About Burwash/Camp Bison
The town of Burwash was founded around 1914 to house workers from the Burwash Correctional Farm and their families. The town of Burwash had roughly 1, 000 residents who lived in 95 residential units. Burwash had all the amenities of any town, a public school, church, post office, barber shop, tailor shop, sawmill and more.
Urban Exploring the Abandoned Burwash Correctional Centre Camp Bison – PART 1
Okay Guys, in order to tell the tale of our Camp Bison Abandoned Burwash Correctional Centre Overnight Takeover we have to start at the beginning.
Back in the spring of this year RiddimRyder and I decided to to an overnight up the long abandoned Burwash Correctional Centre in Northern Ontario.
You can get permission by the landowners by contacting them, signing a safety waiver and paying $20 per person.
This makes for a relaxed and stress-free experience!
We picked our weekend and before we knew it, that weekend was here!
RiddimRyder Photography and Zenning with Zay were staying at Zays parents cottage, which is basically one hour from where they live and about 3 hours from where I live..so they already had a head start on me.
By the time I arrived at the Zenning with Zay family cottage, the smoke in the air was thick and the whole family was clearly well ahead of me in drinks…I had some catching up to do. I will spare you the rest of these details but I remember going to bed far later than I usually do on a night before a weekend of exploring.
RiddimRyder Photography Zenning with Zay and the rest of the clan stayed up and kept the party going.
On a day of exploring I am usually up and ready to go at 6am…..I woke up at 10am, Riddim, Zay and the whole family were already up and started their day….this is not a good start!
Riddim and I head out for our adventure which starts at an old abandoned hospital, we probably get inside around noon by the time we (I) was one effing around!
Now, we need food, beer, ice, fireworks and more for the night to come…we have a 2 hour drive to Burwash, and once we park my car we have a one hour walk
At approximately 5:30pm RiddimRyder and I finally park my car, we put on our protective bug suits, grab our gear and our heavy ice filled coolers and we start walking.
20 minutes later we realize we are at the wrong place, we parked too far away…back to my car we go and we finally find the proper parking spot.
Approximately 6:30pm…we start the long one hour trek into Camp Bison.
We were warned of a washout on the trail caused by a beaver dam, so when we passed what we THOUGHT was the washout, we continued, until about 40 minutes into the walk, we found the actual washout…a complete and total wash out of the path and we couldn’t find the alternate path.
We pressed on and ended up walking through mosquito infested swamp water that, at some points was above our knees.
The bug suit I bought protected me from the black flies, but it did not protect me from the mosquito death that I was dealing with at this point in time.
Finally, over an hour later we see the prison off in the distance, our boots are heavy, our feet are wet, our legs are wet and we are covered in mosquito bites.
It is at this moment, less that 5 minutes from touching the prison walls, RiddimRyder decides to get out the mosquito repellent he had packed and put some on…”do you want some of this?” says RiddimRyder……
We proceed into the prison, we make our way to the roof, kick off our wet boots, hang our wet socks, we crack open a cold and somewhat shaken beer and we cheers to the adventure that was the walk into Camp Bison, and we cheers to the adventures and laughs that lie ahead!
And then the sun sets on Burwash Correctional Centre
Burwash Correctional Centre Overnight Takeover – Part 2
Before it got too dark, we had to scavenge for fire wood because 1) fire is awesome, 2) we needed to cook our hot dogs 3) it was going to get very cold at night and 4) fire is awesome
We managed to find a few piles of actual fire wood scattered around the place inside and outside, then we went cell by cell looking for anything that can be burned.
We ended up with a beautiful stockpile of kindling, cardboard, firewood and other bits of riff raff that we could burn.
We had settled on the safest place inside to have our fire, it was on a concrete floor with a very high ceiling and large open windows all around us, so the smoke had somewhere to go and where we knew the fire wouldn’t cause any damage to the building.
And then boom – we have a camp fire.
Next, we would explore a little bit and just enjoy having this prison all to ourselves…but then we found two scooters, so we spent a considerable amount of time drunk driving these scooters up and down the hallways..
We stopped to sit and chill, shoot the breeze and eat our hotdogs, which were delicious by the way, along with my cold macaroni salad and cold beers, we were living the good life.
At approximately 12:20pm, we remembered OH SHIT WE BROUGHT FIRE WORKS!
We got up and quickly found the best places to set off our roman candles
1) – In the auditorium
2) – In a long hallway
3) – Off the roof
RiddimRyder Photography has an amazing video of the fireworks being shot down the hallway..
After fireworks, it was GHOST HUNTING time!
