The Phantom Prisoners of Ohio State Penitentiary
So here we are the road to Ohio State Reformatory, another. Prison for the boys they're. Opening up the prison for us. We're. Here to find some ghosts and. This, looks like a place we'll find them. This. Week on BuzzFeed unsolved, we investigate, Ohio State Reformatory in, Mansfield, Ohio as, part of our ongoing investigation. Into the question are ghosts. Real this. Enormous prison, was notorious, for violence and poor conditions, and is considered one of the most haunted places in the US right, now we're sitting in a holding cell this is where people would go before they. Were sent off to whatever block they were gonna go very appropriate, as we're about to dive. Let's. Get into it opening. On September, 15th. 1896. Ohio. State Reformatory was. Constructed, in Mansfield. Ohio on, top, of the former site of a Union, Army training, ground in the Civil War at, current. Day the, main building, of the reformatory. Has a gargantuan. Footprint. Of. 250,000. Square feet, in fact, the. Six story East cellblock, containing. 600 cells is the, largest freestanding steel. Cellblock, in the world the architecture. Conceived, by architect, Levi T Schofield. Is gothic, in nature invoking, the feeling of castles. Conditions. Inside of the prison mixed, with the design would, earn the Reformatory the unaffectionate, nickname, of quote, Dracula's. Castle and, quote, this. Is the administrative, building that's why everything is so nice I mean it was gonna say look at this beautiful, tile work Air. Force one they filmed Air Force One here Air, Force one actually now that I think of it remember. The. Reason they hijacked, the plane is to release for the go ahead and cut you off right there because I don't give a, we're, gonna move over here. Okay. Now. Here's here's an appropriate, movie, references, I haven't even seen Shawshank, but I know those steps, oh so, you can make movie references, because it's very visual, look at it that well, there's no there's no plaque here for that there was a plaque for the Air Force one because you don't need a plaque is here like yeah those are the stairs believable. Whoa. Yeah. They keep going wow. You're. Quite taken with these I mean I get. It it's kind of this weird juxtaposition. Dracula's. Castle perhaps, you know appropriate no no yeah. Some. Nice exposed brick here yeah but it's tasteful. Yeah the. Reformatory, began, with good intentions, as it was meant to be a place where first-time, offenders, and minor, criminals, would come to literally reform, themselves, there was a school a gym, industrial. Training areas to teach the inmates, a trade and, regular. Chapel service however, as, funds, diminished, and the need for prisons base escalated.
The Reformatory, eventually. Became overcrowded. Sometimes. Stuffing, for inmates, to a sell and the facilities, fell into disrepair, to, make matters worse the. Prison was no longer exclusive. To minor offenders, and eventually. Became, a maximum-security. Prison. Taking, in hardened, and violent, criminals, for people in a Cell that's a lot I mean you put any normal, people in a room that's too small like if you're in a dorm in college if, you hate your roommate it's, a tough business, listening, to music too glad when I'm trying to study cooking. A Top Ramen in the microwave, when I'm trying to sleep you got some axes to grind no. You Roland, Roland as the. Population, increased, and the conditions, worsened, mistreatment. From guards, became, commonplace, for. Instance, as early, as July 15th 1898. A story, ran in the New York Times stating, 45 prisoners, were hung by their thumbs, after. Going on a strike because they, no longer had, access to, tobacco they. Were also given only one meal a day as punishment, hung, by their thumbs that, why. That's. Why would you do that they wouldn't shut up it doesn't sound like the worst possible thing to do to me won't. They just pop right out of the sockets, oh I don't like that one bit if, they hung me by my thumbs then I'd be pretty upset well, it's again it's not the worst thing you could do they could give you a little you know a paddle, to the bottom or whatever you would rather be hung by your thumbs then take a little spanking it could be a big. Big paddle, did. You not get spanked when you were a kid no that makes a lot of sense actually. What. The is all. I have to say to that nothing. Like the thumb talk do, you not like the thumb talk was a too much don't talk I thought we went about two minutes long than them they. Don't like the thumb talk. Holy. Holy. Holy, if, you're one of the people who had that thumb thing happened you had sex what. Was it like. What. Do you think you're gonna get right now I feel like would you go see what that is to be honest. We. Were walking over to the, source. Of the disturbance. But. There was - it's. Not that I wasn't that. Hello. I'm. Gonna lose my mind. So. Did that twice with. Me in the span of ten seconds but nothing else confirm, that this it did sound like this right. Yeah. That, was the sound do. You think the winds gonna do that twice. Not. Moving. Well. So. Hopefully, we find some good stuff tonight okay. This. Isn't me long night, alright. Are. You. Kidding me are you. Kidding me now, there is a lot of wind moving through now so. That did what is it that, didn't hurt who. Is it what did happen right as the wind picked up you. Didn't. Notice that but. Now it came from over here yeah. There. It is. It's. That. Way. There's. Your is it white worries there's a logical, explanation for, you ah okay.
