The Spookiest Halloween Experiences at Bodmin Jail
The past comes back to life at the new world-class Bodmin Jail attraction this Halloween and October Half Term. From thrill-seekers to families, you can pick your bone-chilling experience. Do you dare…?
As darkness falls and the jail attraction is at its most creepy, those with a taste for adrenaline can test their nerve with a choice of four devilish twilight experiences - exclusively for adults. The spooky line-up includes everything from ghost tours and scary movies, to all-night paranormal journeys with Bodmin Jail’s very own Paranormal Manager delivering a variety of spiritual techniques. Come daytime families with children can brave the brand-new Dark Walk experience, which combines state-of-the-art technology with Cornwall’s most haunting histories to deliver a truly immersive and interactive Halloween treat.
Dating back to 1779 when the former prison was built for King George III as a grim dungeon for some of the UK’s most heinous criminals, Bodmin Jail is where Halloween gets real. No pretending, no made up ghost stories and no doubting the presence of those that have walked the jail before – the spine-tingling thrills and gruesome tales are all genuine. It’s what comes from playing host to over 55 hangings and being home to the country’s only working execution pit. Paranormal activity is a regular occurrence and even the chill in the air is terrifyingly authentic.
Get ready to experience the unexplainable at Cornwall’s brand-new, world-class attraction fresh from a £8.5m redevelopment this Halloween…
TWILIGHT ADULT-ONLY EXPERIENCES
After Dark Experience
The ultimate Halloween activity and only for the fearless, the Bodmin Jail After Dark Experience is a bone-chilling, all-encompassing paranormal journey that takes place in the dead of the night and leaves those brave enough to complete it with a taste of the spiritual world and a range of paranormal skills. With Bodmin Jail’s Paranormal Manager as a guide, the experience begins with a prison tour followed by a lights-out demonstration of techniques and mediums to communicate with otherworldly entities such as Ouija boards and crying. The final 30 minutes up until the witching hour of 3am is spent alone, guide-free in the darkness, putting new learnings to the test.
Every Friday and Saturday. 9pm. 6 hours. 18 years+. £55pp.
Bodmin Town And Jail Heritage Ghost Walk
Not for the faint-hearted and exclusively for adults, the Bodmin Town and Jail Heritage Ghost Walk takes place under a cloak of evening darkness and follows the footsteps of prisoners in a journey through time around the ancient market town of Bodmin. Captivating tales of pain and passion, treachery and torture will stir the imagination while signs of physical, visual and audible paranormal activity will hint at the town’s extra visitors – even if they can’t always be seen! The guided adventure circles back to Bodmin Jail to join former inmates at their grisly point of execution.
Every Wednesday. 8:30pm. 3 hours. 16 years+. £25pp.
Scary Cinema and Paranormal Tour
Don’t just watch a scary movie this Halloween, watch one in a former prison where the spirited inmates still walk the corridors and rattle the cell bars. Then make it even scarier by settling down to a film that is eerily relevant to what has gone before (and what lingers) and watch it in the dark with the lights out. Complete the experience with a guided paranormal tour to learn about the inmates who lived and died within the prison walls and maybe even encounter one or two.
Unsurprisingly Bodmin Jail’s Scary Cinema and Paranormal Tour is for adults-only. Hair-raising films being shown during October include IT, Annabelle and Halloween.
Every Thursday, 9pm, 4 hours, 18 years+. £20pp.
Historical Jail and Paranormal Tour
With a specialist Paranormal Manager as a guide, the adults-only Bodmin Jail Historical and Paranormal Tourdelves into the depths of the jail at dusk to experience the grim reality of prisoners who endured life between the cold prison walls. Pulses racing and hairs standing on end, tour goers may experience a sudden drop in temperature – but that’s nothing to be scared of, it’s just restless spirits roaming the building!
Every Friday and Saturday. 6:30pm. 2 hours. 16 years+. £25pp.
