Clare's Cornish Pages

Spooky goings on in Cornwall

animated ghost


Cornwall is very famous for its ghosts, and is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Britain. There are many sightings around the county all of the time.


Pengersick Castle

Pengersick Castle is reputedly the most haunted premises in Britain. It is hidden away in Praa Sands (between Helston and Penzance) where it has stood since the 12th Century. It is a very small castle with a lot of supernatural activity. There are said to be as many as 20 ghosts in this castle. These include: a 13 year old girl who was dancing on the battlements when a gust of wind caught her dress and threw her off the tower to her death (she, apparently attemps to throw visitors off the same battlements by putting them in a vortex, if she gets annoyed at their presence!); a 4 year old boy who pulls women's dresses or tries to hold their hand; a 14th Century monk; a woman seen walking through a wall; a man swaying in a corner; a girl lying on a bed; several previous owners; and a ghostly cat and dog! In the woods that are part of the grounds, ghostly shadows of scurrying creatures that appear to be rats have been sited - there appears to be no rational explanation for these.

Many people have seen and photographed weird orbs of light and bizarre things happen to electrical equipment - new batteries die instantly, cameras stop working, even military-style thermal imaging devices have been affected.

Pengersick castle is undoubtedly home to some spooky goings-on and visitors to the castle can see for themselves by going on a ghost hunting evening!


One of the most famous haunted venues is Jamaica Inn (Bolvento, near Bodmin), an old coaching hostelry made famous by Daphne Du Maurier's novel. The ghost of a murdered sailor has been said to be seen returning to finish his last drink, and sitting on a wall ouside.


Another well-known ghost spot amongst locals is The Dolphin Inn at Penzance. Customers have seen and heard an old sea captain dressed in his tricorn hat and ruffles. It is thought that he was the victim of the "Hanging Judge", Judge Jeffries. Another possibility is that he is a smuggler returning for the casks of brandy which were recently found hidden away in the cellar!


There is a ghost in Zennor believed to have been in a mining accident. He can been seen cycling up a lane with blood all over his face.


Tales of phantom coaches are not uncommon around the country and Cornwall is no exception. A man from Mevagissey who was driving to Truro was driving through the quiet lanes when he rounded a corner and was confronted by a coach and four horses hurtling towards him. The driver was traditionally dressed and they seemed in rather a hurry. The driver of the car could do nothing but brake hard and close his eyes. As the noise from the horses grew louder he waited for the inevitable collision. However, nothing happened! He opened his eyes to find that the coach and horses had vanished!


At Godolphin House, East of Penzance, a funeral procession has been seen walking from the house to the chapel. A women dressed in white, who is believed to be the wife of the First Earl of Godolphin, has also been seen. She died in 1678.


Penryn is said to be haunted by a coach drawn by headless horses. The coach is only seen in the days before Christmas and, allegedly, anyone who sees it will die (fairly safe assumption at some time!). However, smugglers used to invent such stories to distract people from investigating the real reason for the hoof and wheel noises late at night.

Another ghost in Penryn is the bellringer Captain Martin who was drowned after a shipwreck in the 1880's. He resides in St Gluvias' church these days.


In Bochyn Manor, Mullion, a short women dressed in pink haunts the house. It is thought that her father killed her lover in a duel, and this has also been sighted nearby.


A women who was onboard a shipwrecked vessel, at Sennan, and had managed to climb onto a rock for safety is sometimes still seen there. Having struggled to safety, she clung for hours before dropping into the sea and drowning. Tragically, she fell as rescuers were trying to reach her.


In The Tinner's Arms at Zennor a poltergeist becomes active before thunderstorms.


In Chapel Street, Penzance, Mrs Baines is the ghost. It is believed that she had a guard protecting her property and one day she decided to check-up on him. It appeared that he was doing a fine job of guarding the place as he shot her!


The Angel Hotel, Helston has a ghost called Nellie. She has been reported to be seen by residents walking around the corridors of the top floor of the hotel.


The Beehive pub in Helston is home to a ghost in the form of a man dressed in modern clothes. He enters the pub at around 10.30pm and then vanishes!




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Last updated: 16/05/05