It’s day 2 of Rebecca, Richard, and Jon’s journey through the weird and wooful on their road trip to CSICon in Nashville. Today they are headed to Mansfield, Ohio, to see if the reportedly haunted Ohio State Reformatory can scare the wits out of them. Then they are off to tour the Living Bible Museum in all its animatronic wax museum glory. To cap off the day, they’ll encounter hard evidence that spirits really do exist—at Barley’s in Columbus, where you can meet up with them for drinks and their latest stories from the road. More info after the jump.
Meet Rebecca, Jon, and Richard Tonight in Columbus!
Although the paranormal pit stops are not public events, because they’ll be interviewing and filming on a tight schedule, you can meet up with them in Columbus, thanks to Ashley Paramore of Columbus Skeptic. She’s organized a public event tonight at Barley’s, and anyone in the Columbus area is welcome! Be the first to hear about the Mansfield adventures and get the details on yesterday’s pit stops.
Note: The event is being held in the basement of Barley’s.
When: Oct. 21, 8 pm
Click here for more info, including parking details.
DAY 2, STOP 1: Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield
The Mansfield Ohio State Reformatory is definitely a creepy-looking building, inside and out. Covering 250,000 square feet, the castle-like building took 10 years to build in the late nineteenth century and holds a six-tier free-standing steel cell block, the largest in the world.
As the name suggests, the reformatory was initially built to reform young men convicted of minor crimes, with the hardened criminals sent to the state penitentiary in Columbus. This changed over the years, and with this change, the prison’s history became more violent.
Rebecca, Richard, and Jon will no doubt find out the specifics of these incidents and the most enduring and spooky ghost stories they spawned, but you can find a bunch of personal experience stories from tourists in the OSR section of graveyardaddiction.com.
Here’s a taste of some of the goofier ones:
I have been to the reformatory a few times (for the staged haunt). . . During the course of the night, my Gatorade bottle kept making its way to the other side of the fence and my tennis shoes (which were tied and double knotted) were untied every time I moved to make a scare.
All of a sudden, I was violently pushed from behind. I know it wasn’t someone jumping out and trying to “scare” me because no one would EVER do that on those rickety stairs. I know it wasn’t my clumsiness, because I was so violently pushed that it jarred even my friend and caused me to fall hard on one knee. Of course, when I turned around to see if anyone was behind me, there wasn’t.
I did have a scary encounter with a ghost in the Reformatory. I was walking with my friend in front of a cell, and it felt like I ran into a spider web. I told the tour guide, and he asked, “Did it feel like you ran into a spider web?” I said yes. He said, “You have just been touched.” It was awesome!
DAY 2, STOP 2: Living Bible Museum, Mansfield
The Living Bible Museum looks so campy that you have to wonder if it isn’t some elaborate poe. Founded by Pastor Richard Diamond (cue cartoon teeth glint), the museum features some 300 wax and fiberglass figures that were purchased second-hand and given a Total Bible Extreme Makeover.
They depict scenes from the Bible, complete with animatronics, narration, and original music (Living Bible Museum dance party, anyone?). The scenes are divided among four tours: The Life of Christ, Miracles of the Old Testament, Museum of Christian Martyrs, and Heart of the Reformation.
But wait! That’s not all. There’s a dinner theater, with drama played out on a ‘70s brown and cream carpet just like Jesus had. They are currently running their Christmas play, which answers the question: “Will we have the freedom to celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving in this country in the near future or will it become another memory of the good old days?” The play actually opened in September, because this is war, and the best defense is to be totally offensive. Or something.
Columbus skeptics are in for a particularly hilarious night of stories. And a heads up to Cincinnati people—there are two public events going on there tomorrow, after Richard, Jon, and Rebecca stop off at the Salon de Magie, an incredible private collection of magic-related items (including a lot of historical stuff), in Loveland, OH, and Bobby Mackey’s Haunted Honky Tonk, in Wilder, KY. Check back tomorrow for more details.