- Destination Mansfield – Richland County

Haunted Bissman Building

Haunted Bissman Building
  • Gift Shop
  • Events
  • Wifi access
  • Lincoln Highway
  • Shawshank Trail
  • Haunted Mansfield




193 N. Main St.
Mansfield, OH 44902

193 N. Main St.

The Bissman Building, along with all of its Gothic Romantic styling, was commissioned by Peter Bissman in 1886. Engineered and constructed by the same contractors as the Ohio State Reformatory, it was the home to Peters’ wholesale grocery distribution center up until the mid 1970’s. The 50,000sq.ft. warehouse was built in order for The Bissman Company to expand its flourishing business.
The Bissman Company supplied Mansfield and the surrounding area with a broad variety of grocery products including Bissman’s Red Band Coffee, hand rolled Cuban cigars, private labeled canned goods, and a wide array of alcoholic beverages. It was a landmark the day it opened and remains today, a lasting treasure to the community.
Each morning the streets would be filled with the aroma of hand roasted coffee beans then like clockwork, at the end of a long work day, the smell of freshly roasted peanuts wandered throughout the flats, enticing the locals to enjoy a beverage, preferably one delivered that day by The Bissman Company.
The Building still buzzes today with activity. Home to Pirate Printing, a Bissman Family owned printing and embroidery business and the host to private ghost hunts, ghost walks and Shawshank tours. The building has been the back drop for several movies, including The Shawshank Redemption and The Dead Matter. The perfect industrial feel has lent itself to multiple music videos and with its long standing reputation for paranormal activity; it was featured in an episode of Ghost Hunters (T.A.P.S.) as well as two episodes of My Ghost Story.


The eerie façade of the Bissman Building was used as the entrance to the Brewer Hotel where Brooks (James Whitmore) and Red (Morgan Freeman) stayed after they were paroled from Shawshank. However, only Red made it out of the boarding house alive, due to the unfortunate death of Brooks who hung himself.
Looking south from the Bissman Building toward downtown Mansfield, you will notice the City Mills building; this is the corner where Brooks tried to navigate traffic to reach the Brewer Hotel.
The front office inside the Bissman Building was used as the Portland Daily Bugle Editor’s office. The original glass that was placed in the door by the movie production crew still remains.
When you visit The Bissman Building you will also be able to see memorabilia from the filming of the movie, such as one of the bottles of Bohemian style beer that they drank on the roof of the license plate building, Ben Bissman supplied them to the props department with the help of the Stroh’s Brewery. In addition to an authentic Stroh’s bottle, there are also exclusive photos, signed contracts, and pay stubs that the Hollywood production company issued to Bissman family members that were extras in the movie.! Visit the Brewer Hotel/ Portland Daily Bugle, all in one stop, and get exclusive access to limited edition Shawshank merchandise, not found at any other Shawshank Location!

In 2007 the building was leased to a major film production company, the Midnight Syndicate, for the production of The Dead Matter, a vampire movie that was released in October of 2008.
The Haunted Bissman Building, nicknamed as Dead Souls Studio, has a long history of haunted activities and has hosted ghost hunters from all directions. Interested in paranormal tours of the Haunted Bissman Building?  Contact Joe James at 419-295-5002 or paranormalace@ymail.com

See the Haunted Bissman Building on My Ghost Story below.

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