Kakolanmäki Hill – where the former prison/hotel is located – is the second largest hill in the city of Turku. The first structure here – in the 18th century – was built on the eastern slopes and was used as poorhouse (almhouse).
The poorhouse was mostly used to house people who were considering too mentally challenged to live with the rest of society. The locals called these people kakot – daft people – and the hill became known as Kakola’s Hill (Kakolanmäki Hill); a place of daft people.
In 1853 the 3 storey building on the top of the hill was constructed. It was first used as a workhouse then a low security prison and finally a maximum security prison in 1864.
The facility was expanded multiple times in the early 1900’s including a detention centre and a criminally insane ward. At it’s height in the 1930’s the facility there were 1,300 inmates.
It is said that every famous (infamous?) criminal in Finland’s history was incarcerated here at some point. The prison held only male prisoners and was considered the most dangerous prison in the Country and home of the worst of the worst.
In 2007 the prison was closed and the remaining 300 inmates were transferred to another correctional facility.
The building remained abandoned and empty – with the occasional tour - and was bought in 2015. In 2018 the renovation began for the hotel, and it was opened to the public in 2020.
You can even stay in the former jail cells including solitary confinement cells.
Many consider this site, even now, one of the most haunted places in Finland.
Reported activity includes apparitions of former prisoners and staff; shadow figures and shadow people; touches, tugs and pulls of unseen presences; empathic feelings of fear, loss and anger; electrical disturbances; light anomalies; objects moving on their own; objects disappearing and reappearing later; phantom footsteps and other unexplained sounds such as knocks; feelings of being watched, not being alone and not being wanted and, rarely, time slips