Frequently Asked Questions - The Ohio State Reformatory Preservation Society

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What are your hours?

A: We are open 7 days a week, April-September, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. We are open Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., October-March. We are closed on all major holidays.

Q: Do I need to purchase tickets in advance?

A: You don’t need to, but you can. You can also purchase tickets at our front desk when you arrive. Our self-guided tours are available all day, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and never sell out. During peak season, our guided tours do sell out, so we recommend purchasing in advance if you want a guided tour. Tickets are available on our website. Click on the red button in the upper right-hand corner that says, “Buy Tickets”.

Q: How much do tickets cost?

A: Our self-guided tour is $25 per person and our guided tours are $35-$40, depending on which tour you choose. Students, seniors, military, and first responders receive a $2 discount. Ghost Walks are $35 and Ghost Hunts are $99.

Q: Is 11:00 a.m. the only time available for the self-guided tour? Do we have to book a specific time for the self-guided tour?

A: No. You can come anytime between 11 a.m.-4 p.m., any day that we are open.

 Q: I bought a Groupon. How/when can I use it?

A: You can come in anytime we are open and use your Groupon. We will need to see the Groupon redemption code to get you checked in. You can bring the printed voucher, or you can show us the Groupon redemption code on your phone. The Groupon is good for our self-guided tour. You can also upgrade your Groupon to a guided tour if tickets are available.

 Q: What is your cancellation policy?

A: We do not offer refunds on tickets, but we are happy to move your booking to a new date. If you are unable to attend your originally scheduled date for any reason, please call us at 419-522-2644 to reschedule or email Ashleigh Ramey at Rescheduled guided tours are subject to availability.

Q: Do you have gift cards?

A: Yes! Gift cards are now available online and on-site! We offer e-gift cards in addition to plastic cards. Plastic cards are available at our ticket desk and in the museum store. We are also happy to mail gift cards with an extra charge for postage. The link to the eGift cards is here:


Q: Do you have audio available?

A: Yes, we have audio wands available for rent at the front desk. They are $5 per person and are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Q: I don’t see the tour or paranormal event that I want listed on your website, or I can’t select it on the calendar, is it sold out/are you offering it on the day I want to come?

A: Our tour and program schedules are based upon guide availability and tour capacities. We make as many tours available as possible, but there is always a chance that they’re sold out. If it’s not listed on our bookable calendar or you are unable to select that date, then it’s either sold out or unavailable on that date.

Q: Can I book a private guided tour or private ghost hunt?

A: Yes. Private guided tours start at $300 for up to 10 guests and can be booked by contacting Ashleigh Ramey at The cost for more than 10 guests is an additional $30 per person. Private ghost hunts start at $1500 and can be booked by contacting Hallie Statham-Kitzler at

Q: Do you give school tours?

A: Yes. School tours start at $100 for a group of up to 20 students. Please contact Ashleigh Ramey at to check availability and book a school tour.

General Questions:

Q: Am I allowed to take photos?

A: Yes, we welcome small-scale photography. You may take photos with your phone or a personal camera. Tripods, monopods, external lighting, or any other photography equipment are not allowed on our standard tour. We offer special photography tour options for professionals and hobbyists who want to bring additional external equipment and those can be arranged by contacting Alayna Ross at Photography tours start at $150 and can be scheduled before our building opens to the public. Video recording of our tours is strictly prohibited.

Q: Can I ghost hunt during the day?

A: No, we do not allow ghost hunting, in any capacity, to occur on the grounds or inside the building during the day. If you are interested in ghost hunting, contact Hallie Statham-Kitzler at to schedule a paranormal tour. 

Q: Is your building handicapped accessible?

A: Yes and no. We do offer a handicapped-accessible route that covers the 1st-floor museums and museum store, then we have you drive around to the back of the building to access a ground-level entrance that will get you to the cell blocks, solitary, and the elevator to the Central Guard Room. Since this route is abbreviated, the cost is $10. We are currently installing an elevator to give our guests full access, but the completion date is yet to be determined.

 Q: Are there a lot of stairs? Is there a lot of walking?

A: Yes and yes. Depending on which tour you choose, you could be up and down 20+ flights of stairs on your tour. Our building is approximately 250,000 square feet and the standard tour route spans most of the building.

 Q: Do you allow dogs in the building?

A: Service Animals are welcome, companion animals are not. Please be aware for service animals that our building does contain lead paint and lead paint dust often ends up on the floor. You will need to wash your dog’s paws immediately after leaving so that they do not ingest the lead paint flakes if they lick their paws.

