Mansfield, OH

This Abandoned Prison is One of the Creepiest Places in Ohio

Travel Maven

Ohio is filled with history but perhaps some of the eeriest relics of its storied past are the abandoned towns, hospitals, and prisons that dot its landscape. Often found hidden deep in the woods and sometimes out in plain sight, this abandoned reformatory is actually quite charming from the outside. Its inside, however, tells a totally different story. Keep reading to learn more.

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Once known as the Mansfield Reformatory, this historic prison is now referred to as the Ohio State Reformatory. You'll find this gothic-style building in the charming town of Mansfield surrounded by trees, a manicured lawn, and rolling hills. A somewhat intriguing castle-like building, this reformatory was built back in 1886 and closed nearly 100 years later in 1990. Today, the prison has been regarded as one of the most haunted places in the United States.

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At its peak, Ohio State Reformatory was home to over 150,000 inmates jailed for crimes like robbery, burglary/larceny, and car stealing. The prison was notorious for overcrowding, especially during the Prohibition era and Great Depression. Overcrowding led to deplorable conditions, torture, fights, and even death amongst its inmates.

Many people believe the Ohio State Reformatory is still haunted by violent ghosts and it has become a premiere location for authentic paranormal enthusiasts. The reformatory is host to many events, paranormal ghost hunts, and even provides guided tours to those brave enough to walk through these halls.

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Helen White/Unsplash

Inside, the reformatory feels large and empty. Peeling paint falls off the walls and rusted cell blocks give way to old preserved fixtures including chairs, beds, and even toilets.

If you're a lover of history, or just intrigued by abandoned places in general, a tour through the Ohio State Reformatory is a must. Tours cost just 35 bucks and tickets do not have to be purchased in advance. The fall is by far the best time to visit as it transforms into a creepy attraction known as the Blood Prison Haunted House. To learn more about upcoming events and all the ways you can explore the reformatory, be sure to check their site out here.

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The reformatory is open every day from 11 am until 4 pm and is located at 100 Reformatory Rd, Mansfield, OH 44905.

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