There It is well, there. We go there, you go, but. If we hadn't seen that if. We hadn't seen that you wouldn't we wouldn't be fooled well no we wouldn't have been fooled you would have been telling me for months. The. Conditions, inside the reformatory, eventually. Led to the prison being shut down permanently, in. 1990. During, its time as a working prison these walls played, home to one hundred, and fifty-four, thousand, inmates some, of whom never, walked out whether, it was violence or disease at least. 215. Perished. During their time at the reformatory. And at, least one guard which healed by inmates so. This is the East cellblock, this. Is the bigger of the two blocks inside this whole joint I mean. This is like classic prison. Is. This. What. Are you doing I mean. You're, going past the chain what we're gonna investigate, it alright good lord. This. Is the largest standing steel, cellblock in the, world. Really. Something that's a lot of metal it, is a lot of metal a lot of men I'm. Hearing a lot of a little. Noises yeah I am too what do you suppose those are I. Don't. Know I could. Certainly see how he one would lose their mind in a situation, like this yeah. This looks Pleasant. This so. Hard dude. This. Is, terrible it's, the opportunity of a lifetime of being here. We, are high, up we, are in the top of the wall right now but no, you can't see well, I have the thermal up we're gonna get some ocean lights up here we're gonna have a real party up here in this sixth floor huh, let's, party baby. There. He goes hello. There. He comes. Home. By himself I'm, separating, from the group it's. An ideal time to kill him yeah I mean if I were gonna die in camera, it would be a pretty noble thing future. Ghost Hunters would be like this is the spot where, Ryan. Bergara, got. Murked oh my god this keeps stretching, I don't, understand what's wrong with running sometimes. What. Was that I, didn't. Say anything. You. Sure you didn't say anything Shane no, go back and set them off to make sure they work I got a better idea why don't you go yourself okay and I won't do that all right so. If there's anything on this 6-tier. On. The, south side. Just. Walk towards our voice. If, you turn on those lights you'll go to heaven okay see now that's taking it too far. While, some desks were the results of violence, from other inmates, other deaths, were self-inflicted, it. Said that one inmate, named James Lockhart, covered, himself in turpentine, stolen, from the prison furniture shop and set, himself on fire in, his cell, James's. Spirit is considered, one of the more violent, within the prison. 16. 15. 14. 13. All. Right. Coming. In James. It's. Tight it's tight squeeze. We. Can barely move around in here right now just the two of us this is insane, could, you imagine every, time there's leaving it here with four that's crazy, James. I get it I just want to say that up front if, I had to be trapped in here even. If it was only for 15 years. Too. Much so, when did he was 22, when he set himself on fire, he.
