New beginnings for Paranormal at Bodmin Jail

Good evening. I write this from the Paranormal Office here at the Jail. In my first full month as
Paranormal Manager, so much has happened.

Published on 01 August 2023

I am overwhelmed with enthusiasm and excitement in taking on this wonderful department. My academic study into Hauntology has created a foundation for the new approach our team is taking. Because, as well as having the more ‘staged’ theatrical and immersive events (with our new Ghost Walk and Cinema Fright Nights opening up the afterlife to a wider audience), it is important that our investigations are all led with three core values and ethics - Honesty, Integrity, and Curiosity. By approaching the paranormal with both a spiritual and academic mindset, our new team are developing a rich corpus of research to catalogue interactions with the spectres of the past, that continue to demand our attention in the present.

Just last week, others and I were witness to a peaceful apparition, a lady with her face cast down, almost angelic, moving through the court from the centre of the room. We were making contact with a nurse who had worked within the infirmary of the Jail (now the dark-walk attraction). This building, being a palimpsest, can often lead to apparitions appearing where you least expect it - our walls are not their walls. It was both a visceral, and surprising experience.

We live with ghosts, even if you find that you are not a believer, our entire landscape echoes with the past. Be it a gothic chapel now transformed into flats, a standing stone weathered by time, or a tree warped by the sea winds. Our history is coextensive with our present, even if rewritten over countless times. Bodmin Jail of course is no stranger to this, from housing prisoners to becoming a raucous nightclub, now a stunning tourist attraction and luxury hotel. Perhaps - by our keeping it alive – the building, and its residents, have continued to observe us as much as we try to observe them.

There is much to look forward to over the next few months. In September we will be launching our newest paranormal event ‘Haunted at Bodmin Jail’. Where you are invited to discover the dark heritage of the jail, and then guided through traditional spiritualist methods used to encounter the spectres of this historic building. During the evening you will be encouraged to visit often unseen parts of the site and spend time alone in the dark - connecting to the echoes of the past. This experience uses methods such as – Ouija, Pendulum, Transfiguration, Language, Sense, your own quiet observation, and intuition – so that we may respectfully seek those who occupy the dark chambers of Bodmin Jail.

We are also proud to present ‘Dr Kate Cherrell’ from Burials & Beyond and Jack Osbourne’s Haunted Homecoming – Discovery Channel+. On Sunday October 22nd in our Naval Wing Kate will be delivering one of her highly acclaimed talks on ‘An Introduction to Victorian Spiritualism’ where she will deliver stories on the most colourful mediums in history and impart the secrets of spirit contact in an entertaining and informative way!

Here’s to a great summer, and for those like me who prefer the darker months, do not fear – spooky season will soon be upon us.

Joseph S Carter
Paranormal Manager