Real Ghost Story: The Haunted Prison Cell of Bodmin Gaol – Whilst on holiday in Cornwall recently I visited Bodmin Gaol, which I had seen on TV’s Most Haunted. I arrived around 1pm and, as it was the middle of the day and I hadn’t booked on to a ghost hunting tour, I didn’t expect to experience any paranormal activity.
On entering I discovered the gaol is a dark, damp and foreboding place. Although the sun was shining outside, in the gaol the corridors and cells were icy cold, so chilly you could see your breath catch the air. The conditions in this prison must have been horrendous, and information boards and carefully positioned mannequins illustrate what life in the jail was like.
I was reading one board about a criminal incarcerated there, and was excited to see that his partner in crime was called William Sampson – Sampson is my surname, so obviously this piqued my interest. After reading that the pair had been imprisoned, my friend called me to another part of the gaol, and we wandered on. A few minutes later my friend encouraged me to go in to a high ceilinged cell with a large grate, just the right size for a small adult to crawl in, on the ground in the right hand corner. It was really dark, and compared to the other rooms in the gaol, quite spacious – to walk from one end to the other was a good 8 strides. My friend asked me to walk towards the grate so she could take a picture of me next to it.
I did this, but about half way in to the room I felt a pressing atmosphere all around me. I hesitated as I didn’t like the supressing feeling I had in the room. She kept telling me to go further in to the corner, and as I did so my sides felt like they were being shoved further in to the dank cell, closer to the grate, as if someone was insisting I went right in to the corner.
The grate – although it was just a grate – suddenly looked ominous, a great cavern which something, or someone, could come out of. I felt I couldn’t go deeper in, as the feeling of something enveloping me and the room was increasing. I heard the click of the camera and turned to go back out of the cell. I was relieved to get out of it – much the same as I imagine prisoners would be when they were released – and as I exited the room, the feelings of a pressing atmosphere subsided, and the air took on a neutral feel.
Before I had a chance to tell my friend what I had felt in the room, she showed me the photograph. Right above my head there was a huge, bright orb. It was only when I looked up from the picture I realised the room had been the one associated with the information board on William Sampson. Could this be a long lost relative? I wasn’t sure what it was, but there had been something in that room with me, pressing me to go further in to the dark cell against my will.
We continued looking around the gaol and taking photographs, and several more orbs showed up in many of the pictures my friend took. When we got home we uploaded the pictures on to the computer, and on closer inspection the orb in the photo with me looks like there is something contained within it. I am not sure what I experienced at Bodmin Gaol, but I am fairly certain it was paranormal activity in that cell.
Photographs: The left photograph shows the cell before I walked in. The right shows myself with an orb.