It has been a very long day and I won't say too much tonight about the many stories I've collected on my trip this week, but I do want to share a little of how much I've enjoyed my day. I began my exploration of Mansfield, Ohio today with a day of touring The Shawshank Trail. The Shawshank Trail is a tour of all the places that were used in the filming of the movie, The Shawshank Redemption. The Shawshank Redemption, based on the novel by Stephen King, is the story of one man's overwhelming strength of spirit in the face of almost insurmountable odds. The main character, Andy, is falsely imprisoned, tortured and raped in prison, and yet still finds a way to carry on and escape. The movie is shot mostly in the breathtaking Ohio Reformatory. The Reformatory is hauntingly beautiful and just haunted. After touring the reformatory today, I was left wanting more. They do offer all night ghost hunting trips and ghost tours of this amazing facility and I think that it would be worth an extra trip later to participate in one of these activities. There were many corners of the reformatory that our little group missed and several ghost stories I didn't catch in the rush to see more. Yet, just being in the reformatory carried a sense of history and mystery so deep it pulled me in and left me longing for more study.
After the reformatory, The Shawshank Trail took us to many other locations. We went to Pugh cabin where Andy dreamt of killing his wife. We saw the tree where Red found his salvation and enough money to carry him away from his life. We had a lovely meal at an old Carriage house on Malabar Farm, a location famous for its history and ghosts. We even went to the haunted and beautiful Renaissance Theater where the premier for Shawshank Redemption was.
Although I haven't completed my tour of Mansfield or The Shawshank Trail, I have to say that Mansfield is a lovely, little town for those who love ghost stories and Stephen King. It is also a great vacation for people looking for haunting locations that are just off the beaten path. There is a quiet in the autumn leaves here that calls for further exploration and helps you understand why this small town has been visited by so many ghost hunters and used for so many movies. Mansfield has many hauntings in its quiet corners and holds a beauty that the larger, more touristy cities lack. Of course, I always forget something when I travel, and this trip I forgot my camera cord so I can't post any photographs of my trip until tomorrow, but I think when I do the pictures will say a thousand words.