Echoes of 'The Shawshank Redemption'


Total Spook Factor: Although you might recognize the Ohio State Reformatory (aka Mansfield Reformatory) as the film location for the Academy Award-nominated flick,'The Shawkshank Redemption', the reformatory's past isn't so full of inspiring tales. During its near century of operation as a prison, hundreds of inmates died in the reformatory, whether from disease or violence, and still rest in numbered graves on the property. Stories of prisoners hanging themselves, setting themselves on fire and murdering each other fill Ohio State Reformatory's history.

Take a Tour: From May through September, you can take a number of tours, including self-guided weekday tours, Hollywood tours and periodic ghost walks. Throughout October, you also can take the Haunted Prison Experience, which is a "haunted house style tour, complete with actors, animatronics, and props, designed to intentionally scare guests."

Plan a Paranormal Investigation: From early March to mid-September, you can book a spot on one of the reformatory's ghost hunts, which allow for overnight paranormal investigations (8PM-5AM) for individuals or groups. The ghost hunts cost $70 per person and usually sell out far in advance. To keep investigations clear of audio interference, no cell phones or two-way radios are allowed on the hunts. For private ghost walks or overnight ghost hunts, please contact the reformatory -- prices range based on the number of participants, with a 100-person maximum.

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