Ohio State Reformatory

Ghost Adventures got a little more than even they bargained for at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield Ohio. Built in 1896, it was an operational prison theoretically focusing on rehabilitation of inmates until 1990. I would say there was 94 years of empty theory and the reality was soul crushing brutality.  Over 155,000 prisoner’s were held in the damp stone walls.

Zak juxtaposed two fascinating interviews with both a former inmate and reformatory guard. Former inmate D.J. Fly (prisoner 61234) was incarcerated at the Ohio State Reformatory between 1959-1962. He had the misfortune to be in the cell next to a prisoner named Lockhart. Lockhart chose to commit suicide by spraying himself with paint thinner and then setting himself on fire. The heat and fumes of his burning body nearly took out Fly in the cell next door.  Fly went into Lockhart’s cell with Zak and immediately felt Lockhart’s presence. Fly repeatedly brushed off his shoulders and arms telling Lockhart, “Get off me!”. Once out of the cell Fly yelled back to Lockhart’s shade, “I did what I could to get your ass out of here…” but you chose the wrong way to go. I would agree attacking your old cell buddy from next door would be the wrong way to go about trying to get released with or without a body.

I did see an energy mass envelop D.J. Fly as he was freaking out in Lockhart’s cell. It was like a smothering blanket. Not surprised Fly wanted it off him pronto!

Zak’s interview with former Reformatory guard J. Webb recalled Lockhart’s gruesome method of suicide. Webb confirmed that by the time the guards to could get to Lockhart it was too late, he was dead. Fly said Lockhart was still burning when the guards dragged his disintegrating body out of his cell.

Fly further noted that Lockhart’s family did not claim his body. So like 217 other prisoner’s who died in jail, Lockhart was buried in the prison cemetery under his prisoner number. None of the gravestones have names, only numbers painted on them.

Fly also told Zak that a”boy threw himself” off the low handrail five stories up in the West Cell block, choosing to plummet to his death than continue to live in a cell that resembled an animal cage more than a human habitation.  

A third suicide was related by a tour guide telling of a man who on his way to lunch hung himself on a bed sheet off the same handrails the jumping suicide passed on is way down.

Female tour guides and staff have had a hard time of it in the East Cell Block. Tour guide Susan Nirode related several personal stories of having her head pushed forward and her hair pulled viciously when giving tours in the area. She refuses to go into a back storage area called “the toilet room” because too many women have been pushed, shoved or grabbed by unseen presences there. The toilet room was self explanatory as the cameras paned over rows and rows of detached thrones laid out on the floor.

My favorite tour guide was no-nonsense Mike Middleton. He related a personal experience about a black mass passing in front of him and darting into a nearby cell. When Middleton followed and asked, “Who are you?” he heard “@!#% you” with his own ears.

Middleton took Zak, Nick and Aaron down into the Solitary confinement cells where things got strange quickly. Middleton was telling Zak about hearing ghostly footsteps while he was in Solitary alone. A negative presence did it’s best to freak out Middleton by getting in his face. Middleton responded, “I’m still not afraid of you.” which was a lie at the time. In a personal EVP Middleton had recorded a voice responded saying, “Outstanding” clearly. I guess Middleton had passed some sort of test.

Another time while acting as a tour guide Middleton saw a dark shadow in Solitary knock down an elderly cancer patient who was part of the group being shown around. The old man looked up and demanded of his Brother-In-Law, “Why did you punch me?” The BIL was behind the elderly man, nowhere near close enough to have punched him.

Middleton explained to Ghost Adventures that the aggressive ghosts down in Solitary would only be dangerous to “any who are afraid”. He started to talk about past EVP screams he had recorded in the area when a bit of the ceiling paint came down in a chunk and hit the back of Nick’s nick. Just then all three microphone battery packs worn by Middleton, Zak and Nick went dead. Fresh batteries had been installed just a few minutes previously. The only audio left was on Nick’s camera . Middleton said, ” Now they are showing you; we decide when you film.” At that moment Nick experienced a high pitched audio jolt and the remaining sound on his camera also cut out.

Reduced to subtitles inserted after the fact Zak mouthed at the camera, “This is the first time this has ever happened!” Bits of distorted audio faded in and out but Ghost Adventures was basically reduced to a silent film.

I saw a bunch of ghosts surrounding and baiting the Ghost Adventures team. I saw the ghost of one male prisoner reach for the microphone battery pack belted to Zak’s waist right as it died.  There was a strong sense that this group of ghosts were taunting and baiting the crew. It was one of the meaner encounters of ghostly bullying I have seen to date.  Aaron was startled when he felt a ghostly presence walk by him and shout “Hey” in his earphones.  That was part of this ugly, taunting group of ghostly prisoners. The ghost who yelled “Hey” at Aaron was a thin, rat faced inmate with tufts of fading reddish hair and beard. He likely wasn’t big enough in life to defend himself, physically. He looked like a man who would have had to run with a pack for protection.

