Into The Haunting comes to Port Theatre 

July 20, 2019

The Port Theatre

The Port Theatre circa 2009

The iconic Port Theatre has shared thousands of stories with the masses during its 78-year history. But that doesn’t include the darker, hidden stories that live within the walls of the historic Cornwall venue.

Beneath the theatre’s gigantic marquee and big screen lies a more eerie picture – one of ghosts, spirits and paranormal activity.

The landmark building’s haunted history is now coming to light through the Ottawa Paranormal Research and Investigations Team which has been exploring the local landmark for a new paranormal show called ‘Into The Haunting.’

The theatre landed on their radar last year after a Cornwall couple mentioned the building to them during a paranormal event in another community. Wasting little time, the group made connections with Port owner Larry Sylvain to arrange some investigations inside.

The result was a bunch of hair-raising stories that rival any of the big-time horror flicks shown on the Port screen.

“We had two (paranormal) investigators upstairs behind the screen and they felt a hand rubbing on their back,” recalls John Moore, Ottawa Paranormal’s founder and lead investigator.

“On another occasion, we had two people up in the balcony area. There was no one else in the theatre. Then they heard someone running up the aisle and then they saw a figure on the stage. They actually thought it was me. They radioed and I told them I was at the base (outside).”

Mr. Moore has at least one guess as to the origins of the otherworldly activity in the building. It’s a woman by the name of Sadie, a lady who worked at the theatre her entire life from opening day – when it was called The Roxy. She eventually became a manager of the venue and even met her husband there.

“The building had a profound impact on her life,” he explains. “It’s possible when she passed away, her spirit may have returned there.”

A Paranormal Experience

As a next step, Mr. Moore and his team are giving paranormal enthusiasts a chance to investigate the building alongside them next Saturday, July 27th with the ‘Into The Haunting Live Public Ghost Hunt.’

It’s a fascinating opportunity to discover the history of the Cornwall landmark and possibly uncover other paranormal activity first-hand.

“We’re going to let them live like a paranormal investigator for the night and use our equipment,” said Mr. Moore.

The event kicks off at 9 pm with a brief overview and history of the venue before the group is split up into teams with investigators from Ottawa Paranormal. The groups will then spend several hours investigating the site in hopes of uncovering more otherworldly activity.

A limited number of spots are available and tickets can be purchased in advance online for $40. A limited quantity may be available at the door but it is highly recommended to purchase in advance. Given the subject nature, the event is recommended for adults 18+.

“Every time we go there we are never disappointed,” Mr. Moore added. “It’s definitely an interesting place.”

That interest has lead to the Port Theatre being featured in one of the episodes of Ottawa Paranormal’s new show, ‘Into The Haunting,’ which is still in production. Plans are also in the works to have a Halloween-themed event at the Port featuring a live paranormal show followed by another investigation of the venue.

Surely, there will be more stories to come from the Port beyond those on the big screen.

For more information on the event, please click here. And to purchase tickets, please click here.

About Ottawa Paranormal Research and Investigations

Founded in 2013, Ottawa Paranormal Research and Investigations follows a scientific approach to paranormal investigation. The team also specializes in extreme cases of paranormal activity and they work closely with a religious order of exorcists among others to aid clients. They believe in paranormal unity and use many different consultants and reviewers from numerous countries all over the world. 

For more information, please visit their Facebook page or check out their website.

About the Port Theatre

Located in Cornwall’s Le Village district, the Port Theatre is an iconic Cornwall landmark. Originally titled The Roxy, the Port opened in December of 1941 to glowing success. After it’s opening, the Standard-Freeholder called it “one of the finest theatres in the province,” costing approximately $75,000 at the time of its construction. Today, the Port still stands strong. Boasting an impressive marquee and distinct lettering, its iconic look has become an area fixture and is a huge part of Cornwall history.

For more information on the Port, please visit their Facebook page or check out their website.

Additional Events

Looking for other fun things to do in Cornwall? Make sure to check out our Events page for info on upcoming events in the area!

Stay with Us!

Planning to explore Cornwall? Extend your stay at one of our many great accommodations! For a listing of local accommodations, click here.

Additional Information

Planning a visit to Cornwall? Cornwall Tourism can help. Email us at to request a copy of our Visitor Guide or contact us at (613) 936-0842. You can also stop by our seasonal Visitor Information Centre inside the Cornwall Community Museum in Lamoureux Park. The Museum is located at 160 Water Street West, just steps away from the children’s splashpad and play structure. Free parking is available immediately north of the Museum along Water Street.

The seasonal Visitor Information Centre is open seven days a week (8:30 am to 4:30 pm) through the summer months.

Follow Cornwall Tourism on Facebook
Follow Cornwall Tourism on Twitter

Article by Kevin Lajoie

Photo above by Jason McNamara
Framed Photography