Had Been in here since he was seven, what. He, was trapped in here for 15 years no no he had he was his sentence was 15 years I see, it, said that other people walked by at the guards walking, in over here seeing. A man trapped in here on fire I mean it was probably gruesome. Yeah I just Jesus. Christ. I'm. Gonna turn something on that may help, you talk to us and. It's even, - James you're gonna do this I'm, gonna do this - James sorry, James. All. Right jeans I don't think I properly introduce myself before I'm Ryan that Shane you say any of our names back to us. There. Lawfully, I don't. Know, that was awful. James. Are you in here. Classical. Music huh. What. Say. That again. Is. Your last fans this use this energy this is giving off to say something. Turn. It off. Well. James. We're. Gonna leave your cell here but, before. We leave once again Tsar you what happened you happen to you pretty. Awful may you know peace. Another. Less graphic debt that occurred in the prison happened, in the wardens living quarters on November, 5th 1950. Helen, glad K the, wife of the reformatory, superintendent. Was, attempting, to grab a jewelry, box from a shelf in her closet when, she accidentally. Knocked down a handgun, the heme gun hit the floor and discharged. Shooting Helen. In the chest resulting. In Helens death a couple days later, visitors. To the living quarters report smelling her prominent, rose scented perfume, and catching. Glimpses of her walking into her pink bathroom, all, right so this is the second floor it's. Up here where Helen's. Living quarters were as well as the her two, sons. Seems. Like a fun place to grow up if you're a child. You. Have a very different definition of fun. We. Hear you have a very lovely rose scented perfume, we'd love to smell it so you want to smell it why don't we close our eyes and smell, okay. You know heighten our sense of smell and see if we could smell any kind of perfume yeah, you. Too yeah. I'm happy to hey ready yeah. Get, maybe backup I mean I could feel your air intake. It's. Like a gross nasal jet I don't know. It. Smells like old wood yeah, I was gonna say old wood rotting plaster, well Helen if you aren't here or if you are here we, sure can't smell you which is a weird sentence to say we. Can't smell you Helen or. If, you're a little busy right now we can always smell, you later. Oh. You're. Back we're, gonna do an investigation okay. One. Room that is particularly active, and mysterious, in nature, is a room on the third floor of the administration. Building referred, to as the, chair room the, room which, is one of the only rooms, in the reformatory, without, windows, has, a single, chair sitting, in the center of his paranormal. Investigators. Claim that when the chair is moved from the center of the room the, chair will return to the center of the room on its, own one. Investigator, even, claimed to be pushed and scratched by, the enemies in this room and. As. The name would suggest I, present. You the chair this. Chair looks. Stupid, in the middle of the room actually, thing looks rather nice I like what you've done with the place really sets the room right well we disagree and.
I'm The guy who's gonna move it don't move the chair come on man hey I tried, to stop him seriously. That's just rude you're gonna come into his room or it's good whatever is in this room I'm sorry, we're, from California don't let this be representative, of all Californians, we're the Hollywood elite I. Don't. Think you're strong enough to move it back whoever. You are are you even human, or you may be a demon. Whoever's. Here move that chair back that's. Not the center of the room at all, move. It back I'll. Stand right over here you throw it right at me if you want move. That chair. Moving. He's. Gonna take your chair he's gonna take it outside he's, gonna spread his butt cheeks and he's gonna lay a fat turd or Idol over the center of it I mean. Sure. Yeah I'm painting a vivid image very, vivid yep that's what I'm gonna do and. I'm gonna take photos of it and put it on Instagram how, about this if whatever. Is in here moved this chair back to the center we. Won't do anything to the chair we'll leave it alone sound. Like a fair deal yeah, sounds like a fair deal you see that he, said if you move it back he won't mess with it. Look. Tough, season for the book no no no no wait a second, wait don't, you realize this, happening, would be incredible, right yeah would be it, certainly would be unborn. One. Thing that also happens in this room is, people get scratched if they get a little too rambunctious. Scratch. Me that's, what I'm here for I'm here for the scratches, I keep forgetting now I don't really think you're, actually giving it wrong what do you want them to scratch, me they're very asshole he's back. Scratch. Me up make me bleed oh the sheeny hack is back baby that's my heart, holy she cracks up my insides yeah internal, bleeding, watch, it blood how about that he's getting medical latch herself, onto my soul come, back to Hollywood with me and destroy, the lives of all my friends and co-workers isn't hard to follow but I like, where you're going Ryan's family has a. Real. Good what you wanted me to give it my own that portrays, our first table insults. Not personal, information, you're, giving him a dossier on my life you, know this was supposed to be the season of respecting, ghosts. And every time I've tried to do that you yell, at me to, disrespect, them I'm telling, you to be true, to who you are I mean that is certainly valid. It. Was I am living a lie otherwise, well then we're talking to air. The. Chapel, is also, an active, area of the Reformatory there, are rumors of the chapel being used as a place of executions. Prior to becoming a chapel, and ghosts. Are known to grab people, who attempt to leave we're. Coming up, this. Would be a good, place though right it should be then. Again you would also think that spirits. That. Are hanging out in the chapel were kind of mocking things in you baby, yeah.
