When it was built in 1886, at a cost then of $1.3 million, the Ohio State Reformatory (also known as the Mansfield Reformatory) was the largest in America. It evolved into a state penitentiary over time, and housed over 150,000 individual residents, as many as 3,500 at a time, from death-row inmates to adolescent petty thieves, before closing in 1990. The state built a modern correctional facility next door, and began tearing down the reformatory, before being stopped by local preservationists. Efforts are underway to restore the building, and it is used occasionally as a film location and for ghost hunts. Portraits of Lenin and Stalin loom over the central guard room, left from the filming of a Harrison Ford feature film, Air Force One. Set dressings from the Shawshank Redemption are also visible inside.
Located at 100 Reformatory Road, Mansfield, Ohio 44905 419-522-2644
On November 6, 1950, Helen Glattke, the wife of the prison superintendent knocked down a loaded pistol off a closet shelf and shot herself through the left lung. The next day she died in the Mansfield hospital. In February 1959 the superintendent himself died from a heart attack in his office. An inmate hung himself in his cell in 1955 and another burned himself to death in his cell with turpentine and paint thinner stolen from the prison furniture shop. Two convicts were once left in a cramped single-occupancy solitary confinement cell overnight; in the morning only one walked out. The other was stuffed under the bunk. In 1957 a riot put 120 men into the 20 solitary cells for 30 day stints. There is also a bizarre story of a ghostly running man who has been seen. According to historical records it may be a former inmate who's throat was slit so badly that when he ran, his head literally bobbed from side to side gushing blood like a geyser as he tried to get to the washroom.
Other reports include shadow people, orbs, unusual mists, voices, slamming cell doors, batteries being completely drained, numerous EVPs and phantom footsteps. Our investigation was conducted on Sunday, July 19, 2009 and included Dale Kaczmarek, Stan Suho, Jim Graczyk, Joe Tito, Joey Tito, Nicole Tito, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Lisa Krick, Dave Guss and Art Schramm.
Dale, Jim and Art performed a walk through on the lower floor of the East Cell Block using only the LCD screen of the Sony Nightshot camera for illumination and reported cold spots near the end just after hearing a noise behind. While returning to the Bullpen Area, Dale saw what appeared to be a shadow person on the second tier with the naked eye. Upon reaching the area Jim took a Infrared digital trap camera picture and even though it's slightly blurred, a dark shadowy figure can indeed be seen standing between two cell doors. This was noticed until the images were later downloaded into a laptop for analysis. Later while meeting with part of the group on the fifth tier in preparation for the running man, Dale encountered unusually high EMF spikes on a Tri-Field Natural EM Meter at the exact same time that a digital trap camera picture was taken indicating a temperature reading of 65 degrees! This was by far the lowest temperature recorded in the evening as the normal ambient temperature in the building was between 70-74 degrees and this was encountered on the fifth tier close to the ceiling where hot air usually rises and you would expect temperatures to be somewhat higher and not colder.
A strange whitish mist was captured in Solitary Confinement on a infrared digital trap camera that is seen in only two pictures and then disappears in the next two pictures taken within the same minute! Dave Guss camcorder fell over twice during set up with no one around and nobody had tripped over the cables. Several times Rosemary and Nicole thought they saw a shadow person walk across the hallway in Solitary.
This place definitely lives up to it's reputation of being one of the most
haunted prisons in America and we are already planning a second trip in July of
2010. Any additional findings and evidence will be appended to this file upon
the conclusion of that investigation.
Video Evidence Collected:
A very long inexplicable bang was captured on the audio track of a hand-held camcorder. Loud Bang
While conducting an EVP session in the Shower Room my camcorder mysteriously kept going in and out of focus as though something was walking in front of the automatic focus. I told fellow investigator, Jim Graczyk, to snap a picture with a digital infrared trap camera and just outside of the illumination cast by the IR light to the left hovered a dark shadowy image. You can actually hear me state, "I think I just saw a shadow figure" as I was looking through the LED screen at the time and saw it in real time. Another photograph was taken a few seconds later and it's completely clear. Shadowy Figure
Later the television show Ghost Lab contacted me for possible shadow figure footage for their upcoming episode entitled, "Shadowman". I sent them my raw footage and they later digitally enhanced the footage. What you will see a clip from the actual show. Shadow Enhanced
While setting up static IR cameras near the "toilet room", a loud metal clank sound is heard overheard. There was absolutely no one in that cell block but I and my assistant. Loud clank
While walking through a cellblock using a hand-held IR camera, a loud noise was heard. Noise
Ghost Research Society (www.ghostresearch.org)
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