ParaNexus is an association of paranormal researchers and paranormal investigators who conduct paranormal research and paranormal investigations involving ghosts, spirits, alien abductions, UFOs, unknown creatures, unexplained phenomena, psychic phenomena, and other mysterious events. Visitors can report a UFO sighting, hauntings, and other paranormal events via our 24 Hour Helpline. ParaNexus also offers paranormal investigator certification, paranormal certification, training, paranormal classes, and paranormal courses.
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January 16, 2018, 06:27:00 PM
I was very fortunate to be invited to share a night at the Mansfield Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio with a group out of Columbus that I had talked to for a number of months. The investigation would be with 15 or less people and he only had room for four of our investigators. We had tested our equipment during prior investigations and again prior to being at the Reformatory, but ultimately we encountered issues with a few of our infra red cameras. We spent a lot of time messing with cables and other issues while the other group made its way around the facility. By 11 P.M. we decided to just go with three IR cameras and set up a few other mini DVD cameras in spots we wanted to cover.
I put together a video that discusses some of the history behind the location, so I will not discuss it here. As far as the paranormal history it is vast, not to mention the potential for paranormal experiences. Since the reformatory opened for investigations it normally packs in about 600 or more people a week for investigations and tours. Friday and Saturday nights are usally 150 people per night, Sundays are the most difficult to secure but offer you a chance to investigate with a smaller number of people in the building. "Scariest Places on Earth", not to mention a few of the popular television ghost groups have visited the location over the years.
One would think that with such a large facility you wouldn't notice others in the building, but this isn't true. While many parts of the building are closed off from each other it is possible to hear other people talking from one cell block to the other. You can also hear noises from all over the building in the central ground level location known as the "bullpen" (where the prisoners would travel through to go to particular areas such as the sick ward, outside, solitary confinement, and to transfer from block to block).
The wide open area also poses another problem, acoustics. Recording in the outside area of a cellbock is not recommended, neither would recording in the shower areas, Chapel, or other large rooms as the echo created problems for us. Sound in these rooms really travels. A hundred yards away on the other side of a cell block we were able to hear a conversation in the bullpen area. Inside of the cells themselves offer you reduction in noise, but highly increases the creepy factor and makes normal people feel claustrophobic. A 9X7 cell may sound big even with just a small bed, sink, and a toilet, but just a few minutes in the cell and everyone feels uncomfortable.
We shot video from a number of cameras. I shot 4 hours of video and I went through another 9 hours of other footage, 6 digital recorders with an average of 4 hours of audio (no wonder putting the video together took me a month!) and we ended up with about 5 EVPs total. From those 5 I was able to find logical explanations from other audio/video for 2 and feel that the others are explainable by pareidolia. Just the night before mulitple witnesses saw a full bodied apparition of a guard who was murdered at the location. The only apparition that was sighted during our investigation was by a psychic who mentioned seeing someone peek out of his cell numerous times, but we were unable to back this up with any data. We all encountered our own personal experiences, but these are meaningless when it comes to data. We hope to travel to a couple of the other large abandonded prisons later this year.
Brian D. Parsons is the Executive Director for ParaNexus. He is formerly the Director of the Ohio Paranormal Investigation Network (now a client/investigator help site) and has been investigating ghostly claims since 1996. He has also studied under the MUFON Field Investigator's Manual for the various aspects of UFO investigations and has been a freelance cryptid researcher and investigator studying various cases in Ohio and western Pennsylvania.