Mansfield, Ohio: Mansfield Reformatory Team Field Report

Historic Ohio State Reformatory

100 Reformatory Rd, Mansfield, OH
North of town. I-71 exit 176 onto US 30 west. After about three miles, exit north onto Hwy 545/Olivesburg Rd. The Reformatory is just over the hill on the left hand side, on a side street named Reformatory Rd.
May-Sep. M-F 11 am - 4 pm; Su 1-4 pm. (Call to verify)
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

Reformatory pseudo-gate.

Mansfield Reformatory
Opened in 1896, closed as a prison in 1990. Mansfield Reformatory has become a prime location for prison movies and music videos, and a go-to destination for cable TV ghost hunters. Report... [11/06/2011]

Visitor Tips and News About Mansfield Reformatory

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Prison cells.

Mansfield Reformatory

Just left after a self-guided tour of the prison with my daughters and granddaughters. We all agree it was fantastic. We spent two hours exploring the old prison and could have stayed longer. The place is falling apart, but is safe. I recommend taking a tour.

[Barbara, 11/05/2018]

The replica electric chair.

Mansfield Reformatory

Back in 2011 the Historical Center in Columbus held a special exhibition of Ohio artifacts it considered so traumatizing that no one under 18 was allowed to see them without an adult. One of the artifacts was "Old Sparky," Ohio's official electric chair (It had electrocuted 315 prisoners). After the exhibition was over, Old Sparky went into storage for years -- but now it's back in a new location: the Ohio State "Shawshank Redemption" Reformatory in Mansfield, where it will be on permanent display with no visitor restrictions.

Oddly, despite the Reformatory's fearsome appearance and infamous reputation, no prisoners were ever electrocuted there. The Reformatory had a replica electric chair on display, but it will be moved to the Toledo Police Museum.

[ Team, 06/16/2015]


Ohio State Reformatory

The Ohio State Reformatory was well worth the detour, but be prepared for long lines for Sunday tours. Get there early if possible. We arrived at 12:45 and didn't get to the ticket booth until 1:40 pm. The tour guides are very friendly and will answer any question you have.

[Sara Howe, 08/08/2011]
Ohio State Reformatory Tours

The Mansfield Reformatory, prime choice for movie prison location shooting, offers three exciting tours:

  • Tower Tour - Explore the East Cell Block, then wind your way to the top of a guard tower. Visit the Catholic Chapel high up in the Central Block.
  • Dungeon Tour - Venture into the dark and dingy "Hole" in the detention wing. Wander through strange and narrow basement corridors. Check out the mysterious "Hot Box." Hear the story of the seven-foot Jesus.
  • Hollywood Tour - See the Shawshank Warden's Office and Andy Dufresne's escape tunnels. Hazard a trip into the sinister "Hole". View the 1886 West Cell Block used as a Russian prison in Air Force One.

All tours get to view the replica Electric Chair and visit the museum and gift shop. More info at:

[ Team, 04/04/2004]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Biblewalk and Living Bible MuseumBiblewalk and Living Bible Museum, Mansfield, OH - < 1 mi.
Elektro, Robot of MansfieldElektro, Robot of Mansfield, Mansfield, OH - 2 mi.
Lonely Putt-Putt GiraffeLonely Putt-Putt Giraffe, Ontario, OH - 5 mi.
In the region:
Statue of the Flying Housewife, Columbus, OH - 58 mi.

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