A haunted prison that once housed some of Britain’s most dangerous inmates is once again welcoming brave guests to spend the night.
Officially known as HMP Cornhill, the Grade II* listed Shepton Mallet Prison has been home to thousands of convicts since first opening in 1610.
In the 1950s, London’s feared East End gangsters Ron and Reggie Kray were brought to the prison – where they met future rivals Charlie Richardson and George Cornell.
Ron Kray then went on to shoot the pair in a pub in London’s Whitechapel.
And it’s not just the high-profile inmates that have earned the prison its grim reputation.
It’s also considered one of the most haunted, with multiple reports of sinister spectres that supposedly stalk the corridors, opening and slamming doors and terrorising visitors.
During its centuries as a correctional facility, the Somerset-based penitentiary has seen the depraved treatment and gruesome executions of those condemned to the cells.
In the early days of the institute throughout the 17th and 18th century, women and children were kept in horrendous conditions, starving in packed, smallpox-infested cells.
The unmarked graves of former inmates are scattered throughout the grounds. The records show that seven judicial executions took place between 1889 and 1926.
A further 18 military executions were carried out here during its time as an American Military prison during World War II – either by hanging or firing squad – for crimes including rape and murder.
But the total number of people put to death at Shepton Mallet is unknown.
Before its closure in 2013 the lock-up was the oldest operating prison in the country and held almost 200 high-risk prisoners at its peak.
In it’s seven years since its closure, it has been operating as a tourist attraction – and most recently was featured in the ITV drama Des – a three part series based on the arrest and trial of notorious serial killer Dennis Nilsen.
And now, following the coronavirus lockdown, dates have been released offering brave souls a chance to spend the night in the cells at Shepton Mallet.
Hosted by paranormal investigators Bump In The Night, a number of 2021 dates for overnight stays have been released.
Tickets are priced at £50 per person, with each stay lasting from 9am until 3am. For more information and tickets, visit Bump In The Night’s website.
A Bump In The Night spokesperson said: “Since I started working for Bump In The Night I’ve been on quite a few night-time tours of the prison and they really are terrifying.