The History of Mansfield State Reformatory

The cornerstone laid on November 4, 1886, evolved into this magnificent Chateauesque structure. Cleveland architect Levi T. Scofield designed the Ohio State Reformatory using a combination of three architectural styles; Victorian Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque, and Queen Anne. This was done to encourage inmates back to a “rebirth” of their spiritual lives. The architecture itself inspired them to turn away from their sinful lifestyle, and toward repentance.

The Reformatory doors were opened to its first 150 young offenders in September 1896. Around 1970 the State of Ohio used it as a Maximum Security Prison. After housing over 155,000 men in its lifetime, the doors to the prison closed December 31, 1990.
Today the Ohio State Reformatory Historic Site receives visitors from all over the world. Every year tourists, movie buffs, thrill seekers and paranormal investigators walk through the halls of this majestic structure.
Here’s a link to their website.

Photos from Nick Groff Tour

submitted by Scott Sukel, Ghost Hunt Manager | Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society
Paranormal events are reported throughout the Reformatory. Warden Glattke and his wife Helen resided in the Administration Wing. Reports of their spirits in the wing are common. Helen died from an accidental gunshot in their residence and the warden’s death was a result of a heart attack 10 years later. Helen’s rose perfume floats in and out of her pink bathroom. Cold air passes by visitors and camera shutters are known to jam while in the wing.

Video and EVP Evidence 

Horrific deaths occurred in the Infirmary and the Execution Room which later became the Chapel. Clusters of orbs have been photographed and EVPs recorded.  Spirits roam the Basement, the Library, and the Cellblocks. The Hole is where many prisoners were kept for breaking the rules and died from hunger and other hardships. Visitors report negative paranormal energy and even glowing eyes peering from the dark corners.

At the Ohio State Reformatory, paranormal investigators and other visitors will gain an understanding of the desperation and hardships surrounding the 155,000 prisoners, many of whom left the Reformatory in death.