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Hauntings at the Galleries of Justice
National justice museum, nottingham, galleries of justice ghosts.
The National Justice Museum (formerly known as Galleries of Justice) is a scary place reminiscent of its gruesome past. Men, women, and children were sentenced and hanged here for crimes as minor as theft. Many undeserving people lost their lives here, young and old, and it’s no surprise that some have decided to stick around, haunting the museum to this day!
Here are the most haunted areas of the museum…
The Entrance Hall
There are many reports at this location, and the frequency of the occurrences is startling. The cleaners of the hall will refuse to work on their own for fear of something happening. In the reception area, no less than three ghosts have been spotted on many occasions. One is described as a soldier, a Victorian man in fine clothes, and an old lady.
The courtroom is also a hive of activity, with light anomalies, shadows, and knocks responding directly to questioning. Terrifying groans and screams have also been heard in this area, thought to be that of the people/families of those sentenced to death.
Further down into the Galleries of Justice is the pits, which is a very frightening place to be. People often report the feeling of extreme sickness coming over them in this area, causing them to flee the building. People have also reported being touched, and footsteps are often heard. Dark figures have also been reported on many occasions.
This area of the hall is believed to be the most haunted of all. Poltergeist activity such as things being thrown is often reported. A cross has often been thrown across the room, and loud noises and bangs are often heard. People have also been touched, and stones have been thrown.
The Galleries of Justice is teeming with activity from top to bottom, so it’s not a place for the faint of heart!
Related pages: The Most Haunted Places in Nottingham
Galleries of Justice History
The National Justice Museum (aka Galleries of Justice) in Nottingham, England, is filled with history.
It’s been used for law enforcement purposes for over 600 years, with evidence that suggests the hall was first used back in 1375 by the Normans, who had appointed Sheriff’s to keep peace and collect the taxes from the population.
However, the discovery of the caves and network of tunnels below have given Archaeologists clues that point to the site being used for imprisonment and punishment going back to 600AD.
There was also a jail here with records showing its use as early as 1449. The prison cells can still be accessed today.
The hall was also used as a police station from 1905 to 1985, whilst the courtrooms closed in 1986.
Countless executions took place on the steps of the Galleries of Justice, with the last hanging being in 1864, the unfortunate soul on that occasion was Richard Thomas Parker.
He was one of the many who were jailed, sentenced, and executed here – the only place in the UK where you could be jailed, tried, imprisoned, and executed all under the same roof!
Visiting National Justice Museum
You can visit the National Justice Museum and the City of Caves beneath on Mondays (10am-5pm) and Friday-Sun (10am-5pm).
Museum ticket prices are £12.05 for Adults, under 18’s are £8.75, concessions are £10.75, and under 5’s go free.
You can save money by booking a joint ticket for both the museum and the City of Caves.
Visit their website
Address: High Pavement, Nottingham NG1 1HN
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The Galleries of Justice: Poltergeist in the pits
The Galleries of Justice, located in Nottingham, is a historic site that has long been rumored to be haunted by the spirits of its past.
This former courthouse and prison has a macabre history, dating back to medieval times, and has served as a site of punishment, execution, and, somewhat ironically, injustice.
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The Galleries of Justice, originally called the Shire Hall and County Gaol, were built in medieval times, as there are records of the building serving as a courthouse as far back as the 14th century.
The building and the cave system below played a vital role in the administration of justice throughout the centuries and served as the main courtroom for the county of Nottinghamshire.
The prison also held prisoners awaiting trial or sentencing in the cells located in the basement, known as the “dungeons,” and was used until the late 18th century. The Galleries of Justice was also a site of execution for criminals sentenced to death. Many criminals who were executed at the Galleries of Justice were convicted of petty crimes such as theft and were hanged on a scaffold on the steps at the front of the building.
The last execution to take place at the Galleries of Justice was in 1864, after which all executions in the county were transferred to a different location.
The Galleries of Justice museum displays the last working gallows in Britain, which were maintained until 1990. The gallows are not the original gallows of the Galleries of Justice but were transferred to the museum from Wandsworth Prison and stand on the same spot where many lost their lives.
