Have you ever wanted to say, “remember that time we slept in a haunted jail?” Well it’s your (un)lucky day as HI Ottawa Jail Hostel in Canada is a half-converted hostel complete with ghostly screams, reported sleep paralysis, and unwanted visitors standing at the end of your bed.
The Ottawa County Jail in Canada, now the world’s most haunted hostel, was established in the 1860s as a prison that was designed to provide safe housing and reformation to the criminals in the area. However men, women and even children were maltreated and even hanged in the prison, and it’s now considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in Canada. So if you’re up for a spooky game of ‘murder in the dark’ this Halloween, then grab your balls because Ottawa Jail is a hostel you’ll never forget….
A ghost at the end of the bed
If you spend a night at HI-Ottawa Jail Hostel you will literally be staying in one of the old prison cells, redesigned as part of the hostel. We dare you to lock yourself up in a single private room for £25/€28/41 CAD, or upgrade to a double for £50/$56/81 CAD. If you can’t handle the terror, book a dorm bed for £19/€21/31 CAD and hang out in the common area. At all times. ?
But that’s only if you can sleep through a visit from the hostel’s most sighted ghostly guest – Patrick James Whelan. It is believed that Patrick appears at the end of guest’s beds clutching a bible. Hung in 1869 in front of 5,000 spectators Patrick is thought to still lurk around the hostel due to an unceremonious burial in the yard – a burial he did not wish for. Yikes, sounds like this lad has some unsettled beef!
? @sharkitectral and @martiuk17
Assistant Manager Jeff Delgado recounts a particularly memorable experience when a woman had checked herself into the old Warden’s office for the night. They became suspicious when she didn’t check out on time the following day, and when he went to check on the woman, she was still in bed in what appeared to be sleep paralysis.
Jeff says: “The front desk agent shook the woman and she woke up very frightened and hysterical. According to her, there was a small girl that appeared to her in her sleep in the office surroundings, and wrapped her arms around her so that she would not be able to wake up. The girl was also supposedly trying to whisper something in her ear, from which the guest could only make out the word ‘help’.
“Although the story might seem outlandish, the guest was unaware that the particular room she was staying in was indeed the old Warden’s office. She was also able to describe in detail the surroundings of an office and the physical description of the little girl.”
Heavy footsteps in dark corridors
No, we don’t mean little creaks from the wind. We’re talking about the scary ass footsteps made by restless spirits. What’s that? You forgot your earplugs? Be prepared to wake up to a whisper in your ear or mini footsteps next to your bed.
The echoes of ghostly screams
“What’s that? Just the howling of the wind?” Nope – It’s the echoes of ghostly screams. Guests commonly claim to hear these chilling sounds, most often from the lounge area in the hostel. This is because this exact lounge area is where women and children were commonly placed while serving time. If this isn’t the perfect room to scare the bejeezus out of yourself and your friends with movie, then we don’t know what is!
More about the hostel…
- Free continental breakfast with “bagels included, freaky toaster” – Customer review
- Free daily jail tour at 11am with info on the rich history of the building and why it made Lonely Planet’s top 10 spookiest buildings around the world list
- Free hostel pub crawls, movie nights, bike tours and parties
- Socialise at the Mug Shots bar and chill on the outdoor patio
? @xogml7929 and @la_vida_lou_yi
“We’ll let you decide if our wonderful facility is haunted or not,” says Jeff. They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, but are you brave enough to eat a haunted pudding?
What to read next?
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- 13 of the Most Haunted Places in the World
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Got any ghost stories of your own? Tell us in the comments box below! ? ?