Vaughan Street Jail



Earle Leonard Nelson was housed in the Vaughan Street Jail for about a year, awaiting execution.  In the days leading up to his death, women were often seen lingering outside of the jail, hoping to catch a glimpse of the notorious killer.

A jail guard who oversaw Nelson noted that the prisoner had become fixated on a specific Biblical passage from the Book of Proverbs –

My son, give me thine heart,
and let thine eyes observe my ways.
For a whore is a deep ditch;
and a strange woman is a narrow pit.
She also lieth in wait as for a prey,
and increaseth the transgressors among men.

Earle Leonard Nelson was the thirteenth and final person to be executed at the Vaughan Street Jail since it was built in 1884.  Nelson was executed by hanging at 7:30am on Friday, January 13, 1928, after walking 13 steps to the gallows. 

If you’re feeling very brave…wheel your bike around to the courtyard on the East side of the building…this was where Nelson was executed.  Legend is that on certain nights, he can still be seen, floating eerily as if swinging from a ghostly gallows…

Thank you so much for joining me on the Downtown Ghost Ride!  I hope that you enjoyed learning a little more about some of downtown Winnipeg’s most gruesome and spooky former inhabitants!