The Galleries of Justice is said to be one of the most haunted prisons in the world with several areas within the building believed to be particularly active with paranormal activity.
The most haunted location in the Galleries of Justice is reported to be the cave area, dug into the sandstone below the building.
The cave system also houses a sinister oubliette. Prisoners were thrown into the oubliette dungeon (from French oublier meaning to forget ), held in complete darkness, and often left to die of starvation.
Visitors often feel a sense of unease and dread while in the dungeons, and shuffling or dragging sounds have been reported along with violent poltergeist activity.
The feeling of being watched or touched by unseen hands is also prevalent in this area. The dungeon is part of the building tour guides try to avoid!
There is also lots of reported activity in the courtroom, where many trials and sentencing occur.
The large, oppressive room is haunted by the spirits of those who were tried and often sentenced to death there, with visitors hearing footsteps, loud knocking, and bangs regularly.
One ghost is believed to be that of William Saville, who was executed for killing his wife. One particular ghost story on Amy’s Crypt blog mentions his presence is usually accompanied by a strong and unpleasant smell.
Apparitions have also been seen in the execution yard, where many prisoners met their grisly end.
We met in the entrance hall of the building and began our investigation by walking around all of the known paranormal hot spots.
A local psychic felt that there were two spirits in the entrance hall of the building who were aware of our presence and asked them to try and communicate.
There were a few knocks and creaks as we stood quietly in anticipation. However, these noises could easily be debunked as the building cooling down for the evening.
The Court Room
We moved into the courtroom, and it was more of the same. There were little taps, and sometimes loud bangs, but natural phenomena could also explain the majority of noises.
The noises became more compelling when we heard what sounded like footsteps lightly pacing between the benches, mainly as the group stood entirely still and nobody else was in the building.
Activity began to ramp up. A few people saw a shadow figure darting across the balcony, so a Ouija board was set up to open contact with any spirits that may have wanted to communicate.
Before long, the glass did start to move around the board; however, I remained skeptical as to whether ghostly hands were pushing it, given I had only met a couple of those participating a little more than an hour before!
Washroom / Laundry Room
We then headed for the Laundry Room, and while calling out to the spirits, a few of us heard a female voice make a very quiet ‘aaah’ sound behind us. I was standing at the back of the group, so I could rule out the possibility of it being one of the other investigators.
Cells, Pits, and Dungeon
We spent the rest of the night in the dungeon, where prisoners were kept in inhumane conditions and often chained to the walls. A table tipping experiment roused the activity.
The air felt thicker, and we all felt as though we were no longer alone. As we sat in a circle and called out to what we believed was an older man, the group could suddenly smell body odor. The smell mysteriously lifted as quickly as it came, but it became clear that we were not alone.
Then all hell broke loose! Several thuds were heard as objects were thrown or dropped onto the sandy surface, and the atmosphere in the pits was now oppressive and genuinely frightening.
We sat in absolute pitch black, so it was impossible to rule out foul play completely; however, I became concerned that one of us may get hurt as the alleged poltergeist activity increased.
The most compelling piece of evidence came a few moments later when a stone was thrown with force and hit my back. Given where I was sitting, there was no possibility it dropped from the ceiling or that one of the group had thrown this item. It’s the best poltergeist activity I have ever witnessed, and to this day, I have no rational explanation for the incident.
The full vigil was also recorded on an audio recorder, which was left in the middle of the room as we called out to the spirits in an attempt to record some EVPs.
A number of the thrown items can be heard landing in the clip, and when the old man is asked to make himself known, the stone that was directed at me is clearly thrown in response.
During the vigil, we all clearly heard a male voice whispering ‘No’ in answer to a similar question. This direct voice phenomenon is one of the clearest DVPs we have ever recorded.
Please listen to the best bits of our intense investigation in the Caves below the Galleries of Justice below!
Related: Electronic Voice Phenomena: Are EVP’s Really Voices from Beyond?
The Galleries of Justice is open to the public as a museum, allowing visitors to learn about its rich history and the stories of the people once held within its walls. Several paranormal groups, including Haunted Houses , run regular paranormal investigations.
Address: National Justice Museum, The Lace Market, Nottingham NG1 1HN Tel: +44 (0) 115 952 0555 Email: [email protected]
If you’re looking to make a day of it, several other locations in Nottingham are said to be extremely haunted.
