WORTH THE DRIVE: Explore Mansfield’s most haunted buildings — including an abandoned prison

(Eingeschränkte Rechte für bestimmte redaktionelle Kunden in Deutschland. Limited rights for specific editorial clients in Germany.) Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Innenansicht- 1911veröffentlicht: Nr. 7/1911 (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
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(Eingeschränkte Rechte für bestimmte redaktionelle Kunden in Deutschland. Limited rights for specific editorial clients in Germany.) Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Innenansicht- 1911veröffentlicht: Nr. 7/1911 (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Credit: ullstein bild Dtl.

Credit: ullstein bild Dtl.

Often called the “Haunted Capital of Ohio,” Mansfield has quite a few scares to offer its visitors this spooky season.

Perhaps one of the more famous spooky institutions in Mansfield is the Ohio State Reformatory. Though it no longer serves as a prison, the Ohio State Reformatory, built in 1886, has been the subject of decades-old ghost stories. For example, one legend says that an old guard who was killed in solitary confinement still makes his rounds after death, jabbing visitors with his nightstick. The farm boss, his wife and daughter were kidnapped and murdered by two parolees in 1948. The prison is also famous because it served as the backdrop for “The Shawshank Redemption.”

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Escape From Blood Prison, a terrifying tour of Mansfield's haunted Ohio State Reformatory, will be taking place through Oct. 31. CONTRIBUTED.

Credit: Destination Mansfield

Escape From Blood Prison, a terrifying tour of Mansfield's haunted Ohio State Reformatory, will be taking place through Oct. 31.
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Escape From Blood Prison, a terrifying tour of Mansfield's haunted Ohio State Reformatory, will be taking place through Oct. 31. CONTRIBUTED.

Credit: Destination Mansfield

Credit: Destination Mansfield

Through Oct. 31, visitors will be able to enjoy the haunted figures at the Ohio State Reformatory (and more) during the Escape From Blood Prison event. Escape From Blood Prison will take visitors through terrifying scenes at the prison on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to midnight and Sunday nights from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $25 per person and an immersive Touch Pass, which allows the monsters to actually touch you, is $5. Tickets can be purchased online or onsite. Only cash payments are accepted onsite.

Another haunted institution in Mansfield is the Mansfield Fire Museum. Visitors and guests have both reported strange happenings, like a fire truck side mirror that seems to move on its own, spine-chilling sounds coming from the empty building, lights that flicker on their own and figures of unknown shadowy figures walking through the museum. Guests can schedule their own private paranormal investigations by calling 419-564-5531.

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The Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield also boasts several ghost sightings and mysterious occurrences, like disembodied voices, haunting laughter and eerie music, that have taken place over the last century. Many believe these haunting sights and sounds are related somehow to the unsolved murder that took place in the theatre in 1929.

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The Grand Staircase in Mansfield's Renaissance Theatre. CONTRIBUTED.

Credit: Destination Mansfield

The Grand Staircase in Mansfield's Renaissance Theatre.
Caption
The Grand Staircase in Mansfield's Renaissance Theatre. CONTRIBUTED.

Credit: Destination Mansfield

Credit: Destination Mansfield

The Gill House, located in nearby Galion, was once home to the area’s founding families and is thought to be a hotspot of paranormal activity. Visitors and volunteers at the Gill House have reported hearing footsteps and laughter, experiencing physical contact from mysterious sources and seeing traveling shadows and full-body apparitions. The Gill House is open Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is $5 per person.

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More information about Mansfield and its haunted history can be found by visiting www.destinationmansfield.com.

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