44 Chatussee des Ecossais, Quebec City, QC

(418) 694-9147

Status: Former Military Prison; Former Jail; Former School; Cultural Centre



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By <a href="//;action=edit&amp;redlink=1" class="new" title="User:Morrin Centre (page does not exist)">Morrin Centre</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 3.0Link


The first building on this site was built in the early 18th century and was known as the Redoute Royale (Royal Redoubt). As part of the city’s defensive network, it was attached to the city’s original walls and mainly used as military barracks.

It was also used by the French military for prisoners of war and the prisoners brought back from raids into the British Territories in New England. These included British soldiers but also townspeople. Many of them died in the dirty and disease filled conditions while others were eventually traded for French prisoners

When British defeated the French in 1759, they changed the building over to use as the city’s main jail until 1787 when it was converted to storage. In 1808 the building was demolished in order to build the one that stands here now.

The new building was specifically designed as a prison – what was called a common goal at the time – and designed to imprison at night and be used for hard labour during the day. People were imprisoned for a variety of crimes from debt to murder to treason; even American POW’s were held here during the War of 1812.

The prison was closed in 1867 when a new one was opened on the Plains of Abraham.

In 1868 Morrin College moved into the building as Quebec City’s first English language post-secondary institution. Students could achieve a General Arts Degree or study to become a Presbyterian Pastor. Women were admitted as students in 1885.

Lack of money and students led to the college closing around the turn of the century.

From 1868 on the Literary and Historical Society moved into the north wing of the building. When the school closed they moved into the entire building. They collected and republished important historical Canadian documents in English. They were also instrumental in making sure the Plains of Abraham were turned into a heritage property and not just another subdivision.

Many of Canada’s and British North America’s historical documents are only available to us now because of the efforts of this institution.

In the 21st century the building was fully renovated into the Morin Centre: the city’s only English language cultural centre and historic interpretation site.


Paranormal Activity

There are numerous reports of an unfriendly ghost who has been known to put pressure on the living leaving them feeling as if it’s hard and/or painful to breathe. He also exudes a powerful energy indicating to leave and that they are not welcome there and need to leave immediately if not sooner.

Most people think this ghost is not a former prisoner but rather someone who was formerly in a very authoritative position and is used to the jail running a certain way. A video was captured in the library of an entity believed to be a former surgeon – James Douglas – who may be the presence so commonly felt.

Many of the former cells are described as being unearthly cold and extremely uncomfortable. Although, rather than darkness, evil or even anger is felt.

The most commonly felt emotional energy throughout the building’s energy is fear and hopelessness.

There are reports of seeing apparitions walking through walls and of hands reaching out of walls. While this would be a bit disturbing, we must remember this building has been renovated more than once and where a wall exists now there may have been a doorway or other open space when the ghost or residual energy existed.

Other Reported Activity: apparitions of soldiers in 18th century uniforms; shadow figures; electrical disturbances; objects moving on their own; light anomalies; disembodied voices and other unexplained noises and feelings of claustrophobia, being watched and not being wanted.