The Jamaica Inn – A Safe Haven for Smugglers

The Jamaica Inn – A Safe Haven for Smugglers


The mysterious Jamaica Inn is a place steeped in centuries of haunting history. Built in 1750 as a coaching stop for travellers crossing the desolate moors, this foreboding establishment stands as a link between the towns of Bodmin and Launceston. The original structure was expanded in 1778 to include a coach house, stable, and tack house, creating the unsettling “L shape” main part of the building. But behind its facade of hospitality it once concealed dark secrets, serving as an ideal refuge for smugglers seeking to stash their illicit goods during the early 19th century, perfectly shielded from prying eyes by its remote location.

Take a step back in time at the Jamaica Inn with the perfect blend of hospitality and hidden secrets, this historic coaching stop stands as a silent witness to the mysteries of the desolate moors.

The Inn’s eerie reputation inspired the novel “The Jamaica Inn” by Daphne Du Maurier, who drew inspiration from her own harrowing experience after she and a friend became lost on the moor but were led back to safety by their horses. The tale was later adapted into a spine-chilling movie by Alfred Hitchcock in 1939. Even today, the preserved original rooms retain an air of antiquated eeriness, while the on-site smugglers museum is filled with artefacts and tales of Cornish smugglers, wreckers, and villains.


The inn is alive with activity in spots like the stable bar, restaurant, and bedrooms 3, 4, 5, and 6. However, mystery shrouds rooms 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, where reports of knockings have left guests spooked. Adding to the intrigue, belongings have been mysteriously rearranged and tidied without explanation, leaving an uneasy feeling among the inn’s visitors.

Inside the Jamaica Inn many stories of eerie and unexplainable occurrences have been reported.

The main bar holds its own chilling tales, including the legend of ‘Jack’, a stranger visiting the inn. He was lured outside, leaving his unfinished drink at the bar, and ventured into the night. Tragically, he met his demise, with his body discovered on the moor the following day. His presence is often felt, with phantom footsteps echoing along the side of the bar, marking his supposed return to finish his drink. An apparition, believed to be Jack, was spotted in 1911, seated by the fireplace in old-fashioned attire, fading away as swiftly as he appeared.

You can share a drink with ‘Jack’ at his infamous seat where echoes of his presence resonate through time.

Room 3 is said to be haunted by the spirits of children. Numerous housekeepers have encountered small handprints on mirrors, while female guests have reported feeling delicate hands brushing against their calves or tugging on their clothing. The faint sounds of weeping women and the cries of a baby also linger in the air, filling the room with a deep sorrow. Meanwhile, Room 4 is plagued with unexplainable phenomena, including strange odours, muffled voices often speaking in different languages and the sounds of heavy booted footsteps.

Stepping into Room 3, the haunting presence of unseen children creates a truly eerie and unsettling atmosphere.

In Room 5, sightings of a man wearing a ruffled shirt, high britches and a distinctive tricorn hat, with black hair and a beard is often seen in both the interior and exterior of the room. Additionally, the spirit of a young girl named Hannah is said to startle visitors by appearing at their bedside in the dead of night. There are also accounts of unexplained footsteps and child-sized wet footprints on the floor thought to be attributed to Hannah. As for Room 6, a spectral silhouette, known as the ‘shadow man’ has been sighted lingering in the doorway, silently observing visitors to The Jamaica Inn.

Within room 5, the figures of a man and a young girl, named Hannah, often make their presence known to people staying the night.

The stable block is haunted by ghostly echoes of horse hooves and carriage wheels, as if a horse drawn carriage is continually arriving at the inn. Some attribute sudden feelings of unexplained heat to the restless spirit of a long-departed blacksmith who once lived on the property.

The stable block on the left is where the presence of a long-departed blacksmith is said to manifest, along with unexplained sensations of heat and the arrival of a phantom horse-drawn carriage.


These unsettling accounts paint a vivid portrait of the Jamaica Inn’s past, weaving a tapestry of eerie encounters that continue to unsettle those who dare to step inside. Whether you’re seeking a bed and breakfast, a drink at the pub, or a souvenir from the gift shop, be sure to prepare yourself for an encounter with the otherworldly inhabitant’s at the Jamaica Inn. With a variety of different options available for visitors, including public paranormal nights or private hire for functions and events. There are numerous opportunities to experience the mysteries of this historic establishment, leaving you with a profound sense of appreciation for its haunting history.

Spending the night at the haunted Jamaica Inn is a great way to immerse yourself in its chilling history, where every dark corner tells a story of times long past.

If you enjoyed reading about the tales of the mysterious Jamaica Inn you might also be interested in reading about the ghosts  of The Ancient Ram Inn, one of the most haunted places in England.

Thanks for reading!



About Amy

Amy is a world traveller and explorer of creepy locations. She has visited some of the most famously haunted places around the world in search of evidence of the paranormal. Follow Amy's Journey:

Check out Amy's other work over at Amy's Crypt.

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