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Cincinnati CityBeat

Blood Prison at the Haunted Ohio State Reformatory is Bringing All the Hair-Raising Frights

By Katherine Barrier,

The Ohio State Reformatory

Enter if you dare: This Halloween season, if you’re looking to brave a spooky attraction in a truly chilling space, Escape from Blood Prison offers the chance to explore the notoriously haunted Ohio State Reformatory after dark.

Escape from Blood Prison in Mansfield, Ohio — about three hours northeast of Cincinnati — opens Friday, Sept. 29. The haunted house, located in the former prison where The Shawshank Redemption was filmed, is a frequent top-ranking attraction on sites like and was recently listed on USA Today’s 10Best list for haunted destinations.

“Every Halloween, those who dare are challenged to enter the notoriously haunted Ohio State Reformatory after dark on weekends for a harrowing walk through unrelenting horror,” Destination Mansfield said in a press release. “Only the daring descend into the suffocating blackness of The Hole accompanied by the ear-splitting wail of the Warden’s Widow. Maniacal inmates and deformed guards fill every twisting turn of the world’s largest free-standing steel cell block. The uber-scary Haunted Hospital, Blood Prison Chapel and Apocalyptic area were updated for 2023 with even more creepy characters and Hollywood-level special effects. Paranormal activity abounds in this unsettling place, where even its gothic architecture sparks shivers.”


In addition to a bone-chilling good time, food trucks will also be available on-site, and the new “Beyond the Scare” tours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. allow visitors to see behind the scenes of Blood Prison with the lights on.

Blood Prison will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to midnight and Sundays from 7-10 p.m. Gates open at 6:45 p.m. Organizers say the attraction frequently sells out, so visitors are encouraged to buy tickets in advance online . A general pass with timed ticketing is $35, or you can buy an Ultra Lightning Pass, which reduces wait time to a quarter of general admission. You can also add a Touch Pass, which adds intensity to the experience by allowing the actors to touch you.


Ohio State Reformatory, 100 Reformatory Road, Mansfield. More info: .

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