In April, I was in Ottawa attending the BConnected Conference. While the conference didn’t officially start until Saturday, a fun Friday was planned for those attendees who arrived on Friday. We had a choice of 2 different Haunted Walks, Ghosts and Gallows or Time Travel Trail Adventure with Ottawa Tourism. I choose to take the Ghosts and Gallows Walk that took us to the Carleton Jail.
Although I had not been on a Haunted Walk, I have wanted to for some time. Excitement and nervousness took over. The wait for this creepy adventure was soon to begin. While I am not afraid of ghosts, it still felt a bit eerie and bone-chilling to me.
Our tour began with a walk through Byward Market, with stories of tragedy, fires and hauntings along the way. Finally making it to the Carleton Jail.
Ghosts and Gallows – Carleton Jail
Ghosts and the Gallows recounts the assassination of Thomas D’Arcy McGee, with a visit inside the old Carleton County Jail (now the Ottawa Jail Hostel), where Patrick Whelan was hanged for the crime. You will be guided in almost total darkness by lantern light through the haunted hallways of the old Jail, Death Row and the last working Gallows in Canada. Are you afraid of the dark? Come and discover for yourself…
This tour includes a brief outdoor portion, stairs and is not wheelchair accessible. Locations on this tour may be frightening to young children. A portion of the proceeds assist in the preservation of the HI-Ottawa Jail Hostel.
The Carleton Jail opened in 1862. Prisoners included men, woman and even children sharing 60 (1x3m) small cells and 30 larger cells (2×3 m); as well as six solitary confinement units , from the worst crimes to petty crimes. One meal a day was served as part of the punishment. In 1972, the jail closed for criminals. It soon became a hostel.
Walking the halls of the jail, I felt a chilling in the air and I shivered, expecting the unexpected. Stepping inside a cell was a complete hair-raising experience. It is a tour well worth taking.
As we were finishing up the tour in the parking lot near the back of the building, a car alarm went off. Some of us may or may not have jumped out of our skin.
Are you looking for something different to do this Halloween season? Do you have the courage to walk amongst ghosts? Check out Haunted In Ontario for more ghostly walks and tours.
Have a spooktacular time!