Nottingham Castle is said to be haunted by the spirit of a former resident, the notorious outlaw Robin Hood and the ghost of a porter who was murdered on the castle grounds.
Another must-see location is Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem , a Grade II listed pub built into the rock at the foot of the castle. It is considered one of the oldest pubs in England and is believed to date back to around 1189.
The Trip is haunted by a number of ghosts, including a woman in a long red dress and a man in medieval clothing. There is also a cursed model galleon on display that staff refuse to clean.
- Galleries of Justice
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Ghosts of the Galleries of Justice: Haunted Nottingham
The Galleries of Justice
Originally called the Shire Hall and County Gaol, the Galleries of Justice (now named the National Justice Museum) has sat in place for hundreds of years. The first documented use of this site as a court of law dates back to 1375, when Edward III was in rule. This historic location also contains a prison dating to the 1400s and a cave system, which is likely much older than the site’s first documented use and was used as a type of prison-dungeon, even containing an oubliette.
It was the only place in the United Kingdom where one could be arrested, trialed, imprisoned and then, under some circumstances even executed, all under the one roof. For a time during the mid 1800s, the Galleries did house gallows where many were hanged for their crimes. These criminals remain on site today, being buried underneath the courtyard area.
Haunting of the Galleries of Justice
Throughout the years, the Galleries of Justice have accumulated a number of ghost stories, with many to visit having paranormal experiences. While a number of spirits are rumored to linger, only one of these is named. William Saville is said to haunt the entire space after being executed there for killing his wife who he wanted to leave for a younger woman. He is said to follow people, creating an unwelcome atmosphere and is typically accompanied with a rather unpleasant smell.
One place that seems to be particularly active is the Victorian courtroom. A place that has remained dignified in appearance, yet still exudes an intimidating atmosphere. Here, many have heard noises such as voices, footsteps, and even loud bangs, as if a judge is still passing verdict. Many others have also claimed to sight figures, faces and what appears to be ghostly people up on the gallery when no one is around.
The prison, dating to the 1400s, is also said to be quite active, as well as the exercise yard where many of the bodies of those executed lie. It is not uncommon to hear strange noises or sight shadow people there. Some have also claimed the women’s prison and laundry area are quite active too, with the presence of mischievous children remaining in the space.
Finally, the cave system, which was used primarily as a dungeon, seems to be one of the more active spaces. Some claim there to be a dark force in one area of the caves. Many to enter here have sighted anomalies, claimed to be touched by the unseen, heard distressing and unnatural noises and felt an eerie atmosphere.
Visiting the Haunted Galleries of Justice
The Galleries of Justice today remains open as the National Justice Museum in Nottingham England . It is an interesting and educational place to visit and tours during the day are available. From time to time, paranormal events are run within the space, or the museum can be rented out privately by paranormal groups. This is one place I would highly recommend for any paranormal investigator!
If you enjoyed learning about this haunted place, you might also find interest in the haunted Shrewsbury Prison .
Thanks for reading!
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Amy is a world traveller and explorer of creepy locations. She has visited some of the most famously haunted places around the world in search of evidence of the paranormal. Follow Amy's Journey:
Hi Amy, I recently found your investigations on YouTube and have to say really impressed with the quality of the production and thoroughly enjoy the show!
I particularly enjoyed the episode at the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham as I have actually had a number of spooky experiences in the building myself. I have linked to your fantastic article on my blog, which explains my paranormal experiences in the Galleries of Justice , which I believe is one of the most haunted locations in the UK.
We experienced some pretty intense poltergeist activity and I was actually hit on the back with a large stone which was thrown from a part of the cave where none of the group were stood. I went into the investigation quite sceptical but I genuinely had no explanation for this activity.
Furthermore, we believe we captured a brilliant example of Direct Voice Phenomena in the caves – and the group all heard a male voice whisper ‘No’ in response to our questions! You can find the audio within my article. Would love to hear your thoughts as I think it is pretty clear!
KEEP UP THE FANTASTIC WORK Ghostmag
Hi Matt. Thank you so much for your comment and for tuning in, I appreciate it. Also, thanks for sharing your experience too.
