Hollywood returning to ghostly Mansfield Reformatory in a new public attraction

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MANSFIELD, Ohio - Hollywood is returning to the historic and notoriously haunted Ohio State Reformatory.

Built in 1886, the Gothic stone building was used as a working prison for more than a century in Mansfield, with a legacy of murder and mayhem.

“There was a lot of suffering,” said Paul Smith, Executive Director of The Historic Ohio State Reformatory.

After being closed in 1990, due to inhumane conditions, multiple movies were filmed at the prison including "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Air Force One."

This fall, film industry icon and director Robert Kurtzman, will create another spectacular production, but this project is a “haunted attraction” that will be open to the public.

“The way it looks, it’s creepy and amazing,” said Hollywood Special Effects Legend Robert Kurtzman. “And it’s an actual haunted facility so that’s just the big bonus.”

Kurtzman’s credits include hundreds of films that tap into every human emotion like "Dances with Wolves," "Misery," "Pulp Fiction," "The Avengers" and "The Green Mile."

But he is best known for creating some of the most truly terrifying movies of all time including "The Nightmare on Elm Street," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Halloween" and "Evil Dead."

Now he and his team of “twisted artists” at his Creature Corp movie studios in Crestline, Ohio, are designing new and original monsters for the Paranormal Penitentiary attraction, which opens in September and runs through Halloween.

“Just bigger set pieces, bigger creatures, and creature experiences,” said Kurtzman. Bloodcurdling characters, that for the first time, will be allowed to touch people who’ve purchased a special pass called an “Ultra Touch Pass.”

“You wear something that allows the actors to know these people want to be messed with,” said Kurtzman.

But at the reformatory, there is a chance something else might also reach out, says director Smith. “There have been some folks come out with scratches on their backs, their hair pulled-- things like that.”

Even some of Kurtzman’s artists are wary of certain areas in the reformatory like “Solitary Confinement,” where inmates truly suffered. Some were killed while there and a guard was beaten death.

“It just adds an element of real terror,” said  Smith. "I don’t think we’ll have any problem scaring the pants off of people.”

For more information on the Paranormal Penitentiary you can visit their Facebook page by clicking here, or their website by clicking here.


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