VERMILION, Ohio -- In "real life," it's a place no one wants to go, but turn that same place into a bed and breakfast and you've got something special.
With original cell bars and the kind of history that churns up your imagination, The Old Vermilion Jailhouse is attracting guests from around the country.
According to owner Markos Paradissis, his bed and breakfast on Grand Street was a functioning jail from 1958-1998.
Then in spring of 2013, Paradissis captured an idea. By October, it became a reality.
“One day I just thought -- bed and breakfast! I mean, what else can you do with a jail? So we jumped into it feet first and just created what you see here,” he said while standing in what used to be the jail's lobby.
That same room is now what you would consider the B & B's master bedroom.
Paradissis pointed to a bar next to the bed and explained the inmates used to be handcuffed to it.
And that's not the only notable bar.
Connected to the master bedroom is a second area to which guests have access. It's split into four sections where the inmates were once locked away.
Those bars are original, too, and very heavy. The place could once sleep eight inmates.
But for as stark and cold as you'd expect a jail to be, The Old Vermilion Jailhouse is anything but.
“It’s just cozy, comfortable, and I think it says romance and a place you won’t forget,” said Marla Hayes, Paradissis' significant other of 13 years.
She put her own touches on the guests' experience.
“I always have flowers, I always have a fresh fruit bowl for every client, and then of course, bread and water,” she said with a laugh.
A "fancy continental breakfast" is also included with an overnight stay.
And you can expect that stay to be very private.
Paradissis said it's the only jailhouse bed and breakfast in Ohio, and the only one in the world that gives you free reign of the establishment, with no proprietors on site.
Ben Criss is the artist who transformed the jail into a magical getaway.
“As an artist, it seems like the best thing you can hope to achieve is that if you paint a rectangle on the wall and somebody looks at it, maybe they feel something," said Criss. "Thank God Markos and Marla were clever enough to realize, well, do what we really like doing, which is putting the viewer in the art."
Also in the art is subliminal messaging, which Paradissis promises is "nothing damaging." If you look closely, you can find a picture of local TV icon Lil' John Rinaldi.
"I wanted other people to enjoy it, it’s very rare that you find a place you can go and see something like this," said Paradissis of The Old Vermilion Jailhouse Bed and Breakfast.
“I just think it’s a great place, please come and visit us!” Hayes said.
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