Bodmin Jail has over 230 years of history, and more than 50 people have been executed within its walls since it was built in 1779. Kept in squalid conditions with little food and sunlight, and often subjected to hard labour, the jail is saturated with decades of negative energy. Its violent history makes it a prime location for ghost walks in Cornwall.
Some famous ghostly tales include that of Selena Wadge, who was executed for the murder of her child son. It is said that her spirit still haunts the Jail to this day- particularly drawn to young children and pregnant women, begging them for forgiveness. Whether you believe in the paranormal or consider yourself a sceptic, there is no doubt that Bodmin Jail has an uneasy atmosphere, day or night.
The UK Calendar Girls braved the Jail after hours, returning to the living world at 5am. Gaining sponsorship from businesses all over the UK, the spooky night was all for a good cause; to raise money for the Chestnut Appeal.
The ghost hunting team consisted of 19 people- including 11 Calendar Girl Applicants. The girls were looked after by Resident medium Kirstin Honey, who has over 10 years experience in the field.
The night kicked into action at 10pm. Kirstin outlined the fascinating history of the jail; giving the Ghost Hunters a walking tour. The execution pit- the only working pit in the UK was first on the agenda. Kirstin showed the team a list of ghastly crimes leading perpetrators to their demise- ranging from stealing a cow to murdering their own children.
At 01:40am, Kirstin led the ghost hunters in a number of workshops focussing on the basics of Reiki and energy management. Reiki is practised in every country all over the world, and is defined as practising healing energy through the hands. Kirstin had everyone pair up and stand with their hands close, but not touching. Focusing on the ‘energy’ held within themselves, some of the Ghost Hunters reported a tingling feeling, changes in temperature and being able to ‘feel’ their partners energy through their hands.
As a resident medium for Bodmin Jail, Kirstin has seen her fair share of interesting activity. “I’ve seen people passing out, people walking into darkened rooms by themselves in a trance like state- mood changes, extreme panic and sudden feelings of nausea”.
Infrared cameras were set up throughout the building, to catch any ghostly goings on. At one point in the night- multiple spiritual apparitions, or Orbs, were seen darting across the screen when a member of the team placed his hands on the table.
The highlight of the night for many was the Ouija board and the glass divination techniques to contact any spirits. Tara Willis- a UK Calendar Girl applicant explains her experience “I wasn’t liked at the table! I felt like I was being pushed away and had an overwhelming negative feeling when we were in that room
Glass divination is the act of placing your finger tip lightly onto an upturned glass and attempting to contact spirits. The head photographer, Tom Coles says “After watching the girls take part I have to admit I was sceptical at first, but I was curious to give it a go myself. After placing my finger on the glass and it started moving- I genuinely felt like there was something going on. It was moving round in circles so fast there was no way anyone could be pushing it”. The exercise came to an abrupt end when the glass flew off the table, smashing onto the floor.
The ghost hunting continued into the early hours of the morning, with the team being able to explore the depths of the jail freely.
Where do I start?! What a fascinating evening! To start with I was terrified, unsure whether I could face my fears and stay the whole night in Bodmin jail, but everyone came together and helped me fight my fears! I have never experienced anything quite like it, from the Ouija board and the Glass Divination! Very spooky but honestly a great experience!
– Megan Victoria
What an experience! Walking around Bodmin in the early hours certainly has an eery feel. I’ve always believed in spirits but been a little sceptical when it comes to Ouija boards, but I can honestly say there is no explanation for the things we saw and felt that night! I was expecting quite a scary experience but in all honesty its not – more intriguing. When doing the ouija there were roughly 5/6 people taking part. We picked up on a brother and sister aged 8 and 9 who died at bodmin jail and were lost. I could literally feel their energy throughout the ouija and the sadness they carried. I also took part in the glass divination. The spirit happened to be my dads great aunt who died in her 30s and estranged from my family due to life choices at a young age. As you can imagine, I felt a little on edge she made it very clear it was me she wanted to connect with. Some things in life you really need to see to believe and now I’ve experienced it first hand its undeniable, I definitely believe it!
– Jade Denny