To say that I have been haunted by mystical Cornwall all of my life is an understatement! Just the name thrills me! Cornwall is a land where fairies, and piskies (“the little people”), and ghosts roam; where Percival threw Excalibur into Dozmary Pool; the birthplace of Arthur Pendragon (Tintagel) and the lovers Tristan and Isolde….and the setting of the novels I avidly read growing up. Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel, Jamaica Inn; and a host of novels written by Victoria Holt, aka Phillippa Carr, aka Jean Plaidy. While growing up my imagination took wing, and I could see the ghostly images of the Nine Maidens turned to stone because they danced on a Sunday; the Hurlers and the Pipers who were also turned to stone for the same reason; Jamaica Inn, home of wreckers and pirates and smugglers; the Mermaids of Zennor and Padstow. I will never forget the Cheesewring, a granite geological feature on Bodmin Moor which was created by giants; St Michael’s Mount, where a young boy named Jack led an angry Giant to his death. Yes, Cornwall is a land of magic! For All Hallows Eve this year, I will haunt you with my dreams and memories of Cornwall.
I’m not sure how to explain how I felt when I arrived in Cornwall. Its beauty and strange landscapes were incredible to me. I booked Jamaica Inn, (a place known to be haunted by those killed by wreckers and pirates, and the setting for the novel, JAMAICA INN by Daphne De Maurier) for 3 nights, excited to explore the area of Bodmin Moor. I don’t know if it is really haunted, or if it was just the knowledge and atmosphere of the evil carried out by “wreckers” and smugglers (men who lured ships onto the rocks, killed everyone on board and stole the ship’s cargo), but I couldn’t stand being there! There was just something….wrong, evil. Randy, my husband, and my two children, Ally and Wes, said they could feel it as well. I won’t be sleeping there again! Did I really hear the sound of horse’s hooves and a carriage during the night? Whatever it was, the Inn frightened me to the point where we checked out the next morning and left a bewildered desk clerk behind. Want to go looking for ghosts at Jamaica Inn? Or stay the night? Let me know if you hear or see anything in the night, because I doubt I’ll be sleeping there again. You can see what I mean by reading the book!
As a devoted Anglophile, I have not seen nearly enough of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland! I want to go to Mother Shipton’s Well in Yorkshire, see the York Minster, and visit the resting place of the White Rose Richard III at Leceister Cathedral (I was a long time member of the Richard III Society, American Branch). I want to see the land of St Patrick and the cliffs of Moher, the lochs of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and the palaces of Mary Queen of Scots. I also long to find the legends of Merlin in Wales. If I have lived before, it was somewhere in the British Isles. Someday I want to take a few months and just travel the UK. As an amateur history buff of medieval England, it would be a journey of wonder!
Question: Who has heard:
When you hear Tre, Pol and Pen
You’ll know that you’re with Cornishmen!
Here are the classic Cornwall novels by Daphne Du Maurier. Have you read them? If not, you don’t know what you are missing! Take a look at these novels and movies.
Rebecca was the first novel I read, and I have read it several times. The ghostly beginning, “Last night I dreamt I was at Manderly” still gives me chills!
My Cousin Rachel is now a movie.
This is a PAL version, a non USA film format:
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