But Jesus is. Jesus here I have, no idea. At. This moment our audio, recorder, picks up a voice saying, I am, NOT is, Jesus here I have, no idea. What. Well. Clearly he is. Yeah. Because he says I he's. Answering I'm. Not. I'm. Not here it's you that or it's the devil I don't know I just, put the then Jesus is the devil, I'm. Saying it's the devil pretending, to be Jesus he's playing like a little game but then he would say I am here it's me Jesus, that's true I guess it that doesn't really you know what it is I just am nervous. Ring. A question about Jesus, that's a ghost hanging, out in a chapel for some reason which seems like a weird, place for someone to spend if they're trapped for eternity I don't. Know you, know chalk, it up to the usuals I think, it's pretty clear chalk it up to the usuals that's gonna be a new go-to answer okay well I think it's a pretty clear voice and it. Answered your question in, a little a. Little tricky way but intelligently, I have not. Holy-moly. This. Is quite a room I mean. It is a chapel I gotta, say for a prison chapel I did not expect it to be this expansive. Which. Would harmonize. Wasn't. Bad alright my. Name is Ryan that Shane and. We're. Here, to. Make a connection, with you, we. Want you to feel comfortable and safe. When. You reach out to us so please know that we. Are very non-judgmental. We. Don't care about what, crimes you've committed, this. Is a place of worship and. Forgiveness. And. We. Respect, you. It. Must be lonely. If. You don't want us to leave, you. Should say something now. Place. Sucks. You. Could go home with him you could he'll break you out of this joint. Hop. On me I'll give you a little piggyback ride all the way home to sunny Los Angeles. Last. Chance. What's. Your name. Is, that muffled, conversation. It's very peculiar. Where. Is it coming from. Oh. I. See it there's, a bird right there oh there's, a bunch up there, hey. Bros. Now. That is one, big pile of hey. When. It comes to guards with a penchant, for doling, out punishment our, last location is, perhaps the, darkest, a place, referred, to as the, hole the. Hole was, the name given to the solitary confinement cell, block of the prison this, block was reserved for those being punished, legend. Has it that in the late 1930s, as, punishment, for a riot. 120. Prisoners, were forced to shove themselves, into, the 12 solitary, confinement, cells for a week without food, this incident, reportedly, resulted, in madness, and some deaths. Reportedly. Horrifying. Happenings, occurred in the hall including an, inmate hanging himself a guard, being killed by inmates, an inmate, lighting, himself on fire one. Instance, where two inmates entered, the hall together and only. One walked, out with, the other being discovered, dead his, body stuffed. Under, the bunk in, other words this, is a rather horrible place, and as, with most horrible, places we'll investigate, it individually. We're, gonna do that thing where I go first and you go second, and that'll. Be fun for you because you, get to build up the anticipation, and get very scared yeah really good well I just walk around and probably won't take it very seriously, good, bye good, bye. If. There's anyone here, my, name's Shane and. I'd. Like to talk to you I have. A microphone, in my pocket, and if, you put your lips are real close to it and whisper. Something my. Friend will have proved that. Ghosts, are, real. How. Did it come to this you know I. Really. Do wonder sometimes how did I end up in this spot. Walking. Through solitary, confinement by myself, in. The middle of the night in a haunted prison, is. This what I wanted from life I don't, think it is. Please. Try to say something intelligent and. Coherent. You. Know say I don't. Like the food here or. This. Is a bad time for, me. Or. Can. You please stop talking something, I'm, gonna give you the floor now you know, what for the hell of it I'm gonna turn out my light just, gonna be pitch-black here, and a prisoner.
