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Derbyshire is said to be the most haunted county in the country and the City of Derby is known  as the 'Ghost Capital of England'. To learn more about the mysterious ghostly happenings in the city and to hear a collection of scary tales, try a ghost walk or an overnight vigil at Derby Gaol - if you dare!!

A visit to Derby Gaol provides a good starting point for would be ghosthunters. The gaol has played an important part in the history of Derby. It is located at 50/51 Friargate, Derby, the rear entrance (pictured below) is off Agard Street. Entry to the gaol is free of charge.



Many of the hauntings and the sightings within the city

 play an important part in the history of Derby.


Britain has more than its fair share of haunted houses and nearly every castle and stately home has its resident ghost, relating to some tragic event in its history. Most pubs dating back two or three hundred years have a ghost tale or two, which given time and perhaps for the price of a pint the landlord or one of the regulars will be pleased to relate to the interested visitor.

Many of the older ghost stories are linked to historical events, and have been developed by word of mouth, changing through the centuries as the tales have been passed down. But even in the more sceptical times of the 21st century some of these stories have been backed by credible witness accounts. When members of the public have seen something quite out of the ordinary for which no logical explanation can be provided. There are in fact thousands of modern cases on record, far too many to be easily dismissed as resulting from hallucination and misinterpretation.

Derby Ghosts

Room 29 at the Bell Inn, Sadler Gate, which used to be a hotel, is said to be haunted by young servant girl murdered by the Jacobite army  in 1745.

At the Dolphin Inn, Queen Street, the gas taps in the cellar are mysteriously, turned off making the staff think the barrels are empty.

Some of Derby's better known ghosts include, the ghost of Joseph Moss, the only policeman ever to have been murdered in the city, who was shot in 1879. His ghost is said to haunt the fish market, which used to be the police station. A tombstone in the memory of Joseph Moss is on display at the rear of Derby Gaol.

In 1588, three catholic priests were hung drawn and quartered on St Mary's Bridge near to the Bridge Chapel. The anguished cries of the men are said to be heard echoing across the river on the 24 July, the anniversary of this infamous event in the history of Derby.

Amongst many other ghostly happening in Derby, beer mats and ashtrays have been said to go flying off tables at the Abbey Pub, in Darley Abbey.

Derby Gaol

Derby Gaol is a working museum which is open to the public. It was acquired in 1997 by Richard Felix,  paranormal investigator and dedicated historian who later became famous, as one of the members of the popular television programme 'Most Haunted'.

The gaol was then restored as far as possible to replicate its original state. Currently it has two cells: The Condemned Cell and the Debtor's Cell. Each one features the original doors which have been re-hung, complete with the prisoners' original 'graffiti'... names, dates and day markers, etched into the wood, marking down how many days the prisoner had until execution.

A twenty four hour investigation in Derby by the TV's Most Haunted brought both the gaol and the city to the attention of a wide audience and as resulted in it  becoming a popular venue for ghosthunters, serious investigators and the curious.

Richard Felix claims to have seen a ghost at Derby Gaol in November 1999. It took the form of a strange grey mist creeping across the room from the main entrance.

The gaol is also used as the headquarters for Derby Ghost Walks, where walks can be booked by both individuals and groups, or for the even more adventurous overnight vigils at the gaol itself.

Ghost Walks

The City Centre Walk - starts at the Bell Hotel, Sadler Gate and includes a visit to the Guildhall tunnels before returning to the Tudor Room at the Bell, for a ghosthunters supper.

Friar Gate Walk - starts at Derby Gaol and includes a visit to the cellars of the Friary Hotel, which are haunted by the figure of a ghostly monk. After returning to the gaol the night concludes with the Condemned Man's Supper!

Details can be obtained from Derby Gaol, 50/51 Friar Gate Derby - Telephone Number:01332 299321.

Night Vigils

Starting at 11pm and finishing at 4am with breakfast, night vigils at Derby Gaol enable the visitor to get a real taste of hunting ghosts. A main course meal is included in the price and there is a bar for those wanting to settle their nerves!

Freedom of the gaol is allowed, and visitors are permitted to bring equipment in the hope of picking up the many strange and paranormal occurrences that happen at the gaol. Private groups of fifteen or more, can be accommodated.

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This website provides an independent profile of a city surrounded by beautiful countryside, situated at the heart of Britain.

A city of considerable character, surrounded by attractive countryside. With the Peak District National Park, the second most visited National Park in the world, only a few miles to the north and the National Forest a short distance away to the south.

Located near the centre of the country, Derby has excellent communications and is well served by road, rail and air. The city lies at the junction of the main A6, A38 and A52 roads and junction 25 of the M1 is 15 minutes drive away.



For further information on the City Centre Ghost Walk, Friar Gate Ghost Walk, Derby Gaol Night Vigils and other Ghost Walks in the area, contact: The Derby Gaol 50/51 Friar Gate, Telephone Number - 01332 299321.


For details of opening please contact Derby Gaol direct, on the above telephone number.



A special new sub-section has been added to this website, based on the Discover Derby Supplement, published by the Derby Evening Telegraph during March 2005. The most recent additions are:

 Click below for details.

Discover Derby




Provides a wide range of features on towns and villages with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.


The site is expanding to include many other features of interest to the local person and visitor alike. Why not bookmark this site for future reference.

1.  To return to the main site click the link below.

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2.  To return to the contents page of the main website click the link below.

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Every month an illustrated Newsletter is published giving details of:

 What's New, What's Coming and What's On.




A selection of links on the Discover Derby Website, for the full list click here.

Derby Historical Notes

Derby Heritage Walk 1

Derby Heritage Walk 2

Derby Heritage Walk 3

Derby Wildlife Walks

Derby Pubs

Derby Pub Challenge


Derby Cathedral

St Mary's Bridge Chapel

Derby Museums     New

Little Chester Heritage Centre    New


Derby Events Calendar

Derby Cathedral Events

Let's go wild in Derby 2007 - Events

Derby at Christmas


Metro Cinema     New

Derby Ghost Walks    New