Former Dorchester jail opens for business on Airbnb
A 100-year-old former jail in Dorchester, N.B., has reopened, but not as a place to house inmates – this time as an Airbnb.
Bill Steele bought the jail in March for $159,000. He has decided to list six cells on the online housing website.
Along with the building comes its notorious history. The building was built in 1800, but it closed 20 years ago. The jail was the site of the last double execution in the province.
The Bannister brothers were hung at the jail in 1976 for the murder of three members of the same family in Moncton.
“They hung the two boys in the front and then they buried them in the back,” says Steele.
There are rumors that the jail is haunted. A life-like mannequin lies on a gurney at the end on a cell block.
“I thought he'd be good for the jail. He’s not real. A lot of people think he's real but he's going to be resting here. This is from the movie SAW, still got the blood stains,” says Steele.
Steele plans to do some renovations but he wants to keep the jail experience as authentic as he can for those who pay to sleep there.
“I want people to stay. I want to show them a death row. It's a real death row. They used to bring people from the pen and hang them,” says Steele.
The former jail welcomed its first Airbnb guest on Friday. There are currently six cells open. Once the spot is fully operational, there will be up to 16 cells in which people can stay.
Steele says he's already taking bookings from across the country. A night in the jail costs about $35.
With files from CTV’s Jonathan MacInnis