Mansfield Reformatory

Something that I really wanted to do this year was visit the Mansfield Reformatory. Mansfield isn't too far from me, about an hour away, so it was insane that I hadn't visited it sooner!

I think a large fraction of people visit because this is where parts of the film The Shawshank Redemption was filmed, I know that was a big reason my mother wanted to tag along! But I wanted to go for different reasons, I love abandoned places, especially when they have a lot of history and haunting lore and I could just imagine what a great photo op it would be.

The cells were incredibly small, I can't imagine having one person living in there, let alone two.

The Reformatory opened it's doors in September 1896. They eventually closed them on December 31, 1990 due to overcrowding and inhumane conditions. It housed over 155,000 men in it's time! Can you imagine walking through this area while it's filled with prisoners? It's so weird when you explore an abandoned place and try to imagine it as it once was, new and finished and full of life.

While exploring you would occasionally come upon a random chair sitting in the middle of a room or off to the side. For some reason this seemed very eerie to me.

A cathedral stood at the top of the reformatory. All of the pews and decorations were strewn all over the place but this piece was somehow still in tact for the most part.

Right outside of the reformatory was this beautiful lake. I remember this day was particularly very hot and all I wanted to do was jump in and go swimming.

The Mansfield Reformatory is open for tours throughout the spring and summer. You can take guided or self guided tours, I picked the latter. I preferred to explore on my own and at my own pace. You can also schedule an event to stay overnight at the reformatory, which I think would be incredibly interesting and I would love to do it, but definitely not alone.

During October they have a haunt, which I've never been to, but wouldn't mind checking out!

If you're ever in the area, it's definitely worth a stop. A place with so much history should be experienced, whether you're there since you're a fan of the movie, paranormal, or just enjoy exploring.


  1. I want to go there. All my friends back home in my home state (Ohio) have been!

  2. Wow, the cells really are small! :-O
    I guess there was nothing for two people to do in there, other than lying in bed all day...literally, if they weren't let out.