Back in 1779, Bodmin Gaol (Bodmin Jail) was built for King George III. It was all part of a centralized project to replace small local lockups with county jails, thereby organizing the British penal system.
Fortunately, imprisonment for debts was banned in Britain, but in the 18th and part of the 19th centuries, it was common practice. If you compare this to modern times, imagine being late on your credit card payment and getting thrown in prison for it! Some people never saw the light of day again…
Aside from debtors, Bodmin Jail was designed for and inhabited by criminals of all types, including burglars, arsonists, and murderers, among others. Today, it is largely a ruin but remains a formidable looking structure.
It is now a popular tourist destination with a restaurant, bar and wedding venue. Back in the day, however, it was the site of over 50 executions, most of which were public and many of which were exceedingly gruesome.
One ghost that haunts the jail is named Selina. She was executed there for the murder of her children. She is often seen wandering the jail, crying. Some believe she was a victim of the times. Back in those days women sometimes became pregnant out of wedlock and faced a live of hard labor. Selina likely sacrificed her child for survival reasons.
Another ghost reported at the jail is Charlotte, the lover of one of the executed. The story is that Charlotte was murdered by her lover, who was then hanged at Bodmin Jail. It is speculated that the man was actually innocent and falsely accused.
Some say that Bodmin Jail is not haunted and that the whole thing was a hoax engineered to discredit Most Haunted’s Derek Acosta. Regardless of the haunted or not controversy, Bodmin Jail attracts xxx each year. People who want to see for themselves whether the claims are true to learn firsthand about the rich history there.