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Ghosts and Specters

Cornwall has many tales of ghosts and specters. We will look at some of these during our stay at Jamaica inn. But let us start with the reported flashing lights over Darwin in Northern Australia recently. Janice put the URL of  the web site on the list. This had a photo on it and  I thought I had seen the shape and form before and indeed I had. Whilst researching the Jamaica Inn I came across the photograph below which was taken in one of the bedrooms in the 1950s. The specter is clearly shown and when compared with the Darwin UFO looks very similar if not identical. Ann Tumser will confirm that this is indeed one of the rooms at the Inn as she has slept in the bed.

You can check out the similarity in shape at the Darwin UFO web site by clicking here.




From Gloria Clarkson

Hi all, Somebody mentioned the delights of Jamaica Inn; apart from the obvious ones of Rum and Brandy, (which sounds nice). It has ghosts!

I've done a little research on it, it sounds a traditional Cornish place == this is what I found. 

I 'd like to vote for a bit of interest and excitement , surrounding our party which could be held in any one of it's haunted bars (which are currently being investigated)= The Smuggler's bar, The Stable Bar;; or the Restaurant. Imagine turning one of them into our dressing room and have a ghostly audience, girls?...eek! 

It was famous for Smugglers!==a lot of Cornish were smugglers then, not mean; but very cunning., and Jamaica Inn was a storage place for contraband being ferried between the north and south coast. Some Jamaica Inn managers have heard their ghosts talking in the old Cornish Language at night;

Would we be so honoured? 

A sailor sits out the front, always in the same location. 

Another man in a tricorn hat and long coat who walked through a wall, was reported by eye witnesses in the 70's.,,and there's others. 

Jamaica Inn has reputably the best Smugglers Museum;  It's high on Bodmin Moor so lots of parking and easy to find.--a big plus around Xmas. 

It's close to the legendary King Arthur's Hall, (ruins of an ancient settlement) and the legendary Dozmary Pool ==(Lady of the Lake) It is bottomless; we could perhaps cruise on it if filled with water at this time of the year; maybe see a satin clad arm waving a sword aloft? Perhaps others can contribute more info? 

Gloria in Oz,

From Carol Polglaze

I know I have told this Celtic tale before, so feel free to wander off if it starts to sound familiar.  My grandfather , Samuel Polglase, born Newlyn 1848, had a much-older brother, William, known to the family as "Uncle Willie" who had also immigrated to New York.  Willie fancied himself an atheist - or at least agnostic- and would argue religion with my Irish grandmother.  He was so sure there was NO hereafter, he told her, that after he died, if he found out there was, he'd come back and tell her.

Well, there was the classic "dark and stormy night" when Grandma awoke to a
knocking at the gate.  She looked out the window and called to my grandfather to get up because Willie was at the gate, knocking to be let in. Grandfather, in the way of all men, told her she must be dreaming, come back to bed. Grandma saw Willie turn away, and protested all the more loudly to her hubby, and insisted he run down and let Willie in. Eventually, Grandpa did go down and found no one at the gate .  The next day they learned that Willie had died during the night.  My grandmother always insisted that
Willie had kept his word and come back to tell her there IS a hereafter.

Carol in the last room up-along on the right

From Joan Taber 

 Ann, it was good sitting with you by the fire and listening to your chilling story about the ghost at Jamaica Inn.  Does anyone have a real ghost story to tell?  The following one is true and passed down the family.  My step-grandmother was Annie, a very forthright, no-nonsense, unimaginative
person. It happened in the mid 1930's.  She had three children from 11 to about 17.  The father was away in the Navy and they had a lodger Johnny tomake ends meet.

Before going to work that morning, Johnny explained he would be late in for the evening meal as he had to go to the dentist, but to save him something for later.  At supper that evening,  Annie and the children heard him come in the front door, walk along the long passage and go straight upstairs to his room, where they could hear him moving around.  "As soon as we've finished, I'll take him up a nice cup of tea and see if he's ready for his supper.  He probably doesn't feel good after the dentist", she said.

As she was making the tea, there came a loud rap on the door and she opened it to a policeman.  He said he had come with bad news as their lodger had died under the gas given him to have his tooth out.  "Nonsense", said Annie, "He's back from the dentist and up in his room.  Come on, I'll show you."

But of course the room was empty!

Best wishes, Joan

From Catherine

Well, its link with Cornwall is tenuous as he's a Worcestershire ghost, but my Cornish grandmother is involved, so...

When my grandparents married they lived in Worcestershire where my grandfather was a clergyman and throughout their married life lived in a series of rectories etc.  After my grandfathers death my grandmother and aunt moved into the
east wing of a huge Jacobean house.  We loved the place - it was the perfect place for holidays.  My grandmother had always hated being alone in a house and as she got older this had become something of a problem for my aunt. But after the move she was fine - she repeatedly told my aunt "Anne, it's fine, do go out, somehow I never feel alone in this house!" for which Aunt Anne was very grateful.  When we went ot stay there, my parents slept in a room which was borrowed from the owners of the main house, the same family that had built it, while we slept in a couple of rooms in the attics off a passage that ran
immediately above my parents.  Most nights as I lay in bed drifting off to sleep I was aware of footsteps in the passage and could see the shadow of someone passing the door but made the assumption that it was my parents checking up on us
before they turned in.  However my parents in bed downstairs were also being kept awake by the tread of footsteps along the passage, and eventually they spoke to the owners of the house about it, making a comment about mice in hob-nailed boots.  "Good heavens,"  he said, "it must be the Judge.  We thought he'd gone up in smoke!"  When my parents asked him to explain, he told them that there had always been accounts of "the Judge" who had built the house, walking in the attics of the East Wing, but that the wing had been largely destroyed by fire in about 1910 and that no-one had reported hearing him since.  My parents told us about this, but after a family discussion we decided not to tell my grandmother or aunt as my father felt this would distress them. Until her death, my grandmother never felt alone in that house - but then she never was!  When he walked past my bedroom door, I always longed to sneak out and have a look at the rest of him, all one could see was the shadow of booted feet, but I never did!  He was a happy ghost, one felt that he loved his home so much, he couldn't tear himself away, and an exciting element in my childhood.




The whole bunch of us Youngs have been camped out in a little field nearby the Inn. Have you heard us practicing our instruments and singing carols at the top of our lungs? We have kept warm drinking Aunt Elly's Nog, Tinner's Punch, sliding down the canoe (propped up on a hedgerow) and sitting by our fire telling ghost stories. We lived with three ghosts for 8 years. They made themselves heard to us with walking, or more like pacing, upstairs and on the stairway with their hard shoes even though we had soft carpeting! Finally our main ghost, the builder of the house, made an appearance. He liked to show up at the end of the beds checking to see if we were okay. He would bring his wife with him at times and sometimes she would appear just by herself dressed in Victorian clothes to take care of us by tucking guests in. One of our daughters was about four years old at the time and took naps in the main ghost room. She always would tell us of playing and talking with her friend, the troll girl, who was her age. We asked her about it and she said the troll girl had a very big head and fell down a lot. Found out later that a little 4 year old had died there of water brain (hydrocephalus) which made a person's head very large (in times before shunts were used). Our little Kathryn also drew a pictures of two ghostly figures with an aura of sparkles around them and wrote "Ghost a Ghost" on the back side, though she did not know how to do any writing yet. I am skipping lots of the story because I kept a log of all thehappenings and could fill a book. In fact, I did fill a book. It is called, "The Girl Who Talked to Ghosts: A True Story". I won't advertise here but do have a web site where you can see the cover which was taken from a large painting of our old house. It is -

Well, back to keeping warm.    Dean of Viola