DENBIGH MENTAL ASYLUM
Denbigh Asylum was built in 1848, with room for over 1,500 patients and 1,000 staff and it closed in 1995.
Since it’s closure this beautiful Victorian building has been left to ruin. Over the last few years people have stripped it of all the lead from the roof and have completely gutted the inside.
Sadly over the years mindless vandals have put graffiti on the walls and have left rubbish, and have had no respect for the history of Denbigh.
Windows have been smashed, the roofs have caved in, extreme water damage and the flooring is rotting away.
Although parts of Denbigh are due to be demolished, the main buildings are grade II listed and home to bats which are protected.
Our first visit to Denbigh was 31st January 2009. We entered the grounds at approximately 4.30pm while it was still daylight. We were taken aback by the size and the grandeur of the buildings. It is truly an impressive sight. We were also saddened by how ruined it had become.
Once we were through we entered a huge room with pillars reaching the ceiling. The ceilings had loose wiring hanging down, and the paint on the walls was peeling. The windows although intact were rotting in their frames. There were still old fire exit signs and other small signs to prove that the building was once inhabited.
While we were examining the downstairs room we could hear banging noises coming from upstairs. To start with we thought there were other visitors in the building.
Just off this large room was a solid concrete staircase leading to the next floor, so we thought we would go up and investigate.
There were no other people up there but the banging noise turned out to be the old sash windows banging in the wind. Some of the windows still had the original glass but others were sadly bare.
The building was in a similar state upstairs - walls peeling, dark, damp and gloomy. There was wallpaper hanging off the walls and moss growing on window ledges. Again there were still fire exit signs to prove it had once been inhabited.
Our main interest was to find the old morgue so we ventured back downstairs. We found another corridor which led off to what we believe to be the old wards where the patients lived. In these wards there are separate cells, which again we believe to have been the seclusion zones for particularly ill patients (i.e.: padded cells)
We left this part of the building continuing our mission to find the morgue. We started to walk around the grounds of the rear of the building. Once we had walked round the back half of the building to our left hand side, up a few concrete steps, concealed in trees and bushes were some other buildings. We now know these to be the morgue and the chapel. As we were so excited about seeing the rest of the main building we decided to investigate these later (at this time we did not know that the buildings we had seen were the morgue - it was only after we got home and saw the plans we realised what we had missed!)
We then went over to what would have been the main hall. This was very easy to enter as now there are now no doors, windows, floor or even roof due to a fire in the building several months ago. It’s literally now a big pile of rubble.
The corridors and rooms which used to connect to the main building were still virtually intact so great for investigating.
It was in one of these rooms we unknowingly experienced our first phenomena at Denbigh. When we reviewed the video evidence once we had returned home we heard a strange noise. Please see video below (first sound). This noise however was not heard by the naked ear.
Although Denbigh could be a scary place we didn’t feel scared because we were in such awe of the building. We stopped and called out asking if anyone was there a few times but got no response.
By this time it was very dark.
We continued our investigation outside of the building using torches. We were attempting to access what at the time we believed to be the heart of the main building. This led us to walk around to the front of the building.
After walking back to the rear of the building we ended up back where the main hall used to stand. It was in this maze of corridors we actually got into the heart of the building.
The floors here and in the majority of the building were so rotten in places that only the joists remain.
Although not really funny (but was at the time!!) one of our investigators fell through a small hole in the flooring but fortunately he was not injured.
We managed to get ourselves lost in a maze of corridors, rooms, halls and stairways and over an hour trying to find our way back out. During this time we called out regularly to ask if any spirit was there but again we heard nothing.
We then went into yet another building on the site, where again we were calling out. This time we experienced a small amount of activity.
We asked if anyone was there and if so to make a sound. After a couple of seconds we heard two taps which were caught on camera. Please see below.
After a few more minutes we asked again but this time only got a faint tap in response - again caught on camera but very faint.
Other than these experiences, off camera we heard doors slamming, which to start with we assumed was the wind until we closed the banging door securely but as we walked away it slammed loudly again. Sadly we did not catch this on tape or camera.
Altogether we were at Denbigh for approximately 4 and a half hours. Unfortunately most of this was in the dark and we would have loved to have been there in daylight.
We feel we missed so much - for example the morgue and the chapel where we have heard people to have experienced the most activity.
This unexplained sound was picked up by camera but we did not hear it at the time.
Suggestions to the noise have been the sound of a divers mask or oxygen mask.
Once we slowed it down we can hear what is possibly a man's voice also
In this video clip you can hear two faint knocks or taps after we asked if they can make a sound.
See our 2013 investigation