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Jamaica Inn Sign by Steve Daniels

As Halloween edges closer, darkness falls across these haunted places in Cornwall with tales of ghosts emerging!

Cornwall is a county infused with myth and legend, but it reaches a paranormal peak at this time of year.

To celebrate the spooky season, we’ve put together a guide on the most haunted places in Cornwall.

Visit these petrifying places on an October half term break to Cornwall. Browse our collection of cottages in St Ives and Carbis Bay that are still available for half term.

Read on to discover these haunted places in Cornwall…

1. Jamaica Inn, Bodmin Moor

Most Haunted Places in Cornwall Jamaica Inn in Bodmin Moor, Cornwall.

As well as being on our list of best pubs in Cornwall, this historic 17-bedroom coaching inn has a rich history of smugglers, crime and mysterious ghostly sightings.

Where is the famous Jamaica Inn?

Located on a lonely spot on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, Jamaica Inn is said to be one of the most haunted places in the country.

It has served as a coaching inn for centuries , renowned for being a major player in the smuggling game. With so many ports and ships constantly coming and going, Cornwall had a bustling black market.

Smugglers either stealing from shipwrecks or importing illegal goods needed places to trade their goods.

Jamaica Inn was one of those safe havens for the likes of smugglers to stop off and rest their heads before they continued their exploits.

Why is Jamaica Inn so famous?

Another reason Jamaica Inn is so well known might have a little something to do with one of Cornwall’s favourite authors.

Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name is set at the inn. It follows the character of Mary, an orphan sent to live with the landlord and lady of the inn, Mary’s uncle and aunt.

Daphne du Maurier was inspired to write this novel back in 1930 after her and a friend got lost in a fog on Bodmin Moor and were led back to the inn by her horse.

Ghosts of Jamaica Inn

Landlords and guests have experienced many spooky goings-on at Jamaica Inn.

It’s said to be haunted by a ragtag of ghosts, including a murdered highwayman in a tricorn hat and cloak who is seen to drift through solid doors.

Ghostly incidents are so common that popular TV programme, Most Haunted, said the episode they recorded at Jamaica Inn was the spookiest ever!

Is Jamaica Inn still open?

The inn is very much still open! Owned for the last 8 years by Allen Jackson, the inn underwent substantial refurbishment.

Recently it reportedly sold for £8 million to the Coaching Inn Group.

Visitors can learn more about the inn’s colourful history in the museum or ‘sleep with the ghosts’ by staying overnight in the hotel.

2. Pendennis Castle, Falmouth

Most Haunted Places in Cornwall Pendennis Castle, Falmouth, Cornwall.

As one of Cornwall’s oldest buildings and the site of many a battle, it’s little wonder that ghosts are said to wander Pendennis Castle.

This fortress stands guard at the mouth of the Fal Estuary, near Falmouth.

Who are the Pendennis Castle ghosts?

The castle is said to be haunted by at least eight different ghosts, including the screams of a kitchen maid who fell to her death and the footsteps of soldiers on narrow staircases.

It’s said some of Pendennis Castle’s ghosts are those who fought in a lengthy siege in 1646.

An 800-strong Royalist force withstood a five month long siege during the English Civil War.

Eventually they agreed to honourably surrender to Parliament once their food supplies ran out.

Visiting Pendennis Castle

This is one of the castles in Cornwall well worth visiting.

Pendennis Castle has been known to get in the spooky spirit with ghost tours after dark.

This year they are welcoming families to enjoy the castle in October half term. Follow the Halloween trail around the castle and the grounds of this haunted places in Cornwall.

3. Bodmin Jail, Bodmin

Most Haunted Places in Cornwall Cell in Bodmin Jail, Bodmin, Cornwall.

Bodmin Jail is a cold and foreboding place, famous for its dark and sinister past. From murderers, to smugglers and thieves, there’s been a myriad of inmates within its dank dungeons.

Why is Bodmin Jail famous?

Some seriously sinister characters were held in Bodmin Jail, with public hangings held up until 1909.

The prison oversaw 55 executions, and 8 of these were women.

Who haunts Bodmin Jail?

Considered to be one of Britain’s most haunted places, Bodmin Jail’s notorious ghosts include that of Selina Wadge.

Selina was hanged for the murder of her own child.

Children have since reported seeing a lady in a long dress crying. Pregnant women have been known to become very emotional in the presence of this spirit.

The last man to be hanged in Cornwall

The last man ever to see the fate of the gallows, not just in Bodmin Jail but in the whole of Cornwall, was William Hampton.

In July 1909, Hampton was executed for murdering his 17-year-old girlfriend.

Visit Bodmin Jail

Most Haunted Places in Cornwall Bodmin Jail, Bodmin, Cornwall.

The jail is now a museum and is one of our ultimate activities to enjoy in Cornwall.

Brave visitors can descend into the bowels of this dark prison and learn about the lives of its inmates.

Gruesome exhibits include the Execution Pit which features a restored hanging ‘long drop’ platform.

Bodmin Jail is hosting some perfect spooky half term activities. Go on their “Go Darker” heritage tour with a junior version for kids 7+.

Or why not take part in an authentic Victorian séance? With ouija boards, scrying and more this 31st October 2022.

4. Wheal Coates Mine, Chapel Porth

Most Haunted Places in Cornwall Wheal Coates Mine, St Agnes, Cornwall.

Cornwall’s mines were dark and dangerous places, where terrifying accidents led to many deaths below ground.

Hauntings at Wheal Coates Mine

Wheal Coates Mine on the cliff at Chapel Porth, near St Agnes, is said to be haunted by the ghosts of dead miners.

On a cold and windy day, when this haunted place in Cornwall is deserted, some visitors have said they have heard spooky whispers.

Maybe exacerbated by the crashing waves which echo up through the mines, the whispers rattle through the grates in the floors of this ghostly ruin.

When was Wheal Coates built?

Wheal Coates Mine was built in the early 1800s, opening its doors in 1802. It was closed in 1889, reopened in 1911 and then closed again in 1913.

As seen in Poldark

Wheal Coates Mine can be seen in the popular BBC series Poldark. The well-preserved engine houses made appearances on the show representing the mines of Nampara Estate.

5. Museum of Witchcraft and Magic

Most Haunted Places in Cornwall Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, Boscastle, Cornwall.

Okay, so this museum may not be haunted, but it’s safe to say some of the items inside it might be!

The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic rests in Boscastle. Amazingly, it houses the world’s largest collection of artefacts related to witchcraft.

What’s inside the museum?

Its exhibits relate to witchcraft, folk magic, ceremonial magic, Freemasonry and Wicca.

Visitors will be welcomed in by an image of a witch, before they are confronted with eerie exhibits of the occult. Sure to send some shivers down your spine!

Make your way through packed rooms with sections devoted to Wiccan wheel of the year, ritual magic, divination, stone circles and protective charms.

There is also a section on Satanism, containing a medallion given to the museum by the Church of Satan.

Despite its scary subject matter, or maybe because of it, the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is very popular around Halloween.

Spooky stays in Cornwall

If you’d like to visit these haunted places in Cornwall, why not book a last minute break to Cornwall in October half term?

Carbis Bay Holidays have lots of fabulous properties to house you in the Halloween season.

Ever thought of taking a winter short break? Cut through the cobwebs of the winter blues with a holiday to Carbis Bay.

For more Halloween fun, read our list of Halloween activities and events in Cornwall this year.

Or be inspired by the best autumnal things to enjoy in October.

Image credits: (Robert LindsellCC BY 2.0); (spectrefloatCC BY 2.0); (Robert LindsellCC BY 2.0).