Happy Halloween everyone! I am so happy that I did this tour because it gives me something to write about in honour of Halloween! I’m also glad I did it because it was really cool and fun and is something I would definitely recommend if you are in Ottawa.
There are a few different tour options to choose from including: The Original Haunted Walk of Ottawa, Ghosts and Gallows, Crime and Punishment, and there are other “special” tours offered at select times during the year so you can click here for more information. Me and my sister did the Ghosts and Gallows tour so that is what this post will be about!
The tour begins by meeting up at 46½ Sparks Street (which doesn’t show up on Google Maps so just use 46 Sparks Street). Along the walk to the old Carleton County jail, where majority of the tour takes place, you make some stops beside the Rideau and at a courtyard where your tour leader will tell you stories of what real people have experienced at these locations. I don’t want to tell you the stories because that would totally ruin the experience.
I should point out that when I originally booked this trip to Ottawa I was going to go alone and I was going to stay at the HI Ottawa Jail Hostel. When I did this tour I was PRAISING the heavens that I didn’t stay there because of the terrifying stories that our leader told us about what people have experienced staying at the hostel. Half of the old Carleton County jail was renovated into a hostel and the other half is for these ghost tours. So the story about the jail is that a man named Patrick James Whelan was wrongly hanged for the murder of D’arcy McGee, one of the fathers of Canadian Confederation. He was one of the last public hangings, done so with an audience of 5,000 people. A lot of people who stay in the hostel claim to see a man resembling Whelan at the foot of their bed or in the halls; so creepy!
The tour also touches on the quality of life that these prisoners led, which, even though they were criminals, the way in which they lived in this jail were disgusting. Many of the cells were so small that a tall man would not have been able to lay down. These cells did not have toilets, only buckets. The windows were open holes with bars across them so they were subjected to the extreme heat in the summer and the freezing cold in the winter.
This tour definitely left me feeling restless afterwards and I loved every minute of it. I highly recommend booking one of these tours if you’re in Ottawa, it is definitely worth the $14.75. I also believe we did the 9pm tour which adds a great ambience, walking around at night. If you want to see more of the HI Ottawa Jail Hostel click here.
Have any of you been on a haunted tour? Let me know below!