The Ghosts of Burwash Prison (1 Viewer)


Jun 20, 2019
China / Canada
This last summer I took my friend from 中国 around East Klanada. I had heard stories for years about the mysterious Burwash Prison. Some said it was haunted because of the hidden abuse to prisoners and a tragedy that happened there, and had to close down. Others said it was sold to the Canadian Army and they used it for training, but not for years due to some mystery..... Not all true, but not all false, either.


Burwash Prison (Camp Bison) actually held up to 800 prisoners, and a town was created to support the prison, equipped with all the trappings of any small Ontario town -- church, general store, post office, nosy people too involved in your affairs, an unspoken feud between the French and English, etc. Inmates would make the bread and even shave the prison guards.... not to mention they made all the benches and tables for Ontario's provincial parks, and probably a great deal more. Actually, it sounded like it could have easily become an intentional community / eco-village. Thousands of people lived their lives there from 1914 to 1975. The town of Burwash was now erased from the land, and the lives and history of the place were forsaken by time and the growth of the bush....

My friend had never done any UE, and so I figured Burwash would be a great intro and also let me explore some old forgotten government history, too.
When I first started researching Burwash, I quickly found out that it was actually now under ownership / management of two guys. "Camp Bison Prison Farm" as it was called, now had a website about accessing the place, and mostly just tried to scare away thieves (and potential urban explorers) -- unless you paid to go there. I still don't know how to feel about this, as the owners don't actually provide any service, and really the waiver is just to cover their own asses. Honestly, you can easily just use SatMaps (Google Earth) and follow your way in there from Highway 69.


The road is just gravel and then rutted, unkempt roads that ends at the perpendicularly traveling CN rail line that goes up to Sudbury (the reason for most of these towns and cities across Ontarrible, actually).

We arrived at the tracks, left the truck, crawled under a grainer, and started wandering down the trail, south-west...



The trail was still pretty wide and easy to walk, but in a few places it was flooded or really muddy. As always in Ontario, the worst part were the bugs. Hordes of mosquitoes and deerflies and horseflies swarmed us almost immediately and didn't relent their strafing runs at our heads. I had lent a bug jacket to my friend to wear, and honestly, in Ontario's spring or summer it's essential (especially for someone who isn't used to the bush). Almost an hour later, we came around a corner and found an old farmer's gate...


We rounded the corner ... and there she was... windowless black windows peering out over a silent landscape. Camp Bison, Burwash Prison.....
Total stillness loomed ahead of us...


We reached the front door, and noted already the empty spray-cans and graffiti which seemed to almost grow out of the place like more of mother-nature's encroaching wilderness.

We went inside...





The place was definitely fucked up, and I suspected this was especially from 30-40 years of squat-camps and bush-parties, but some of it was definitely just from the weather.... and the building was definitely dangerous in places....


Some parts of the prison, especially the basement, were fucking terrifying. My friend didn't want to go down into the darkness, but eventually I convinced her (because actually I was too scared to go alone)...

Suddenly, she screamed!!! -----

She swore she saw a ghost......... a ghostly face in the darkness.....

We ran-the-fuck-back upstairs.




But really, the best part of the prison was the graffiti -- years and years of tags and rambling revolutionary thoughts of punks and schizoid spirals of some Jesus-freak, it was fascinating to follow the threads going back years and years, sometimes hilarious, and really beautiful, too.....



And of course, in typical North-Ontarian fashion, Buddy-Bear-Arms came up to the roof and had a bit of skeet shoot. Looks like alot of fun with a 12 gauge -- maybe would have been better to take the spent shells out with him, but then again, it's kind of interesting to see up there, too.

*THOW! -- THOW! -- THOW!*


Eventually the sun was starting to get low, and we knew we still had an hour-plus-hike out to the truck.

Goodbye Burwash.

Next time, I want to go back with a group of wild folks and have some drinks and a fire, and dance around with the ghosts and the mosquitoes...



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Dec 1, 2019
Nice dude. I put this place on my list of places I might check out. Nice writing and pics, and I'm glad you mentioned the bug problem too.
Just wanna say its better to cross trains at the ends rather than under. Its easier and safer.

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