The Phantoms of Yore, from left to right: Jael Henri, Elliot Luijkenaar and Eric Oickle - taken at the L'Orignal Old Jail gallows around midnight.

A night with the Phantoms of Yore . . in Ontario’s oldest prison

The Phantoms of Yore are still haunting the L’Orignal Old Jail at night in preparation for their two Summer 2018 presentations.

We told you about the Phantoms of Yore a few weeks ago. They are on a mission is to investigate Canada’s historically rich heritage sites to raise the public’s awareness of our country’s past. In so doing, they manage to raise funds for these sites, giving those who fight to keep them alive a helping hand.

Nowadays, the Phantoms have their sights set on unraveling some of the potential paranormal phenomena rumoured to inhabit Ontario’s oldest prison.

The Phantoms installed infrared cameras all over the prison.

To do so, the three-person team uses a plethora of gear, including sensors, infrared cameras and microphones.

While this equipment is ready to capture paranormal events, it’s what the Phantoms DO to provoke it that makes them unique. Enter the experiments.

One such endeavour involves taking a volunteer, throwing a bag over his head and processing him as a prisoner… Before throwing him in solitary, in the dark, for 30 minutes.

*Author’s note: I deliberately chose the masculine gender when referring to a “volunteer”, since I, myself, got to try out this experiment with the Phantoms on the night of June 25, 2018.

The group clearly put some thought into this, for the set-up  has its own screenplay, complete with awkward personal questions and fingerprints during processing.

Why all the theatrics? According to the Phantoms, your state of mind and perception releases specific energy signatures in the environment, potentially provoking a response. By simulating one of the worst days of a potential presence’s life, the group aims at causing a reaction.

A second visit

The night of June 25 marked the group’s second investigation of the L’Orignal Old Jail.

“We all felt something from this place. There’s so much history, so much energy stuck here. It’s different than the hostel,” said Eric Oickle.

The Phantoms of Yore’s last investigation was at the HI Ottawa Jail over a three-month period.

“None of us wanted to be alone or too far from one another,” said Elliot Luijkenaar, referring to the L’Orignal Old Jail.

Member Jael Henri monitoring the live feeds from all the infrared cameras.

Apparently, this feeling was not present at the Ottawa hostel. The L’Orignal Old Jail has every Phantom think twice before venturing through its dark halls alone, however.

“We’ve caught voices. Now, for the second time, we know what to expect and how to move forward,” said Luijkenaar.

“We’re actually getting names in some of our recordings. This means we can ask if specific people are here,” added Oickle.

The Phantoms gather a great deal of recordings, footage and data during their nightly investigations. Once sorted out, the group prepares entertaining events for those who wish to experience the paranormal.

The first events will take place on Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21, 2018 and the second events on Friday, August 17 and Saturday, August 18, 2018.

“We decided to do the events back to back since we believe a lot of people will be interested. This way, we can keep the groups small and make the experience better,” said Luijkenaar.

Those interested can purchase tickets for the event directly from the L’Orignal Old Jail. All proceeds will go to the site.

The events will be 18+, but Luijkenaar said that exceptions can be made for teenagers accompanied by a parent or guardian.

“If we put the public, or children, through something like spending 30 minutes in a cell, in the dark… It might not be well-received,” added Luijkenaar.

Future participants have a lot to look forward to, since the first half of the event prepares everyone for what is to come – potentially an experiment similar to the one described in paragraph six of this article.

Anyone interested in following the Phantoms of Yore and supporting the amazing work they do for our heritage sites should visit the group’s Facebook page, @PhantomsOfYore.

For more information on the L’Orignal Old Jail and the events hosted there, visit the site’s FB page, @lorignalprison.


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