Tag Archives: Ohio Reformatory

7 Spooky Travel and Reads for Hallowe’en

Zombie in the graveyard
Zombie in the graveyard

Do you need some reading to get you in a Halloween Mood?  Here are some suggestions from the pages of A Traveler’s Library, and one deliciously scary tour we found at Sophie’s World.

Whether it is Halloween or Day of the Dead, your mind may turn to Cemeteries and funersals, right?  So here are unusual sight-seeing suggestions with a definite spooky feel. Click on the link if you dare learn more.

1. Making An Exit, a review of a book that talks about funeral practices around the world, and made me want to see the artistic coffins from Ghana, not to mention attend a funeral in Bali and many more travel possibilities.

2. Sightseeing Among the Dead, is a photo essay of “dead places” I’ve visited.

3. The Bates Motel ranks WAY high on places that planted a permanent fear in people’s minds.  What’s behind that shower curtain?  Now you can travel to the locale of the Hitchcok thriller.


Spooky travel
A tier of cells at the Ohio Reformatory

4. The Highway by C. J. Box really has no competition for scariest book I’ve read this year.  In fact, I suggested that although a Montana Road Trip is lovely, you DO NOT want to listen to this book on tape while driving down the highway in the west, nor leaf through it when you stop at a truck stop.

5. Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman continues to spook readers, and Jessie Voigts uncovered a tour with a story teller in the locale of the original Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

6. Three Prisons I dare you to visit on Halloween . I published this just last week, but the dare remains.

7. Sophie’s World tells about a marvelously scary bus tour in Dublin.

Do You Dare? Visit These Spooky Prisons on Halloween?

1. Prisons are not nice places. (duh!) Really old spooky prisons are really not nice places.  So if you want to get a little shiver up your spine, check out the Yuma Territorial Prison In Yuma Arizona. In case you can’t get to Arizona–here’s a video tour that makes good Halloween watching.


2. Plenty of Haunted Houses will be vying for your attention this Halloween, but for sheer yuckiness, nothing can quite match the setting of the Ohio Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio.  That’s the abandoned and spooky prison that was the setting for the movie Shawshank Redemption, which I wrote about earlier.  You can visit the spooky prison any time, but at Halloween it becomes the Haunted Prison Experience. Here’s a little taste of what you’ll see.




Paris Spooky Prison
Hall of the Guards, Conciergerie





3. One of the most haunting (and probably haunted) buildings I have ever visited is the Conciergerie in Paris.  That is the spooky prison where the Revolutionaries locked up their enemies, including Marie Antoinette, and later the counter-revolutionaries locked up the likes of George Danton and Charlotte Corday.

The building itself is not grizzly grimy like the Ohio Reformatory. Once the vast block of Gothic buildings on the banks of the Seine were a palace. You enter through the Hall of Men-at-Arms, a vast cathedral-like space that was created in the Middle Ages.  But it is the thought of what happened here and throughout France during the Revolution that makes the whole scene give you the shivers. You can visit a replica of Marie Antoinette’s cell with dressed up forms representing the Queen at her prayers, while a guard stands a few feet away, separated by a short partition. I can’t imagine how humiliating it must have been for the Queen not to have a moment of privacy after being pampered and waited upon.  There are other cells that vary in their furnishings because the prisoners were expected to provide their own accouterments.

spooky prison: The Conciergerie
The eerie visage of Georges Danton, revolutionary leader.

Visit these spooky prisons if you DARE.