Abandoned America Road Trip with Brenda
August 2018 – Part Three – Ohio State Reformatory
We paid for a photography tour. There are specific rules about this and we coordinated it with the office beforehand. We were allowed to arrive early and were allowed to walk around on our own. When we were there, the west side of the site was closed for renovation. They were already starting work for the Halloween event…. Just an FYI – most abandoned prisons/asylums seem to have Halloween events so August – October might not be the best times to photograph those facilities. The basement was also closed off to us BUT there was so much to photograph, we easily spent six hours and left mainly because we were exhausted.
Several staff members saw we were photographers and asked if we wanted to go behind the scenes. Of course we said yes, and got a chance to hear about unique things about the history, people, and places within the building. JB, a former prisoner at the reformatory, saw us and took us on a long “tour” of places within the bdg. His personal connection to the reformatory was very moving and his stories added much to our experience there. I will definitely go back again and would love to photograph a model there. Anyway – a few images from the space below. It was a visual delight. Some areas had beautiful windows that cast light and shadow. Others were dark and ominous – which told equally powerful stories.
inside the chapel . . .
behind the scenes spiral stairwell . . .
Inside the warden’s families’ quarters.
There was a large room with drawings and writings from the many prisoners who lived there, in the dark 24/7, recuperating from burns from another prison’s fire.
The video above is one of several “paranormal” experiences we had during our road trip. You’ll have to judge for yourself. We heard so many paranormal stories about the reformatory – especially in solitary confinement and in the basement. This was in the solitary area.
Next installment – our weekend in Pittsburgh.