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National Justice Museum - Haunted History
The first records of the National Justice Museum, formerly the Galleries of Justice, being uses as a prison was in 1449. It is built on the site of a Saxon settlement dating back to 600AD, and is said to play host to ghostly apparitions, poltergeist activity, disembodied voices, slamming doors and unexplained drops in temperature. As well as the prison, the building housed court, and many executions took place on the steps of the building, making this the only location in the UK where you could be tried, sentenced and punished under the same roof.
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Galleries of Justice Events Calendar
Tel: 0115 9720570 - Mobile: 07837 845912
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The Galleries of Justice stands on the site that for almost 700 years has handed out some form of punishment to the criminals of Nottinghamshire. The current building was used as the main courts from 1780 to 1991 when the courts were moved to a new building. Now you have the chance to investigate one of the country’s most haunted buildings. There are many reports of paranormal activity, from stones being thrown to full blown apparitions, will you dare spend the night in the darkness of the dungeon or in he condemned cell, used by those who were going to be hanged.
The Galleries of Justice has been voted the number one Most Haunted location in the UK by HH & Spooky Nights customers.
.: HH & Spooky Nights Dates
An overnight ghost hunt at the very haunted Galleries of Justice is definitely not for the faint hearted.
You will then be able to carry out a workshop where the equipment is demonstrated and loaned to you for your personal use on this amazing ghost hunt. This includes, dowsing rods, dowsing pendulums, EMF Meters, Temperature Thermometers, Ghost Voice Boxes and the ultimate in ghost hunting (The Ovilus).
This is an amazing location and whilst we can never guarantee paranormal activity we can always guarantee you a brilliant and professional night of ghost hunting where your experience is very important to us.
No matter what occasion weather it be Christmas, Easter or Halloween, we have a ghost hunting experience that will fit your needs. Alternatively you can purchase a gift card that will allow one person access to any ghost hunt experience in the UK. Our ghosting events start from as little as £35.00 per person. Please visit HH & Spooky Nights for more information.
- History of the Galleries
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© 2017 HH & Spooky Nights Ltd. HH & Spooky Nights Ltd is pleased to be directly working with the UK's top Haunted Locations, Haunted Magazine Operating at over 150 of the UK's most haunted venues, HH & Spooky Nights have been pioneering paranormal events and leading the way. With a team of the UK's top psychics, mediums and paranormal investigators and taking you on the most thrilling ghost hunting experiences available!
The Ouija Brothers
The Galleries of Justice in Nottingham is one of the UK's most haunted buildings. Ghostly apparitions, Poltergeist activity and slamming doors are just some of the experiences people have encountered on ghost hunts here. A ghost hunt at The Galleries of Justice is a must for any ghost hunting enthusiast but be warned - the activity here can be terrifying and relentless.
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Galleries of Justice
Choose a date to book, a place of cruel judgement, horrid incarceration and very public executions . welcome to your galleries of justice ghost hunt. visit the courtrooms where the innocent and guilty were trialed alike, and the cells below where punishment was laid. enter the foreboding debtors cells, and peer down into the oubliette dungeons where the unfortunate where thrown down to be forgotten. forget the modern 18th century prison ghost hunts, and take your investigations to this dungeon site that dealt the worst of bloody punishment for over 700 years., galleries of justice ghost hunts.
Galleries of Justice in Nottingham has everything you would ever want for an active ghost hunt; however prepare yourself for a creepy night. This highly prized location is an investigators dream, and it has seen ghost hunters from all over the world successfully search its many levels for ghostly activity. This location is huge, and each area gives its own macabre stories as you enter. Dark, Cold, and great at making you lose your senses. Here you will go underground into caves below Nottingham, and also find yourself wandering the cells the held the prisoners of the past.
On your ghost hunt with Haunted Houses you will have exclusive night time access to the building during. Here you will learn all about ghost hunting and the many techniques used to encourage your own paranormal activity to witness. You will have a whole host of scientific ghost hunt equipment for you to use to aid communication with the spirits.
