Nottingham’s National Justice Museum, A Perfect Setting For A Ghost Hunt


DARREN SARSFIELD reveals the strange forces going on during a paranormal investigation at Nottingham Justice Museum

The National Justice Museum is an incredible location for paranormal investigating.

This vast building stands on High Pavement in the Lace Market area of Nottingham. Until recently the museum was known as the Galleries of Justice and historically known as the Shire Hall and County Gaol.

Within the building is a Victorian courtroom, police station and a Gaol. During its amazing history, a person could be taken into custody, sentenced, and executed within its grounds.

Public hangings were held on the front steps in front of hundreds of people, at a time when this kind of event made for gruesome entertainment.

The site dates back to the Normans, who used it for collecting taxes and peace keeping. The earliest account of it being used as a law court is 1375 and as a prison in 1449. The Hall was rebuilt in 1769.

The location continued to develop through the coming decades with additional wings being added in the early part of the nineteenth century.

The last public execution took place in 1861 when a man called Richard Thomas Parker was hanged. Parker, a butcher by trade, had shot his mother and father in a drunken rage. His father survived but his mother died several weeks after the shooting. Parker was to pay for his crime.

The location continued as Nottingham’s Civil and Criminal Court until 1991. Members of the Manchester Paranormal team have visited the Museum on many occasions and it has never disappointed.

Paranormal Investigation at National Justice Museum

Myself and team members Pete and David Sarsfield investigated the then Galleries of Justice in 2006.

During the investigation we decided to do a vigil in the Victorian cell wing.

The cells were on a very dark and foreboding corridor and the first cell was known as the condemned cell.

This cell was a stark, cold, small space which physiologically would seem to present itself as the best cell to catch activity.
The further cells were presented as they would have been used in recent times, with beds, etc.

We decided that myself and Peter would investigate one of these cells, while David would go into the condemned cell.

What was to happen was startling.

The only light source was coming through the bars on the cell window and as silence enveloped us, we sat on a small bench in the corner next to the cell door.

After a short period of inactivity, myself and Peter turned to face each other as we had both heard a faint sigh next us. Shocked, we both stood up and moved to the centre of the cell.
Again, we heard what sounded like a male sighing. The sound was definitely coming from inside the cell and I anticipated something that was about to happen. David, who was in the other cell whilst this was occurring, could clearly hear what we were saying but did not hear the sighs.

National Justice Museum
National Justice Museum – formerly known as the Galleries of Justice – is an incredible place for a paranormal investigation, says Darren Sarsfield

On the wall of the cell in front of us hung a washing line, on which were prisoners clothes placed there as part of the museum’s exhibition. Myself and Peter stood in front of the display in the centre of the space. This made us feel very vulnerable as whoever was making the sounds was probably watching us.

I asked whoever was present with us to either speak to us or move an item of clothing on the washing line.

As we waited for a response, suddenly a loud guttural groan shattered the silence. It came from right behind us as if the presence had put his head in the space between us to try to scare us both. When you are asking for a reaction, you are normally braced for what is to come but as in this circumstance, being taken unaware left us shaken by the experience.

Amazingly, David heard the groan from his position in the other cell.

The fact that all three of us heard the sound and that the corridor was checked for possible outside noises means that this incident is something that the three of us will never get tired of discussing.

An incredible night and an incredible place to investigate.


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