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Sat, 18 Mar


Inveraray Jail

(SOLD OUT) Inveraray Jail Ghost Hunt - Scotland

Inveraray Jail has a reputation as one of Scotland’s most haunted locations.

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(SOLD OUT) Inveraray Jail Ghost Hunt - Scotland
(SOLD OUT) Inveraray Jail Ghost Hunt - Scotland

Time & Location

18 Mar 2023, 20:00 – 19 Mar 2023, 01:00

Inveraray Jail, Church Square, Inveraray PA32 8TX, UK

About the event


Security was a top priority at Inveraray Jail, but a few prisoners did escape.  Of the several thousand people locked up during the jail’s 69 years as  an official prison, twelve managed to make the break for freedom. One of  the most impressive escapes involved John Campbell, William Dickson and  John Duncan on August 12 1874. They had made replica keys from little  bits of lead they had collected during their time in prison. Inveraray Jail is home to a two-wheeled horse-drawn Black Maria carriage built in 1891. Probably the last of its kind in the UK, it has  been beautifully restored and takes pride of place in the courtyard  next to the old jail. On arrival, prisoners at Inveraray Jail had to make a set of prison clothes for themselves. The materials required for each uniform were described in a book issued to prison staff in 1841. 1852, whipping was introduced as an alternative to  sending boys to prison. The whippings, not exceeding 12 lashes for each  boy under 14 years of age and 36 lashes for those over 14, were  supervised by the Surgeon. The idea was that prison, where the boys  would be fed and kept warm, was no longer enough of a deterrent. In the Old Prison, female prisoners had to share overcrowded cells with men. It wasn’t until the Prison  Reform Act of 1839 that female prisoners at Inveraray Jail were given  their own space. They also had a member of staff assigned to them who  was responsible for their welfare. The role was that of Matron – the  jail’s first position for a female member of staff. The jail is lucky enough to have prison records holding details of  over 4,000 prisoners who served sentences at Inveraray Jail between 1820  and 1890. Everything is noted, from age, sex, weight, height,  occupation, religion and place of birth. The records also track  prisoners’ progress. 

 Inveraray Jail history 

The plans supplied for Inveraray Jail by Scottish architect James  Gillespie Graham called for a courthouse and three prisons – for men,  women and debtors. However, due to lack of funds only a single prison  was built to replace the old one, where conditions had been so  horrendous and escapes so common that the local townsfolk took turns to  guard it at night.

The new Inveraray Jail was completed in 1820 and held men, women, and  children, both convicted and unconvicted, sane and insane. They were  kept in one block of eight dark, damp cells, and conditions remained  grim until prison reforms in the late 1830s required the construction of  a new, modern prison.

The new prison was designed to ‘improve the character and maintain  the health of its inmates’. All physically fit inmates worked for up to  10 hours a day in their cells making fishing nets and picking oakum from  rope, and were only allowed out once a day to exercise or use the  toilet.

Hard labour (at Inveraray and elsewhere) often included the pointless  activity of turning a crank machine. Male prisoners had to turn it  14,400 times a day and warders could make it harder by tightening a  screw, hence why prison guards are known as ‘screws’.

Around 4,400 prisoners passed through Inveraray Jail in 69 years and  escapes were rare (12 escapees, most were found relatively quickly)  since the prison was in such a remote location.

As the town of Inveraray declined, largely due to the disappearance  of the fish from the waters from the late 1870s, and with the emergence  of much larger inner-city prisons like Barlinnie in Glasgow, Inveraray  Jail closed its doors for the last time on 30th August 1889.


Inveraray Jail has a reputation as one of Scotland’s most haunted locations. Staff and visitors alike have reported feeling icy drafts, hearing eerie footsteps and experiencing strange sensations. The jail has a dark history, with torture, misery and violence.


⚫ Complimentary tea and coffee.

⚫ Complimentary light snacks.

⚫ Full access.

⚫ Full use of equipment - ouija boads, k2s, emf meters, etc..

⚫ Access to mediums and the chance to experience automatic writing.


The Jail is located at the top of Main Street in Church Square in Inveraray. You'll find disabled parking and some limited free parking directly in front of the Jail. There's a large town car park located just across the Main Street in the Avenue.


Before booking onto this event  please read our Terms and Conditions. We  cannot offer refunds and all  ticket sales are non-transferable.


This location is unsuitable for people with mobility issues and heavily  pregnant women.


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