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Haunting of Mansfield Reformatory investigated by ‘Portals to Hell’ crew with terrifying twist

The Travel Channel show said it will feature the first-ever televised investigation of the prison’s original solitary confinement.
Credit: Ryan Haidet, 3News
Inside the Mansfield Reformatory.

MANSFIELD, Ohio — Do you believe in ghosts?

The Ohio State Reformatory – better known as the Mansfield Reformatory or "Shawshank Prison" – has been labeled as the most haunted location in the entire state.

Those hauntings will be highlighted on national television Thursday night as the paranormal investigators behind Portals to Hell on the Travel Channel step inside the ominous prison to see what ghostly evidence they can capture.

Entertainment Tonight was on location when the episode was filmed a few months ago to chat with the show’s lead paranormal investigators Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman.

“This place is a legendary location for ghost hunting,” Osbourne told ET. “You go to any forum, a lot of different paranormal shows have come through here. It’s like a staple in the Midwest.”

Portals to Hell has a terrifying twist up its sleeve when it comes to their investigation of the infamous prison. Although multiple other paranormal shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures have been filmed there, this is the first time the original solitary confinement area will be investigated on television, Weidman told ET.

“It’s more like a dungeon,” Osbourne explained.


The prison, which closed in 1990, is also the prominent backdrop in Shawshank Redemption starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.

Portals to Hell featuring the Mansfield Reformatory airs Thursday, May 28 at 10 p.m. It will re-air a few hours later at 2 a.m.

Feeling spooky? You can watch ET’s extended 13-minute interview with the Portals to Hell team during their visit to the Mansfield Reformatory:


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