Ghosts of smugglers and other spirits are very much alive down the narrow cobbled alleyways of St Ives. Next to the Guildhall on Street-an-Pol there is a dark passage known as Dead Man’s Walk. It is believed that this route was used by condemned prisoners on their way to execution. Footsteps and the clanking of chains have been heard even though no one is there. Others have claimed a tightening of the noose sensation around their neck as they pass.
If this whets your appetite book a place on Shanty Baba’s Lantern Ghost Walk, a 90 minute tour of the spookier side of St Ives, that takes place on designated evenings, starting after dark at 9:30 pm.
Shanty will guide you by the light of his hurricane lamp and stick around the most haunted places in St Ives, finding locations where terrifying incidents took place many years ago. Hear the story about the pilot’s ghost that is so scary it turned a sea captain’s hair white overnight. As well as recounting stories in the dark graveyard about flesh eating rats there is the tale about The Lady with the Lantern. This is a sad story about a weary mother whose baby was swept into the sea during a storm and never found. The grief-stricken mother died soon after and was laid to rest, but if any flickering lights appear on the beach before a storm, they say that it’s the Lady with the Lantern wandering along in hope of finding her lost baby.