Shepton Mallet film shows ghostly shadow

An eerie moment that appears to reveal a ghostly encounter in Shepton Mallet prison - where military prisoners were once executed by firing squad - has been recorded by a Forces Radio BFBS presenter during a documentary about the jail.

Presenter Richard Hutchinson has told how he ‘felt an eerie presence standing near him’ as he recorded a documentary at HMP Shepton Mallet – known as a military Glasshouse – as he uncovered a chilling history of soldiers facing firing squads and executions at the jail.

However, it is a ghostly brief video clip filmed in a corridor where there are cells known as the ‘condemned man’s cell’ and the ‘execution room’ that has prompted speculation and spooky debate.

Richard Hutchinson interviewed Joel Campbell in a series about HMP Shepton Mallet

The footage was shot at the precise moment that Richard says he felt like ‘someone was standing behind him’ but spun around only to find the corridor empty.

What is, or is not revealed, in the footage has prompted lots of speculation as it appears to show a glance of a shadow cast across a wall.

Or does it?

It is not clear if there is a genuine shadow – perhaps a shadow of a cloud overhead outside - if it is a quirk of the light in the corridor or simply the digital camera adjusting as it calibrates the light field.

What sent a shiver down Richard's spine was that the ghostly 'shadow' was captured at the exact moment he felt a presence behind him.

Now it’s up to you to decide what you think as the footage is published below on Forces Network.

Richard, in a radio discussion with Joel Campbell, the owner of Jailhouse Tours, who takes visiting members of the public in what is now a heritage-led tourist attraction, the Forces Radio BFBS presenter says: “I was walking down one particular corridor and as I was there on my own, I felt someone standing behind me.”

Richard says that initially, he thought it was Joel or another member of the team joining him to see how he was getting along but, he then describes how he turned around quickly – only to discover the whole room empty.

He said he thought nothing more of it … until he got back to the gatehouse where the rest of the team were.

Richard told the team at Shepton Mallet prison what he had experienced and they said: “Don’t tell us where you were, we think we know … was it on a corridor between two cell blocks?”

Richard confirmed that was where he had been standing before he was told: “That’s strange because that happens to a lot of people down there.”

HMP Shepton Mallet allows visitors to look into the condemned man's cell
HMP Shepton Mallet allows visitors to look into the condemned man's cell

Joel tells Richard how the area, just outside the ‘condemned man’s cell’ and outside the ‘execution room’ at Shepton Mallet prison, is a “funny area” because that’s the area where a lot of “sightings” and “paranormal activities” are reported by members of the team, including ex-prison officers who work at the site, especially on nights.

Richard has been exploring the history of Shepton Mallet prison, which once held the Kray twins, as part of a documentary uncovering its history of military executions, firing squads and its gruesome past dating back to 1610, at a location not far from Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton.

Joel describes his own personal experience, saying that he once stood in the prison’s B-Wing at the end of the eerie corridor, at a time just before the prison opened to the public as a visitor experience, while he was getting the site ready.

He said he was just putting up some visitor signs when, out of the corner of his eye, he “got a glance of this shadowy figure moving just outside the execution room”.

He added: “For a second, I just stopped and thought ‘is this one of my staff?’”

He radioed others in his team but found none of them were in the area.

He said: “So I walked down the corridor and there was no one there at all and it was one of those things that made me go: ‘Did I catch that with my eyes, did I see that? What was that?’”

Executed soldiers lie in unmarked graves in HMP Shepton Mallet grounds
Executed soldiers lie in unmarked graves in HMP Shepton Mallet grounds

Joel said that sort of experience happens “an awful lot” across all of the prisons run by the tour company Jailhouse Tours which organises guided tours, and themed experiences at several former prison sites including Shepton Mallet.

However, Richard then goes on to explain that when he returned to the office, he was discussing his experience with others in the radio team and showed them a video clip of the corridor.

Others then noticed something strange.

It was very subtle. Barely noticeable without some scrutiny … but what looks to be a shadow appears on a small section of the wall.

It was then that the team started discussing whether or not there was really a shadow there as the wall goes dark then light again on the video - close to where Richard was standing.

The video is now here on Forces Network to find out what the audience at large thinks – is this a ghostly apparition?

Or is it something easily explained as a change in the light, a quirk of the digital camera as it captures the light field, or just how the camera moves as it filmed the scene?

Look closely towards the lower part of the wall at the left-hand side of the frame – the wall goes noticeably, albeit subtly, darker then lighter again.

Richard and others might not have thought much about the light changes, had it not been for his experience of feeling someone, or something, behind him at the moment the footage was filmed.

What do you think?

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