Friday, November 25, 2011

My Black Friday Sale and Giveaway!


I hate Black Friday.   I hate the idea of fighting crowds to buy things on sale. I hate the idea of consumerism gone completely insane.  Most days,  I would pay money not to have to fight crowds to shop.   More and more, I shop online.   I like amazon.com and ebay.   They make my life easy and I can shop from home and even from my car on my iphone.   I guess that is why I really appreciate the online Black Friday Sales.  I can get a discount, but I don't have to leave the comfort of the chair I'm sitting in right now.

That is why I'm really thrilled my publisher gave me the opportunity to do a sale of my own this week for Black Friday and the week following.   My book, Circe, has been released in print and if you go to http://www.lachesispublishing.com/proddetail.asp?prod=CircePrint  and enter the code RevolvingBook123111  you can get it for 25% off.  So, despite my hatred of Black Friday, I am participating today.  I am doing my own little Black Friday sale and I'm already feeling a  little better about this dark holiday.  Also, I'm giving away two amazon.com gift cards to any of you who help me spread the word about my sale.  So if you tweet, blog, or facebook about my sale, comment below and tell me and I will do a drawing next week to decide who will get one of the two $25 amazon.com gift cards!   Help me spread the word and celebrate Black Friday and maybe this year I will learn to love my least favorite day of the year.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Visions of Hell

My husband never stops surprising me.   There is so much he doesn't tell me and I suppose that is a good thing.  It is nice to have surprises and to still find out new things about someone you've been with for many years.  It is nice to hear new stories and know there will always be mystery.   My husband is a doctor, a medical director, and he has spent much of his life at work.  It is these parts of his life that I don't know and that still hold shadows and stories I have yet to hear.   He told me one of these stories this morning. 

My husband told me about a code he was running on a man who was dying.  The man died.  They lost him.  He slipped away into that realm that people go to after your last breath has passed your lips and your heart beat fades away.  The man died and they brought him back.   On his return, the man started screaming.  He screamed that he had been on fire.  There was fire everywhere.  His yells were like the shrieks of the damned and then he faded from this world again.   My husband and his team kept working and brought the man back to life again.  Again, the man screamed about fire and burning.  Three times the man died and came back screaming about fire.  Finally, he slipped away from this world.

The nurses all believed that the man was going to hell every time he died.  They believed his visions of fire were visions of his own damnation.  They were shaken by what they saw and heard coding that man.   My husband isn't sure what was happening, but he says the event certainly made him think.  He hopes the man wasn't going to hell.  He says that the very idea of that is almost too terrifying, but the mans screams have stayed with him and he wishes he could have saved him.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Guest Blogger Heather Green Talks About Ghost Hunting

Ghosthunting Equipment – Learn From Experienced Ghosthunters


Have you ever wondered how ghosthunters detect paranormal activity? Do they rely on tingling senses, or do they really gather evidence of interactions with the supernatural? Is it possible to record such interactions? Lisa Landolfi of Visions Investigative Paranormal (VIP) in Eastern Pennsylvania is a seasoned ghosthunter and medium who has written about her many experiences. Lisa is often called in to support other paranormal teams for difficult cases, where her gifts as a spiritual medium act as a tool to support a team in discovering answers for a client experiencing unusual experiences within a home or business. This article was one such case and not a case conducted by the VIP team.

She is also the author of an upcoming book titled “My Journey Through The Veil”. The following is an excerpt from her book. Read on to learn how ghosthunters detect paranormal activity, distinguish this activity from human or animal activity, and record such experiences.

Excerpt from “My Journey Through The Veil” by Lis Landolfi:

“The night sky was clear and filled with stars. The air hot and humid; there was no breeze to lend comfort to the Paranormal team as we prepared for another investigation of a private residence. The home was situated far off of a winding country road; lending itself to the isolation of the property. This house was an old country home full of the past and the present. The homeowners called in the team to help them to understand the strange occurrences the family had experienced within the home. They were frightened and needed reassurance.

A child within the home had an interest in the paranormal. She began to explore the home on her own using a K2 meter and an audio recorder. The K2 meter, also known as an electromagnetic field (EMF) detector, is often used by paranormal investigators to detect a magnetic field within an environment. It is believed that spirits manipulate the magnetic field causing fluctuations within the meter allowing the 5 LED scale to light up. Often this will occur in response to a question asked by an investigator.

