The Ohio State Reformatory, also known as the Mansfield Reformatory, is a historic prison located in Mansfield, Ohio. It was built between 1886 and 1910 and remained in operation until 1990, when a United States Federal Court ruling ordered the facility to be closed.
The history of the Ohio State Reformatory began in 1861, the field where the reformatory would be built was used as a training camp for Civil War soldiers. It was originally meant to be a halfway point between the Boys Industrial School in Lancaster and the State Penitentiary in Columbus which was intended to house young first-time offenders. Construction began in 1886 and remained under construction until 1910 due to funding problems which caused construction delays. The original architect for the design was Levi T. Scofield from Cleveland, who used three architectural styles; Victorian Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque and Queen Anne. Scofield designed the reformatory with these unique styles to help encourage inmates to become reborn back into their spiritual lives. The creation and construction of the entire building was entrusted to well-known architect F.F. Schnitzer, whose name also appears on the cornerstone. In 1891 the name was changed from Intermediate Penitentiary to Ohio State Reformatory.
Most of the grounds and support buildings, including the outer wall, have been demolished since the closing. In 1995, the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society was formed. They have turned the prison into a museum and conduct tours to help fund grounds rehabilitation projects and currently work to stabilize the buildings against further deterioration.
The East Cell Block is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest free standing steel cell block in the world at six tiers high.
The prison has been used in many movies, documentaries, and music videos. The most noted movie would be "The Shawshank Redemption". Other movies were "Tango & Cash", "Air Force One", and "Harry and Walter Go to New York". Some of the music videos done there were by Godsmack, Marilyn Manson, and Lil Wayne. It was also featured in multiple episodes for the TV Show "Ghost Hunters" as well as a few other paranormal TV Shows.
In August of 2017, Bryan and Jackie attended an event there that had special guests Dave Tango and Steve Gonsalves of Ghost Hunters there. While this was Jackie's third time visiting the prison, it was Bryan's first time. And as usual, the prison did not disappoint!
During the investigation, Bryan smelled the rose perfume in the warden's quarters bathroom. It was said that the wife would bath in rose water and people still occasionally would smell the perfume. During this happening, Bryan then proceed to get poked in the leg a couple times. No one was in the room but Bryan and Jackie. While they were down in the "toliet room" Jackie noted a shadow moving behind her to the right side....which Bryan also noted seeing as he was facing Jackie. Had a hand held video camera but unfortunately the IR lights weren't powerful enough so the screen was mainly black.
In previous visits, Jackie had a few other experiences....cords being pulled out of her hands while setting up cameras, an incredible EVP of a gunshot, which does co-incide with a claim that in November 1950, Arthur Glattke was the warden at the time and his wife, Helen was reaching for a jewelry or hat box in the family's quarters and a gun discharged. Helen succumbed to her injuries three days later. Over the years, there was rumors that it wasn't an accident and that her husband hired a prisoner to sneak in and shoot his wife...but it's mainly that...just a rumor. (listen to the EVP below). Please note, this was not heard while there at the time...this was caught after returning home and reviewing evidence.
In the warden's quarters where it was rumored the wife had a gun discharge and she passed away 3 days later. (see above description)
Mansfield Reformatory - Mansfield, Ohio
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