Where History Meets Hollywood

Last weekend my family and I drove down to Mansfield, Ohio to tour the former Ohio State Reformatory, also known as the Mansfield Reformatory.  If you are thinking “that looks oddly familiar”, then you’re probably right because the former prison was also the set of the film The Shawshank Redemption.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

This historic site is also one of Ohio’s most haunted locations; it was featured on both Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures.  Every fall the reformatory hosts ghost tours and there is even an option to spend the night at the prison.  We took the standard “Hollywood Tour” and that took us to the most popular rooms seen in The Shawshank Redemption.  Although, I hope to come back for a haunted tour before Halloween.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

The tour was extra interesting because our tour guide was a former inmate at The Ohio State Reformatory, therefore provided us with unimaginable details on what it was like as a prisoner in the late 1960s.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

The entire structure is remarkable and worth seeing if ever traveling to Ohio.  The area is beyond massive, measuring about 250,000 square feet–that’s over four times the size of The White House.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

 There’s a lot of walking and stair climbing throughout the tour with a fair warning for those scared of heights as well.  At one point we were 6 stories high.

The writing is from a famous scene from Shawshank and has since been left untouched.


Processed with VSCO with s2 preset
Lil Wayne gave this cell a makeover for his “Go DJ” music video.

The reformatory closed its doors in December of 1990 and the state of Ohio had plans to demolish the building after The Shawshank Redemption wrapped up filming.  The prison was eventually bought out and is now maintained by The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society, undergoing restoration.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

Say hello on Instagram!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: