Originally built for King George III in 1779, a number of spirits are said to haunt this oppressive jail.
|Resident Ghosts||Salina Wedge, Matthew Weeks, Warden (George), William and James Lightfoot, Priest, Anne Jeffries, Priest|
|Paranormal Activity||Apparitions, Rattling keys, Disembodied voices, Stones thrown, Clothes being tugged|
|Fear Factor||👻 👻 👻 👻 👻|
|Overnight Stay?||Book here|
History of Bodmin Jail
Bodmin Jail, located in Cornwall, was designed by Sir John Call and constructed in 1779 by prisoners of war.
The jail was a result of the ground-breaking Prison Reform during the reign of King George III, with more than 20,000 tonnes of local granite used in its construction.
It was the first British prison to introduce individual cells for prisoners, and it remained operational for 150 years. During this time, 55 public hangings took place.
Over the years, the jail experienced overcrowding, leading to several extensions and a completely new building replacing the original in 1861 (Spooky Isles).
Among the first prisoners to face the gallows at Bodmin Jail were William Lee and John Vanstone, both convicted of burglary. The last hanging took place in July 1909.
In 1927, the jail closed, leaving Cornwall without a prison ever since.
Bodmin Jail Ghosts
One of the most well-known ghosts of Bodmin Jail is the spirit of Matthew Weeks. He was executed in 1844 for the murder of his lover, Charlotte Dymond.
It has been reported that the ghost of Matthew wanders around the jail, pleading his innocence to those who encounter him. He has been seen on several occasions, making his presence felt in dark corners of the jail.
Another famous ghost of Bodmin Jail is that of Selina Wadge, who is also said to haunt the site. She makes her presence felt to pregnant women and also tugs on the clothes of young children.
Hanged at the age of 28 in 1878 for the murder of her son, her final words were “Lord deliver me from this miserable world” (The Guardian). Wadge is said to have dropped her son into a well on Bodmin Moor in a desperate attempt to survive during difficult times.
Selina was a young single mother of two disabled boys, struggling to provide for her family. The tragic death of her youngest boy, Harry, led to her arrest and execution at Bodmin Jail.
A visitor managed to capture the image of an ‘agitated woman‘ on their camera, who many believe to be the spirit of Wadge. This paranormal activity took place in the Naval Wing of the jail, an area known for frequent ghostly occurrences and where a gaunt man has been seen in one of the dark cells.
Beyond the well-known spirits of Matthew Weeks and Selina Wadge, the jail has a long history of unexplained phenomena and ghostly sightings. Many who have lost their lives within the jail’s walls are believed to still linger, adding to the chilling ambiance of the historic site.
It is believed that brothers William and James Lightfoot, who were hanged for the murder of Nevell Norway, are active in the cells.
Ann Jeffries, accused of being a witch and left to starve to death, also haunts the building. It is alleged it took her three months to die, further fuelling the belief that she was indeed practising witchcraft.
A ghostly warden named George is also said to wander the building, ensuring order is kept from beyond the veil. The rattling of his keys is regularly heard, whilst unexplained voices, cold spots and the feeling of being watched have also been reported.
A priest has been seen on several occasions in the chapel area.
Ghost Tours and Events
Bodmin Jail, a historic prison in Cornwall, offers a Ghost Walk every Wednesday. This eerie experience takes visitors through the jail’s haunted history, providing insight into the paranormal activity that has been reported within its walls.
The Ghost Walk starts at 8.30pm and lasts for three hours, making it an unforgettable evening for those who enjoy exploring the world of the supernatural.
For those who want to delve deeper into the supernatural occurrences at Bodmin Jail, the Ghost Hunting Night offers a chance to take part in a paranormal investigation.
Held on the last Saturday of every month, this four-hour event begins at 9pm and requires participants to be 18 years or older. Visitors can explore the jail’s most haunted locations and attempt to communicate with the spirits that are said to linger within the prison.
Bodmin Jail Hotel
The site has undergone significant renovations, transforming parts of it into a boutique hotel.
The once ruined cells of the Grade II listed building have been transformed into 70 luxury guest suites, a bar and a restaurant.
Each room comprises of three former cells, which are now stylish bedrooms complete with the prison’s original doors and bars on the windows. Guests can expect a luxurious experience, complete with modern fixtures and fittings and underfloor heating.
The hotel is situated in the perfect location for you to explore all that Cornwall has to offer, including a stunning choice of local Cornish beaches.