Today, the Ohio State Reformatory is probably best known for being the prison from The Shawshank Redemption. The movie brought the building and area so much fame there is even a fan driving tour called the Shawshank Trail featuring over thirty stops along the way. But the building has a much richer history, and one you can learn about while you tour the building.
Walking up to the Reformatory, it feels like you’re walking up to a castle. But the architecture ranges from Victorian Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque and Queen Anne. The interior is a collection of restored rooms and others that are in several states of disrepair. The Reformatory is home to the world’s tallest freestanding steel cell block, consisting of six tiers, 12 ranges, and 600 cells. Major motion pictures have been filmed here including Tango and Cash, Harry and Walter Go To New York, Air Force One, Escape Plan 3: Devil’s Station and The Shawshank Redemption.
The history ranges from a home to reform young men, to an active prison and a film set. Throughout your tour you can see actual sets from The Shawshank Redemption including Brook’s room in the halfway house, the cell block, the chapel, offices and where the staff lived. You can dine in the prison cafe and pick up some goodies in the gift shop.
Haunted tours are a regular thing at the Reformatory, and with a rich history you can easily spend your day touring the building. Be sure to bring your camera and take photos and videos while you’re on your tour – you never know what you may find! (Check out the time 8:41 in our video below – what do you think that orb is?)
You can tour the Ohio State Reformatory on a self guided tour, one with an audio wand and even visit for their haunted house attractions and ghost hunting. A visit to the Reformatory will be one you wont forget.
Take a look inside the Ohio State Reformatory:
Visit the Ohio State Reformatory website for tour info and different events happening at the building.