Here, We go. You. Know I didn't, walk down West cellblock. Doot-doot. Doot-doot. Doot-doot. Doot-doot doot-doot doot-doot, here's a nice thing well if somebody looks like they beat the out of this. Not. Sure know what that is Oh. Yells. Uh now, these appear to be the. Solitary. Rooms I think because. They have those tiny little doors on them. I'm. Gonna jump into one of these. Feel. Out the space. I'm. Going to be quiet now if. You're a ghost, reach. Out to me communicate, I, welcome. Your, thoughts I, respect. You, because. That's what I'm doing, this season or, at least attempting, to do, here, I go I'm going to be quiet now. Let. Er rip. It's. Nice over here I like it. If. That's somebody up there make that noise again on your cell. Ah. Hate this place. I really do. But. It's, got some charm. I'm. Not even I'm not even kidding about that time. To face the music huh. Let's. Send the reigai to the hole, very. Scary, the things you said to me I don't know if my friend Ryan is gonna respond, quite so well. You. Do know I hate you right it's. Pretty spooky I sent one of the solitary cells and just really just really tried. To put myself in their shoes and, I think I learned a, little. Bit. Wow. I hate. This part of the episode you know I mean ghosts, here he comes, Jesus Christ that's loud here comes your boy Ryan Vergara. Okay. Well, good luck off. You go. Okay. Well, as mr. Shane said my. Name is Ryan. I'm. Very scared right now. So. Know that if you're scared I promise. You I'm more scared Ryan's. Out there doing his little thing. Do. Know that if you show yourself, I have a camera I will, see you and, everybody. Will know you exist, and I win he. Seems to be handling them well this season proud. Of him, growing. Up you know if there's anybody up here with me and I just got the chills of he. Had to do it sometime I don't. Know how he's gonna fare he was a little rattled, earlier. In the night well. I'm, gonna sit on one of these and they're. Disgusting. Okay. Sitting. In a solitary cell. By. Myself. Good. Right. Okay. Let's, fire up the spirit, box. All. Right. My, name is Ryan you. See lying back. You. Say Ryan. No. Escape huh. What's. The name of the jail wherever now. Psycho. Who. Is in this out who. Sell my end. Can. You say my name my name is Ryan Bergara. What. Did you do why you here. Good. Obviously. You were good. Crank. Marks or that what, what, does it say it sounds to me like it's saying we first board at dusk we. First, board, at dusk, yeah let's do it again. So. We, were. Speaking to, the ghouls and we said please tell. Us an important, message and he. Got up to the mic and said first. Board that does it, could be a metaphor I don't know why. Would ghosts be speaking, in metaphors, I don't, know I would go speak Oh. Checkmate. It's. Alright, I'm gonna turn this off for the last part here. It. Is alarmingly, silent, now in here. What. Was that who was that. Reveal. Yourself, could, you make noise can you bang on one of your cells I'll come to you. Who. Is that. Please. Oops. If. You, want a top god I have such all the hair standing up in my body. Time's. Up thank. God too late, won't get to know. Sayonara. The. Right guy is out what. Are you gonna say to them yeah, take, a good look at this face ya, ain't never gonna see it again you had your chance. See. That little dance that's. The last thing you're ever gonna see a Dios.
Oh. I forgot the spirit box show, go get it. I have, my hands are full well try your best. I'm. Back ha, ha ha isn't that funny how that happens. Where did I leave this. Boy. What, have. You done Ryan what have you done. I found. You. Haha. This is the best part one I just feel so much joy and happiness, and I remember all that's good in the world this, is you at your most loathsome yeah. After. Spending a night roaming, the unsettling, cell blocks of Ohio, State Reformatory I. Can see why many feel the prison is haunted. Even. Without the history the, visuals presented. Are enough, to make the imagination. Run wild but. Whether or not Ohio State Reformatory is, definitively, haunted, will remain, unsolved. So. Right now we're gonna go retrieve the. Static cam from the chair room and if this chair is not where I left it I'm gonna lose my mind. What. If the chairs are stacked like in full toga that would be equally. Insane oh. This. Is so weird. There. Are in the same spot in the same spot. Very, curious, very good. Some. About the citizens, long fishing that. Ghost is supposed to move that he lies and, I can't say I'm not disappointed because, I am disappointed. With whatever's, in this room. Tough. Season for the boo Cara's it's a big ask, once again tough season. You.