With its towering, stone façade and secure iron-gated sprawling grounds, the Ohio State Reformatory leaves no room for any imaginative thoughts by passersby debating if it’s a host to a rich history – a history well over a century old, echoes resounding down its now deserted depilated halls. This chataeuesque structure’s renowned reputation reached far from the small town of Mansfield, Ohio where it stands as movie producers and powers-that-be multiple times recognized its beauty and used the site to film such movies as, ‘Shawshank Redemption’ and ‘Air Force One’. The remnants left behind along-the-way aren’t just movie props and pieces of misfit, forgotten furniture but also reverberations of memories seared in time as well as ‘feelings’ from prisoners, workers, and victims who passed thru the halls years and years ago! A history filled with the usual that comes from caging the most heinous-of-criminals, but added are suicides, successful escapes that lead to the murder of a group of people in a nearby cornfield, a warden’s wife ‘accidentally’ dying from a single gun shot to her head deemed an accident blaming a shelf in the closet despite rumor had told a totally different story.
But the Ohio State Reformatory wasn’t only just a state-of-art, uniquely architectural marvel for the 1890s with a history; its the ideals of those who lead the prison toward reformation which made it stand out in its community. Their unique, fresh approach MAY be what now drives thousands to the prison paying simply to stay beneath its roof for one night over a century later.
What was this prison designed around – spiritual reformation.
The staff was taught – spiritual reformation.
The building was built to accommodate – spiritual reformation; with an ornate chapel built inside within its walls. Officials mandated all inmates were to worship regularly, ALL inmates!
Was it this approach, forced spiritual reformation, which has possibly opened portals within these walls, doors to the paranormal? Well, they not only built a spiritual temple but forced the most vile to ‘worship’ at its alter! Sounds toxic to this chick!
Yep, I’ll confess, I’ve paid to visit this site on numerous occasions as to investigate and NEVER have I left disappointed or empty-handed either. The EVP from this place – off the charts!
Each time I visited we had to check-in and quickly were taken on a quick tour of the magnanimous structure for sun went down, so did all of the lighting. There are endless walls peeling their paint, cells in disarray, floors showered with debris and droppings from years of wear & tear. Almost every barred window has had their glass shattered out. [proof that when this prison closed its doors in the 1990s, it did just that – closed the doors and no one ever looked back!]
When the tour is over, you’ve freedom to roam the halls until sun-up.
First stop, the chapel: now a shell of its former self, yet has deemed to be a hot spot for paranormal activity.
EVP from the Chapel: “the bathroom” (version slightly altered)
EVP from the THE CHAPEL: “the bathroom” (VERY slowed down)<
EVP from the THE CHAPEL: “criminal” (unaltered)
Next stop, through the halls and into the ‘Hole’ as to sit alone for an hour with a candle lit sitting in the cell where a cellmate once committed suicide by dowsing himself with paint thinner and igniting himself with a match.
EVP from THE SOLITARY, aka HOLE: “flash burn” (slightly altered)
Off to my last and favorite spot, the Warden’s quarters – not simply because it’s a MAJOR hot spot for paranormal activity but also because it was one of the few spots renovated for the filming.
EVP from THE WARDEN’S QUARTERS: “to see the warden” (unaltered)
Oh and if you you dare visit, remember bats use radar so when one comes flying straight at you, DON’T MOVE AN INCH!
Hugs & happy hunting …
P.S.: Initially posted in October 26, 2011 – bumping-up.