See Part 3 below under “Abandoned Camp Bison – The Haunted Burwash Prison Tour – Part 3” for the Haunted Ghost Tour
Finally, it was time to settle down….we’ve had a very long day, we were tired, we were drunk and the adrenalin stores had run dry. We retired to our inside camp where we each found our own prison cell metal beds, there was nowhere to hang our hammocks.
One more hot dog, one more beer and then it was time to let the fire die and fall asleep.
All was quiet and we were in our sleeping bags….then it happened….the NOCTURNAL BIRD CALL, ALL FU#$ING NIGHT there was one bird who would literally not shut up.
I think it was a Whippoorwill as it did not take one breath in between chirps and then for a while he would chill….just long enough for me to finally dose off and it started again.
On a night when I so desperately wanted to get a solid sleep – this asshole Whippoorwill would not have it…next time, I pack ear plugs!
Abandoned Camp Bison – The Haunted Burwash Prison Tour – Part 3
We had been drinking, we were excited and eventually we were drunk!
Add fireworks to the mix and two scooters that we found inside and we have a perfect storm for nonsense!
It was 1:00am and we decided it’s time to investigate this place and see if it is actually as haunted as people say it is. So, armed with flashlights and our cameras we set out for a drunken nighttime explore of this large abandoned prison
We have all heard that Camp Bison may be haunted, and it was time for us to get to the bottom if this and when better than during the witching hour!?
At roughly 1:00am we set out with cameras and flashlights and we explored every inch of this abandoned prison in search ghosts, mist, spirits, cold breezes, anomalies, tickles, giggles or anything else that we can’t explain.
The only breezes were coming from RiddimRyder and there was plenty of tickling and giggling, but it wasn’t coming from any ghosts!
You can see that video here:
So, when it comes to telling the story of RiddimRyder Photography and I at Burwash Correctional Centre, it really only happens in 4 parts.
Part 1 – The Hike in
Part 2 – The Night
Part 3 – The Ghost Hunting
Part 4 – The actual explore and the hike out.
We have covered the first three so I think I am going to close this series off with Part 4.
Abandoned Burwash Correctional Centre Camp Out – Part 4
I woke up at around 10am after such a terrible sleep, earlier mention of the nocturnal bird, add to that the drop in temperature, the strange noises RiddimRyder makes in his sleep, my own snoring waking me up, the uncomfortable metal bed and having to pee alot……it was not a great sleep.
RiddimRyder was already up and shooting, I woke up, shook off the cobwebs and ate my breakfast which consisted of hard boiled eggs, a pepperoni stick, a stick of cheese and a store bought Tim Hortons Iced Coffee.
My throat was so hoarse from breathing in the soot and ashes all night as the fire died down, if you watch the video you can see my condition just after I woke up.
So now, it was time to get to work and explore the abandoned Burwash prison, document it in video, in 360 and in photos.
Riddim and I went separate ways and occasionally bumped into eachother and at one point we were joined by a man and woman who decided to hike in and spend a bit of time at the prison. We joked that he brought her there to kill her and dump the body but us being there threw a kink in that plan.
I started by shooting video and 360 of the whole building and grounds, then I had to do it all over again for photos – I don’t like to shoot video and then stop for photos…so I did it all twice.
At roughly 2:00pm Riddim and I posed for a crew shot together at the main door and with that, it was time to pack our gear and make the hike back to the car…a one hour walk.
As we departed we heard the sound of an ATV, it turned out to be Dave, the man who owns the property. He immediately had his guard up assuming that we were trespassing and had not paid the $20 fee. As soon as we told him we spoke with Josh, paid the fee and signed the waiver he immediately changed his tune.
He did not offer to drive us back to the car on the ATV’s but he did tell us how to avoid the flooding and washed out trail.
Between the two of us RiddimRyder and I had 1 Gatorade, 1 Pabst Blue Ribbon, 1 pack of sliced peaches and 1 protein shake…..we had to stop frequently as we were tired, hungover and dehydrated. Luckily we were not as heavy, having drank all the beer, eaten all the food and dumped all the ice – although I was wishing I had kept some of the ice.
One foot in front of the other and finally we could see the train tracks in the distance and we were almost there. We passed two girls who were on their way in, we warned them that the owner was there and he would charge them each $20, and that they still had about 45 mins of walking ahead of them.
They proceeded and then about 10 minutes later we spotted them walking back behind us, they had given up!
Back to the car, the air conditioning cranked, boots changed for shoes and a warm gatorade that we had left in the car….our adventure at Burwash Prison Farm was completed.
This one was more about the fun and the experience than exploring an abandoned place and there aren’t many people I would like to do that trip with other than my best pal RiddimRyder Photography.
We had a blast, we didn’t whine or complain, we just went with it and made the best out of every moment…..we said we will never do it again, but if he said let’s go back to Burwash….then we’re going back to Burwash!