The child explored her home in earnest and began to receive responses using the K2 meter. As she continued to explore the spirit world other strange things began to happen within the home. The family began to see shadows moving across the floor. An apparition of woman appeared within the doorway between the living area and the dining room. Upstairs in an attic bedroom, an apparition of a child spirit was seen within a closet. The house felt different, it sounded different and the family wanted to know that evil was not lurking within its walls.

As the team began to place an electronic net over the entire property; I began to explore the home in search of possible ‘hot spots’ where activity was occurring. Being a psychic-medium has given me sensitivity that allows me to receive images visually, sounds aurally, and physical sensations to electromagnetic changes within an environment.

I received many visions of past experiences within the home. I saw the death of an elderly man within the office area. I saw the shadow of a woman within the doorway of the living area. At the top of the stairwell, I was met with the vision of a thin balding man wearing a gray suit jacket and gray pants. The air pressure within that area was tight and thick. Within one bedroom I watched shadows quickly come in and out of a window and out into the hall. In the attic bedroom, the vision of a young girl with long dark hair, sat in a fetal position with her arms wrapped around her legs while her head lay upon her knees. As I shared this information with the family, they confirmed that indeed my visions were correct and these were the exact experiences that the family had endured.

I was informed that central command was ready. The computer screens held live visual feeds of various rooms throughout the home. Outside the Stealth Camera was put in place near the outer spring house in hopes of capturing any unusual anomalies. The Stealth Camera uses infrared night vision with a movement detector. This camera is activated by movement and will take a series of pictures a few seconds apart.

As the Stealth Camera was being put into place, I walked the grounds with our lead investigator to see if I could sense any activity. Just beyond the property were railroad tracks and beyond the tracks stood a State Mental Hospital that had been in operation since 1891. The train that ran on the tracks brought the chronically insane patients to the hospital. These same tracks were also responsible for the deaths of many of the patients who escaped the hospital walls. They took their own lives by standing in front of a moving train. Our concern was that the young girl who toyed with the paranormal somehow opened a portal that allowed these tortured souls to enter the property.

As we walked, the first lead investigator held a K2 meter and began to ask a series of questions to see if any spirits were present. He began to receive some hits on the meter and we watched as it would light up to a 3 on the light scale. It was not long after, that I received a mental vision of people within the corner of the yard just beyond the right of the Spring House. As the vision became clearer, I saw eight people. At first I thought they were a family, but I was quickly corrected by the woman who stood in the front. She told me they were traveling together. The woman wore a long dress and a hat. Her hair was pulled back tightly giving her a stern expression. A young girl stood beside her. As the investigator, began to speak and send them a greeting, the girl became frightened and stood behind the woman.

I also saw a man of smaller stature wearing a white work shirt, suspenders and wool pants. He had dirt on his face. A younger male was also there. He appeared to be in his teenage years. He had brown ‘mussed up’ hair. He looked pale and confused. The other four people stood behind. There appearance was difficult for me to determine as they appeared blurred and less distinct than the four people who stood in the front. The investigator decided to remain outdoors to investigate further.

I was asked by the co-founder of the Paranormal team to go outside again to take digital pictures of the spring house. The spring house held a no trespassing sign and according to the homeowners, no one had entered the property for years. Looking into the windows it held every paranormal investigators dream of creepy places. It was filled with spider webs, spiders and an assortment of other insects.

I decided to take a few pictures from the outside looking into the window. As I began snapping pictures, I began to make small talk with our co-founder. I could feel her breath on my cheek as she leaned in from behind me. As I turned to say something else to her, I realized she was not behind me at all. She was standing more than 10 feet from me, taking pictures of the spring house. Someone had been with me and it was not her.

We went inside to begin investigating within the home with another lead investigator. Other team members also made their way towards their destination elsewhere on the property. The founder, and another investigator in training, set up inside of the spring house, in hopes of awakening spirit world. Our first lead investigator remained outdoors with our tech manager in an attempt to capture evidence of the vision I had received earlier in the evening.

Within the home itself, all was very quiet and uneventful. We had no hits on the K2 meter or any other equipment set up to capture evidence of a haunting. The only sounds heard within the home were a few bumps and the sound of rustling, scratching noises that could be attributed to the settling of an old home and mice within the walls.

