The Last Man Hanged At This Jail Returned As A Ghost - And It Was Caught On Camera

The Bodmin Jail haunting legend surrounds one of the scariest paranormal sites in the United Kingdom. Often cited as the UK's most haunted venue, the jail played host to some 50 public hangings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The ghost of William Hampton, the last man hanged in 1909, is said to roam the halls of Bodmin Jail, appearing to visitors and ghost hunters as they walk the ruins.

Like many haunted prisons, there's more than one spooky story lurking around this particular jail. As a site of much distress and trauma over the years, the Bodmin Jail plays host to multiple frightening stories of prisoners who have come back from the grave. While Hampton might be the most prominent, there are multiple prison ghosts caught on camera in this historic location.


  • Video Footage Allegedly Shows Hampton's Ghost Walking Through The Jail

    Video Footage Allegedly Shows Hampton's Ghost Walking Through The Jail
    Video: YouTube

    With all of the tortured souls that had been imprisoned, it's no surprise paranormal investigators have captured some intriguing footage at Bodmin Jail. While investigating the prison after dark, Tony and Bev Ferguson reportedly asked the resident spirits to reveal themselves shortly before capturing what appears to be a man walking across the frame in the distance. The figure does have a remarkably human shape, particularly its gait; rather than floating randomly, it appears to walk directly through an archway. Other footage shot that night includes orbs, which are often said to be a precursor to a full-body apparition like the one Ferguson claims to have captured.

  • Hampton Murdered His Girlfriend Due To Jealousy Or A Possible Affair With Her Mother

    Hampton Murdered His Girlfriend Due To Jealousy Or A Possible Affair With Her Mother
    Video: YouTube

    In 1909, Hampton was accused and convicted of the murder of his young girlfriend, who was just 16. Though they had gotten engaged the previous year, it's believed that his girlfriend, Emily Tredea, had pulled away from him and wanted to break off the engagement. According to other sources, Hampton was carrying on an affair with Tredea's mother, and perhaps killed Tredea to keep her quiet about it. Whatever the case, Hampton was executed on July 20, 1909. It's rumored that the jury pleaded for mercy in Hampton's case, but he was killed nonetheless.

  • People Believe Hampton Haunts The Jail Due To Some Uncertainty About His Case

    With his crime being clear but his motivations murky, it's no surprise that Hampton's ghost is still said to roam the halls of Bodmin Jail. Though Hampton was found guilty, rumors abound the story isn't exactly as it appears. He and his girlfriend did not have a history of physical altercations, and acquaintances recount Hampton as a mild-mannered fellow.   

    If Hampton is one of the resident ghosts at Bodmin Jail, perhaps it's exactly that that keeps his spirit from resting in peace. Hampton himself confessed to the crime so it's unlikely that he was wrongfully convicted and executed, but the element of doubt about precisely why encourages people to speculate about why he, out of the more than 50 people executed at the jail, is one of the spirits to haunt the jail. 

  • The Ghost Of A Woman Who Drowned Her Child Also Allegedly Haunts The Jail

    The Ghost Of A Woman Who Drowned Her Child Also Allegedly Haunts The Jail
    Video: YouTube

    While Hampton might be the most famous, especially because he was the last person executed at the prison, there are still other spirits said to roam the halls of Bodmin Jail. Selina Wadge was accused and convicted of killing her child in June 1878. She was expected to be granted clemency by reason of mental illness, but that pardon never came. Today, it's said children visiting the jail may see a woman in a long black dress that nobody else can see. The ghosts of a warden and several murderers, including a pair of brothers, have also been said to visit the jail, terrifying and entrancing visitors to the historic location.

  • The Prison Was Built By Prisoners Of War

    The Prison Was Built By Prisoners Of War
    Photo: Biblejohn / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    As if housing the doomed souls of more than 50 criminals sentenced to death wasn't enough, Bodmin Jail was also built in the 18th century by prisoners. Those prisoners were French, likely captured during the Anglo-French War or Napoleonic Wars. These prisoners were overseen by Sir John Call, an engineer and baronet. These French prisoners must have had some impact on the appearance of the prison, as it is notably Châteauesque in comparisons to other buildings of the area and time period. But with a history based on the labor of prisoners of war, roughly 50 executions, and a legacy of poor treatment, it's no surprise that the jail is said to be haunted today.

  • Executions At Bodmin Jail Were Often Public

    Executions At Bodmin Jail Were Often Public
    Video: YouTube

    In Bodmin Jail's heyday, public executions were huge events. Entire families would come together to watch somebody be hanged for their crimes, sometimes picnicking as part of the event. With the exception of only a few executions - including Hampton's hanging - those who were sentenced to death died in public, surrounded by onlookers. Perhaps that's part of the reason the area is said to be so rife with ghostly activity; condemned to die as spectacle, those spirits may still walk the Earth.