Exploring the Unusual with Lakefront Lines

It’s hard to imagine visiting a prison for fun, but that’s exactly what we did a few weeks ago when we took a group of people on a bus tour to The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio.

An Exciting Day With Don


The one day trip was packed with action and fun, starting off with raffle tickets on the ride to the Reformatory for Lakefront Lines giftcards. The ride couldn’t have been better with our energetic and friendly escort Don and Reggie at the wheel. Don has been escorting for us for 10 years and has become a crowd favorite because he always remembers his passengers’ names.


Once we arrived at the Mansfield Reformatory we were greeted by one of their excellent tour guides who knew all the interesting facts and history of the building. A guided tour left everyone full of knowledge, and quite frankly a little bit scared! Did you know this place is said to be haunted?

A Brief Haunted History


This historic and hauntingly beautiful building was built between 1886 and 1910, and was still in operation until a court ordered it to be shut down in 1990 due to overcrowding and inhumane conditions. In 1995 the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation society was formed and the building has since been transformed into a museum.

Upon entering the Romanesque Revival building you can see the layers of rich history in the building – literally. Layers upon layers of paint and wallpaper have been chipping away for years, adding to the creepy feel of the place.

If appearance alone doesn’t give you the creeps, the fact that over 200 people died in this facility should give you an idea of all the paranormal energy floating around the prison.

Wandering the Haunted Halls and Creepy Cells


The Reformatory houses the world’s largest free standing cell block that spans six tiers… talk about overcrowding! This was one of the coolest sights we saw during the tour, and some of our more brave tourists even ventured inside the dark cells for some great photo ops.

The tour guide led us through the cell blocks, as well as the chapel, warden’s quarters, shower room, solitary confinement, and more. Each room was accompanied by some little known facts from the tour guide.

Working Up An Appetite


The Reformatory is situated on 40 acres of land, so you can only imagine how large the building itself is. Anticipating that tourists would work up an appetite exploring the expansive castle-like building, we headed over to Der Dutchman to share a late lunch together as a group. We even snapped a group picture to bring the fun-packed trip to a close before heading home!

Join Us for a Tour!


If you couldn’t make this trip, no worries – there’s plenty more coming. Check our upcoming events and see if there’s a tour for you. These bus tours are relaxed and packed with entertainment, so don’t miss out! Contact Lakefront Lines for more information.

More Ohio State Reformatory Photos