Jamaica Inn Ghost Hunt: Search for Paranormal Activity
by Les Hewitt, July 2019 – Updated April 2021
The historic Jamaica Inn hotel lies deep within Bodmin Moor, England, as a stopover from Launceston to the Cornish coastline. Since 1750, the inn has served coaches, weary travelers, and pirates who smuggled contraband from ships that wrecked on the nearby shores. In fact, Daphne du Marier got her inspiration for her pirate novel, Jamaica Inn, when she stayed there in 1930. Paranorms recently took the opportunity to send two representatives to the Jamaica Inn ghost hunt and paranormal investigation of the hotel on Summer Solstice 2019.
Preparations for the Jamaica Inn Ghost Hunt
A delicious three-course meal preceded the ghost hunt. Following dinner, the paranormal team leading the investigations spent a few minutes with an introduction. Many of the attendees were taking part in their debut investigation. Others, such as a veteran of the armed forces that the investigating team affectionately refer to as ‘Granddad,’ had previously participated in the Jamaica Inn ghost hunt.
The lead investigators, Colin and Karin, briefly explained what would take place and what parts of the Jamaica Inn the teams would explore. Before we could begin, everyone had to turn their cells phones completely off. This would prevent any interference with the ghost hunting equipment. The contingent was split into three separate groups, A, B, and C. Each group took a specific area to investigate for about 45 minutes at a time. The areas in question were the hotel shop, several of the bedrooms, the stable and museum, and the main dining hall. At the end of the evening, individuals could explore on their own. There was a 15-minute break between each 45-minute session.
The two members of Paranorms split up into separate groups which allowed us to broaden our experience and increase our chances of seeing first hand some genuine paranormal events. One member was in Team A and the other in Team B. What follows are accounts of both members as events progressed in the various rooms.
The History of Paranormal Investigation
The investigation of the main restaurant took place with Karen, who invited members of the team to sit around one of the dining tables. Anyone could pose questions or request that any entities give us proof of their existence. A few people even tried to antagonize the spirits. Numerous investigative tools were on hand to document any potential outcome, however, each question or comment resulted in no definitive activity for both the teams.
The Gift Shop
After the dining hall, the groups moved onwards to the hotel gift shop. Each group was sub-divided into two. One group remained in the corridor and conducted an EVP session, while the remainder of the group took up positions within the shop itself. Regular accounts of children’s laughter and giggling have been reported in this area. The shop floor was equipped with traditional and specific devices that were calibrated to detect any activity. In addition to this, leaders placed a selection of children’s toys in strategic areas on the shop floor.
On more than one occasion, Karen attempted to get a child spirit named Tommy to play with his favorite toy. While these efforts did not elicit any results, there was an unforeseen effect. When Team B’s splinter group returned to the main shop, one of the members reported a distinct reduction in core temperature in her vicinity. She also reported that everything was ambient just inches away.
This initial breakthrough sparked a much more positive reaction for Team B. Karen suggested that we sing a nursery rhyme and each member of the team recited the words to “Grand Old Duke of York.” However, no additional activity took place. After the gift shop, all the groups took a 15-minute break.
In the Bedrooms
The investigation focused on four of the rooms of the Jamaica Inn. A few members of each group took turns going into rooms 3, 4, 5, and 6. For the entirety of this part of the investigation, the leader shuttled himself between each room and each sub-group. The second part of this investigation was not long enough for members of Paranorms to attend all four rooms, but all four of the rooms proved to be highly interesting. Each room had a memorable story about paranormal activity.
Room 5 – Hannah and the Wet Footprints
Some folks claim that Room 5 has the most paranormal activity. One interesting experience occurred for a member of the armed forces when he returned to his room after an outing. He found small wet footsteps traversing the carpet clear around his bed. Believing that some child had somehow gotten into his room to make the mess, he became upset and called the hotel manager who went right up. The manager explained to the man that no one had gone into his room and made sure to take photos of the footsteps, nonetheless. Feeling very uneasy, the man spent the night in his car.
The little footprints may have belonged to Hannah, the young girl that purportedly haunts Room 5. In the armoire, there is a box of letters written to Hannah by the people who have stayed in the room. We read a number of the letters in which many people claimed to have had some kind of encounter with the spirit. Unfortunately, we did not.
Room 6 – Frightful Sounds
The spirit that is closely associated with Room 5 appears benign, but the entity that is said to inhabit Room 6 is often regarded as something that is apparently more sinister. While that conclusion may be down to interpretation, some of the activity reported about Room 6 has the potential to unnerve and flat out frighten even the hardiest of visitors in that room.
When Paranorms was there, we learned that one member of the Jamaica Inn Ghost Hunt a year ago had an experience. The lead investigator was briefing her in Room 6. Within two seconds of the investigator exiting, a loud and shrill scream was heard coming from inside the room. When the investigator returned, the person had jumped from the chair next to the wardrobe clear across to the opposing side of the bed. It turns out that just as the door was closing behind the investigator, the woman heard a sound like fingernails scraping along the side of the wardrobe very close to her ear.
