Exploring the Unknown

Mansfield Reformatory- Mansfield, OH

Mansfield Reformatory

History and Backround:

Mansfield Reformatory, also known as the Ohio State Reformatory, opened in 1896.  Replacing a Civil War camp which stood on the location,  the prison housed thousands of inmates, troubled youth, individuals suffering from mental illness and even facility personnel.   The building, spanning over 250,000 square feet, remained in full operation until December 1990 when it was ordered closed by a Federal Judge due to its poor condition.

Standing six tiers high, the East Cell Block remains the largest free-standing steel cell block in the world.

Arthur Lewis Glattke served as Superintendent of the prison from 1935-1959.  Both Glattke and his wife, Helen died in the Warden’s Quarter’s of the prison.  Helen from an accidental self-inflicted gun shot wound, and Arthur from a heart attack in his office several years later.

There have been over 200 recorded deaths that occurred at Mansfield Reformatory, undoubtedly many more which were never recorded.  Among the deaths include a few guards who were killed during inmate escape attempts.

The prison has been featured in many televison episodes, including various ghost hunting shows, as well as movies, and music videos.  However, it is best known for being featured in the filming of the movie, “The Shawshank Redemption.”

Investigators Present:

Vicky, Scott, Jim, and Doug Hunt.   MPIN was also joined by additional investigators from various paranormal groups within Wisconsin and Illinois.


Evidence Collected:

Throughout the investigation, MPIN utilized various pieces of equipment, such as audio and video recorders, full spectrum video cameras, IR lights, Ovilus, Frank’s Boxes, various gauges of temperature, EMF, barometric pressure, etc to attempt spirit communication and documentation.

As the buidling’s size was so large, MPIN investigated different areas of the prison in one hour intervals, rotating with other investigators involved in the private hunt.

Some of our best evidence captured, along with visuals of the prison, can be seen below:

  • Administration Wing

Jim and Doug are near the Warden’s quarters, right before Jim questions what was left on the floor a female voice is heard.  Sounds like the voice is saying “Hold me Ken”.


  • West Cell Block

Vicky and Scott are walking down the isle of the 2nd tier of the West Cell Block.  Scott and Vicky’s voices are heard, when another voice is heard yelling, “Don’t you…don’t you leave without me!”


Scott is taking still photos in the West Cell Block.  You can hear the camera shutter click a few times in this clip, when a voice says, “Don’t take my picture”


  • East Cell Block

The team is walking on the 1st floor tier of the East Cell Block when they notice another audio recorder left there by earlier investigator.  Scott is heard saying “They might be leaving it there for a reason,” and then an odd sounding voice commands us not to touch it.


  • Solitary

Jim’s voice is heard throughout this clip when a very loud, odd sounding scream is heard over him.



  • Chapel

Utilizing the Ovilus in the Chapel.  The Ovilus is a tool that spirits can theoretically utilize to speak through by manipulating temparature and EMF readings.  MPIN was doing a trigger object experiment in the Chapel by setting 4 lit candles on the alter.  The Ovilus saying these 3 words in virtual succession is, in our opinion, beyond coincidental.


Scott is commenting how we are now having very little activity, when a breathy female voice says “How”?


Spending an evening in this building was truly an amazing experience.  The structure is beautiiful both in it’s architecture, and in it’s decay, adding to the aura of it’s dark and brutal history.

Taking into account Mansfield Reformatory’s reputation as being one of the most haunted locations in the country, The MPI Network was struck by the seeming lack of energy in the building.  The building did not particularly “feel” paranormaly active, and evidence collected reflects this.  There were a few personal experiences not caught on audio or video, and there were some interesting EVPs captured which are posted above, though for the most part the story of the night was that Mansfield’s famous spirits seemed to have been keeping to themselves.


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