Monday, August 25, 2014

Exploring Ohio: The Mansfield Reformatory (filming site of "The Shawshank Redemption")

From the outside, you'd never guess this chateau-like Victorian structure is actually a historic prison! The Mansfield Reformatory was open from 1896 to 1990. It's hard to believe prisoners were still housed there 25 years ago... it's pretty dilapidated!

"The Shawshank Redemption" was filmed at the prison and it was pretty cool to see a few film sites from the movie. A cell block movie set was constructed in a nearby warehouse because they wanted the cells to be facing each other across a hallway, but the rest of the prison scenes from the movie were filmed at the Mansfield Reformatory. Parts of "Air Force One" were filmed there too!
 A peek at the warden's quarters.
So many different layers of paint and wallpaper! Kind of a pretty tableau. It's so strange to think about a family living at the prison.
 This room was used as the warden's office in "The Shawshank Redemption." Above is the warden's safe, and below is his desk.
"Brooks was here. So was Red."
And now we start to get to the creepy stuff. You can see why the reformatory is popular with ghost hunters!
This block held 1200 prisoners in 7x9 cells.
This room was set up like it would've been for prisoners, but most of the cells were dark and empty with just metal springs for beds, peeling paint and toilets and sinks in various states of disrepair. There was a bit of an eerie air to the cell blocks, especially when you imagine all the awful things that must have happened there.
A bit of irony. There's no exit for the prisoners!
In case my job at the public library doesn't work out...
This is the prison's original cell block. Eventually these were considered the cushy accommodations given to favored prisoners because the cells were slightly bigger.
Katie with Andy and Red.
This is the movie prop tunnel that Andy climbed through to escape.
And we'll end on this pleasant note, a replica electric chair. It gave me the willies -- and it wasn't even used for any executions!

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