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My Overnight Visit to the Ohio State Reformatory

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I have always loved exploring old buildings. So several years ago I was invited to participate in a paranormal investigation at Randolph County Asylum in Indiana. Ever since then, I have been hooked. My last exploration was at the Ohio State Reformatory located in Mansfield, Ohio.

The Ohio State Reformatory was built between 1886 and 1910. The building was used as a prison until 1990. Originally in 1882, the field was used as a training camp for Civil War soldiers. Eventually, money was raised to build the existing building. The building was intended for first-time offenders.

The original architect for the design was Levi T. Scofield from Cleveland, Ohio who used three architectural styles; Victorian Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque, and Queen Anne.

The prison closed in December 1990. It closed because the prisoners filed a class action lawsuit citing overcrowding and inhumane conditions. The replacement prison was built next to the existing prison and remains open today. You can see the new prison out some of the windows. Photography of the new prison is prohibited by law.

Slowly progress is being made in restoring the building as you can see in the picture of the dining room which has already been restored.

The prison cells are in disrepair. It leaves you with a feeling of how terrible the conditions must have been when it was still open.

(Above) The cells are stacked four levels high.

(Above) You can see a few streaks of white light across the photo. Not sure what that is.

As a paranormal investigation, Mansfield is considered to be an extremely active place for investigations. It has been on my bucket list for years. We had 15 people in our group. When you reserve your investigation you are the only investigators in the building. The lights go out at 8 p.m. so make sure you have a good flashlight and an extra set of batteries just in case.

(Above) Our little group uses dowsing rods to see if we can communicate with a spirit.

(Above) We came across this frightened little fella all alone. He saw us and curled up on his back. We left quickly so he would calm down. We were told that they sometimes sneak inside and prowl around the building.

I hope you enjoyed this brief tour of the Ohio State Reformatory. If you want to tour the building you can do a daytime tour or schedule your own paranormal investigation. I promise you will not be disappointed.

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