot offer a single travellers supplement. 

You will also need to provide us with any dietary requirements that you may have. This will need to be disclosed upon booking so that we can inform the hotels restaurant.

Ghostly Goings On hold a £5,000,000 Public Liability Insurance policy which covers us whilst undertaking paranormal practices-I.E, during our paranormal investigations. It does not cover us for any other activity outside of this remit. Therefore, we strongly advise that you purchase your own independent travel insurance that will cover you against everything else. Competitive cover can be found via various comparison websites.

Bedrooms:

You will need to request which bedroom you would prefer. But, please bear in mind, that there are only two twin rooms available and they will be strictly first come, first served. All other bedrooms are doubles and so therefore we can not offer a single supplement charge on this event. 

Twin Bedrooms x 2

Standard Double Bedroom x 14

Payments:

To secure your places, you’ll need to pay an initial £80pp deposit. 

In order to book this event, you must agree to the following payment plan. We can be flexible on the payment date if needed, please E-mail us to discuss. 

The payment schedule is detailed below:

  1. Initial deposit payment £80pp
  2. Wednesday 31st May 2017 £80pp
  3. Friday 30th June 2017 £80pp
  4. Monday 31st July 2017 £80pp
  5. Thursday 31st August 2017 £99pp

If you miss a monthly payment, you will be at risk of losing your places. Please only book if you are certain that you can make the payments required.

Refund policy

CANCELLATIONS BY GHOSTLY GOINGS ON:

In most cases all events take place but occasionally an event may have to be cancelled due to circumstances out of our control.
If this happens, you will be contacted at the earliest convenience and offered either a place on another event or a full refund.
We are not liable for any expenses you may incur such as accommodation bookings and travel costs.
All event refunds will be processed and sent back to your nominated payment account within 14 days of notification.

CANCELLATION BY YOU:

It is your responsibility at the time of booking to ensure that you are able to make the event date. Ghostly Goings On cannot offer a refund or transfer your places if you are unable to attend. Our locations are paid in advance and we are liable for these costs even if you cannot make the event. All payments are non-refundable and non-transferable. Deposit payment options will secure your place(s) on the event but the balance payment should be made by the specified date. If the balance payment is not received by the due date, Ghostly Goings On have the right to re-sell your places and retain any deposit/full payment already received.
Please note that we will allow tickets to be transferred to a third party, but only if we are notified of the change so that we can update our booking records. Failure to do so will result in the third party ticket holder being refused entry to the event.

The history of Burg Reichenstein:

Situated on a rocky ridge, Burg Rheinstein rises approximately 270 feet above the Rhine River in the Loreley Valley. Originally built around 900 A.D. to serve as a customs post for the German Empire, it was referred to as either the Vogtsburg or Feitsburg.

The castle was home to the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph von Habsburg from 1282 through 1286. Within this castle, he passed judgment on the unruly robber knights of Burg Reichenstein, Burg Sooneck and Burg Ehrenfels. In addition, Rudolph von Habsburg founded the Noble Knighthood and renamed the castle to Konigstein.

From the 14th to 17th century, the castle was leased to the Archbishops of Mainz. However, it began to fall into disrepair after 1572 when it became unprofitable for Anton von Wiltberg, Chamberlain in Mainz, to maintain its upkeep.

In 1823, the castle ruin and its foundation stone were purchased by Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig, Royal Prince of Prussia and nephew of King Friedrich Wilhelm III. Thereafter, the castle was rebuilt under the direction of the famous castle architect, Claudius von Lassaulx. The castle was renamed Burg Rheinstein due to its imposing rocky location above the Rhine River.

Since 1975, Burg Rheinstein has been privately owned by the Hecher family who repaired and restored the castle over a period of 19 years to regain its glory from days long ago.

Reported paranormal activity:

The castle is home to a plethora of paranormal tales, including that of a hooded figure who is often seen roaming the castles chapel. 
Disembodied voices and the sound of slamming doors have also been heard on numerous occasions, echoing around the castles walls and empty corridors.
Perhaps the most common sighting is that of a man who appears to present himself without his torso. It is believed that this is the spirit of one of the castles most prolific robber barons,Dietrich von Hohenfels, who was beheaded after sacrificing himself in order to save his son for his awful crimes.It is reported that Dietrich still roams the castle in hope of finally seeking revenge for his killing.
It is said that a former owner of Burg Reichenstein, Baroness Olga, haunts the castle in order to protect it from the malevolent spirit of Dietrich von Hohenfels.
There is also a death bed on display inside Burg Reichenstein, and visitors have reported feelings of a great sadness and an uncontrollable desire to break down in tears whilst being in this area.Are they picking up on the lost souls of those who passed away in this very spot?
The Castles cleaners often report that the door of a Grandfather clock, seems to open by itself during the early hours of the morning. In fact, this very same thing happened to the cast of Ghost Chasers whilst they conducted their overnight investigation.

If you would like to find out more about Burg Reichenstein, you can visit their website www.burg-reichenstein.com

The team are all looking forward to welcoming you to Germany!