Discover Darkest Cornwall this Halloween!
Ever wanted to get up close and personal with a ghost, spend the night in a haunted jail, or delve deeper in to the murky past of Cornwall’s most haunted landmarks? In October the veil between this world and the next is gossamer thin because it is Halloween. A time when the spirits are closer to us than we might like – but if we are brave enough, we could just meet them face to face!
Cornwall is full of places that claim to be the most haunted in the UK! With the looming and sinister Bodmin Moor, the old inns, the craggy castles and the windswept coastline you can find many a location where vestiges of a gruesome past still linger, and where the lost souls of long ago still wander in turmoil.
So if you have a taste for the macabre, a passion for the unexpected or an urge to meet a ghostly presence face-to-face then we have some hair-raising ideas to spike the goosebumps of the hardiest soul.
Bodmin Jail – welcome to the UK’s Most Haunted Venue!
With a tale that began as far back as the 1770’s, the jail was constructed by Napoleonic prisoners of war using 20,000 tons of granite quarried on Bodmin Moor. Between 1785 and 1909 fifty-five people were hanged at Bodmin Jail; a grisly source of entertainment for thousands of spectators who would congregate in adjoining fields to witness some poor wretch take his or her plunge into eternity. And if the tales are to believed….many of them are still providing entertainment now!
Amongst those executed at Bodmin Jail was Matthew Weeks, a crippled farmhand who was arrested for the murder of his lover Charlotte Dymond, whose body was found on Roughtor, 1844. Found guilty of the crime he was hanged in August 1844 and 20,000 people turned out to witness his final moments. Charlotte’s ghost, clad in a gown and silk bonnet is still said to appear at the site of her murder on the anniversary of her death.
Joining Charlotte is a woman that murdered her son. She is found wandering the prison where she appears to small children as a crying lady in a long dress.
If you want to head to the Jail and find see if you can meet these apparitions in person after dark, you can!
The ‘Go Darker’ Heritage Tour will take you from the gallows to the grave and the anatomy table to the gibbet cage and where the bodies of the condemned are buried.
Hauntings at Jamaica Inn – Not for the Faint Hearted!
For years there have been stories of paranormal activity at Jamaica Inn and visitors are getting the chance to experience it for themselves! The surrounding countryside was – and still is – wild, rugged and remote – and the inn gave shelter and sustenance to many a traveller whose weary lot it was to traverse the bleak and windswept sedges of Bodmin Moor. Some of those travellers are still there – hundreds of years later.
The Jamaica inn’s wind-lashed walls also provided a haven for less salubrious characters, and for many years it was a notorious haunt of smugglers. Several ghosts are said to wander within and around the Jamaica Inn’s old interior. Phantom footsteps have been heard plodding along corridors at dead of night. The sound of horses hooves sometimes clatter over the outside courtyard in the early hours. Witnesses, awoken by the phantom hoof beats, part the curtains to investigate and see nothing.
The murmur of agitated conversation in some foreign tongue, or forgotten dialect, has also been heard in the darker corners of otherwise empty rooms. And, every so often, the inn’s best-known and oldest ghost transcends the centuries to astonish and bemuse those who chance upon him.
In life he is reputed to have been a wayfarer, who one evening long ago was supping his ale at the bar, when a man peered round the door and called for him to come outside. Setting down his half-full tankard, the wayfarer went out into the night, and was never seen alive again. The next morning his lifeless corpse was found on Bodmin Moor. His identity -and that of his assailant – remains a mystery to this day, but his ghost has appeared many times, and has a particular attraction to the wall in front of the inn. Here he has often been seen just sitting, silent and motionless. He doesn’t respond to greetings, appears oblivious to those who pass by him, and after a few moments of gazing nonchalantly into space, slowly dissolves into nothingness.
If you are brave enough then we suggest that you join one of Jamaica Inn’s ghost hunts – but as we say, it is not for the faint-hearted!
Join others on the 30th September fater a 3-course dinner for a night of paranormal investigating, moving around the Inn, using different methods to try and communicate with the spirits. https://www.jamaicainn.co.uk/news/events/602
Shanty Lantern Ghost Storywalk St Ives Cornwall
For something that may be a little more appropriate for the smaller people in your family, how about a short walk in St Ives, led by the acclaimed storyteller, Shanty Baba?
As an eerie darkness falls over St Ives, Shanty Baba lights his hurricane lantern, to show you “the darker side of St Ives”. Be led to the haunted places in the town, the spooky alleyways where the dead are restless, the graveyards where paranormal and supernatural activity is still witnessed, and the houses where murders occurred…it will be a night that will haunt you for a very long time!
Pendennis Castle, Falmouth
Pendennis is one of the country’s oldest and most haunted properties and there are many knee-trembling tales of the ghosts said to roam the castle walls, from the Tudor Kitchen where the spirit of head cook Maude is said to wait, to the underground tunnels guarded by soldiers of the past, and the eerie sounds of the hooves of ill-fated horses eaten by their desperate owners during the civil war siege.
Pendennis Castle is just outside Falmouth, built by Henry VIII to protect the Carrick Roads from invasion by France and Spain. In 1646 the castle was the site of a famous siege, during which Royalists were trapped inside for six months and forced to eat their animals before surrendering. The piercing screams of a kitchen maid who fell to her death while carrying a tray of food have been heard by numerous visitors, as have strange footsteps on a staircase that no longer leads anywhere.
Visit if you dare! https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/pendennis-halloween-22-30-oct-2022/
Other Haunted Locations in Cornwall
Trerice Manor https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/trerice
Cotehele – St. Dominick https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cotehele
Lanhydroc House – Bodmin https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lanhydrock
Pengersick Castle www.pengersickcastle.com/
Tintagel Castle www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/tintagel-castle/
Dolphin Inn – Penzance www.dolphintavern.co.uk/
St Kew Inn www.stkewinn.co.uk/
OTHER HAUNTED PLACES
Dozmary Pool – Boventor https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dozmary_Pool
Hella Point – Porthgwarra www.haunted-britain.com/hella_point.htm
Poldark Mine – www.poldarkmine.org.uk/