You can take part in Ouija boards, glass divination and table tipping; plus the more traditional ghost hunt techniques. Some like to just simply sit in the dark and ask for the spirits to interact with them, and you can try this too! Lone vigils (ghost hunting alone) will also be offered where possible. You will be split into smaller groups during your evening to get the best out of your experience. If you are new to ghost hunting we warn you now – by the end of the night you may just become addicted to the fascinating and intriguing world of ghost hunting.
This is a real ghost hunt experience, there is no fakery, tricks or actors jumping out at you. Can you do time in the Galleries of Justice or will you pray for an early release? What are you waiting for? Book your places today!
What professional equipment can you expect to use with Haunted Houses Events?
- EMF Readers: K2 Meters, Gauss Masters
- MEL Meters / Temperature Readers
- EDI+ Devices
- Laser Grids
- Thermal Imaging Cameras
- Trigger Objects / Sensor Lights
- Ouija Boards / Glass Divination / Table Tipping
- Dowsing Rods / Crystal Pendulums
Execution by hanging took place on the steps of the Galleries and this was the only place you could be tried, sentenced and punished under one roof. The entrance hall is supposedly haunted by 4 ghosts;
The courtroom has been reported to have knockings, groans, footsteps and the sound of the gavel hitting the judge’s desk has been known to sound throughout the room. The smells of rotting corpses and dark shadows have been experienced in the viewing gallery.
In the Cells and corridors there are the sounds of footsteps, cell doors banging and the sound of keys jangling, as well as the apparition of a man. Could this be one of the guards making sure the prisoners are still incarcerated within their cells? Feelings of depression have also been experienced within this area.
Children’s cries have been heard throughout the laundry room and also the sound of female voices. Doors are known to slam in this area and in a certain room there has been many reporting’s of females feeling a discomfort in their stomach, as though they are in the late pregnancy. This is supposedly from a worker in the laundry who was murdered whilst she was in the late stages of pregnancy and died within this room. It is here that you could be overcome with emotion as many visitors have reported this.
The most haunted part of the galleries however is in the very depths of this building. In the chapel crosses are known to be thrown and growls are heard, as well as voices. In the caves, remains of animal bones and artifacts have been found, which suggest suffering; this may explain why the Victorians felt the need to close the building down.
Visitors have reported feelings of being watched and of becoming overcome with sickness and dizziness. The most disturbing evidence of this amazing building being haunted is the reports of scratching and stones being thrown accompanied by the presence of dark shadows that torment your very soul.
A Victorian gentleman, a Soldier, a lady in a long gown and the fourth spirit is known to be responsible for cold spots. The spirit is a little girl who is seen on the stairs and the grand jury room.
The Galleries stands on a site dating back to 600AD and is the base for Nottingham’s original Saxon settlement. The first written record of the site as a prison dates from 1449; it was rebuilt in 1769 to 1772. Additional wings were built in 1820 to 1840. The courts were largely rebuilt in 1876 following a major fire. The Victorians closed the jail in 1878 due to its appalling conditions.
The Galleries of justice was an all in one building, were criminals could be held, tried and if needed, executed very quickly on the same site. In modern times it has acted as a court room and today, it houses the National Justice museum.
- Lace Market,
- High Pavement,
- (Arrive for 8:45 pm)
- This is a ticketless event, please sign in on arrival
- This location has no onsite carpark, parking is either street parking or public car park (fee may apply)
- Refreshments are provided by Haunted Houses Events and are included in the price
- Guests may also bring own personal breaktime snacks
- This is not a sleepover event
- This location is not suitable for wheelchair users or those with mobility issues
£55.00 Per Person
- This is a TICKETLESS event
Friday 26th Jan 2024
Join the waitlist, saturday 30th mar 2024, only 1 spaces left, tanith chown.
Had an amazing evening at the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham last week! It was our first time ghost hunting and we got so much more than we expected.Our guide was Chris, who made the night so much fun to boot! We have already booked for more Haunted Houses Adventures with Chris and can’t wait!
Where can I start, from arrival, to the running of the vigils to closing the night. The haunted houses team did the job, and did it well! It’s so great to find a team who are so genuine and relaxed when taking great care of the event, Our ghost hunt at the Galleries of justice with you was the best we’ve had yet and we have attended a lot of ghost hunts with other teams in the past!
