Back in time on Bodmin Moor
Read these two chilling stories inspired by a trip to Bodmin Jail by our English students. Both authors were winners of a creative writing competition. English teacher Mrs Green said: "Both students demonstrated independence and self motivation. They produced some great work this term."
Bodmin Jail by Alex
12th October 1886 - I know there must be another way to do this, we don’t have to kill him, but I guess we’re doing so. Just a clean, quick jab, no mess and as quiet as possible, don’t raise any suspicion.
It could’ve gone better, maybe if he didn’t scream, I wouldn’t of had to rush it. We’re gonna have to stay at someone’s house, maybe in a basement if we have to.
13th October 1846
DAMN IT! They found us! That’s just great, that’s just great! We better not be heading to flippin’ Bodmin, I’ve heard some bonkers stories about that place. There just has to be a way out somewhere…
14th October 1846
Help… We failed. Daniel was able to escape without the coppers spotting him, but by the time I see him cower away, I’m already on the floor, tackled by a bunch of reeking policemen, next thing I know I’m on a carriage on my way to who knows where. These cops have a weird look on their face, the kind of look when you’re about to surprise someone awfully and they have no idea what coming.
Bodmin… Out of all the prisons in this godforsaken country, we’re at Bodmin! The stories I’ve heard about this place are skits. I have a bad feeling about this, a terrible, gut wrenching feel about this, maybe if Joey didn’t have such big, fat footsteps, maybe we wouldn’t have been heard!
Locked up with a bunch of crazies and a damn skank next to me, Albert is a couple cells down the hallway. This place is a tip; from time to time you can hear screams, cries, the pull of a lever, then nothing… It’s quite spooky to be honest, cracking of necks and snapping of ropes…
15th October 1846
That sleep was awful, everyone wouldn’t stop yapping. I feel like crap, Bloody famished aswell, I don’t think I’ve eaten anything for two days straight.
17th October 1846
This place is so boring… all we do is work, work, work, nothing else. The food tastes like a five-year-old cesspit of crud. Yack.
Execution (3rd person)
I’ve been called to the execution room, may God help me. They’ve given me time to prep myself. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for this…
As the warden ties the rope around Robin’s neck, his whole life flashes before his eyes, he tenses himself, with his hand on the lever, the warden smiles at Robin, someone says “go” The lever’s pulled, he falls, then darkness…
18th October 1846
I’m alive? Did they cancel it? Did I not die? So many questions… My parents are dead, there’s no sign of Daniel and everyone’s ignoring me, quiet as a library in here, a lot less screaming, perhaps they’re dead? I don’t know
20th October 1846
This place is driving me nuts, I need to escape. I’m gonna come up with a plan. Then I need to find Daniel. Since everyone’s ignoring me, It’s the perfect time to escape.
Time to put the plan in effect, just easily sneak out since everyone’s completely oblivious to what’s going on. There’s a carriage that comes in every now and then with fresh prisoners, I could very quickly shoot past the carriage just as the gate opens, timing is crucial.
Sneaking past them was easy-peasy, now I’m gonna find Daniel……Back in town and there’s Daniel! He’s…in the graveyard? What? That’s wildly confusing, his parents live in Tavistock and he was never married, maybe it’s Albert or Joey…
Clock strikes after midnight
“Daniel? Daniel! Why are you ignoring me?” Wait…Wh…What…the…bloody…heck…Why is there a grave with MY name on it?
Clock strikes midnight
No…This can’t be right…Am I dead?it makes no sense…
A trip to Bodmin jail by Poppy
I couldn’t wait to go to Bodmin jail! It was going to be so interesting, I love gruesome facts. I drove up to the car park in front of the jail. It was big, very big. There were 200 or so windows scattered around the grey, stony walls. There was a huge arched doorway holding a slightly open door and to the right of it there were big iron gates covering what looked like a hangman’s rope.
I suddenly felt very uneasy; I even considered going back home… but no! I have travelled for ages I am going in that jail.
I got out of my car and walked over to the big blue doors that were the only things covering what was to come. The door let out a loud creak when I opened it; I stepped in and saw no one around. No one was managing the shop or café and I couldn’t see any visitors…That should have been my sign that something was wrong but I decided to look around anyways because the sign said it was open. At first I went up a large, winding, metal staircase that looked like they would collapse at any minute. It led up to a few cells showing prisoners who were wax models and information boards. God I hated those wax models. I hated how their eyes watched you, I hated how their expressions never changed and I especially hated who they portrayed.
I decided to look in some of the cells because I knew my fear of the wax models was very unnecessary. I saw a model of a woman in a white dress being whipped by a man in a police man’s hat for stealing some fruit from a market. I looked in another cell and saw a man burning a woman’s back using an iron because she was unfaithful to him.
I walked over to a different room to see a wooden huge wheel. I read the sign and learned it was for prisoners to walk on when they had been rude or disobeyed guard’s orders. I imagined being in that situation and accidentally falling or tripping. Not a very nice thought.
I still hadn’t seen any visitors or staff around. I wondered if something bad had happened but quickly brushed the thought from my mind. It was ridiculous.
I stepped Into another room and immediately got a sense that I shouldn’t be there but I ignored it. I knew It was just my mind playing tricks on me. I glanced over to a cell which had a scene of a woman holding her child by the ankle and drowning them in a well as her other child repelled and watched. I stared at the models for a while in awe, and then read the information on the right side of the cell. “Selena Wadge!” I read aloud slightly startled by hearing my voice. I read on and found out she drowned her 2 year old child in 1878 in the Launceston well. I was shocked. Who on earth could do that?
Suddenly I heard a large crash come from in front of me and reluctantly looked to see the wax model had fallen over and was looking at me straight in the eyes. She wore a blank expression and had disturbing features. Startled, I took a step back and bumped into the first “person” I had seen that day. She had cold eyes; was dressed in an old fashioned frock and had messy black hair under a cap. I looked down to her hands and immediately regretted it. She was holding the corpse of a baby; its eyes were still and its skin was blue. It was horrifying to look at!
“Oh my god!” I screamed almost in tears. I closed my eyes and hoped she would go away. She didn’t. she put her cold white hand over my mouth and before I could even defend myself or say anything I passed out. Silence.
I woke up in a concrete cell. I was surrounded by people who were crying, praying or cursing.
I stood up. Realising I was now in an old-fashioned frock and clothing. How did I get here? What did I do? Will I be executed? My mind raced with unanswered questions and before I knew it two muscular prison guards were dragging me out on the cell. I was shocked. I couldn’t breathe. I tried to kick them off and fight but they were to strong. After doing everything I could to get free without success I gave up. They dragged me out to the grey steps and there I saw it. My fate. A noose was hanging there lifelessly like I would be soon.
I was taken down the steps and on to the gravel. I could feel it through my thin shoes, I hated that feeling.
“Selena Wadge!” announced a guard, “You are charged with murder! Your punishment…the hangman’s rope!”
“No that’s not me!” I screamed but it was too late. The rope was already around my neck. I struggled for breath for many minutes until everything went dark.
It’s all I see now. Cold, Cruel darkness!