CHRISTINE MILLER takes a look at Northern Ireland’s Greatest Haunt’s Armagh Gaol episode
For the third instalment in the series, the team are at Armagh Gaol, one of the oldest prisons in Northern Ireland. Closed in 1986, it is said that some of the prison’s former inhabitants have been surprisingly reluctant to leave…
The dark and violent history of the building dates right back to the 1700s and public executions were commonplace here. Voices, shadows and apparitions have been seen in the windows of the gaol by drivers passing by.
On touring the men’s block Andy, who is relying on nothing but his own psychic abilities and dousing rods, uses these to contact a man he claims is called “Daniel”. Almost immediately, Andy becomes overwhelmed with emotion and breaks down, whilst asking Daniel to move away from him. Andy wants Daniel to move on and believing himself not to be “strong enough”, decides that Marion will be the medium to help Daniel cross over.
Marion arrives at Armagh Gaol and says here a large number of voices psychically connecting with her, something which she says can take a bit of getting used to. She comes up with a variety of names on her walkabout of the building, but “Daniel” is the one that sticks out to her the most.
In one of the blocks, she senses a lot of anger and the spirit of one foul-mouthed Jack Banyan, who she claims is calling her an “English whore”. He is so angry, that Marion fears if he was with her in the flesh, she would be in grave danger.
Andy decides to conduct a lone vigil in the Eastern wing of the prison and for reasons unknown decides to play the ghostly inmates a bit of “Jailhouse Rock”. He explains later with a wry smile on his face, that it was worth having a bit of fun with the spirits to see if he could illicit a response from them. Perhaps Armagh Gaol’s prisoners must have been from the Buddy Holly fandom, as Elvis didn’t quite encourage them to participate.
Conducting a night vigil in one of the cells, two members of the team decide to ask out loud to see if any spirits wish to make contact. They appear to catch a shadow walk past at the same time one of them felt something distinctly brushed across the back of his neck.
Analysing earlier audio, the team believe they have caught some interesting EVPs, including the phrase “please help me”.
Keeping his word, Andy brings Marion to the place where he and the spirit of Daniel first met, in an attempt to see him at peace in the afterlife. Marion talks Daniel through this and brings the spirit of his mother forward in order to help him into the light. After encouraging them both, Marion is certain that the ghost of Daniel is now at peace.
Next, they move onto someone whose mother probably wouldn’t be so happy to see him, the old potty-mouth that is Jack Banyan. Marion decides that she is willing to become processed by his spirit, something she describes as being akin to being “locked in a cell with a madman”.
Marion gives the group fair warning that when possessed, spirits can cause her to spit, swear, and her nose runs profusely.
And that is indeed pretty much what happens.
Marion, upon becoming possessed shouts, “f*** off, I’ll punch your face in” to the group, while Andy becomes aware of a strong smell of smoke. Asking Jack to look for his mother, and enter into the light, Marion is able to come out of her trance state. Once recovered, she feels that the atmosphere isn’t as oppressive thanks to Jack’s departure.