Mark Rablin at Bodmin Jail

Spending 1000 nights in a prison isn’t normally something to be proud of but, for Bodmin Jail’s Mark Rablin, it’s a significant career milestone.

Mark is the extraordinary attraction’s Paranormal Manager and regularly guides around 2000 brave visitors each year on ‘After Dark’ experiences.  With a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in Britain, it’s not something for the fainthearted.  In the past, sixty executions have taken place there and one ghost in particular – that of Selina Wadge who was found guilty of killing her two-year old disabled son Henry – is said to roam the prison in haunting remorse for her terrible crime.

Mark is a trained trance medium and a Usui Reiki master.  Reiki uses life energy to help heal people and, far from describing his job as ghost hunting, Mark says spending a night in Bodmin Jail is an overwhelmingly positive experience.

“It’s not about scaring people but teaching them to become more aware of the vast, largely untapped source of energy that surrounds us all,” he said.  “Most of us are searching for something deep down and the workshops I run overnight are all about helping participants connect with whatever it is they are looking for.  It’s very emotional and there are lots of tears – but they are usually happy ones.”

Mark started working at the jail ten years ago and says he has seen just two full ghostly apparitions in that time.  He also describes a low fog-horn type sound that goes off occasionally, like a low harmonic hum that goes right through the ribcage.  His approach, though, is scientific rather than sensationalist.

“I’m not interested in trying to spook visitors – I genuinely want them to go away feeling they have learnt something valuable,” he said.  “We do connect with family members and friends who have departed but the aim isn’t to make anyone feel uncomfortable or scared.”

‘After Dark’ experiences are held two or three times a week at Bodmin Jail.  They start with a three-course meal at 8.45 and continue until 5am.  For more information, visit www.bodminjail.org