You might recognize the Ohio State Reformatory from the movie The Shawshank Redemption. However, there is much more to this former prison than being the setting for a famous movie.
The Ohio State Reformatory is a former maximum security prison. It”s also considered to be the most haunted prison in America. You”ll never believe why until you see it.
Welcome to the Ohio State Reformatory. Its unique gothic architecture impressed the producers of The Shawshank Redemption. They used the exterior of the prison and the warden”s office in the movie.
The prison opened its doors in 1896 as a reformatory, rather than a regular prison.
The facility was meant for low level first offenders. It was supposed to be a place for them to turn their lives around, instead of being sent to the state penitentiary.
The grounds of the facility housed a charter school where early inmates could learn practical skills for life on the outside.
This method of prisoner reform was highly effective for a while. The reoffending rate for rehabilitated prisoners was only 10 to 15 percent during the early years of the facility.
However, as time went on, state laws changed and the reformatory became more hostile to the prisoners.
By the 1970s, the reformatory was a full blown maximum security prison.
It was at this point that conditions began to deteriorate for the inmates.
Prisoners were allegedly subjected to “brutalizing, inhumane conditions,” within the facility.
There was even a “Hole,” as made famous in The Shawshank Redemption. That is, a solitary confinement area where prisoners who broke the rules were placed, sometimes for indefinite amounts of time.
You can experience the “Hole” firsthand if you pay a visit to what”s left of the reformatory.
The prison was officially closed in 1990, after the state government gave into the demands of activists protesting the conditions of the prison. It then faced an uncertain future.
Luckily, the facility was saved from demolition in the 1990s by the Shawshank Redemption, which used the exterior and the warden”s office in the facility for the movie.
These days, it”s said that the ghosts of inmates and guards alike roam the hallways of the former reformatory.
If you”re feeling brave, there are plenty of options for touring the facility. Some of the tours are even led by former inmates of the prison.
There is even the option of being locked in overnight at the haunted prison. That sounds like the scariest thing ever.
Jeez! This place is pretty creepy looking. I”d be alright with visiting it during the day, but at night? No thank you. You can learn more about The Ohio State Reformatory and plan your own haunted visit here.