Overcrowding, poor food and cramped cells plagued the institution in its final years. mediadrumimages/Punkitect


By Alexander Greensmith


HAUNTING snaps have revealed the abandoned men’s prison that once housed Fred West and is thought to have over one-hundred ex-criminals buried beneath it.

Eerie images showed decrepit corridors, walls dripping with mould and a surprisingly pristine prison church.

Another picture captured a nude Page 3 model on a decaying wall, with her face and body ripped out.

This shiny prison church remains remarkably intact. mediadrumimages/Punkitect

HM Prison Gloucester located in the city centre of Gloucester, UK, was home to serial killer Fred West after he was charged with two murders including that of his daughter in February 1994. The unsettling images were captured by an anonymous British urban explorer known only as Punkitect, who used a Canon EOS 6D with a 16-35mm lens.

The prison, which was built in 1792 and shut in 2013, is thought to be haunted due to 123 hangings that happened there, with prisoners being hung for crimes such as sheep stealing, horse theft and burglary. The last hanging was in 1939. The deceased are thought to have been buried in unmarked graves underneath the prisons three-and-a-half acres, and are believed to haunt the empty site to this very day.

“The atmosphere felt cold, and sad, but not hostile. It was knowing that this tiny cell had housed the worst of society every single night for hundreds of years that made it all the more chilling,” said Punkitect.

Graffiti is carved to pass the time of a prisoners day, the man appears to be from Cheltenham. mediadrumimages/Punkitect

“I’ve spent my life chasing dark tourism, treading where some of the evilest minds of humanity have trodden. As horrible as the prison environment was, it was still too good for someone who committed the acts that he [Fred West] did.

“There is a shift to moving prisons more towards the countryside, but the age of this jail has meant that Gloucester has grown up around it. Being sat in a cell and hearing people commute to work and the faint buzz of people relaxing in the bars and cafes at the docks only emphasises the feeling of having one’s freedom taken away.

IF HALLS COULD TALK – Ghost hunts and zombie experiences now take place in this abandoned, and likely haunted prison. mediadrumimages/Punkitect

“The building has been a part of the city’s history for centuries, a landmark that everyone is aware of, but very few have seen inside. I think it is fantastic that [before the pandemic] the building was being used to host events.”

Fred West killed at least 12 people with his wife Rosemary between 1967 and 1987. The murderer resided at HMP Gloucester in 1994 following his arrest, and was later transferred to Winson Green Prison in Birmingham, UK, where he hung himself just a year later.