However, outside the Stealth Camera was pushed down by an unseen hand. After being replaced back to an upright position, it began to take pictures with earnest. Inside the Spring House, strange sounds were heard with no particular natural cause. And our founder suddenly fell down the stairs.

Days later upon review of audio and visual data, evidence was captured on audio and on the Stealth Camera. The Stealth Camera captured a curved anomaly in the same location that I had seen the eight people earlier in the evening. At the time the picture was taken, no one was outside and all of the team was accounted for. After careful review of the photograph, no natural earthly explanation could be found.

Two EVP’s, electronic voice phenomena was found imprinted on equipment from the investigation of the spring house. In one, an investigator had just announced that she was coming down the stairs when a male voice unheard by human ears says, ‘Wait’. Our Founder and the investigator were the only people in the spring house at that time.

The second EVP was caught within the house when our founder was explaining how he had fallen down the steps in the Spring House. A male voice is heard saying, ‘I had to’. Was he pushed down the stairs intentionally by a spirit? Maybe, but only those on the other side know for sure.”

More about Ghosthunting Excursions

You can follow Lisa’s investigations by following Visions Investigative Paranormal (VIP) online. As Lisa says, “VIP's goal is to help both the living and the deceased find comfort once again. Our team respectfully serves our client's with honesty, dignity, and truth. The VIP team's center base is centrally located in Eastern Pennsylvania.” If you live in the area, check out the local events open to the public or call for an investigation if you suspect you have paranormal activity on your property.
Bio:

Born and raised in North Carolina, Heather Green has worked as a fashion and beauty consultant as well as freelancing for various wedding, fashion, and health publications. She currently acts as the resident blogger for Online Nursing Degrees where she’s been researching online healthcare admin programs as well as health care admin degrees.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Free Book Days!

I am blogging more slowly these days.  My mind is muddled and I feel that I probably wouldn't make much sense today if I did a real blog post.   I haven't slept in several days and I may begin seeing ghosts where there are none soon.   Despite my sleep deprivation, muddled mind, aching back, and fatigue, I have a lot to celebrate.   My horror novel, Circe, came out on Kindle.  I have 300 followers on my blog and I will be having a baby any moment, hopefully soon.   So rather than torture you with the ramblings of an addled woman, I am going to give away books to celebrate all the good things in life.   Today and Tomorrow, I will give away free copies of Circe and Death's Dream Kingdom to anyone who asks.   If you want one, email me at jessica.penot@gmail.com  or comment below with your email address and I will send you a copy.  I have several wonderful guest bloggers lined up for after I have my baby, so ya'll may notice that I may not be writing, but that is a good thing.  Also, I apologize to all the wonderful bloggers out there who I am not following as well because my brain seems to have left the building.   I appreciate everyone who reads this blog.  Ya'll keep me writing and keep me inspired and I have learned so much from you that I can't say.   So, happy free book day!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Brief History of Ley Lines

 In the 1920s, a man named Alfred Watkins claimed to have discovered a grid of straight lines which he called leys from the Saxon word for meadow.  He believed that many of the archaeological sites of the ancient world, particularly the megalithic stone monuments of the ancients, were connected by a series of  man made tracks or lines.   He said that "a fairy chain stretched from mountain peak to mountain peak as for as the eye could reach."   Watkins put his beliefs about ley lines in two books "Early British Trackways" and "The Old Straight Track."  Both of these books were almost completely ignored by serious archaeologists.

Yet, Watkins was not alone.  Other historians and archaeologists had proposed similar theories.   An American  tracked the alignment of Native American mounds and burial sites across the Americas using the same technique as Watkins.  A German named Heinsh tracked the alignment of holy hills and ancient churches across German.  In the Andes, the Nazca lines were shown to follow the similar pattern of  lines by a British explorer named Morrison. Driven by theses linking theories, in the 1960s,  new voices in ley research proposed a radical new theory.  They suggested that leys carry a mysterious earth energy that was know to the ancients but forgotten by us.  They believed that ley lines represent lines on the earth where mystical energies are aligned and amplifies and where the ancients found their spiritual centers.

Those who believe in ley lines report increase psychic activity along these lines.  They also report increased paranormal activity and increases in ghost sitings and hauntings.    Believers say that leys are located on channels of geophysical power and that intersections of leys form nodes.   Many famous hauntings occur and have occurred along leys and on nodes.  The famous Phantom Army at Loe Bar was sited at a particularly active node.  Many say poltergeist activity increases along these famous lines.  I have read some theorists who believe that Ley Lines might serve as pathways or roads for the dead. 

