Halloween is just one day away, and with Whitby home to a historic building that’s rumoured to have ghosts, you don’t have to go far for a scare.
“This building was built between 1852 and 1854 as the Ontario County Courthouse,” said Megan Pugh with Whitby Archives.
Now, 167 years later, the structure is the Whitby Courthouse Theatre, and it’s become known for having a dark history.
“Being born and raised in Whitby, we’ve always talked about this building being haunted, and you walk by it’s really nice and beautiful from the outside, but when you come inside it kind of has that feeling like something happened here,” said Pugh.
Pugh say’s there’s something about the building’s past that’s still inhabits the halls of the theatre.
“Rumours are that a person named Jack was here for his nephew or his son, we’re not 100 per cent sure which one,” Pugh said. “He was pacing up stairs in the balcony.”
“When the verdict was read out, he rushed forward, not realizing the ledge of the balcony was short and ended up falling basically right behind me here,” said Rachel Cross, lead investigator with The Paranormal Seekers.
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Cross and her team of paranormal investigators came to the old courthouse to see if they could get any readings from beyond the grave.
“It really is a big adrenaline rush, especially when you’re able to validate your findings with the research that you have and connect those stories together, bring back the identities of those who have been lost and give their stories a new life,” said Cross.
And it didn’t take them long before they were able to connect with Jack.
“It doesn’t have to be at 3:00 in the morning; it doesn’t have to be dark out,” Cross said. “Paranormal activity happens any time of the day, any day of the year.”
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the building recognizes the strange activity that’s said to be haunting its grounds. In fact, there’s a plaque stating the first ghost sighting happened in the courtroom in 1873.
The stories don’t stop with Jack, though.
There’s also rumours of a tall man with a hat wandering around outside. Witnesses say he transforms into a big black dog with fiery eyes. Back inside, others say some of the rooms have lights that turn off and on by themselves, along with doors that randomly slam shut.