Historic Jail opens for paranormal investigations

September 13, 2021
Historic SDG Jail
Historic SDG Jail

Explore the darker side of one of Cornwall’s oldest buildings with paranormal investigations at the Historic SDG Jail.

The Haunted Walk and Phantoms of Yore are teaming up to host three weekends of small group paranormal investigations at the historic Downtown Cornwall facility, which has attracted ghost hunters from all over North America.

Constructed in 1833 and active until 2002, the jail served as both a minimum and maximum security facility over that time. Several executions were carried out on-site, in addition to the suicides and murders. That dark history and shared tales of ghost stories have made it a popular investigation spot for paranormal researchers from near and far.

Jail lore

In addition to children seeing the “Lady in Black,” there have been reports of many different kinds of hauntings throughout the property. Unsettling ‘shadow people’ have surprised guests and staff alike as they scuttle in the darkness. It is suspected that the ghost of a young boy is still playing games in the courtroom and around the jail. Not to mention the slamming cell doors and phantom touches that many have unexpectedly experienced in the building.

About the investigations

The investigations will be held over three weekends:

October 22-23
October 29-30

Tours will be limited to 8 people per departure time (several departure times are available each day).

The 3.5-hour special event will begin with a full briefing on the haunted history of the site, the equipment to be used, and the best practices to follow when collecting and analyzing evidence. Participants will then have the opportunity to venture inside the jail – in the dark – to see what can be discovered.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to investigate one of the most sought-after haunted sites in Ontario!

With a max of 8 people per group, tickets are extremely limited.

As of September 22, proof of vaccination and a photo ID will need to be shown by all participants before starting an investigation as per Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination passport requirements.

The cost is $69.99 per person and tickets can be purchased online at The Haunted Walk website.

Click here to purchase tickets

Part of the proceeds from every ticket sold go to the preservation and restoration of this incredible site.

What happens at public investigations?

Simply put, these events allows guests to be paranormal investigators for the evening.

These suspenseful, entertaining and informative experiences share the history, folklore, paranormal accounts about the site, and the theories and hypothesis behind paranormal investigations.

Investigators film their own experiences and the footage is uploaded so it can be reviewed for possible paranormal captures. Live feeds are also included in most events, allowing for patrons to have instant access to the footage. Many paranormal enthusiasts and experienced investigators watch the live feed to help detect anomalies.

Additional information

For additional information on the event, please check out The Haunted Walk website.

Got a question?

Got questions? Need recommendations? Cornwall Tourism is here to help! Call or text us at 613-938-4748 or email us at info@cornwalltourism.com and we’ll be pleased to help you with any questions you may have!

Also make sure to check us out on Facebook and Instagram for updates and more great reasons to visit Cornwall!

Play it safe!

We all have a part to play in combating the spread of COVID-19. Residents are encouraged to wear masks, practice frequent hand washing and physical distancing, and stay home if not feeling well. For the latest guidelines and restrictions related to COVID-19, please visit the Eastern Ontario Health Unit website.


Looking for other fun things to do in Cornwall? Check out the Explore section of our website for other fun-filled activities to keep you busy. Better yet, consider extending your stay with a night at one of our great accommodations!