The activity was crazy and I’m still trying to work out what went on! I’m astounded! Thanks for the BEST NIGHT EVER and we really look forward to seeing you all again soon.
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Haunted Nottingham will be carrying out some of the best ghost hunting experiences and fright nights in the UK. We visit Nottingham's most haunted locations, including old police cells, jails, pubs and caves.
Our highly experience mediums, investigators and historians are professionals in the paranormal field. Our approach is to welcome all ghost hunters whether you new to ghost hunting or a seasoned investigator and all our events.
Are you looking for the ultimate ghost hunting event for Halloween, Christmas or a Birthday? We have a ghost hunt experience for you. If you are looking for that alternative gift, you could purchase one of our gift cards. Our ghosting events start from as little as £35.00 per person. " The Galleries was our second ghost hunt and our first with HH & Spooky Nights. A great night from start to finish at what is a very scary location Thanks Team HH see you soon. " Galleries of Justice - Ali Watson
" Had a great time at the Galleries of Justice lots of activity with the equipment, two moments that stuck out for me that night, though. One was when me and Elwyn were in the police quarters section and had a very strong THUMP against the bare floor right between us. We were walking and only paces away from each other, so this was startling. " - Galleries of Justice - Adam Clark
The second didn't necessarily have to do with a ghost experience but just a personal facing-your-fears moment. When we were hunting alone, we approached the overnight cell and the mel meter was blaring away as soon as we entered. That sound makes me shiver and I immediately retreated, going "Nope, nope, NOPE!" all the way back upstairs with the machine screaming bloody murder in the background. (I'm also a bit claustrophobic, so the thought of being trapped in a cell was intimidating in itself.) Yet, minutes later, I was back downstairs and investigating because I wasn't about to let the activity beat me. It was a lot less scary the second time around. " Galleries of Justice - Melissa Woodward
" Thank you for a very interesting night! We had few experiences; hits with k2, voices on the spirit box, and unexplained footsteps to name but a few we'll definitely be booking another evening with you in the future! " The Village, Mansfield - Cheryl Bills
" Just wanted to say thank you to HH & Spooky Nights for the brilliant night we had at the Village. We came a long way for this event and it was certainly worthwhile. " The Village, Mansfield - Dave Deakin
" My sister Jo and I would like to thank you for the Ghost Hunt at Strelley Hall, we both enjoyed the experience very much, and would love to do more now that it's whetted our appetites. A well organised evening, and a big thank you to the HH Team " Strelley Hall - Louise
" I went on the investigation at Strelley Hall on friday 13th....just wanted to say we had a fantastic night, lots of activity including table tipping, and i've never been so frightened in my life. we will definately be doing more investigation with HH & Spooky Nights " Strelley Hall, Janet Greenwood
Tel: 0115 9720570 Mobile: 07837 845912 2016 HH & Spooky Nights Ltd. Operating at over 150 of the UK's most haunted venues, HH & Spooky Nights have been pioneering paranormal events and leading the way. With a team of the UK's top psychics, mediums and paranormal investigators and taking you on the most thrilling ghost hunting experiences available!
- Cast & crew
The Galleries of Justice
- Episode aired Sep 11, 2014
The team is joined by the sister of regular member Mel Crump as they visit the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham. Yvette is followed by a smelly spirit. The team is joined by the sister of regular member Mel Crump as they visit the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham. Yvette is followed by a smelly spirit. The team is joined by the sister of regular member Mel Crump as they visit the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham. Yvette is followed by a smelly spirit.
- Karl Beattie
- Yvette Fielding
- Stuart Torevell
- Self - Presenter
- Self - Historian and Skeptic
- (as Dr. John Callow)
- Self - Costumed Interpreter and Ghost Tour Guide
- All cast & crew
- Production, box office & more at IMDbPro
Did you know
- Trivia First broadcast on the UKTV channel "Really" between 10pm-11pm on Thursday, 11th September 2014. Despite the number of viewers falling to 318,000, Most Haunted was the most watched show on the channel for the period 8th September - 14th September 2014.
- September 11, 2014 (United Kingdom)
- United Kingdom
- See more company credits at IMDbPro
- Runtime 45 minutes
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