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Ghost hunters visit haunted Wicklow Gaol

A visit to Wicklow's historic Gaol by a team of inter-national ghost hunters is expected to give a boost to tourism here.

The spirits said to haunt the former jail were uncovered on Sky TV's LivingIt channel at 9pm last night.

It was the first time the Ghost Hunters International investigation of the ancient prison had been shown on television in Ireland. Jail guide Marie Comerford believes the show will confirm the tourist attraction, built in 1702, is one of the most haunted locations in the world.

She revealed that over the past 10 years tourists and staff had regularly seen a young boy in the prison's school room, a lady in her late 20s dressed completely in black who walks in and out of cell 22 and a cold eerie mist that envelops the walkway to the first floor cells. "There is a reason Ghost Hunters International have made an hour-long programme on the spirits of Wicklow Gaol as opposed to the normal half-hour format," she said.



FAMINE

Ms Comerford revealed the huge number of arrests after the 1798 rebellion unleashed unspeakable horrors upon prisoners sent to Wicklow jail. By the height of the Famine the number of prisoners at the jail had swelled to 780. "The gates to the prison were known as the Gates of Hell," she added. "Once you went in, there was very little chance you would ever come back out.

"Hundreds of prisoners were crammed into a 30 square foot cell designed for just six prisoners.

"Poor people who were arrested for stealing sheep or some potato seed were forced to share the space with psychopaths, violent murderers and rapists."

hnews@herald.ie


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