Ohio State Reformatory

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The prison, defunct since 1990, was the setting for the movie The Shawshank Redemption. It has been used as a setting or featured on many other movies, music videos and TV programs, including Ghost Adventures. Witnesses have experienced shadow figures, slamming cell doors and yelling voices, and female witnesses claim to have been victims of physical attacks by the spirits who linger in this place.

If you've had a paranormal experience here, or have any additional information about this location, please let us know!

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    Geographic Information

    Olivesburg Road
    Mansfield, Ohio
    United States

    Get Directions »
    40.78478399999999, -82.50291900000002
    Richland County, Ohio
    Nearest Towns:
    Lincoln Heights, OH (1.3 mi.)
    Mansfield, OH (1.9 mi.)
    Ontario, OH (4.9 mi.)
    Lucas, OH (7.1 mi.)
    Mifflin, OH (7.3 mi.)
    Lexington, OH (8.4 mi.)
    Shelby, OH (10.7 mi.)
    Ashland, OH (11.3 mi.)
    Bellville, OH (11.4 mi.)
    Crestline, OH (12.2 mi.)


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    Comments (7)

    1. I have only been here twice. Upon my first visit, nothing occurred other than feelings of being watched (easily debunked, as history and expectations lingered.) During my second visit, something bumped into me as if going down the front central staircase. Not enough to move me; however, it was very apparent to me and those with me. Over twenty living present, proving they are not very timid.

    2. Have visited OSR twice, the first trip, we meet and had an interaction with Helen, the Wardens wife who died in November of 1950. she was shot while reaching for an item on the top shelf of her closet, a gun that was placed there by her husband fell, and discharged. The bullet struck her in the chest, she was rushed to the hospital, where she died the next day. We know this because Helen told me when we sat in her room and begun an EVP session. we also captured a mist that took human form, on one of the tiers in the cell block.

    3. This has got to be one of the creepiest places I have been to! The other would be an old metal hospital in Apple Creek, Ohio. But it was torn down after attitudes began to change about condition like that metal hospital and OSR.

      As for OSR, I have been there about 6 times. I have done the tours in the summer and even the ghost hunts. It was hilarious that I have an older friend who is in his 60’s now. During a summer tour, he and his wife went with us and he said he had been there before. We figured on a tour. In reality he was an inmate who was there in his mid 20’s or (mid 1970’s). It was hilarious as he was correcting our tour guide and she stopped and asked if he had been there on previous tour. He said no and he had been a inmate for drugs, a number of assault & battery charges and theft. He really ended up helping the tour guide give details about his time there (36 months) and the history.

      Each time I have been there I have experienced wild things like being touched, shoved, hot and cold sensations, as well as all sorts of noises. A couple of times that I have been there and went to take photos, the batteries were drained not just in my camera, but the spares I had. I have never felt scared or freaked out. But there have been things a like happen like feeling watched, someone whispering in your ear, thinking you saw something or someone… stuff like that.

      I love the architecture and the history of the place, especially with working for the State of Ohio Dept of Transportation (ODOT) I have many friends in Corrections who we are all part of the same union and I have heard lots of stories from some of the older ones. I’m not a ghost hunter with all the fancy high tech equipment and I you don’t need to be! If you are into this sort of stuff I highly recommend checking out the OSR!!!

    4. me and my crew saw the same thing in cell block c of the renformery but we also captured an apparition of something floating from the cell where the man killed himself, there were cells being slammed shut, hair pulling, and a voice calling out someone named Sarah, who works at the reformatory. also on google maps we saw this.

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    Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. HauntedPlaces.org makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.