The Mansfield Reformatory was built in the year 1886 and was originally built with intentions of humanely rehabilitating first-time offenders. The reformatory was initially applauded for creating a positive step forward for prison reform. It was later in 1978 that the reformatory’s legacy was one of abuse, torture, and murder. It had been denounced for “brutalizing and inhuman conditions”. Violence among inmates was an everyday way of life. Tales have been told of inmates being sliced by shanks, beaten by soap bars and even thrown from six-story high walk ways. These tragic deaths were all trigged from petty grievances. It has been told that on one occasion after a riot; approximately one hundred and twenty inmates had been confined for several days in “the hole” with only twenty rooms to hold these prisoners. One room consisted of a toilet and a bunk and was not spacious by any means. During this time at least one inmate had been murdered and hidden in the corner of the room under bedding material for the several days to follow. The “sweat box” was a special type of torture used on African American inmates and Caucasian prisons escaped this punishment. Along with the murders of countless prisoners, a prison farmer and his family, the warder and his wife also had died at the Mansfield Reformatory. After ninety-four years of operation, 154,000 inmates had passed through its gates as a working prison. Eventually in the year 1990 the Mansfield Reformatory was shut down.
Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society (MRPS) took over ownership and unsealed the prison to the public. Tours, over-night ghost hunts and ghost walks are now help on a regular basis at the reformatory. Since opened to the public as an attraction it has been considered among ghost hunters as the most active haunted place in the United States. Paranormal investigators have captured numerous EVPs, standing for electronic voice phenomena which generated noises that...
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