Built in 1886, The Ohio State Reformatory (OSR) served for 94 years as a working prison, housing more than 154,000 prisoners and setting the scene for major motion pictures, including The Shawshank Redemption, Air Force One and others. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the prison boasts the world’s largest free-standing steel cellblock and is known as the ultimate place to ghost hunt.
The Ghost Hunts® offer an overnight experience for those with serious interest in paranormal activity. They have grown dramatically in popularity, with spots selling out months in advance. Thus, rapid reservations are highly encouraged. All proceeds from the tours go directly to restore the incredible architecture of this important historical structure. Dates for the 2012 Ghost Hunts:
2012 Ghost Hunts
• March dates: Fri., Mar. 2, Sat., Mar. 10, Sat., Mar. 24
• April dates: Sat., Apr. 7, Fri., Apr. 13, Fri., Apr. 20, Fri., Apr. 27
• May dates: Sat., May 5, Fri., May 18, Sat., May 26,
• June dates: Sat., Jun. 2, Sat., June. 9, Fri., Jun. 15, Sat., Jun 30
• July dates: Fri., Jul. 13, Sat., Jul 28
• August dates: Fri., Aug 3, Sat., Aug 11, Sat., Aug 25, Fri., Aug. 31
• September dates: Sat., Sep. 8
• November dates: Sat., Nov. 17, Fri., Nov. 30
Ghost Walks feature knowledgeable tour guides leading guests through the dark halls and corridors of the reformatory, highlighting spots where paranormal activity has been reported, while sharing stories of eerie experiences, murder and death. Dates for 2012 Ghost Walks are:
2012 Ghost Walks
• Friday, May 11,
• Sunday, May 20
• Friday, June 1
• Sunday, June 17
• Friday, July 6
• Sunday, July 17
• Friday, Aug. 17
• Sunday, Sept. 9
For travelers interested in the background information of the Ohio State Reformatory such as architecture, stories and movie ties, general, self-guided tours are offered Monday through Friday, starting in May, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours are $9 for adults and $7 for ages 7-17. Audio Tour Guides can be purchased for an additional $5 fee. Guided tours are provided on Sunday, they are East Cell Block Tour, West Tower Tour and the Hollywood Tour.
Ghost Hunt® Recovery packages are offered by area hotels as the perfect remedy after a night of spirit chasing, with some packages including a Jacuzzi tub, indoor pools, late check-out and breakfast. Breathtaking scenery and rural and hometown experiences, as well as hiking, biking, golf, cross-country and downhill skiing, bird watching and other outdoor adventures are among the many attractions. Getaway package details, a free visitors guide and complete information on Mansfield’s many unforgettable visitor experiences are available at www.mansfieldtourism.com or (800) 642-8282.