Since it's Halloween, I wanted to tell you about one of Ohio's most haunted attractions, the Ohio State Reformatory located in Mansfield, Ohio. The reformatory was opened in 1886 and thousands of inmates served time there until it closed in 1990. The prison does have a spooky history, seeing has how many inmates died while incarcerated. Some of them died of illness, others committed suicide, and a few were reported to have been murdered. There is a cemetery at the prison where more than 200 bodies have been buried. Some famous murders occurred here when two former prisoners were released and went on a killing spree. The murderers were dubbed the "Mad Dog" killers and one of their victims was the farmer who worked at the Reformatory. His wife and daughter were also murdered on site. As if this wasn't creepy enough, the warden's own wife died within the prison's walls as well. She accidentally got shot when a hidden gun became dislodged and went off. The warden himself died of a heart attack right in his own office while he was on the job.
Since the prison is a creepy place, it is the ideal location to celebrate Halloween. The haunted prison experience is available to those interested every fall. Personally, I don't think I could handle it! I scare very easily and am the girl everyone laughs at in movies because I shut my eyes and plug my ears during the frightening parts. I've also been known to jump out of my seat several times in movies that aren't even horror flicks, so the idea that I have to pay for people to jump out at me in real life sounds like torture.
Besides the haunted prison experience, there are also options to go on ghost hunts in the prison. The ghost hunts are available year round at the cost of $70 a person, and you are given the freedom to explore the prison on your own. These are done from 8pm to 5am, so you stay overnight! The Ohio State Reformatory has been featured on the show Ghost Hunters and many who have done the overnight stay have reported hearing footsteps, hearing conversations when no one is there, and seeing figures. A friend of mine was trying to get me to do this, but I'm way too chicken. I did go on a historical tour of the reformatory during the day and that was enough for me!
Here are some pictures of the former prison...You may actually recognize it, as it was featured in several Blockbuster hits such as The Shawshank Redemption and Con Air. Interestingly enough, the prison can also be booked for weddings and bridal shows.
How will you be celebrating Halloween?