(Mansfield Reformatory)

100 Reformatory Road, Mansfield, OH

(419) 522-2644

Status: Historical Former Prison


Public and Private Paranormal Investigations Available


Please Share Your Experiences
Name Your Experiences @ Mansfield REformatory Submit

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Dowdel

The 6 Photos Above are Courtesy of BreezeBabyBrie


The Reformatory was built on the grounds of a Civil War training camp.

This facility was built between 1886 and 1910 and remained open until 1972 when the Ohio State Correctional Facility was opened on the site. The site was completely closed down in 1990 – by a United States Federal Court Ruling - and since 1995 has been under control by the Mansfield Reformatory Society who first cleaned the buildings and then brought them back to the state they were in when the Reformatory was open.

On September 15, 1896 the facility welcomed its first 150 prisoners.

The facility’s first interest was to not just reform the boys who came under their care but to actually turn their lives around and make them into productive members of society again. This was not to work out as planned. Stories of torture, despair and horrible abuse began to circulate about the facility. In later years conditions do seem to have changed, with things like radio music pumped into the cells.

One of the warden’s wives was killed went by an accidental discharge of a pistol while she was reaching for a jewellery box. Apparently, there were many who wanted to blame the warden for her death but all the facts pointed toward it being an accident. The warden died years later from a heart attack and both he and his wife are still said the haunt the halls of this site.

This site was featured on ‘The Scariest Places On Earth” and “Ghost Hunters”. It is also the location the film “The Shawshank Redemption” was filmed.

This site is open for historical tours as well as ghost tours in mid-summer. At Halloween it is converted into a giant staged “Haunted House” attraction.

Over 200 people died while this facility was open including 2 guards who were killed during escape attempts.


Paranormal Activity

In the old administration section, the apparitions of the former warden and his wife are seen, as well there is a smell of roses and cold ghostly winds in this area as well.

Other reported activity: apparitions of former inmates and staff are seen; phantom horrible smells; disembodied voices and entire conversations; light anomalies; phantom footsteps; feelings of being watched, not wanted and not being alone; screams, crying, bangs and other loud noises and the intense feeling of sadness and despair.

Both public ghost hunts and private paranormal investigations are offered here.