When the sound was restored Middleton’s final comment before lockdown to Zak was, “There are two types here; predator or prey. Which one are you?” Unfortunately for Ghost Adventures they seemed to spend most of the night being prey.

Zak headed into lockdown with two provoking objects,  a ring of cell keys and a discipline stick that looked a lot like a modern police baton.

Zak, Nick and Aaron had just entered lockdown and turned out the lights. Zak had started his usual verbal gauntlet when his audio battery drained AGAIN. At this point both Nick and Zak felt invisible but solid energetic blows to their arms. Challenge accepted.

X cameras were set up in the West Cell Block, East Cell Block, Solitary/Death Row, the Morgue, the toilet room and the second floor of the East Cell Block where five people had seen an apparition at the same time. The Morgue got more business than you might expect in a prison due to periodic epidemics of assorted illnesses that killed large numbers of prisoner’s. I got a rather disturbing glimpse of bodies stacked like cordwood. The only other times I have seen bodies stacked up like that were at Waverly Hills (as a psychic) and in death camp liberation footage shot by US GI’s in World War II (saw those physically with my eyes as a student). Apparently the majority of families chose to claim their dead from the reformatory since the prision cemetery only has 218 marked graves. There are a lot of unmarked graves on that campus.

Ghost Adventures started out in the East Cell Block. Almost immediately a white speck darted out from behind a pole accompanied by a loud “whooshing”noise caught by Nick’s camera audio. The crew tried to debunk the speck as a bit of dust but couldn’t when it suddenly vanished from sight and could not be seen from a different angle as originating from behind the pole. At this moment Zak saw a stationary silhouette of a man’s head upstairs. I got the impression it was the head of a brutal looking guard. Anxious to investigate the silhouette the Ghost Adventures guys set up motion sensors and an EMF alarm before heading upstairs.

Once upstairs the crew focused on Cell 13, the location of human torch Lockhart’s self inflicted death. I sensed Lockhart and a dark entity huddling together in the left corner of the cell, just at the end of the bunk built into the wall.  Zak pulled out his ghost box while asking Lockhart questions and the device immediately came up with the word, “DRAG”. Zak and Nick both got chills as they recalled that Lockhart had been dragged out of his cell still smoldering.  Next word out of the ghost box was, “FLY” Zak got incredibly excited because D.J. Fly was the name of the prisoner who had visited Cell 13 with the crew during the walk through. The same inmate who was nearly roasted in Cell 14 next door to Lockhart when Lockhart decided to burn. I agree with Zak on this one, Lockhart was talking about his death and the fact his crumbling remains had been dragged out of his cell and past Fly’s cell when the guards finally got him out.

I asked my guides what motivated Lockhart to immolate himself? Not surprisingly it was a dark entity. I mean a super dark, entity that possessed Lockhart and drove him into such despair that he burned himself to death. Unfortunately the dark thing was still in the cell feeding off the misery of Lockhart’s ghost when Ghost Adventures did their investigation.

When I run into these situations I am morally obligated to deal with them. So I asked Archangel Michael to incapacitate, detach and drag this dark entity into the presence of God. Of course the darn thing predictably swore and threatened all sorts of things. They always do. It is tedious how predictable dark entities behave. Anyway, the dark thing was dissolved in the light of God. Once that was taken care of I took another look inside Cell 13 to see how Lockhart’s shade was doing.

I didn’t expect what happened next. Cell 13 filled with the ghosts of many, many men who had been inhabitants of it over the decades. They literally came out of the walls and stuffed Cell 13 full of their presences. I asked if anyone in Cell 13 wanted to be released into the presence of the divine. The only one who took me up on it was Lockhart. He felt he had suffered enough before, during and after his death. Since he was willing I called in my primary guide, Archangel Michael and Lockhart was forgiven for destroying himself and whatever he had done to get him incarcerated in the first place. It was amazing to watch Lockhart’s energy get lighter and lighter in color until he was little more than a free soaring soul. St. Michael was with Lockhart as he shot straight up to heaven. There was a whole group of light beings there to meet him. Sadly none of them felt like his family. I think maybe they completely gave up on him as their failure to claim his body implied. However Lockhart’s welcoming committee were absolutely there to usher him into the presence of God and assist him in the healing he still had to do. They closed about him in a semicircle so he was hidden from my view. I wasn’t allowed to see any further. When I see these transitions of souls into the presence of God I am only permitted to see so far. I think it is because I am alive on Earth. I suspect the human brain can only understand a limited amount of what heaven really is so we are not allowed to see more than the first few steps in the door.

