The group arrived at Mansfield at 7:00 pm, and was met by one of the caretakers. Everyone unloaded gear into the Bullpen area which is located between the East and West Cellblocks. This room is a large open area that served as the basecamp for the investigation. A Zoom H2 audio recorder was placed in this area during the investigation. Once all the gear was unloaded, Missy went outside to take baseline weather readings while the others began unpacking gear. When Missy returned, the group began placing gear in the areas to be investigated. Noah carried a Sony HDR-CX160 Full Spectrum video camera throughout the investigation.
The group placed a Sony HDR-CX160 Video Camera in the East Cell Block in front of a cell marked with an “X” as this is a cell that was featured on the television show “Ghost Hunters.” The group placed an EMF pump, an Extech RHT50 Datalogger, and a touch flashlight within the view of the camera. Dice, a shiv, cigarettes and playing cards were used in this area as trigger objects.
EMF pumps are used to release electromagnetic energy which theoretically helps spirits manifest. Dataloggers record temperature, humidity and barometric pressure at set intervals of time. This allows one to track whether there is a correlation between paranormal phenomena and changes in these factors. It is thought that an acute drop in barometric pressure commonly occurs during paranormal activity.
There was a Sony HDR-CX160 Video full spectrum video camera and a Zoom H1 audio recorder placed in the Commissary. It is common practice by PIM to put Zoom H1 audio recorders in the same areas as our video cameras as they capture a much higher quality audio than the cameras. In the Infirmary, a Sony HDR-SR85 video camera and a Zoom H1 audio recorder were placed along with the following trigger objects: cigarettes, a syringe, Band Aids, and aspirin. Trigger objects are items that are placed within view of cameras in hopes of eliciting activity.
In the West Cell block on the 3rd Tier a Sony HDR-SR5, and a Sony HDR-SR7 video camera were placed back to back to capture the length of the cellblock. A Zoom H1 audio recorder was used in this area as was a Geophone which is a device that lights up when it senses vibration. A Tascam DR07 MKII audio recorder was placed in the West Cellblock Shower Room.
Solitary Confinement is divided into two areas known as the Dark Side and the Light Side. On the 1st Floor of the Dark Side, a Mel-8704REM/ATDD/SDD was set on a tripod in the hallway in front of the cells. This meter measures the Electromagnetic Field and also includes a Shadow Detection feature. Spikes in the Electromagnetic Field are thought to occur when there is paranormal activity. An EMF pump, and an RHT50 Datalogger were also used in this area. A touch flashlight, a shiv, a Playboy Magazine, some dice, a roll of toilet paper, cigarettes, and some playing cards were placed as trigger objects within view of a Sony HDR-SR10 video camera.
A Sony HDR-SR5 video camera and the Rountree Voice Phenomena Recorder (RVPR) were placed on the 2nd Floor of the Dark Side and Cigarettes were placed in this area as trigger objects. The RVPR device uses a Tascam DR40 audio recorder and two Behringer XM8500 Dynamic Microphones. Condenser Microphones are only able to pick up sound waves, while Dynamic Microphones are able to capture sound waves are sensitive to Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) directly. This allows for the comparison of the two types of audio by looking at the wave patterns on audio software systems such as Audacity or Adobe Audition. Differences would indicate that audio was recorded from an EMF signal which theoretically may be paranormal.
On the 1st Floor of the Light Side, a Sony HDR-XR200V video camera was used. A Zoom H1 audio recorder was placed on the 2nd Floor of the Light Side.
The remaining items placed by PIM-MILWAUKEE were a Zoom H2n Audio Recorder in the Chapel and a Zoom H1 in the Warden’s Wife’s Room. Additional gear was placed throughout the building by PIM-EAST COAST.
Gear was set up by 9:41 pm at which time everyone went to the Break Room located near the Bullpen for dinner until 10:40 pm. (One of the perks of renting the Ohio State Reformatory for an investigation is that they provide pizza, coffee and soda.) The team split into two groups. To start, Group 1 consisted of Jann, Missy, Noah, and Gravy and Group 2 consisted of Michael, Josh, and Marc.
Solitary – 10:40 pm
Group 1 – Solitary Confinement is a rectangular area with two stories of cells in the center and a hallway that goes around them. As mentioned above, one half of the cell block is referred to as the Light Side, and the other is called the Dark Side.
The group began the investigation by investigating the Dark Side of Solitary Confinement. Noah was in the Hallway, Missy and Jann each went into a Cell and Gravy went into the Shower. The group observed five minutes of silence so they could become familiar with the usual ambient noise in the building.
After the five minutes of silence, the group began an EVP session. At 10:54 pm there was a beeping noise that was heard, but the group was unable to discern its cause. At 11:05 pm, there was a knocking noise, but when the group asked if the knocks could be repeated, there was no response.