 Q: Is your building heated/air-conditioned?

A: Partially. The museums and administrative areas of the building are temperature controlled. The cell blocks and other sections of the prison are not. Please dress accordingly.

Q: Is the tour indoors? Do you have a roof?

A: Yes. The only time you will be outside is walking from your car into the building. We have a full roof and our entire tour route is indoors.

Q: Can I take something home from the prison?

A: No. Taking anything from the building or grounds is strictly prohibited and punishable by law. If you are looking to take a souvenir home, we have a Museum Store that offers many items to commemorate your visit. 

Q: Do you rent space for events?

A: Yes. We do not host weddings or wedding receptions but can book meetings, dinners, and trainings in one of several spaces. To inquire about booking space at the Reformatory, please contact Rita Miller-Bunker at


Q: How many people are on a public ghost hunt?

A: We take approximately 100 people per public ghost hunt. On a private hunt, you can have anywhere from 1 to 50+ people! 

Q: What time does it start and end?

A: Check-in starts at 6 p.m. Access to the building begins at 7 p.m. Everyone must be exiting the building by 3 a.m.

Q: Are we locked in the building or on grounds during the hunt?

A: No. You are free to exit the building and smoke, get fresh air, go to your car, etc. However, once you drive out of the gate, your hunt is over for the night. The gate will be closed and locked to other people coming in.

Q: If the website states that a ghost hunt is sold out, is it really sold out?

A: YES. Ghost hunts sell out quickly so if you have a date in mind, we recommend not waiting to buy tickets.

Q: I know the website says that the Ghost Hunts/Walks are sold out, but is there any way you can fit  2 more people in?

A: Perhaps. It never hurts to ask!

Q: Do you keep a cancellation list for sold-out ghost hunts?

A: We typically do not know of cancellations until the hunt is underway but please email us if you wish. If you would like to join a waitlist, please email!

Q: Can I just show up on the night of a Ghost Hunt, just in case there are any cancellations, and be able to get in on the hunt?

A: No. We do not accept walk-ins for ghost events. Please do not come to OSR in hopes there will be no-shows to a ghost walk or ghost hunt. 

Q: Are the ghost hunts guided or can I wander around on my own?

A: At 7 p.m., you will be given a rules and regulations speech followed by a guided tour. After that, the lights are turned off and you are on your own. There will be staff available to answer questions and show you around.

Q: Does everyone in my group have to fill out a license agreement?

A: Yes, and all Ghost Hunt attendees must bring a valid photo ID.

Q: The website states that no one under age 18 is allowed on public ghost hunts, is this true? What if I bring a parent?

A: Yes this is true. There are NO exceptions to this rule.

Q: Can we bring in a backpack to the ghost hunt? What equipment is allowed? Snacks? Water? Alcohol?

A: You can bring a small backpack. You can bring your own equipment but we ask that you not bring anything that will interfere with other guests’ experiences or block any rooms off (like motion sensors) and Ouija/Spirit boards are prohibited. You can bring in water but we will provide pizza, coffee, soda, and water as well! We do not allow or serve alcohol and anyone who arrives at a ghost walk or hunt intoxicated will not be allowed to participate.

Q: How can I set up a private ghost hunt?

A: Check out our paranormal page for more information- there’s a private investigation request you can fill out too! You can also email

Q: If I book a private investigation, do I get the building all to myself?

A: You will get the building to yourself but there will be at least one staff member on-site with you. 

Q: I have a Youtube/Twitch/etc channel. Can I film during a public ghost walk/ghost hunt?

A: No, we do not allow filming or live streaming during public events. If you’d like to film, you will need to book a private hunt.

Q: The website states that no one under age 13 is allowed on ghost walks, is this true?

A: Yes. All guests must be 13 or older.

Q: I heard you win money/a prize if you spend the night. Is this true?

A: No, it is not true.

Q: Are there any Ghost Walks or Ghost Hunts in October?

A: No, we will not have any paranormal (public or private) events from Labor Day until mid-November due to our annual haunted house!

Q: Is it really haunted? 

A: You’ll have to visit and check it out for yourself!

The Ohio State Reformatory
100 Reformatory Rd, Mansfield, OH 44905
Phone: (419) 522-2644 • Email:

mansfield and richland county, ohio state reformatory
shawshank trail, ohio state reformatory







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The Ohio State Reformatory open  Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays  from 11 am until 4 pm at this time!

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