Those of you have ever travelled down through the historic and mysterious country of Cornwall would have most likely driven passed or even stopped for refreshments at the infamous Jamacia Inn. Situated high on Bodmin moor it has served weary travellers for more than 300 years. The building abounds with tales of smugglers skullduggery, murder and ghosts.
Although these days you are more likely to find a coach load of tourists supping a fine pint of beer than a room full of wreckers and other assorted felonious fellows. I myself have enjoyed the hospitality of the Inn when as a boy my family and I went to stay there for a weekend break, during which I conducted my very first ghost hunt, but more of that a little later, first I feel compelled to regale you with a little of the Inns dark history.
There has been an inn serving travellers of the wild and rugged moor in the hamlet of Bolventor since 1547 although the current building of our interests has stood as its replacement since 1750. It is commonly thought that its name derives from the illicit rum that was smuggled via the many hidden and secluded coves that are in abundance along the cornish coastline, but it is more likely that its moniker derives from the local land-owning gentry, the Trelawney family who, for some time were governors of Jamacia in the west indies. The land surrounding the ancient inn is also steeped in history and legend. Many prehistoric settlements and monuments litter the landscape, and those of you that know your Arthirian legends may recognise the name dozmery pool where the king was said to have rowed out into the lake to recive the sword Excalibur, or in another version it is the place where the sword was returned to after Arthur was killed in battle by his son Mordred. The pool was also visited by the great prefortean of yesteryear Sabine Baring-Gould who described it as “abounding in fish and surrounded by numerous remains of the working of flint in the Stone Age“. But dear reader I do digress, so back with us once more to the inn.
Several spooks are said to inhabit both inside and out side the Jamacia Inn unsettling both guests and staff alike. The oldest and perhaps the most well known of the spirits said to inhabbit the place is that of a man, whose name is now lost to time, although the story of his death has been passed down through the ages between those who both drink and work there. It is said the man was a traveller like so many others who found themselves at the Inn over the ages. It was a dark cornish night and the man had undoubtedly sought lodging there. It was whilst sitting at the bar or perhaps warming himslef in front of the fire and enjoying some of the lcal ale that another man appeared at the door and beckoned our man outside. This was the last time he was seen alive, for the next day his lifless body was found dead on the moor. His exact fate has been forgotten but his ghost has been seen many times over the years in the Inn sitting motionless with his last libation maybe pondering the events of his last moments on earth over his pint.
The next ghost or rather ghosts we come across at the Jamacia Inn are disembodied voices, both staff and customers alike have heard what they describe as a number of people speaking in a foreign language, which some have suggested might be the old and now by and large extinct cornish language. For me it’s a shame a cornish speaker hasn’t heard the voices I for one would love to know what they are saying, maybe its just some sort of auditory timeslip and the receiver is just hearing the general hubbub from the pub of the past, or maybe they are overhearing the plans of some daring smuggling enterprise. The next two reported anomalies are also ones that are only heard but this time instead of voices the fantom sounds are footsteps in the bar and corridors and the sound of horse hooves on the old cobbles of the courtyard are said to echo out in the dead of night, but when guests have gone to investigate they have found nothing.
Before I sign off I mentioned earlier about my own and possibly very first ghost hunt that I conducted as a boy whilst visiting the Inn on a family holiday. Well, I have to admit I encountered nothing of any interested what so ever whilst I bravely held a vigil on my own in the darkened corridor outside my room, whilst waiting for the white lady that a member of staff had told me walks the halls. But it did add fuel to the fire in my belly that I still have for forteana and the unexplained.
So, my friends, I hope you enjoyed this little snippet into the ghosts that are said to roam the Jamacia Inn and if you are passing please do stop in for a nice pint of fine Cornish ale and who knows what you might bump into.
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