The EVP session ended at 11:07 pm and the group went up to the 2nd Floor of the Dark Side of Solitary and everyone went into cells. At 11:15 pm, Missy felt a sensation like her flashlight vibrated in her hand. At about the same time this happened, Noah and Jann heard a noise that sounded like metal being tapped, or water dripping, there was no response when the group asked if the noise could be repeated.
END TIME: 11:22 pm
The group concluded the EVP session and moved to the 3rd Floor Warden’s Quarters.
3rd Floor Warden’s Quarters – 11:26 pm
The group spread out in the 3rd Floor Warden’s Quarters. Jann was in the Guest Room, Missy and Gravy were each in a Family Bedroom, and Noah was in the Hallway between the Family Bedrooms.
The group held an EVP session from 11:49 pm until 11:55 pm. There were no audible responses to questions and nothing was captured on audio at this time. At 11:56 pm, the group moved to a small room near the Warden’s Quarters and had an EVP session from 11:56 pm until 12:02 am. Once again there were no responses heard or captured.
END TIME: 12:02 am
The group moved to the Chapel.
Chapel – 12:21 am
Everyone spread out in the Chapel area. The group did an EVP session from 12:21 am until 12:27 am. There were no audible responses so the group decided to go do a battery check and then moved to the Break Room.
END TIME: 12:27 am
East Cellblock Shower Room – 10:45 pm
Group 2 – The temperature was 73 degrees F with an EMF reading of 0.0 mG at the beginning of the session. The investigators spread out and sat in radio silence then started EVP an session at 10:49 pm.
At 10:47 pm the walkie-talkie alarm went off. It was determined that the “SOS” button had accidentally been pushed.
At 11:00 pm Josh decided to try and induce some activity by trying to become a trigger object by pulling down his pants to entice anything that might be present. Josh was not touched and no other activity or changes in readings were detected so the group decided to move to the next location.
END TIME: 11:04 pm
Infirmary – 11:08 pm
The temperature was 76 degrees F and the EMF was 0.0 mG at the beginning of the session. The investigators decided to spread out across the room and began with five minutes of control silence.
At 11:15 pm voices were heard off in the distance and car lights could be seen through the windows from the prison next door. It was also noted that the ceiling in this room was crumbling and occasionally it would sound like a rock had been thrown when a piece broke off and fell to the floor. Michael felt the presence of a man in his 30’s, white, patient, and unaware of the investigators presence. Nothing more occurred during the session and the group decided to move to the next location.
END TIME: 11:39 pm
2nd Tier Cells – 11:52 pm
The temperature was 75 degrees F and the EMF was 0.0 mG at the beginning of this session. The investigators investigated the “X” cell from “Ghost Hunters” with one person inside the cell, and one person in each cell, two cells away, neighboring the “X” cell. The investigators sat in control silence for a few minutes before starting the EVP session.
At 12:05 am Michael banged on the cell door and yelled to try and get something to interact with him. No response were heard and nothing was captured on any of the recording devices. The group decided to move to the next location and ended the session.
END TIME: 12:06 am
Finger ID Area – 12:12 am
The temperature was 77 degrees F and the EMF reading was 0.0 mG at the beginning of the session. The group started out with a few minutes of control silence and then began an EVP session.
No events occurred during the session and the group had been radioed by Group 1 to head to the break area so they group ended the session.
END TIME: 12:17 am
After checking batteries, the team took a break until 1:20 am. After the break, Gravy joined Group 2, and Marc investigated with Group 1.
Infirmary – 1:29 am
Group 1 – The group spread out in the Infirmary for an EVP session. At 2:01 am, Missy felt something tap her head three times, but it is known what caused the sensation and nothing was captured on video. The EVP session continued until 2:06 am with no other events.
END TIME: 2:06 am
The group then moved to the Commissary.
Commissary – 2:10 am
The group investigated the Commissary until 2:20 am at which time Noah saw that the card in the video camera was full. Marc and Noah went back to base camp to get a new SD card. Missy and Jann stayed in the Commissary and continued holding an EVP session.
Marc and Noah returned at 2:27 am and Noah replaced the card and restarted the camera at 2:29 am.
No events occurred during the session and it was ended shortly thereafter.
END TIME: 2:29 am
The group moved to the 2nd Tier on the South Side of the East Cellblock
East Cellblock, 2nd Tier, South Side – 2:30 am
Noah went back to base camp to get a battery for the camera that was in the area to be investigated. Jann went into a cell, and Missy and Marc stayed on the walkway that runs in front of the cells.
Missy heard scratching coming from the cell she was in front of, and she and Marc switched places to see if he was able to hear it also. Marc did not hear the scratching noise.
