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A dark figure haunts visitors to Oxford Castle Unlocked!

20th June 2008 Print
A dark figure haunts visitors to Oxford Castle Unlocked! A photograph, which has captured a dark figure taken in the foreboding underground Crypt at Oxford Castle Unlocked, has revealed the paranormal does exist and confirms beliefs that the Castle is haunted. The photograph was taken on Friday 16 May by a member of the public at a ghost hunt organised by Fright Nights, the UK’s leading ghost hunt specialist. The brave ghost hunter, who was alone in the Crypt at the time, took the photograph with his digital camera.

Keiron Brown from Alton in Hampshire was astonished to see the dark shadow of a figure at the end of the corridor leading into the Crypt when he looked at the images on his computer after the event. The astounding photograph has since been analysed by experts at Fright Nights and at Oxford Castle Unlocked.

Martin Jeffrey, Director of Fright Nights stated “We were amazed by this photograph. Our analysts have shown that the figure is jet black and unusually not lit up by the flash, whereas the side walls and the wall behind it have visible lighting caused by the flash. We can also confirm that the figure is facing the camera and seems to have some form of hood, head dress or blindfold. We know that the Crypt was used for the storing of criminals especially those waiting execution, so the figure fits perfectly within the history of the Castle”.

Fright Nights were granted exclusive use of Oxford Castle Unlocked in which to hold overnight paranormal investigations for the public since early 2007. The visitor attraction is thought to be one of the most haunted buildings in the country. Throughout its dark history, the Castle has served time as a royal residence, a centre of justice and as the county Gaol, hidden from public view behind impenetrable 5 metre high stones walls until its closure in 1996.

Martin continued, “This photograph tops off a fantastic eighteen months of ghost hunting events at Oxford Castle Unlocked. We have had continual paranormal activity throughout the Castle that has inspired attendees to return over and over again. The Castle's most active ghost, ‘Bernard’, a renowned angry monk who is believed to inhabit the Crypt, seems to have been caught red handed by Keiron and after months of unusual incidents allegedly caused by him, it’s great to get our own back!"

For those keen to encounter this ghostly figure, Fright Nights are running a number of ghost hunting events throughout the year. Ghost Hunts will take place from 10:00pm – 5:00am on 12 July and 2 August. Midnight Spirits, which take place from 9:00pm – midnight, are available on 28 June, 26 July, 16 August and 24 August. Ghost Fest, England’s nine-day paranormal festival is taking place from 17 - 25 October.

Ever since the Oxford Castle’s construction in 1071 there have been many reports of paranormal activity. Murderer Mary Blandy was tried and hanged at Oxford Castle in 1752 and her ghost is said to have been seen a number of times walking the Castle Mound. In the 1970s a group of inmates held a séance in one of the cells sparking poltergeist activity which resulted in a priest having to conduct an exorcism. A strange white mist has been witnessed rising up a flight of stairs which two prison guards watched in horror as it faded in front of their eyes.

During filming for The Italian Job, a group of film extras heard unidentifiable shouts and screams echoing around the main buildings and on at least two occasions unexplained physical damage was caused to various items stored at the prison. Security guards have often felt uneasy patrolling the prison at night especially after a terrifying apparition was seen by a guard and his dog. The dog stopped in its tracks and growled whilst the guard saw two black figures in front of him. Days later the dog died, the cause of its death was believed to have been the fright caused by the apparition.

On a Fright Nights event, members of the public are led around the austere confines of the 18th century Debtors’ Tower, Prison D-wing and experience the dark atmosphere of the underground Crypt. Experienced paranormal investigators will detail the real-life experiences from the Castle and historical information researched by experts. With the use of ghost hunting and psychic equipment, mediums will help the public try and encounter the chilling world of the paranormal.

Tickets, which cost £25 for a Midnight Spirits event and £69 for a Ghost Hunt, can be purchased from Fright Nights online at

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A dark figure haunts visitors to Oxford Castle Unlocked!