This Victorian mansion was originally built by John McIntyre – a lawyer and former mayor of Kingston – between 1878-79. The property itself had been inherited by his wife Harriet shortly before construction began.
In 1907 the Bank of Montreal’s Hochelaga Foundation purchased the house from John McIntyre. They used it as an executive retreat for employees traveling between Montreal and Toronto. Hochelaga is the Aboriginal name for land Montreal is built on.
The Bank of Montreal built the double sided fireplace in the houses between the dining and living rooms.
In 1933 The Bank of Montreal sold the mansion to a real estate developer who converted it into 11 apartments.
By 1985, the property was in such bad shape the city was seriously considering having it condemned. Thankfully, it was bought by Picton based hospitality company and underwent a massive renovation converting the building to a luxurious 22 room hotel while doing their best to retain the history of the building as much as possible.
In 2021 the property was bought by ACE Kingston Hospitality and is being run as a boutique hotel. Please visit the website link above to book your stay.
The apparition of a woman who is described as dark in both demeanor and lack of light – her face is never seen clearly – is often seen standing at the foot of guest’s beds.
The apparitions of children have been seen throughout the building with the most often being seen is that of a 9 year old blonde boy.
The cries of the blonde boy mentioned above are reported to have actually woken guests up.
The phantom sound of laughter is also heard coming from the foot of the bed.
The sound of children’s laughter has been reported throughout the building.
Guests have also reported seeing objects fly across the room and the tv’s turning on and off on their own.
Other Reported Activity: disembodied voices; electrical disturbances; light anomalies and feelings of not being alone.
560 King Street West
Status: Former Maximum-Security Prison; Closed; Heritage Property
By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:P199" title="User:P199">P199</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, Public Domain, Link
By <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/people/126377022@N07">Internet Archive Book Images</a> - <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/14595608869/">Image from page 11 of "Souvenir views of the city of Kingston Ontario, Canada, and the Thousand Islands, River St. Lawrence" (1901)</a>, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link
Built between 1833 and 1834 and opened on June 1, 1835 this site was chosen for the prison due to the immediate access to both water and limestone And, of course, lots of fresh air; which was the 19th century’s cure for pretty much everything.
In 1845 the wooden walls were replaced with the concrete ones; the guard towers were built and the north gate house was finished. Between 1859 and 1861 the dome connecting the 4 cell blocks was built.
There were 2 major riots in the prison’s history: 1) 1954 when 2 million dollars of damage was done to the buildings – mostly by fire – and needed to be broken up by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian Army troops; 2) 1971 which is considered one of the worst prison riots in history, lasted 4 days and resulted in the death of 2 inmates. A committee was created afterwards to study the reasonable demands made by the prisoners including more recreation time, overcrowding, and lack of professional level staff.
The criminally insane who were found responsible for their actions were kept in the banally named Regional Treatment Centre.
In late 20th century the prison became known as a dumping area for the worst correctional guards in the entire Canadian system. A RCMP investigation would eventually end in the firing of 8 guards due to this.
Kingston Penitentiary housed the absolute worst of the worst including James Donnelly of the Black Donnellys, Wayne Boden – the Vampire Rapist, Grace Marks – the maid who murdered her employer, Clifford Olson – the child molester and murderer, Michael Rafferty – the killer of Victoria Stafford and Paul Bernardo – the schoolgirl killer and Scarborough Rapist.
On April 19, 2012 the Canadian Federal Government announced that the Penitentiary would be closed and began plans to do so. On September 30, 2013 the facility was closed.
When it closed the prison was one of the oldest operational prisons in the world.
Many different levels of historical tours of the facility are available.
Both inside and outside – to quite a distance from the walls – people report a deep feeling in their gut that they are in danger and to leave as quickly as possible.
There is a pervading sense of evil as well. One so powerful it feels as if all goodness has been wrenched away leaving only a coldness that drains all positivity from everyone.
In the Regional Treatment Centre (RTC) the ghost of the William Wentworth – the last employee to die on site – makes his presence known by the jingling of his keys. His apparition – more of a shadow figure – is seen in the building as well. In November of 1961 Wentworth was stabbed to death – during his overnight shift - on the third floor of the RTC; his murderer has never been caught.
He is generally seen checking the cells and most people believe he is still doing his job and keeping the violent mentally unstable prisoners under control.
The ghost of George Hewell haunts the cell blocks. He was shot by a guard in self-defence in 1897 and vowed to curse the prison with his dying breaths.
Other Reported Activity: apparitions of former staff and inmates including angry prisoners running through the halls screaming; time slips giving people terrifying views of the facility’s past including the riots, violent escape attempts and murders; disembodied laughter, screams, cries, voices and breathing; unexplained noises from loud bangs to people hearing their name whispered; cold and hot spots; objects moving on their own; electrical disturbances including batteries being drained in seconds; sudden winds out of nowhere; unexplained mists; physical sensations of illness including nausea, dizziness and migraines; empathic sensations of fear, depression, anger and hatred; light anomalies including ones that interact with the living and feelings of not being wanted, not being alone and being watched.
It probably doesn’t need to be said but please remember this site is filled ghosts of some of the worst people that ever lived; there are undoubtedly numerous dark and nasty entities on this site; so be careful.
No Public Access
JustSomePics - Own work
Previous to the construction of this institution the criminally insane were simply locked up with all the other prisoners in the nearby Kingston Penitentiary (see above).
Construction of this asylum began in 1859 and was completed in 1870. It was constructed by convict labour.
Prisoners moved here had either gone insane during their sentence in the penitentiary, deemed to be too dangerous to be out in public or were found insane when they committed their crime. Prisoners were not to be cured just simply kept calm meaning liberal use of alcohol in the day and sedatives at night.
Bloodletting and leeches were also used to promote calmness.
Lobotomies were also used.
Lepers and “promiscuous” women were also locked up in the asylum.
In 1959 the criminally insane were moved to another building on the site and the main asylum was used for the treatment of the developmentally disabled.
In 2000 the facility was completely shut down and remains empty and locked up tight to this day.
You can wander the grounds by day but entering any of the buildings is extremely difficult and criminal trespassing which can result in a jail sentence.
Please follow this link to a website where someone entered the building and took a number of photos to see inside.
Members of our team, including me, have been to this site (outside only) and our experiences with the paranormal will follow the public reports.
The ghost of a doctor who is said to have murdered a patient is seen wandering the grounds.
Other Reported Activity: apparitions of former patients/prisoners, doctors and nurses; shadow figures; phantom footsteps; doors opening and closing on their own; cold and warm spots; light anomalies; electrical disturbances; disembodied voices, screams and whispers; unexplained breezes; feeling as if something passed through you; empathic sensations of fear, anxiety and anger; phantom laughter; objects moving on their own; being touched, poked and prodded by unseen entities; a few reports of bites and pinches and a feeling of being watched and not being alone.
Strong feelings of being watched and not being wanted; pools of freezing cold air on a hot and humid Kingston afternoon; batteries being drained in seconds; empathic sensations of anger and hatred; large amounts of negative energy and disembodied whispers and quiet laughter.