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Charles Street Jail

Haunted Guide to the Charles Street Jail

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The Charles Street Jail is an infamous landmark in Boston, MA. The jail was designed by renowned architect Gridley James Fox Bryant in 1851. This strange building was originally used as a prison for over 100 years before being transformed into the luxurious Liberty Hotel in Boston. This former jail is known for its haunted past and interesting history. So, it’s time to explore The Liberty Hotel and discover the secrets that lie within the walls of this infamous prison and the stories behind the Charles Street Jail and discover why it’s a favorite haunted building for both locals and tourists. Let’s start with the haunted history of the Charles Street Jail.

History of the Charles Street Jail

In 1851, Boston witnessed the construction of one of its most infamous historic places, the Charles Street Jail. This imposing structure, a masterpiece of 220 cells of Quincy granite, each piece of granite’s size 8 by 10 feet (2.4 m × 3.0 m), stood tall and proud in the heart of Boston city. It was built in the form of a cross. The design of the jail featured four distinct wings that splayed out from a central octagonal rotunda, soaring to a staggering height of 90 feet.

This architecture was not just for a unique structure. The layout was meticulously planned to allow the segregation of prisoners by gender and category of offense.

Each wing housed a multitude of cells, each relatively small and claustrophobic, contributing to the frightening aura that pervades the site to this day. However, the designers granted their inhabitants some respite, packing the structure with no less than 30 arch-shaped windows, each towering 33 feet high. These windows served a dual purpose; they provided much-needed ventilation and allowed natural light to filter in, a small concession in an otherwise bleak existence.

Guests’ Haunting Experiences in The Liberty Hotel

The story has it that The Liberty Hotel was once a jailhouse, and some believe that the spirits of prisoners and guards still roam the halls of the hotel. People have claimed to see ghosts in this old jail-turned-hotel in Boston.

Be on the lookout for glimpses of a figure, said to be a former prisoner, who has been spotted by guests and staff in various locations of the jail hotel. But it’s not just apparitions that have been seen at The Liberty Hotel. There have also been reports of ghostly peeping Toms, who seem to be keeping an eye on guests from the windows of the upper floors.

As you make your way through the hotel, you need to wander the kitchen area. Many visitors have reported hearing voices calling out orders for items that are not on the menu. Could it be former prisoners seeking revenge for their last meals? No one knows, but those voices still exist.

And don’t be surprised if you come across full-body apparitions of guards and prisoners, dressed in their 19th-century uniforms. Some have even claimed to hear the sounds of heavy boots marching through the halls.

These spirits are said to be friendly and non-threatening. Many guests have described feeling a sense of peace and comfort as if the spirits are simply going about their daily routines.

Last but not least, if you’re brave enough to stay at this jail hotel in Boston, be prepared to experience the ghostly shadows and voices and keep your eyes and ears open, for you never know what ghostly encounters await you at The Liberty Hotel.


If you’re curious about the spooky and ghostly stories, you won’t want to miss Boston’s Ghosts & Gravestones Tour. This tour takes you on a deep dive into the city’s haunted past, visiting some of the scariest spots in Boston. Your tour guide will regale you with tales of the ghosts that haunt the city and reveal the darker side of Boston’s history. Whether you’re into history, fascinated by ghost stories, or just want a different way to see the city, this tour offers an exciting adventure into Boston’s ghostly history.

boston ghost tour trolley


When did Charles Street Jail close?

The Charles Street Jail, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Boston, Massachusetts, was officially closed in 1990. Recognized for its architectural significance, the building has since been repurposed and now operates as the luxury Liberty Hotel. Despite its current status as a luxurious hotel, the Charles Street Jail has a dark and intriguing history.

When did The Liberty Hotel Boston open?

The Liberty Hotel in Boston, the former Charles Street Jail repurposed into a luxury hotel, officially opened its doors to the public in September 2007. It marked a radical transformation from a historical jailhouse to a hospitality haven, retaining its architectural grandeur while offering modern comforts and luxury amenities.

What is the destination fee at The Liberty Hotel?

As of the most recent update, The Liberty Hotel in Boston charges a destination fee of $25 per night. This fee is typically added to the guest’s bill upon checkout, providing access to a range of amenities and services during their stay. However, it’s always a good idea to confirm the current fees and what they include directly on the website of the hotel, as these details can change.

When did The Liberty Hotel stop being a jail?

The transformation of The Liberty Hotel from a jail to its current state took place in the early 2000s. The conversion process began in 2001, and the hotel officially opened its doors to guests in 2007. This marked the end of its use as a jail and the beginning of its new identity as a luxurious and historically preserved hotel in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts.

How many floors is The Liberty Hotel Boston?

The Liberty Hotel in Boston, an architectural wonder that once served as the Charles Street Jail, stands 16 stories tall with 298 rooms and suites. Each floor is filled with the charm of the past intricately entwined with the comforts of the present, providing guests with a unique and memorable stay.