Another well-documented account of paranormal activity from inside this room was a photograph depicting an orb. This was not just any orb but one of a considerable size that rivals a soccer ball. Photos of this orb are floating (excuse the pun) around online. When it appeared, it was within the bathroom but eventually made its way towards the bathroom door and into the room before vanishing abruptly.
Our A-Team had an experience in Room 6 in which a husband and wife couple saw a strange light that they tried to debunk but could not.
Room 3 – Cries and Voices
This double family room with a nook containing bunk beds for the children has a reputation for disembodied cries and voices. Purportedly, Room 3 is a very active site for otherworldly experiences. Our Paranorms member in Team A entered the room with two other people. She felt an extreme sense of heaviness (in a gravitational way) and an oppressive feeling immediately upon entering the room. Although she was not afraid, she physically felt that all she wanted to do was leave that room.
As it is always important for any investigator to practice cautious skepticism, she did look for explanations for what she felt. Rooms 3, 4, 5, and 6 are a part of the oldest section of the Jamaica Inn hotel. As charming as the rooms look, the floors and ceiling are not completely level. It may be that the structures have settled somewhat over the centuries, and there is some talk of renovations in the future. It is possible the unevenness may contribute to odd sensations to sensitive individuals, as with “gravity houses” or “leaning houses.” In those cases, the optical effect of such uneven structures causes disorientation.
The strange thing in this instance is that our staff member felt the same heaviness when the lights were off and the room was totally dark. The other two people in the room did not report the same feelings. Despite the odd and rather sickening sensation experienced by our staff, neither team heard any odd sounds in Room 3. Our lead investigator indicated, however, that many people report an oppressive feeling in this area of the hotel.
Room 4 – Harry the Pedlar
The team of Most Haunted investigated Room 4 on their ‘Jamaica Inn’ episode. The room’s moniker is ‘Harry the Pedlar’ for one of the characters in du Maurier’s book. As a number of people have reported, this room has a floor that slopes significantly. A small table sits in the highest corner of the room. On it sat a few nick-nacks and bottles of water. While a couple from Team A was investigating the room, a water bottle rolled off the table. This incited some curiosity about paranormal activity from the others, however, our Paranorms member was able to reproduce the event easily. Nonetheless, Room 4 supposedly provides its occupants with unforgettable, albeit creepy, experiences. Even our group leader said he cannot sleep in that room in the dark. Our Paranorms member reported some heaviness in this room as well, but less than in Room 3.
The Stable and Museum
Another part of the investigation took place in the old stable and Smuggler’s Museum. Each team divided into satellite groups for a variety of activities here. One group partook in a Ouija Board session in the stables. Colin was quick to reassure and settle any nerves by insisting that there are no portals to demons. Even with that said, holding a Ouija Board planchette was quite the experience. No spirits came out, though, and both groups reunited inside the museum. We attempted to make contact with a spirit box which was proving just as fruitless for Team B.
Team A, on the other hand, experienced EMF spikes throughout the duration of our time in the stable. Colin suspected that the spirit, who one “sensitive” in Team A called Matthew, strongly related with someone in the group. Perhaps this was with one of the Americans or a Dutch woman. Team A, however, did not have any manifestations with the Ouji board or writing talking board.
Team B had its biggest success of the evening back up in the stable. With the EMF reader, it appeared that we made contact with an entity. The dialogue between the investigator and the spirit was slow to begin. But when Colin talked about the people from Team A, the box lit up. Perhaps, the spirit did, indeed, have a connection to someone in Team A. It seemed the entity was using the EMF recorder to practically shout replies. At first, the leader considered that the entity named Matthew was trying to get through. But as the dialogue progressed, doubts about the identity began to creep in. Some of the more intense reactions were in response to the term GI. This highly productive session came to a premature end, as time was up.
Final Individual Ghost Hunt
For the final session, we had the opportunity to conduct our own investigation in one of the areas. We thought that, perhaps, we may have better fortune than we did earlier in the evening. The Paranorms members opted to have another look at the bedrooms. However, by this time, two of those rooms had become prohibited as the paying occupiers had retreated to those rooms for the night. Paranorms invited ‘Granddad’ to participate in the second attempt in Rooms 5 and 6. After approximately 15 minutes in each room, we concluded events and turned in. This final investigation yielded no paranormal activity.
Investigation team leaders commented about what a quiet night it was for paranormal activity. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that it was Summer Solstice. We did have a number of EMF spikes and creepy feelings in a couple of the rooms, though no spirits came out to talk with us or show us their presence. It was, however, a well-orchestrated event complete with a great meal and turned out to be a blast of an evening.
Paranorms would very much like to thank the management, investigators of the Jamaica Inn Ghost Hunt, and all members of staff at the hotel for their hospitality. Altogether, they provided our team with an unforgettable experience. If any reader is interested in attending future events, further information and bookings are available at the official website. These events are extremely popular and can sell out in next to no time.
Contributing Author: Kim H