Ohio State Reformatory is a historic prison located in Mansfield, Ohio. It was built between 1886 and 1910 (partially by prisoners) and remained in operation until 1990, when it was ordered shut by a United States Federal Court. The Shawshank Redemption was filmed there and is actually the only reason the prison was not demolished. It is famously haunted. Ghost Adventures did an investigation there years ago and caught some evidence.
Fast forward to last weekend (August 7th) and we went on our own paranormal investigation of the prison until 3 am. There was a brief tour and history lesson and then we were unleashed to wander the prison and try to communicate with ghosts. Unfortunately, due to Covid, there was no equipment to rent like advertised but we made due with cell phones, flashlights and disposable cameras. (Disposable cameras are supposedly the best at catching evidence. As someone raised during the era of disposable cameras, I think it’s mostly that the film gets screwed up easily and people claim it’s spooky ghosts.) I went in in full skeptic mode and was not proven wrong. Meaning, we didn’t catch anything. It was SO much fun nonetheless.
Originally, OSR was an actual reformatory for men aged 14-28. They had a 85% success rate of rehabilitating people back into society. It functioned as a small town, where inmates farmed the land and learned a profession (even lock picking apparently) and were released back as functioning members of society. Somewhere along the way, people decided that you could not force people to work and they turned to just locking them in cages day in and day out. The prison was closed due to overcrowding and poor conditions. There are a few famous murders and prisoners who died there but I’ll leave that for your own research and investigations.
We are still waiting on getting the disposable cameras developed but like I implied, I’m not expecting much.
I would recommend this adventure to anyone interested in history and/or ghost hunting. There were a decent amount of other people there so that also infringed on any real attempts of catching evidence. Your ticket prices go directly to preservation of the building and volunteers staff the building for the night. I would 10/10 do it again.