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Wednesday, 14 August, 2002, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Tourist dared to sleep in haunted jail
A ghost
Britain claims more ghosts than any other country
An Australian tourist has braved a night in one of Derby's most haunted buildings.

Valerie Lucas Hill, 62, stayed in Derby Gaol on Friargate after being set a challenge by her son.

She survived a chilly night on a hard wooden bed in the condemned cell.

But unexplained noises and the creepy atmosphere have persuaded her not to repeat the experiment.


There were lots of weird and wonderful noises going on that I couldn't explain

Valerie Lucas Hill

She said: "It was interesting and scary at times.

"There were lots of weird and wonderful noises going on that I couldn't explain, like creaks and whines and hums and my imagination was running riot.

"I didn't feel like investigating any of them - I decided I would prefer to remain in ignorance."

If the atmosphere was not enough, objects began to move on their own.

She said: "The bizarrest thing which happened was when a cushion I brought to rest my head on fell off the bed.

"I put my hand down to get it and it wasn't there but was a good two feet away and I couldn't understand how it had got there. That got my adrenalin going."

Ghost walk

Mrs Lucas Hill decided to sleep in the jail after a previous visit to the city.

She said: "I did this because I came to Derby three years ago and came on the ghost walk with my son.

"We had some banter about what it would be like to spend a night in the jail.

"He was meant to be here but couldn't make it so I did it on my own."

Derby Gaol has been restored and is one of the city's best-known tourist attractions.


Click here to go to Derby
See also:

09 Aug 02 | England
05 Apr 02 | England
25 Oct 01 | England
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