There are many theories about ley lines and their paranormal and historical significance. Whether or not you believe in their paranormal power, the theories regarding them are fascinating and numerous.   Is there some energy connection that ancients saw that we have become blind too?  Are we lost in the modern world or did the ancients just use particularly reliable astronomical signs to build their sites on?  To me, either way, it is worth reading about and studying because the slightly mysterious always is and anything that connects the ancients to ghost stories certainly is.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Visiting The Haunted Ohio State Reformatory

The Ohio State Reformatory is one of the most haunted places I have ever traveled to. It is considered to be one of the most haunted places in the nation. Even as you walk up to this old building, the cold seeps out of it and chills you to the bone. Inside the castle like structure, it was so cold I had to put my coat on. Outside it was lovely. This cold seems to come from more than the old stone. It seems to drift from the very core of the building where haunting and terrible histories clog the structure with sorrow and ghosts.

The Ohio State Reformatory is a thing of rare beauty. In the states, structures of such epic beauty are as uncommon as snow in the South. The reformatory was designed by architect Levi Tucker Scofield. His work was visionary. He had designed insane asylums and orphanages and penitentiaries all with the belief that beauty could bring peace to lost souls and help heal them. The original reformatory was build on progressive ideals. The philosophy was that by separating young men from hardened criminal and giving them the opportunity to grow while in prison they could become better people and would be less likely to continue in a life of crime upon their release. This idea actually worked for a time. Recidivism rates for those leaving reformatory were amazingly low. Almost 90% of those leaving never committed another crime. Later figures show recidivism as close to 60% returning to a life of crime, but when the Reformatory was built in 1896 it was a shinning ideal and a monument to the beauty of progressive philosophy.

As with many such things I have written about in the United States, these lovely turn of the century progressive ideals eroded with time. Finances became more important than people and The Ohio State Reformatory slowly became nothing more than a prison. Horror stories drifted out of the prison and became part of its mortar. Guards were murdered in solitary. One story told of a man who was put in solitary confinement with another man and killed him and hid him under the bed. Men were accidentally pushed over the five story cell block guard rail to their deaths. Men hung themselves. In 1933, overcrowding created more and more problems in the reformatory by 1986 The Council of Human dignity was in the process of completing a lawsuit to shut the reformatory down because of the “brutalizing and inhumane” conditions found in the walls of the once idealic reformatory.

I can’t even begin to describe all the hauntings and horrors that have been seen in the Ohio State Reformatory here. I was in the reformatory for a brief period of time and I could feel the history seeping out of the walls. Those that work in the reformatory embrace its history and believe that the building is made more beautiful by it. It whispers secrets and calls to others to come explore them. The beauty and uniqueness of the structure has called to many since its closing. The Shawshank Redemption, Airforce One, Tango and Cash, and many other movies have been filmed there. People come from all over to tour the facility. Tours run daily. Famous ghost hunting teams from all the big televisions shows have locked themselves in the reformatory to see its ghosts and they are not disappointed. The ghosts in the reformatory are thick.

My guide said that paranormal occurrences are common in the reformatory in almost ever section of the structure. Objects fly about on their own. Doors open and close and lights flickers. Strange shadows creep up on you from quiet corners. The stories from the reformatory are numerous. A Guard named Frank Hanger was injured and later died during an escape attempt from solitary. It is said that his ghost and the ghosts of those hung for his murder still linger in solitary. Clear EVPs from this section of the prison have captured the voices of all these men. The Warden’s quarters where the warden and his family used to live is said to be haunted by the ghost of a warden and his wife who were both mortally injured in the warden’s quarters. One employee described seeing four phantoms walk straight towards her and then vanish in the warden‘s quarters. Another saw an orb moving in the shadows in the warden’s quarters. Full body apparitions have been seen in the administration wing, the wardens quarters, and the east cell block.. People have described being punched, pushed and hit. The list goes on and on. There are so many ghost stories that Sherri Brake was able to fill an entire book with stories just from The Ohio State Reformatory. I won’t try to tell them all here, but I will say that if you are ever in Ohio the reformatory is worth the visit. Its ghostly beauty will stay with me for a long time and its ghosts have made believers out of the most hardened skeptics.








