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Spooked Ireland: The Haunting Secrets of Wicklow Gaol

Ghostly apparition of a woman in black hooded cloak at Wicklow Gaol

This Friday, dive deep into the chilling annals of Irish history with a spine-tingling episode of Spooked Ireland. We journey to Wicklow Gaol, a place steeped in stories of suffering, rebellion, and spectral hauntings. Airing on the Really Channel and available to stream on Discovery+, the home of the Paranormal, this episode is not for the faint-hearted.

A Glimpse into History: Wicklow Gaol's Dark Past

In the 18th century, Wicklow Gaol opened its forbidding gates to those unfortunate enough to find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Poverty and societal indifference meant many were imprisoned for minor infractions, only to find themselves facing the same deplorable conditions as hardened criminals. The prison's gates, ominously known as "the gates of hell", were a testament to the bleak fate that awaited those who entered. Rumour has it that a staff member was once pushed by unseen hands at these very gates, an eerie reminder of the prison's haunted past.

The Living and the Dead

Prisoners faced not only the constant threat of disease and malnourishment but also the grim reality of sharing their confined space with the deceased. The prison guards, fearful of contracting illnesses, often left the bodies of deceased inmates to rot beside their still-living cellmates. The cruel gallows, minus the hangman's noose, remain a visible reminder of the fate that awaited some. Even today, visitors report a deep sense of unease near the execution door.

Historical depiction of prisoners during 1798 Rebellion at Wicklow Gaol

Ghosts of Wicklow Gaol

Today, the jail stands as a popular tourist attraction. But as night falls, tales of ghostly apparitions emerge. Visitors often report sightings of phantom children crying on the top floor and a mysterious woman in a black hooded cloak roaming the corridors. The ghost of Mary Morris, the school matron, perhaps?

Visitors to the ship exhibit, which commemorates prisoners shipped off to Australia, have been startled by the presence of a "friendly actor" who, on closer inspection, turns out to be dressed in period prisoner attire. But no actors are assigned to that area. Could this be the spirit of an inmate from yesteryears?

Unexplained phenomena, such as shifting shadows and a strange green mist, have been witnessed. One particular cell, Cell 5, seems to be a hotspot for paranormal activity, with many reporting a sudden and inexplicable aroma of roses, only for it to shift to a foul stench.

Interior cells of Wicklow Gaol showcasing grim conditions

Modern-Day Paranormal Encounters

Modern-day visitors to the gaol have reported various mysterious occurrences:

  • A spectral man pacing the ground floor, hands held behind his back.

  • The haunting sight of a woman draped in a black velvet cloak.

  • A chilling feeling of unease on the ship exhibit's upper deck.

  • Fleeting shadows that disappear as soon as one turns to look.

  • The heart-wrenching sounds of children's cries emanating from the top floor.


As we delve into the stories of Wicklow Gaol, from its inception to its closure and eventual rebirth as a tourist attraction, one thing is clear: the walls of this prison have witnessed lifetimes of suffering, despair, and hope. And perhaps, some souls have never truly left. You all know what I shall say at this point, Where there is such deep history, there is SURE to be mystery...Tune in this Friday for a chilling episode that promises to spook and enlighten in equal measure. Only on Spooked Ireland.

Spooked Ireland Wicklow Gaol

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1 Comment

Another amazing location.

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