Noah returned with the battery at 2:44 am.
The group investigated this area until 3:03 am. There were various noises that were noted during this part of the investigation, but they were likely caused by plaster falling from the ceiling, or common building settling noises.
END TIME: 3:03 am
Everyone went back to the Break Room for a drink until 3:35 am
Solitary, 1st Floor, Light Side – 3:39 am
Everyone got in a Cell on the Light Side of Solitary. A brief EVP session was held from 3:41 am until 3:46 am. No responses were heard or recorded during this time.
END TIME: 3:46 am
Solitary, 2nd Floor – 3:51 am
The group held an EVP session on the 2nd Floor of the Light Side until 4:00 am. Once again, no responses were heard or recorded.
END TIME: 4:00 am
The group then moved to the West Cell Block.
West Cellblock, 1st Tier – 4:00 am
Everyone spread out in the Hallway that runs in front of the cells. The group investigated one side of the cellblock until 4:18 am when they moved to the other side. At 4:21 am, Gravy joined the group as Group 2 was beginning to break down their gear. The group investigated the West Cellblock until 4:29 am.
END TIME: 4:29 am
At 4:29 am, Group 1 ended the investigation.
West Cellblock Shower Room – 1:27 am
Group 2 – The temperature was 72 degrees F and the EMF was 0.0 mG to begin this session. The investigators started with a few minutes of control silence before starting the EVP session.
At 1:38 am, Josh decided to act as a trigger object again by pulling his pants down while in the shower room. Unfortunately, this did not elicit any activity and the session was ended a short time later.
END TIME: 1:41 am
Projection Room – 1:47 am
The temperature was 76 degrees F and the EMF was 0.0 mG to begin the investigation. The investigators started with some control silence before starting the EVP session.
No noticeable activity was observed and the group decided to move to the next location.
END TIME: 1:56 am
3rd Floor Shop – 2:12 am
The temperature was 76 degrees F and the EMF was 0.0 mG at the beginning of this session. An EVP session was conducted but no noticeable activity was observed.
END TIME: 2:12 am
START TIME: 2:24 am
LOCATION: West Cell Block 1st Floor near the toys
The group spread out in this area and allowed for some control silence before beginning an EVP session. There was no noticeable activity that was observed and the group ended the session and move to the next location.
END TIME: 2:43 am
2nd Floor Guard Dormitory – 2:55 am
The temperature was 80 degrees F and the EMF was 0.0 mG to start the investigation. Gravy and Josh decided to head to the 2nd Floor Guard Dormitory to see if any activity might be encountered. Michael decided to stay on the ground floor due to the rickety stairs. Gravy and Josh conducted a quick EVP session but no noticeable activity was observed.
Josh and Gravy decided to return to the 1st Floor and move to the next location with Michael.
END TIME: 2:59 am
3rd Floor Visitor Room – 3:05 am
The temperature was 80 degrees F and the EMF was 0.0 mG to start this session. The group spread out and allowed for a few minutes of control silence. An EVP session was then conducted, but no activity was noticed or recorded. The group concluded the session and move on to another location.
END TIME: 3:08 am
Administrator Family Quarters – 3:15 am
The group decided to stop at this location and conduct an EVP session. After a few minutes of control silence the session was begun. No events or activity were noted during this time and the group moved on to the next location.
END TIME: 3:35 am
Chapel – 3:39 am
The investigators spread out in the Chapel and after some control silence did an EVP session. In order to try and draw out some activity, it was decided to sing a hymn. No noticeable activity was observed during this event or the rest of the time the group spent in the Chapel and the session was ended a short time later.
END TIME: 3:46 am
7th Floor (above Chapel) – 3:48 am
Gravy and Josh decided to head up to the 7th Floor above the Chapel while Michael remained in the Chapel alone. The temperature was 78 degrees F and the EMF was 0.0 mG at the beginning of the session. The investigators did an EVP session but no noticeable activity was observed.
END TIME: 3:55 am
At this time everyone gathered up the equipment throughout the prison and packed everything up and headed out. Everyone was out of the prison by a little after 5:00 am.
This was an amazing opportunity that we are all very grateful to have been able to experience. It was a relatively quiet night, but it was exciting just to be in a building with so much history.
We were able to debunk the rock being thrown in the Commissary which was one of our main goals going into the investigation. The plaster in the building is crumbling, so it is likely that the rocks were chunks of plaster that fell from the ceiling and the timing of the event was just coincidental. This is almost certainly what occurred on the “Ghost Adventures” show as well.
PIM would like to thank our East Coast Branch and Dr. Marc Eaton of Ripon College for investigating along with us. Thanks also to the volunteers who worked the night of the investigation.