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Archive for May 18th, 2009

“The first night’s the toughest, no doubt about it.” (Red, Shawshank Redemption)

 

Ohio State Reformatory

Ohio State Reformatory

 

I would never spend a night in this place. Ever.  Even though they offer ghost hunts – overnight “paranormal investigations”, which I might have thought would be fun, at one time.  It’s just too creepy.  And it’s no wonder that it’s been featured on Fox Family Channel’s “Real Scary Stories”, “Scariest Places on Earth” and SciFi Channel’s “Ghost Hunters”.  

What it’s most famous for, though, is being the prison setting for the movie “Shawshank Redemption” (it’s also featured in “Air Force One”, “Tango and Cash” and some other movie and TV features – but the tourists who are there because of “Shawshank Redemption” appear to be the most numerous and exhuberant).

So, we choose the “Hollywood Tour” out of the three tours offered (which overlap to some degree). It’s supposed to last about an hour, but our guide is a “Shawshank Redemption” fanatic and  has so many stories to share about the movie (and his paranormal experiences as a tour guide), we’re gone a full two hours.

 

West Cell Block

West Cell Block

The Reformatory was built in 1886 and has the world’s largest freestanding steel cell block.  It must have been magnificent at one time, we see huge marble pillars and stained glass windows – inmates were evidently supposed to be inspired to repent.  We tour rooms that appeared in the movie, but which are now in an unbelievable state of ruin, since the Reformatory sat empty and unheated for several years, with horrendous damage from the elements and looters, after the making of the movie.  Lead paint is peeling and hanging everywhere, and the whole place is surreal.  But, it’s still recognizable to the fans who know every scene.

For us, it’s time to watch Shrawshank Redemption again!

 

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Prison Warden's Office (SR)

Prison Warden's Office (SR)

 

 

 

The hanging sceneThe hanging scene

 

 

Cell - Ohio State Reformatory

Cell - Ohio State Reformatory

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