House Of Detention, Clerkenwell

House Of Detention

The prisons on the site of the House Of Detention date back over 300 years. In 1845 it was decided that the entire area should be re-built as the Clerkenwell House Of Detention. This was soon to become London´s biggest remand prison detaining as many as 10000 prisoners a year. Although demolished in 1890, almost all the perimeter wall, the wardens residence and the entire underground level of the prison was left intact. Some of the underground cells became air raid shelters during the Second World War, while others were sealed off so completely at the time of demolition that they have never as yet been entered into again, and are only recently being excavated. The House of Detention was re-opened in 1983 as a tourist and visitors attraction, and strange phenomena has been reported there ever since its re-opening. In “Walking Haunted London”by Richard Jones, he mentions that visitors to Clerkenwell have seen an old lady who seems to be searching for something. Jones also mentioned that the manager had lost count of the number of people who hear the little girl whose “heart-rending sobs reverberate from the inner depths of the jail”, and said that some people believe that a lost child is genuinely lost inside the prison; surprising as it may seem, children were imprisoned at the House of Detention too.

In this dark, damp and disused prison, spiritualist medium Derek Acorah has a difficult time coming to terms with allegedly hostile spirits.

Fear gets the better of some female members of the crew and the director receives a cut to his head which cannot be explained by natural causes.

First Broadcast: 6th May 2003

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