Thursday, November 10, 2011

Passing on the IDig Your Blog Award

A few weeks ago the lovely Little Gothic Horrors stopped by my blog and gave me an award.  I'm always thrilled to get awards because it is nice to be thought of,  but also because it gives me a chance to pass the award on to other amazing blogs out here.   Little Gothic Horrors is one of my favorite blogs and if you haven't seen this blog yet you should stop by http://littlegothichorrors.blogspot.com/.   Here are the conditions of the awesome award I was presented. 

iDig Your Blog Award Protocol:


1 ) Gratefully accept this award.

2 ) Link to the person you received it from.

3 ) Post 3 interesting facts about yourself.

4 ) Pass this award around to at least 5 blogs you dig.

5 ) Notify them.


I'm not too interesting lately, but here are some new interesting facts about myself and also some notifications:

1.   I'm now nine months pregnant and will probably be taking a brief break from blogging for a week or two once I have my little bundle of joy.

2.  I love to travel and am glad that blogging gives me another excuse to go to dark places and learn about their histories.  My next blog post will be the end of my series about my trip to Haunted Mansfield and I'll be writing about the Ohio Reformatory.

3.  I recently quit my job as a therapist on the psychiatric unit of a hospital.  Although I will probably return to psychology,   I'm enjoying staying home and working on my books right now.  It is nice to be focused on one thing.  It is nice to not have to get dressed up and professional every day.  Nothing like a day of t-shirts and leggings.


Five Blogs I Dig that are awesome and deserve this award are:

1.  Justine's Halloween  http://justineshalloween.blogspot.com/
2.  Something Wicked This Way Comes  http://wickedwaysproductions.blogspot.com/
3.  Scary True  http://scarytruestory.blogspot.com/
4.  Voodoo Ghoul  http://voodoo-ghoul.blogspot.com/
5.  Notes to a Ghost  http://jefferyr.blogspot.com/

There are a lot more blogs I Dig and would add to this list, but I tried to include blogs I haven't given awards to before or are newer additions to my regular reading list.  My regular favorite blogs like Haunt Jaunts, Above the Norm, The Heart Centered Psychic, Ghost Stories, Southern Spirit Guide, and Frog on a Pumpkin I've given awards to before and know how much I love their blogs, but these are some of my recent additions or blogs I've been reading for a while, but haven't  included before.   Thanks again to the fabulous Little Gothic Horrors!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Haunted Bissman Building

The Bissman Building is an impressive structure. It looms over downtown Mansfield, Ohio with historic grace. Its façade is slightly chipped, but the beauty of the building remains unmarred by the scars of time and weather. These scars only add to the haunting beauty of the building. Inside, the building is equally as impressive. The two front rooms are paneled in a rare style. Eastlake paneling is testaments to the unique style of the original builders of the building as is are the engravings around the fireplace.


The owner of the building is one of a long line of Bissmans who have owned this historic building. His people came over from Germany over a century ago and founded a wholesale grocery in his family building. Now, Mr. Bissman runs a successful printing company out of the structure. Mr. Bissman is a friendly man who is happy to talk about all aspects of his family business and history. He is happy to talk about the paintings of his ancestors that line the walls and he is happy to talk about the roll he and the building played in the filming of the movie The Shawshank Redemption. He is also happy to talk about the darker history of the Bissman Building.

The Bissman Building does have a dark and tragic history. That history is the history of a little girl named Ruthie. Little Ruthie’s photograph still sits on the mantle of the building She is photographed with her family. The poor little girl was murdered in the building and stuffed in a pickle barrel in the basement. She was raped and killed with particular cruelty and her ghost still wanders the building looking for the justice. One interesting story I was told in the building says her ghost found justice in the building. Apparently, one of the employees of the building was suspected of committing the crimes against little Ruthie. He was asked to leave and as he was saying goodbye from the elevator it malfunctioned and he was decapitated by the elevator. It is said that Ruthie had her revenge at that moment. She killed the man that killed her, but she also left another ghost behind, an angry dark ghost that ghost hunters and explorers have come to fear.

The Bissman Building has been featured on many ghost hunting shows and been explored by many paranormal investigators. My Ghost Stories on biography is the most recent to feature the building. I watched this show on Saturday night and listened to two ghost hunters tell their terrifying experiences in the building. One of the women was possessed by a malevolent spirit while in the building and showed angry red marks where this spirit had attacked her. The Bissman building’s haunting has produced numerous pictures and EVPs. The Bissman Building website has these photographs and recordings available for everyone to see at http://www.bissmanbuilding.com/ .

