Ottawa Jail Hostel

Ottawa Jail Hostel thumbnail

Ottawa Jail Hostel

Posted on November 1 by Terry Boyle And Mark Leslie
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Pinterest

Today's blog post is from Laura, our Assistant Editor here at Dundurn.

 

Here at Dundurn we nurture a healthy interest in Canadian history and the paranormal (an eclectic mix, to be sure!) For those of you fortunate enough to live in Canada, many of the settings featured in books published by Dundurn authors can be visited and explored. I had just such an opportunity during a recent trip to our nation’s capital, when I attended an event at the Ottawa Jail Hostel.

The Ottawa Jail Hostel, formerly the Carleton Gaol, opened in 1862 as a maximum security prison. Unfortunately, many of the individuals who ended up at the Carleton Gaol were innocent: the victims of unfair trials and social prejudice against the poor and mentally ill. Executions were a regular occurrence at the jail, and the gallows, where countless individuals met their grisly end, are still intact and visible from the prison courtyard.

During my visit, I attended an art event in the prison courtyard. Partway through the evening, a small group of us decided take a break from the festivities to explore the exterior of the building. (I’m a history buff and wanted to take some photos of the gorgeous architecture.) We took a number of pictures in an area directly to the right of the front entrance, in a spot featuring a small entryway through the exterior wall into a private courtyard. At the time, I had complained of feeling a strange pressure on my chest while standing under the archway, but, as no one else in the group experienced the sensation of pressure, I shrugged off the feeling. Soon after we went back to enjoy the rest of the function.

When I reviewed the images the following day, I received something of a surprise — all the photos in which I appear also feature a glowing “orb” of white light. (Notice the tail on the orb in several of the photos; it appears to be moving upward.) More strangely still, the glowing orb only appeared in photos that I’m in — none of the photos taken of other individuals in the group featured white orbs. After wracking my brains for a logical cause (e.g. a scratch on the camera lens, an errant reflection) and failing to arrive at a satisfactory answer, I’m coming to terms with the possibility that what was caught on film that night may be beyond explanation.

For those of you interested in learning more about the Ottawa Jail Hostel and other potentially haunted locations in Canada, please check out the second edition of Haunted Ontario by Terry Boyle, or Spooky Sudbury by Mark Leslie published in Fall 2013.

Terry Boyle

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014
Terry Boyle photo

Terry Boyle

Terry Boyle was a Canadian author, lecturer, and teacher who has shared his passion for history and folklore in many books since 1976, including four Haunted Ontario titles. He hosted television's Creepy Canada and radio's Discover Ontario. He lived near Burk's Falls, Ontario.

Mark Leslie

Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 30, 2014
Mark Leslie photo

Mark Leslie

Mark Leslie is the author of Creepy Capital and Tomes of Terror as well as many other books on the fascinating and paranormal. He is also the editor of Campus Chills and Fiction River: Feel the Fear. Mark lives in Waterloo, Ontario.