After Lockhart’s departure I asked the remaining ghosts cramming Cell 13 what next? They all melted back into the walls. It was one of the stranger things I have seen.

Standing outside Lockhart’s cell with the ghost box giving all kinds of feedback Nick started to go numb. His whole body seemed to be engulfed in a ribbon of energy that numbed everything. However no EMF activity was recorded. An EVP was caught at this moment saying, “I’ll chew you….” Yes, well that IS what the dark entity was about, chewing up people and spitting them out and then living off the misery it caused. That numb ribbon or cloak of energy was NOT benign.

At this point a mist appeared behind Zak’s shoulder and there was squawky audio interference. The team didn’t hear anything, but I heard the word, “pain” in that burst of interference. I think the dark entity was still in play.  I sincerely hope the guys were thoroughly energetically cleared out after this episode. The dark entity I saw is now gone, no longer exists as of 11/20/09.

Several static night vision cameras set up in the East Cell Block caught some sounds when the crew was in another area. The second level of the block was the focus on one camera. Well, 27 min. after being set up and left to it’s own devices the camera recorded the loud clang of a cell door slamming. Two minutes after the cell door slammed unexplained footsteps were heard. They had a sharp echo to them that made me think of guards heeled boots. I think the unexplained footsteps were the ghost of a guard still making his nightly rounds.

Zak brought Sarah into Solitary with the guys and used her as bait. She did a good job, teasing them that wasn’t that Aaron’s job? It took some real fortitude for Sarah to come back into the Solitary area because she had had a former experience of having her backside grabbed by unseen hands.

Zak was starting to explain to Sarah that he wanted her to walk down the stairs onto the ground floor of the Solitary area and then walk around the block solo while equipped with a camera and a digital recorder. Before he could get this all out Sarah started having trouble breathing. At this moment Zak was also affected becoming instantly dizzy and weak to the point of feeling he couldn’t hold his camera up. Always game, Zak told the ghosts, that they “Need more contact.” A male voice came back on EVP saying, “You got more than me.” That ghost was telling the truth. Solitary was packed with ghosts.

This gang of ghosts were more than a little disturbing to me because it was a mix of the ghosts of both former inmates and guards. The one thing they all had in common is they saw Sarah as an object for sport. Their creepy focus on her reminded me of a cock fight when two roosters are put together in a confined space and fight to the death. Three things are certain in a cock fight. It will be bloody, violent and one cock will end up dead.  

Sarah was willing to keep going but just as she admitted to being a little freaked out but good an EVP was caught saying, “Run, Sarah….” Personally I think I would have, but she walked down those stairs into the lower level of the block by herself. She asked the ghosts, “Is there anybody here with me?” I heard back, “Many” which I think everyone in that cell block knew regardless of a lack of EVP. A cell door slammed nearby but the Ghost Adventures crew proved on camera it couldn’t have been any of them.

After Sarah was down on the ground level of Solitary she felt something pull her hair hard. She started calling up to the guys but Zak didn’t seem to hear her right away. Once he did all three men ran down to her. Both Sarah and Zak felt freezing cold where she was standing but their gear recorded the surrounding air temperature at 72.2 degrees. Zak told whomever pulled Sarah’s hair to stand in front of her at which time an eerie growl was heard by all four investigators. I saw the growler as a thin male prisoner who was mocking Sarah and the rest of the crew. His intent was to freak them out which he accomplished in spades.

I am guessing the food likely wasn’t so great at the Ohio State Reformatory because quite a few of the prisoners ghosts were too thin. Not starving thin, but definitely malnourished.

The X camera’s in the morgue picked up some clanging, banging type unexplained noises. Listening to the EVP of those noises I saw someone throw a table across part of a room onto the floor.  The Hospital X camera also got a muddle of disembodied voices. The episode wrapped up with paranormal expert Masone Bellton reviewing the “mist” behind Zak’s shoulder up at Cell 13. He saw more than a mist, but a partial apparition including the shoulder of a figure. His said that imprint hauntings tend to play back a small span of time when temperature, weather and energy conditions were just right. I respectfully disagree. It wasn’t an imprint ghost behind Zak, it was the dark entity St. Michael took care of upon request. Certainly imprint hauntings exist and I agree conditions cited, including time of year can trigger them, but I don’t think that is what was going on in this particular situation.

I don’t want anyone reading this post to be afraid of the dark entity in Lockhart’s Cell 13, it no longer exists in this time space continuum or any other.



Lynne Olson can be reached for private readings via email at:  angelzhands@yahoo.com

(C) 2010 Lynne Olson. All rights reserved.


About Lynne Sutherland Olson

Professional Psychic Medium
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