A former prison, Wicklow Gaol is now a museum located in the eastern town of Wicklow. Built in 1702, the gaol has a bloody history and is one of the most infamous prisons associated with the 1798 rebellion and the potato famine. The prison closed its doors in 1900 but they were reopened to facilitate prisoners during the Irish Civil War and the War of Independence.
Renovations began in 1995 and it began operating as a museum in 1998 and to this day it is listed as one of the world’s most haunted buildings. It has been the focus of countless paranormal investigations including an episode of ‘Ghost Hunter’s International’ in 2009.
Anyone who visits the location can expect a trip through time with interactive holographic displays and open cells containing mannequins representing prisoners of the era.
Life size mannequins inside one of the cells
We recently paid a visit to the prison and we were met with a very uneasy atmosphere, especially in a particular cell that, for a reason still unknown today, rendered my DSLR camera inoperable. The camera worked fine outside of the cell but the moment my foot stepped inside it failed. This was tested numerous times with the same results!
With a horrific and inhospitable past which led to countless prisoners dying from a wide range of diseases, Wicklow Gaol is definitely on the list of places for us to return to.
Many visitors to the museum have reported strange smells and apparitions the walkways outside of the cells. On ground level a woman can sometimes be seen walking with her hood up and the smell of roses can sometimes be experienced in cell number 5.
Wicklow Gaol is open daily from 10:30am to 16:30pm, 1st February to 31st November.