The Ohio State Reformatory

Located in Mansfield, Ohio this historic prison was built between 1886 and 1910 and remained in operation until 1990. The prison was closed as the result of a prisoners' class action suit citing overcrowding and inhumane conditions. The prison has been the site of many movies, most famously “Shawshank Redemption”. 

During its 94 years as a working prison, 154,000 inmates passed through the gates of the Ohio State Reformatory. Many died of diseases like influenza and tuberculosis, some went mad, others hung themselves and at least one inmate lit himself on fire. Just outside the reformatory stand 215 numbered graves, a vivid testament to the harsh reality of prison life. 

The ghosts of these violent and maltreated men are not easily silenced. Visitors and tour guides have been pushed and punched by unseen forces. As with other haunted locations, many claim to feel an inexplicable chill while on prison grounds. Additionally, witnesses have heard cell doors slam and seen dark apparitions. Even the road leading to the Ohio State Reformatory seems haunted. Local legend suggests it is the ghost of Phoebe Wise, a notorious Mansfield recluse.


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