The Ghostly Hauntings Of The Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn

About The Jamaica Inn

The Jamaica Inn in Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, has a mysterious history. It may just be one of the most haunted locations in England. Since its construction in 1750, the Inn started as a coaching inn. It provided a resting place for weary travellers using the highway between Launceston and Bodmin. And it’s a good thing, too, since most travellers needed a respite after crossing the harsh and treacherous moor.

A famous smuggling inn

During its time as a coaching inn, it attracted some less-than-respectable Cornish smugglers. Who used it as a hiding place for smuggled contraband. Around this time, smuggling was rife along the Cornish and Devon coasts. Estimates show that half of the brandy and a quarter of all the tea smuggled into the UK landed here.

In 1778, the Jamaica Inn underwent drastic renovations, adding a coach house, stables, and tack room. This extension changed the layout of the Inn to an L-shape, which matches the design today. Over the years, the building became England’s most famous smuggling inn. People referred to it as a ‘haven for smugglers’.

Daphne Du Maurier

The Inn gained further notoriety when Daphne Du Maurier published her novel of the same name in 1936. Du Maurier was inspired to write the book after getting lost in the fog of the moors before finding her way to Jamaica Inn. During her stay, the local rector spent the night entertaining her. The entertainment included ghost stories and tales of smugglers, which sparked the idea. And the rest is, as they say, history!

The novel eventually got adapted into a film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1939. And it went on to become a TV film in 1983, too. The BBC even released a three-part miniseries based on the famous novel, which aired around April 2014.

Jamaica Inn today

Today, Jamaica Inn stands as a popular destination for tourists and travellers. It has a bar and dining room, a hotel, a gift shop, and a farm shop. But one of our favourite attractions is the Smuggler’s Museum, with a collection of smuggling artefacts. You can learn more about the sordid activities that used to take place at the old coaching hotel.

If you’re planning a stay here, grab a drink at the pub and book a room for an overnight stay. You’ll love the eerie atmosphere. And you may even be lucky enough to have a personal encounter with one of the Inn’s resident ghosts.

The Hauntings At The Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn is renowned for its paranormal activity. And, given its exciting history, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched that the stories of ghostly apparitions and other supernatural phenomena have a hint of truth to them.

Sadly, there is hardly any proof to these claims, and no pictures or other evidence of ghosts have surfaced. Well, not yet, anyway. If you’re lucky, you could be the first amateur ghost hunter to gather the evidence the paranormal community needs to solidify the Inn’s title as one of the spookiest locations in the UK. Take some high-quality ghost-hunting equipment with you, or you may miss your shot!

The haunting horse

One of the most commonly reported ghostly occurrences at the Inn is the sound of horses’ hooves and carriage wheels in the courtyard. But when guests and staff pluck up the courage to peep outside, there’s never a source to these disembodied sounds. And this leaves them confused – and more than a little freaked out!

The unsolved murder

Legends surrounding the Inn include one about a murder that is said to have taken place more than one hundred years ago.

The legend says that a mysterious man was once nursing his drink at the Inn’s bar before being called outside by an unknown voice. Other patrons at the bar watched him leave and never come back. Nothing indicated that he was ever there, but his drink resting on the bar’s counter.

The man’s lifeless body was found on the moor the following day. But, of course, his killer had disappeared. It left everyone at the Inn wondering who the murderer was and who the strange man could be.

In 1911, a strange man who resembled the murdered stranger often got spotted sitting on the wall outside the Inn. But no matter how many guests greeted or tried to interact with him, he would never move or reply to any of their greetings. This strange event eventually raised questions about the identity of this man. And whether he could have been the dead man from the unrelenting moor.

To this day, some guests have claimed to hear footsteps up and down the Inn’s corridors. Or outside the passage to the bar. Many of them believe that it’s the spirit of the murdered man returning to finish his drink.

Other macabre tales

Another of the Inn’s ghosts includes a mysterious cloaked figure who is said to appear suddenly. And vanish just as quickly through closed doors and solid walls. Managers of the Inn have even reported hearing disembodied conversations in a foreign language. Some have speculated it to be the old Cornish language.

The Jamaica Inn has several areas that seem teeming with paranormal activity. The Smuggler’s Bar (now the Smuggler’s Museum), the old bedrooms upstairs, and the back restaurant and gift shop area have all been noted as some of the most active areas by paranormal enthusiasts.


Can I go ghost-hunting at the Jamaica Inn?

The Inn offers paranormal investigations for ghost hunters with nerves of steel. The Inn welcomes you to stay the night in one of its most haunted rooms. Perfect for an evening of ghostly encounters and bone-chilling mysteries. You can even book a private investigation with the team at the Inn. It may be an excellent opportunity to get evidence of the spooky goings-on around this historic building.

Have any paranormal investigations been conducted at the Jamaica Inn?

There have been several paranormal investigations at the Inn over the years. Including those done by the Ghost Society and the TV show ‘Most Haunted.’ Both of these investigations came up empty-handed on tangible evidence. But the experts have said that the Inn is undoubtedly one of the spookiest places they’ve ever investigated!

What is Britain’s most haunted pub?

Many people consider The Ancient Ram Inn to be Britain’s most haunted pub. But there any many more haunted pubs that are worth looking into, like The Chequers Inn.

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!