Oxford Castle Ghost Hunt44-46 Oxford Castle, Oxford.
Spend the night imprisoned inside the notorious medieval Oxford Castle. This amazing location, with its superb crypt and Saxon tower was also used as a prison throughout its thousand year history, right up until 1996.
The original Oxford Castle was constructed in 1071, 5 years after the Norman Conquest as one of many battlements to keep the English down and was overseen by the French Baron Robert d’Oilly. It was originally built of timber, then later rebuilt with stone. The Castle lends itself superbly to a paranormal investigation as there are 3 distinct areas : The famous St George’s Tower was part of the initial build. It’s only 101 steps to the top. Below the Tower is the underground crypt, which remains from the Church established by d’Oilly in response to a nightmare in which the Virgin Mary instructed him to make amends for his sins. Recent excavations show that there was a Saxon burial ground in this location long before the castle was created.
From the 14th Century, having survived many years of battle and siege, Oxford Castle was increasingly used as a prison and Court. Conditions in the prison were horrendous, unsanitary and riddled with vermin.
Those who died, were simply left to decompose and gaolers sought to extort money from the inmates in return for food. Whilst most prisoners were poor and in debt, one infamous inmate was the middle-class Mary Blandy, who was hanged here in 1752 for murdering her father with arsenic, due to his preventing her marriage. Her ghost has been seen many times walking around the Castle Mound. Up until 1800 there were 56 hangings at the Gaol, which were popular public events.
The last execution took place in 1863 and the gaol was affected by the drive for penal reform. Part of this resulted in the rebuilding of the prison and this was then extended due to a rise in crime. The new facility included individual cells and a separate women’s wing, together with a new culture of a ‘soul destroying’ hard labour institution. Over the next century, further improvements were made and H.M.P. Oxford became known as a place of punishment and welfare. The inmates included Donald Neilson, known as the Black Panther and Thomas Wisbey, part of the Great Train Robbery gang. One former section of the prison formed the 3rd part of our ghost hunt. Many apparitions have been seen, including a strange white mist which moves up a staircase, whilst 2 black figures were seen by a Guard and his dog, causing the animal to freeze and growl.
The legend and remaining superb aspects of Oxford Castle have been used for scenes of Inspector Morse, The Bill and Bad Girls. Whilst filming scenes in the original Italian Job, members of the crew reported screams and shouting. Is the poltergeist first awakened by prisoners holding a séance in their cell in the 70s still in residence and is he responsible for the inexplicable movement of items ?
Oxford Castle is known as one of the most haunted castle locations
in the country.
Reported Paranormal Activity
Many apparitions have been seen, including a
strange white mist which moves up a staircase.
2 black figures were seen by a Guard and his dog, causing the animal to freeze and growl.
A poltergeist first awakened by prisoners holding a séance in their cell in the 70s and is responsible for the inexplicable movement of items ?