DAYTIME EXPERIENCE FOR ALL AGED 8+
Family Friendly Dark Walk Experience
Using state-of-the-art technology and the latest theatrical effects, the Dark Walk - a major addition to Bodmin Jail and the first of its kind in the region – treats visitors to a truly immersive and interactive discovery of Cornwall’s most haunting histories. Stories of Cornwall’s murky past are retold transporting visitors to life within the walls of the 18th century prison and into the gritty reality of smuggling, mining and the everyday hardships of the jail’s most infamous prisoners.
Every day. 10am – last entry 4.20pm. 8 years+ advisory. From £15 per adult and £8.50 per child.
To find out more and book tickets, visit www.bodminjail.org
The Bodmin Jail Attraction reopens 1st October 2020
For all press enquiries and images, contact Wild West on 01872 243560 or email@example.com
Notes to Editors:
- The new attraction is suitable for families, with the advisory of 8 years plus. Elements of the Final Drop section of the experience are optional.
- Due to the Dark Walk’s cinematic experience, dogs are not allowed into the new attraction for their own health and wellbeing. Well-behaved dogs will still be welcome in the Courtyard, Bistro and any outdoor area.
- Paranormal After Dark Events designed especially for adults to explore the attraction after dark in the company of our Resident Medium are available to book online on bodminjail.org
- Bodmin Jail Museum Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mallino Developments Limited
- The new attraction is being developed by Sarner International Ltd (sarner.com)
The Bodmin Jail Hotel:
As part of the wider £40 million investment in Bodmin Jail, a 4-star 70 room boutique hotel, which is due to open in Spring 2021, is also being built within the walls of the Grade II listed building, retaining many original features. The Bodmin Jail Hotel Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mallino Developments Limited and will be operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts (interstatehotels.co.uk)
A brief history of Bodmin Jail:
- Bodmin Jail on the edge of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall was originally built during the reign of King George III in 1779 as part of the Prison Reform, built by military engineer Sir John Call. Building works started in the early 1770s with construction carried out by Napoleonic prisoners of war using 20,000 tonnes of granite quarried from Bodmin Moor.
- The resulting building was a milestone in prison design, based on the plans and ideals of the prison reformer John Howard. It was one of the first modern prisons in the UK with individual cells, segregated male and female areas, hot water and light and airy areas for prisoners to live and work. In addition, prisoners were paid for their work from products sold by the governor.
- Prisoner numbers at Bodmin Jail were relatively low for the first two decades, but this all changed at the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. By 1820, all the cells were filled with multiple occupants, and this overcrowding caused the jail to be extended several times, with new buildings added up to 1850. Changes were needed due to several Acts of Parliament stating total segregation of remand prisoners, convicted prisoners, felons, misdemeanants, debtors, vagrants and, of course, men from women. This resulted in over 20 different classes of prisoners, each needing to be housed in separate sleeping areas and workshops.
- As the needs and interests of society as a whole changed, the prison’s inmate population shifted over the years. It was used largely as a debtor’s prison for many years, but this all changed in 1869, when imprisonment for debt was abolished. From 1887 parts of the jail were used by the Royal Navy, whose occupation lasted until 1922.
- The female prison was closed in 1911 with remaining inmates being transferred to Plymouth. The numbers of prisoners declined dramatically with the outbreak of the war, and the last male prisoner left Bodmin Jail in July 1916. The Jail was finally closed and officially decommissioned in 1927, and 1929 saw its sale to the demolition men.
- As with most old prisons, Bodmin Jail has a dark history. 55 executions took place within its formidable walls, for crimes such as rape, murder and stealing. Eight of these were women. Most of these executions were viewed by the public, and thousands would travel specially to witness the hangings. The first two inmates taken to the gallows were William Lee and John Vanstone, both convicted of burglary. The last person to be hanged at the Jail was William Hampton, who in July 1909 paid the ultimate price for taking the life of his 17-year-old girlfriend after an argument; indeed, he was also the last man to be hanged in Cornwall.