Thursday, 6 October 2011

Ghosts And Ghouls Tour At Nottingham's Galleries Of Justice Museum REVIEW

Entering a darkened Galleries of Justice lit by candlelight from moodily-scattered candlebra with organ music playing disconcertedly in the background is spectacle enough and certainly gets you into an unsettled and eerie mood all nice and ready for the Ghost and Ghouls Tour at Nottingham's old Court House and County Gaol, voted the most haunted building in the UK by Fright Nights paranormal investigators. After a bit of a wait in the sinister foyer with our nervously-giggly and very friendly fellow visitors, a costumed character with freakish eyes descends dramatically from a staircase and begins to regale us with the tales and history of the museum and beckons us to follow as we are led through to the courtroom and down to the haunted cells.

A whispy breeze follows you on your journey (confidentially, we recommend you bring a cardie) and it's an intimate and intriguing tour, stylishly and impressively presented, and although only available to over 18s, it's more emotive than spine-chilling, with the odd scare and gory detail thrown in. There are no tacky fairground gimmicks, the stories of the convicts, their imprisonments and executions are told in a way to get your own imagination working, and also presumably to leave room for the genuine haunted sightings and presences that have been experienced in the Museum. Without giving too much away about the tour, it's unnerving, fascinating and disturbing all at the same time and it does make you want to see a ghost pretty badly. The most cynical member of our group proclaimed loudly as we passed though the torture chamber to a small hole where prisoners were measured for coffins 'nothing scares me!' But someone must have been listening- because as we were led back to the courtroom she happily admitted that on the way back something had touched the back of her leg- and there was nobody behind her- yikes!

Thought-provoking, scary and exciting, steeped both in history and sadness, confidentially, whether you are a resident or a visitor, we definitely recommend a tour of the Galleries of Justice should be part of your Nottingham experience.

The Ghosts and Ghouls Tour is available before Hallowe'en and on the first Wednesday of every month at 6.30pm, booking essential. Tickets are priced from £8.95 per person

There are lots of ways to explore the Galleries of Justice Museum with free exhibtions, audio and performance led tours and a themed cafe. Full details are available at http://www.galleriesofjustice.org.uk/

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