Dublin ParaCon Wicklow Gaol Investigation, 7th November 2009
Following the Dublin Paranormal Convention there was a special paranormal investigation arranged at Wicklow Gaol, where the PIGS, BumpzInTheNite, Barry FitzGerald of Ghost Hunters International, Ciaran O’Keeffe of Most Haunted, Richard Jones and Steve Parsons were in attendance.
The investigation started off with a short talk about the equipment used and a historical talk regarding the gaol. The group then broke off into smaller teams. I was in the team with most of BumpzInTheNite, two PIGs and with Barry FitzGerald leading it. We began in the main body of the gaol, near the ground floor cells. We were split into two groups and one group continued to the basement area where the solitary confinement cell was situated and my group remained at the ground floor cells. Here we were given one cell each to sit in alone. I had never been alone in a ‘haunted’ room before and I have to say I was rather frightened. I seem to be able to cope if there is at least one other person with me, but alone I feel unsafe. This may be because I have experienced being touched by possible entities on investigations and therefore feel a bit afraid of this happening while totally alone as it is quite disconcerting. I could not go deep inside the cell or close the door and had to instead stand in the entrance looking out. While here I felt a coldness to the side and back of me and felt like I was being watched from inside the cell. However, as I was so afraid this may have been my mind playing tricks.
One of the others who was sent to stand on the first floor walkway experienced a tug on his trouser leg. I found this interesting as I had experienced a tug on my trouser leg the first time I had visited Wicklow Gaol while in a cell on the first floor. This same person also often experiences being touched by possible spirits, so perhaps he and I have a sensitivity to this kind of paranormal encounter.
After we had spent some time in the cells we regrouped and came together in a circle near the cell I had been standing in. We held hands and Barry called out for whatever was in the room with us to come closer and communicate. Many of us felt an icy breeze cutting through the circle from the cell I had been in. The atmosphere also became heavy and it appeared to darken. After a few moments this atmosphere then dissipated and the breeze retreated.
Following this experience it was decided for us to go down to see the other group near the solitary confinement cell. Here we were played an EVP which had just been taken. An almost amused voice was heard to say ‘Yes’ in response to the question ‘Do you like us being here?’ We then proceeded to take some more EVPs while holding hands to increase the energy in the room. Nothing further was heard here, but there was a loud bang from above. This was investigated to find that nobody was up in the cell area. But it had sounded like a cell door slamming.
We returned to the ground floor cell area and took a cell each again. One individual would not go into the original cell he had been in as it had an ominous atmosphere inside. I also did not return to my original cell. I took another cell and was able to stay inside it for a time, until I heard a scraping noise and leapt out hurriedly. This was in fact the people in the cell next door moving around, but I was pretty jumpy being alone and could not handle the situation.
Following a break we returned to the ground floor cell area to watch a ‘spirit box’ experiment. A spirit box, also known as a Frank’s box or ghost box, is an AM/FM radio that has been modified to continually scan up and down the dial nonstop, producing fragments of clearly distinguishable voices as it scans the stations. These voices do not appear to be linked to any broadcast. The belief is that spirits lack a voice of their own and are able to manipulate radio signals in order to communicate.
Using the spirit box a medium present was able to communicate with a spirit calling himself ‘John Long’ who claimed to have committed a murder. However, Ciaran O’Keeffe stated that the spirit box could mislead as the human mind needs to produce patterns in order for it to make sense of the world. Therefore we would hear words amongst the gibberish being produced by the spirit box as our brains would hear what it wanted to hear. For my part I did not pick up any of the words being ‘spoken’, so I support this theory.
After regrouping again we then headed up to the old chapel which is designed to look like a ship’s deck, cabin and lower deck linked to the transportation of prisoners to Australia and elsewhere abroad. We started off in the cabin on the top deck. There was an oppressive and claustrophobic atmosphere in this room and the medium present sensed an energy with us. I was leaning against the heavy table in the room and several times I felt as if something was pushing me slightly from behind. I thought it was someone leaning on the table making it wobble, but upon inspection it was found that the table was too heavy to be pushed in such a manner. I was very tired at the time so it was also highly likely that I felt a bit shaky and this was the ‘wobble’ I was feeling, so I can not with certainty claim that this was a paranormal experience. However, the medium with us felt cold spots in the room near me, moving to the other side of the room and one other person claimed to have been pushed violently from the side.
Due to the unpleasant atmosphere of the cabin, we left this room and sat in a circle on the upper deck. Here I was requested to call out as apparently the spirit of a male had been picked up by a medium in the past, who had taken a dislike to the confrontational tone and accent of an English woman present. I, however, do not wish to anger or confront anyone (living or dead!) and so I continued to call out politely and calmly with no effect. However, we did all see a white spot of light in the corner of the room which appeared to be moving. Upon inspection it was agreed that it had a natural cause, being perhaps a crystal in the stone catching the light from the moon outside.
Next we investigated the lower deck. Here as soon as I sat down I felt uneasy about the doorway. I felt as if someone was watching us from the doorway. I did not speak up about this as I was not sure if I was imagining it as I had felt jumpy and spooked the whole night after being alone in the cell. However, after a few minutes the medium with us stated that she had seen a shadow moving past the door and it was ‘ as if someone was peering in’ from the stairs. Also after a few minutes of being below deck we all heard light footsteps from the top deck. One of us went above to investigate and found nobody there.
Not long after we left the ‘ship’ the investigation concluded. I enjoyed this investigation very much, especially hearing the EVP voice down near solitary confinement and the footsteps on the ship’s upper deck. I would very much like to investigate Wicklow Gaol further, but there never seems to be enough time to cover each section desired.
This was an excellent conclusion to the Dublin Paranormal Convention and I very much look forward to similar next year.