A ghost is said to have inspired William Pope, age 18, of Chattanooga, Tennessee to make a daring escape from the old jail at Windsor, Ontario—a feat seldom accomplished. The ghost haunted the prison cell where Pope was incarcerated and scared him into making his getaway.
Pope told his story to any interested listeners as he stood in a police lineup in New York City back in August 1934. He was extradited from Canada on a charge of burglary. During his short stint at the Windsor Jail, he stated he saw another prisoner hanged and the man’s body buried under the window of his cell.
That in itself, gave William Pope the motive and desire to remove himself from the prison facility—mainly because he declared the ghost of the prisoner made a habit of sharing the cell with him. Consequently, Pope, during the exercise period in the jail yard scaled a 12 foot wall and made his dramatic escape. Few if any escapes have been documented over the Windsor Jail walls.
Pope could not explain how he climbed over the wall, but he was certain that the ghost somehow gave him the moral courage in his feet. The spirited escapee was later captured by police while swimming in the Detroit River.
The old Windsor Jail, completed with gallows, was constructed in 1925 and opened in 1926. It was designed to hold 101 inmates—91 male and 10 female. It was a maximum security jail sitting on a half-acre of land. It was three stories high and later surrounded by 20 foot cement walls. It is now on the register of historic buildings.
The gallows at Windsor were only used three times. Peter Beyak was hanged for murder on December 6, 1933. His body was buried in a pauper’s grave in an area used at one time as the exercise yard. Is Peter Beyak the ghost of the Windsor Jail?
Haunted Places Examiner: Debe Branning email@example.com