Kemp's Curse: Eerie Images of Ghostly "Spirits" Photographed in Historical Witch's Prison

Kemp’s Curse: Eerie Images of Ghostly “Spirits” Photographed in Historical Witch’s Prison


Does the ghost of a condemned witch still haunt the prison where she was held? The current owners of the building think so, and you might too once you get a look at the eerie photos that were snapped there this weekend.

The images appear to show the ectoplasmic outlines of humanoid figures slinking around a historical landmark known as The Cage, a property previously used to imprison those accused of witchcraft. According to Vanessa Mitchell, current owner of the building, the two images were snapped without manipulation by spirit photographer Ron Bowers in front of a room full of onlookers.

I reached out to Ron to find out what sort of camera, technique, or mechanism he used to capture the photos, only to find that he used an off-the-shelf, consumer level digital camera.


Hello Greg

Thank you for your interest, it makes a nice change from criticism I receive.

I was using a Fiju 9500 digital camera until I stupidly put the incorrect voltage batteries into it blowing the camera. Last night on the 7th June at The Cage, I used my old Fuji S500 camera. I am hoping to go for a Nikon or Cannon camera soon.

I use nothing special on the lens.


At one time The Cage served as the village prison for all criminals in St Osyth, Essex in the UK, but is best known as the place that held infamous witch Ursula Kemp and fourteen other local women who were accused of witchcraft and subsequently hung in the late 1500s. It was alleged that Ursula used “familiars” to heal and/or kill her neighbors, acts she supposedly admitted to during questioning. But hey, they didn’t leave you much wiggle room back then.

In 1921, two female skeletons were discovered on the property, one of which was thought to be Kemp’s. The bones were then put on display as a sort of local curiosity.


Many paranormal investigators, including Vanessa Mitchell, believe that Ursula haunts the prison to this day.

“I have seen three ghosts in there as clear as I could see someone living,” she wrote in a personal statement. “I also experienced activity that was unexplainable to me, i.e. [water] taps turning on and off, door latches rattling through the day and night, a coke can whizzing across the table, objects disappearing then turning up in unusual places or not turning up at all.. something walking up and down the stairs in the night, physical touch, aggressive touch, voices as if people talking to each other..”

The strange tales told by Vanessa and others only serve to make the ghostly images captured at The Cage even more intriguing.

Could Ron Bowers have captured the restless spirit of Ursula Kemp on his digital camera? Let us know what you think! Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page, tweet us @WhoForted, or leave a comment below.

To check some of Ron Bower’s other ghostly photos, you can head over to The Nightwatchman Chronicles.


Join the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and get awesome perks!

You must be logged in to post a comment Login