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Bodmin Moor Jail

Listed under Paranormal in West Country, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of Bodmin Moor Jail
  • Photo of Bodmin Moor Jail
  • Photo of Bodmin Moor Jail
Photo of Bodmin Moor Jail
Photo by flickr user Rawac
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Bodmin Moor in itself is enough to send a chill down any spine. Its miles of misty, undulating grassland seem to go on forever, and the imposing granite tors are the only landmarks.

Prehistory has left its mark and many stone circles and burial tumuli add to the sense of mystery here, as do the stories of King Arthur and his knights, and the many other Cornish folk legends which have become linked with the moors.

Bodmin Jail was built in 1779, designed to take advantage of the fact that there was nowhere for the prisoners to escape to but the moor itself, and the hazards of cold, hunger and the treacherous, boggy ground. It is now partly in ruins and functions as a tourist attraction, interesting not only historically, for the strong impression it creates of what life must have been like for 18th and 19th Century prisoners, but for the stories of the long-dead inmates themselves.

Anne Jeffries was starved to death here, held under suspicion of being a Witch, Selina Wadge was executed for the murder of her illegitimate son and perhaps most famously, Matthew Weeks was hanged for the murder of his girlfriend Charlotte Dymond, whose ghost is said to wander across the moors by night to this day.

Britain's last public hanging (of murderer William Hampton) took place here in 1909 and his ghost, along with those of many other former prisoners, is said to have been seen here.

Written by  larapiegeler.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers


Right that the moors are more frightening than the jail. But it’s the stories about the nasty goings on that took place here that are enough to ward you off further investigation. My father told me a story about there being an escaped prisoner on the moors who was living rough in the cold but got a fright and came back in in a state of extreme fright. He was a clever crim, in for battering his younger brother who was supposed to have some kind of mental illness which frightened his family. Anyway this crim was sent down despite claims of self defence and ended up not being too popular inside, but managed to escape through the kitchen, apparently there was some kind of tunnel. So he makes it out and it’s a couple of hours before they raise they alarm and by then he’s out on the moors somewhere. Police go out after him but the fog is dense and they don’t find him. Story goes that he was found a couple of days later. Covered in defensive wounds saying he’s been fighting his brother out there and that he has to go back into prison. So they put him back and he’s good as gold for a few months but then starts talking to his brother, under his breath at first but then chattering away while he’s supposed to be working and the rest of the prisoners don’t like it. Starts to freak all of them out. Then when there is another escape he goes even more funny. When the prisoner is caught again he wants to go in with him and ask him about his brother, the thing is that the recent escapee thinks he’s seen him as well. So they’re both going a bit do-lally together.

There isn’t much background on this but I have had a look into it and there was a prisoner sent into Bodmin Moor Jail for bashing his brother’s head in.

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