Brampton’s “haunted” courthouse and jail to host adults-only tour

Published October 7, 2019 at 8:02 pm

“Do you believe the past is capable of lingering? Of forcing its way back into the present?

“Do you believe the past is capable of lingering? Of forcing its way back into the present? Some think a story is tied to a building, or to the land, and cannot move from the place of its death,” asks the Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives (PAMA). 

It could be possible, especially at this historic building in Brampton.

The Peel County Historic Courthouse sits on the land of the original Peel Fairgrounds. Designed by Toronto-based architect William Kauffmann, the courthouse served the county for over 100 years. This historic site is a place where people can see the early history of Brampton and explore how the city has developed over the years. 

What makes this old courthouse and jail haunted?

Three hangings took place at the jail, the first in 1909 when Mississauga resident Stefan Swyrda was hanged for the murder of 17-year-old Olack Leutick. In 1941, Gordon Mathews was hanged for the murder of his wife. The jail’s third and final hanging occurred in 1946 when Walter Zabalotny was executed for murdering Alice Campbell while in the commission of a robbery.

Despite the suffering, deaths, and hangings at the jail, the staff at PAMA have never seen any sign of the supernatural. Or so they say…

So, if you are on the hunt for some fun activities to do this month before Halloween, then look no further than this spooktacular tour.

Introducing “Stories from the Inside,” an adult program that explores Brampton’s old courthouse and jail, located at 9 Wellington Street East.

According to PAMA, guests will partake in story-based guided tours of the jail, courthouse and grounds during the 45-minute program that will educate and excite visitors. 

The theatrical re-telling of stories will recount events that occurred at the location since its opening in 1867, where it served as a courthouse and jail for a hundred years before being converted to what it is today.

This program will be held on Thursday, October 17 at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Admission is $5 and pre-registration is required. To purchase tickets, visit PAMA’s official website here.

PAMA is also hosting two other Halloween-inspired events, A Haunted Night, for guests over the age of 19 on October 24, and Family Time at the Boo-Seum, a family-friendly event on October 26. 

How are you celebrating Halloween this year? 

Written by Lucy Mazzucco & Rajpreet Sahota

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