  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Shawshank Trail: A Photographic Journey


If I had to explain why I first began to travel seeking ghosts and ghost stories,  the answer would be wrapped up in my passion for beautiful places with tragic histories and interesting stories.  It would speak of my love for strange, old buildings and history that people only whisper about in shadowy corners.   It would speak of my love of horror stories and old movies that draw me into worlds I have never lived in.  The Shawshank Trail offered me all of these things this week.   Slowly,  I'm going to go over the history of each building I visited this week and their haunting histories.   Most of the places I visited had amazing ghost stories and I will do a post on all of them.  But for today, here is a brief overview of everything I saw in pictures.   The picture above is a photograph of the shattered remains of the tree Red found his money at.   


The Haunted Bissman Building.  In The Shawshank Redemption, this was where Brooks ended his life.  In real life, the building is filled with lonely ghosts.  It should be featured on My Ghost Story tonight.



The Wyandot County Courthouse where all the court scenes from The Shawshank Redemption were shot.  This building was so beautiful it took my breath away.




The town got together and reinacted the scene from The Shawshank Redemption in which Red was mesmerized by a Mozart aria for us.  It was beautiful.
 

 The haunted and beautiful Ohio Reformatory was amazing.   This was the primary location for The Shawshank Redemption.


I caught an interesting orb in this photograph of the room in which the parole board sat.


We went to several eateries which had Shawshank related food items for us to try.  

 
 The Renaissance Theater is where The Shawshank Redemption premiered.  It also houses its own dark and ghostly histories.


The Pugh Cabin where Andy dreamt of killing his wife.


To learn more about The Shawshank Trail,  you can go to their wonderful website at http://www.shawshanktrail.com/

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Shawshank Trail

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.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Ohio State Reformatory

With Halloween behind me this week,  I'll be going on a unique trip to The Ohio State Reformatory.  I will join a group of people going on The Shawshank Trail and visiting many of the locations from one of my favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption.   For me, The Ohio State Reformatory will be the highlight of my journey.  This century old Gothic structure houses a long history filled with sorrow.  I visited their website and this is the little bit of history I was able to gather from the site.

"The cornerstone laid on November 4, 1886 evolved into this magnificent Chateauesque structure. Cleveland architect Levi T. Scofield designed the Ohio State Reformatory using a combination of three architectural styles; Victorian Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque and Queen Anne. This was done to encourage inmates back to a "rebirth" of their spiritual lives. The architecture itself inspired them to turn away from their sinful lifestyle, and toward repentance. This grand structure is comprised of more than 250,000 square feet and houses the world's largest free-standing steel cell block.  The Reformatory doors were opened to its first 150 young offenders in September 1896. After housing over 155,000 men in its lifetime, the doors to the prison closed December 31, 1990."

Since the closing of this beautiful building, stories of ghosts and hauntings have proliferated.   The administration wing is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of Helen and Warden Glattke.   Helen was Warden Glattke's wife and it is believed that she accidentally shot herself in the chest  in the administration wing.   Darker stories about her death say that Helen was shot by Glattke and he got away with it.   He died ten years later in the same building.   Regardless of whether or not Helen's death was accidental,  reports of Helen and her husband's ghosts have filled this portion of the prison.  Helen has been seen by visitors in her pink bathrobe and the scent of her perfume is said to linger in the corners and come with a cold breeze.

Other ghosts fill the old reformatory as well.  Helen and Warden Glattke are not alone.  The chapel is said to be one of the most haunted portions of the reformatory.  The chapel is believed to have once been an execution rooms and the ghosts of those who died in this now holy place have built up like dust in an old attic. Visitors have seen many spirits wandering this lonely room and photographs are filled with orbs and specters.  

The entire reformatory is filled with ghost stories.   My hope is, that after I visit the prison,  I will be able to write posts about each section of the prison and the hauntings in these portions.   I hope I can learn more about each area's tragic history and maybe even feel a whisper of the things that haunt the reformatory.  I'll have more to do in Mansfield, Ohio and more to write about, so I'm hoping this will be an eventful week filled with stories and pictures from the The Shawshank Trail.