Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield, Ohio; May10, 2014

Case Background and Claims:

OSR  front of prison The old prison holds many of the lost soles that had left by way of stabbings, hangings, beatings, and rapes. The known occurrences witnessed by the volunteers, tour workers, and security workers, are full body apparitions, shadow figures, disembodied voices, and orbs. The workers have also been pushed, scratched, hit and have had feelings of being watched.



MCGH team in front of OSRThe Ohio State Reformatory (OSR), also known as the Mansfield Reformatory, is a historic prison located in the town of Mansfield, Ohio. It was built between 1886 and 1910 and remained in operation until a 1990 federal court ruling ordered the facility to be closed. The prison was used in a number of films, music videos, etc. The most famous film made was The Shawshank Redemption (1994). The prison was on the verge of being demolished to make room for a new facility to be built on the grounds behind the old prison. The movie studio asked the state if they would hold off tearing the prison down until the movie was completed. The movie used the interior of the buildings to shoot many of the famous scenes. The
guard tower and work Shawshank set at OSRshops in the back of the prison were also used for film shots ( this area was torn down after filming to make way for the new advanced OSR). With the success of the movie, and folks coming from all over the country to see where this film was made, the state decided with all the historic value that they keep the main building along with the East and West cell blocks in tact and create a touring facility using the monies to restore these area’s of the prison.
The facility was built in 1886 (with some construction continuing through to 1910) and was opened on September 15, 1896 to its first 150 young inmates that were brought from Columbus, Ohio by train. The exterior of the building, which is built from brick and concrete, is designed in the Romanesque style giving the frontage a castle-like appearance.
OSR East cell blockThe East Cell Block remains the largest free standing steel cell block in the world at six tiers high. From 1935 until 1959 Arthur Lewis Glattke was the Superintendent. He implemented many reforms such as piped in radio music in the cell blocks. Glattke’s wife, Helen Bauer Glattke, died of pneumonia three days following an accident in November 1950 where a handgun discharged when she was reaching into a jewelry box in the family’s quarters. Glattke died following a heart attack suffered in his office on February 10, 1959. The Glattke’s children were raised by a close worker/friend who was placed in charge of the prison and the children until they graduated from school and moved onto there own life. The children at times still visit the old prison telling workers stores of how much they loved living their childhood there ( they were not allowed in the prison area’s and were housed along with there parents in the main building). Over 200 people died at the OSR, including two guards who were killed during escape attempts.



  • OSR stairs Date: April 10, 2014
  • Time: 9:00PM – 3:00AM
  • Investigators present: Tim R., Sharon, Greg, Joe, Barbara.
  • Weather: 71 degrees & clear
  • Equipment used: Audio recorder, Mel meter, K-II meter, Flashlight, Laser Grid, Trigger objects, Camera.





Solitary Confinement – 1886 section:

We did not know of this area they called “the hole” until a volunteer told us about it.  It is tucked away  down this hidden stair well. The volunteer said that there has been reports of a lot of activity, and that a guard was attacked and beaten to death by one of the prisioners.
OSR con-solitaryWe started our first session off in this original 1886 solitary confinement (also called the hole). When I ask if the spirit’s present were murdered in this area to turn on the flashlight, I had a direct response to a yes. We tried to contact a guard named Frank who was beaten to death in the area. At  minute marker 9:10 a male voice says GO. Joe asks Frank if it was more then one inmate with a pipe that murdered him, and at 14:04 you hear a male say NO. At 21:09 Joe was asking Frank if he was a good man and you hear a NO. We came to the conclusion that one person murdered Frank the guard by using a pipe.





OSR atticA volunteer told us that the attic has a lot of activity. He stated that inmates were brought up there to be beaten, raped, or murdered. The room was very long and eerie. The walls were penciled with drawings of mostly women and prison numbers. The inmates who lived many long years in this they called home had forgotten there birth name and were only known by the number they were assigned to when incarcerated. In the farthest back area was a large steam boilers incased by  four walls and a door. If you look up through the door to the ceiling you could still see the rope used to hang the inmates. While conducting an EVP session we had constant flashlight activity. We did confirm that there were many murders in the area. We conducted our session all the way back in the room behind two big boilers. The spirit we got in contact with was stabbed to death.  If brought up here they most likely never saw there cell again.





OSR chapelThe Chapel was probably the only place of solitude for the inmates. We had flashlight activity when asking if there were any spirits sitting with us. We sang gospel hymns in hopes that we would capture singing on our recorders but had no responses and no EVP’s.


* In photo at right, Joe is conducting a EVP session, and on the table at left you can  see a flashlight respond to his questions.




East cell block shower room:

East cell shower roomThe prison had two shower rooms, one in the east cell block and the other in the west cell block. We conducted our session in the East cell block shower room because it holds a sad picture of a steel beam bent from an inmate who could no longer live in the prison environment. We placed our flashlights on the shower wall and had immediate flashlight responses, chills but no EVP’s  were captured during this session.


* In photo at right shows the bar where a inmate took his life by hanging himself.




Administration Building – Wardens room:

OSR ad buildThis part of the prison is where the warden, his wife and children lived. It has been stated that Glattke family had a normal and enjoyable life living here. The children had places to have friends over and an area that they could play in. Things changes when Mrs. Glattke was looking in the closet for an item she had lost when she reached above the built in cedar cabinet top and where unknown to her was a shot gun . The gun accidentally fired striking the wardens wife. She passed away later that evening in the hospital. We engaged in a EVP session in this bedroom trying to contact the spirit of Mrs. Glattke or her husband but to no avail.







OSR hospital/libraryThe room was one of the biggest full opened room in the prison. In it heyday it was used as the prison’s hospital/morgue. Later part of this area became a library. As soon as we walked into this gigantic room three of our flashlight lit up even though we had not even begun our session. The air was cold and eerie. It felt like the spirits were still coming to get medical attention. Greg’s flashlight lit even though you have to push the light on from the back. No EVP’s were captured during this session.





Audio Evidence Obtained During Investigation:

 EVP Class B: When trying to contact a guard named Frank (spirit) who was beaten to death in this area we heard a male voice says GO when Joe asks if this if where you were murdered. 



EVP Class A: Joe asks Frank if it was more then one inmate with a pipe that got a hold of you, and at you hear a male say NO.



EVP Class B: Joe was asking Frank if he was a good man and you hear a NO .





The MCGH’s believe that the soles of  lost prison inmates will forever haunt this rusty old prison for years to come.

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