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With the cornerstone laid in 1886, this castle-like prison was designed as a reformatory for young offenders.  Five major motion pictures have been filmed on location including “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Air Force One”.  Abandoned in 1990, the original cell-blocks and administration areas remain intact. Shawshank Trail Bus Tours are now available!




The Ohio State Reformatory was used as the fictional Shawshank Prison in New England in the movie. Make sure to take the Hollywood Tour at the Reformatory.  The warden’s office, Brooks’ hotel room, the parole board room and even the replica carving on the ceiling that reads, “Brooks was here. So was Red” are on display. The hole that Andy dug through his cell wall to escape is also on display as well as the tunnel he crawled through. Chocolate syrup, saw dust and water were in the tunnel to mimic an actual sewer pipe.  Look for replica standups of Red, Andy, Warden Norton, Heywood and Brooks inside the Reformatory for a photo opportunity!  Visit for information on all filming sites.

General Scoop & History: With the cornerstone laid in 1886, this castle-like prison was designed as a reformatory for young offenders. One of the top five largest castle-like structures in the USA, the Reformatory houses the world’s tallest free-standing steel cell block (6 tiers; 12 ranges, 600 cells).  Abandoned in 1990, the original cell-blocks and administration areas remain intact. Motion pictures filmed on location include The Shawshank Redemption, Escape Plan 3: Devil’s Station, Air Force One, Harry and Walter Go To New York and Tango and Cash. Music videos include Awake by Godsmack and Go DJ by Lil Wayne.

Haunted Testimonials & Tidbits:  There’s a guard killed in Solitary Confinement back in 1932 that still does his rounds. He’s been known to jab people with his nightstick and push guests. The 3rd floors of the administration wings are known for shadows and footsteps. The activity is always changing.

There’s not an area in the building that people haven’t experienced something over the years. Footsteps are very common. Shadow people are seen. Audible voices/whispers are common. Physical interactions like being touched, hair pulled, being grabbed/scratched, happen often.

What To Expect:  Paranormal investigations at the Ohio State Reformatory provides a unique way to experience the building’s macabre history. Most of the paranormal programs are conducted in the evening with the guidance of a knowledgeable tour guide.  Investigations includes Public Ghost Hunts, Private Paranormal Investigations, Ghost Walks, and Special Paranormal Events.  Ghost hunting equipment, books, and merchandise are available through our Museum Store.

During a Ghost Hunt, you are free to roam any area of the Reformatory except those areas blocked off by “caution” tape, chains or locks. Admission includes access to the building from 8pm until 3am and a late dinner of pizza and soda. Flashlights are recommended. You are on your own to investigate; there is no guide. The building contains hazards like steep steps, uneven surfaces and lead-based paint.

Seen On:  The Shawshank Redemption movie; Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures”, “Scariest Places on Earth” & “101 Things To Do Before You Die”. The SyFy Channel’s “Ghost Hunter’s Academy” & “Ghost Hunters”. Fox Family Channel’s “Scariest Stories on Earth”.

Hours, Pricing & Contact:

Public Ghost Hunts– Have you heard the dark, harrowing stories of the Historic Ohio State Reformatory? Now is the time to experience the sinister tales for yourself. Get your adrenaline pumping by exploring the 130-year-old Gothic structure with your adventurous friends. $70 per person and includes access to the building from 7pm until 3am and a late dinner of pizza and soda. Complimentary water, soda, coffee and hot chocolate available throughout.

Ghost Walks travel through the dark halls and corridors of the Reformatory as you are taken on a 2 hour guided tour to the hot spots where reports have been made about paranormal activity. Hear about what people have experienced and the stories of murder and death that cause many to believe the prison is haunted.  Ghost Walk from 8pm-10pm.  Adults 18 and older $25.00,  Youth 13-17 with adult $20.00.

Private Paranormal Investigations: $2,400 (Fri/Sat) for 30 people or less and $80 per person for more than 30 people (maximum 100). Sun-Thurs private tours are $1,200 for 15 or fewer people or $80 per person for 15-100 people.  18 years or older.

Escape from Blood Prison (Halloween event):  Late September-the first week in November, 2020.  Every Halloween the Ohio State Reformatory dares anyone to try and make it through the famous prison for their annual Halloween event.
Thursday-Sunday. Thurs- 6-11; Fri 6-midnight; Sat 6-midnight; Sun 6-10. General Admission $; Speed Pass $ and Lightning Pass $.

Contact Hallie at at the Reformatory for all paranormal investigations and events at 419-522-2644  or

Visit for information on all Haunted sites.

Walk the same halls as history’s most infamous prisoners. Immerse yourself into the foundation that formed The Shawshank Redemption. Whether you’re hunting for the paranormal or simply looking to tour the beautiful architecture, you can find it here at The Ohio State Reformatory.
With the cornerstone laid in 1886, this castle-like prison was designed as a reformatory for young offenders.  Five major motion pictures have been filmed on location including “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Air Force One.”  Abandoned in 1990, the original cell-blocks and administration areas remain intact.  Museum Gift Shop & Museum.
The Reformatory does house many sets of stairs and some parts of the Reformatory will be unavailable to those requiring handicap accessibility.  The building is equipped with a chair lift, which provides access to the Museums & Museum Store areas. Handicapable patrons, as well as those with limited mobility, may ask for a customized “Cell Block Tour” of the ground level of the East and West Cell Blocks, the Bull Pen, Mini-Bullpen, Central Guard Room, Lower East Diagonal, & Solitary Confinement.
Josh Armstrong
Fax: 419-522-8492 or email
100 Reformatory Rd.
Mansfield, OH 44905

Tour Information

  • Group Tour Price: $12.00 per person-20 person minimum ($240)
  • Payment Policy: Payment in advance
  • Hours: by appointment
  • Reservations Required:  Yes
  • Tour Length:  1 hour to 2 hours, flexible
  • Motorcoach Parking: on premises
  • Complimentary Policy: Driver and escort
  • Restrooms Available: Women 1, Men 1

With the cornerstone of this unique facility laid in 1886, this castlelike prison was designed as a reformatory for young offenders. Abandoned in 1990, the original cell blocks and administration areas remain intact.

Four major motion pictures have been filmed on location, including “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Air Force One”. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this non-traditional meeting space lends itself to unforgettable events. The central guard room is the most used space and offers a grand appearance that keeps any meeting lively.

Amenities: Internet Access


Rita Miller-Bunker, Guest Service Coordinator

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Width By
Guard Room 4500 50′ x 90′ 250 200 N/A N/A
East Diagonal 250 200 N/A N/A
Wardens Dinning Room N/A 15 15 N/A

Largest Meeting Room:
4500 Sq. Feet

Total Meeting Space:
4500 Sq. Feet

Dinner Seating Capacity:

Theater Style Seating Capacity:


To redeem a RACE DEAL, show current race ticket and ask for RACE DEAL, showing printed or mobile version of RACE DEALS.

$5 off Admission

Ohio State Reformatory

100 Reformatory Rd.
Mansfield, OH 44905


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