Ohio State Reformatory building

The administration building and cell block areas are all that remain from the former Ohio State Reformatory, closed as a prison at the end of 1990.

MANSFIELD – Home to The Ohio State Reformatory, Destination Mansfield announced the launch of a new virtual tour of the legendary castle-like prison.

The infamous site, catapulted to international fame as the backdrop to the “The Shawshank Redemption,” can now be experienced from any device, computer or smart TV any time, from anywhere in the world.

Virtual guests glide through the warden’s office, down darkened hallways, into storied bedrooms and sinister cell blocks, through brutal basements and creepy attics, and into historic movie and music video filming sets. Tours are booked at mrps.org/virtual-tours, with complete visitor information on this fascinating region of Ohio found at DestinationMansfield.com.

As part of community-wide efforts to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of visitors and staff, The Ohio State Reformatory limits the number of guests allowed inside.

While in-person tours are currently offered, many potential guests may not yet be comfortable traveling or may be prohibited from visiting the U.S. Thus, the virtual tour was created to allow “Shawshank Redemption” fans to experience the prison firsthand -- no matter where they’re located.

This ultra-realistic online experience gives fans around the globe a one-of-a-kind backstage pass to the set of the No. 1 film of all time (per IMDB). Virtual visitors hear tales of the paranormal from the historic prison, which ghost hunters report is one of the most haunted sites in the U.S.

For just $5, guests receive a 24-hour, all-access code. Audiences enjoy 360-degree views of the entire 250,000-square-foot prison and two museums -- with the same perspective as if they were visiting in person. Along with the tour, guests enjoy stunning views of the prison's amazing architecture, do time in “The Hole,” step inside maximum-security cells and wander former prison residences.

True tales from actual former reformatory inmates share what life was like on the inside. And guests can travel the tunnel Stephen King’s fictional inmate Andy Dufresne used to escape Shawshank and its evil Warden Norton. By joining the Mansfield Prison Preservation Society, which works to preserve the dramatic gothic architecture of this stunning 100-year-old structure, members receive unlimited virtual tours, among other perks.

A destination unlike any other, Mansfield and Richland County, Ohio offers unusual travel adventures and experiences, such as spending the night in a haunted former state prison where Hollywood blockbuster movies are shot, world-class motorsports, skiing, hiking, biking, golf, and loads of other outdoor adventures attract families and visitors of all ages. Complete visitor information and free visitor guides are available at DestinationMansfield.com or by calling 1-800-642-8282.

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