Thursday, October 18, 2012


Okay, full disclosure.  Morgan Freeman was not there when I toured the prison.  I wish Morgan Freeman had been there, as I adore the man, but alas our only companions were two couples who arrived on motorcycles.  Morgan Freeman did, however, film a movie there and I consider that close enough to meeting him.  (I also think one pound lost is close enough to twenty pounds for me to earn a reward.)

I've loved the movie The Shawshank Redemption (and Stephen King's Rita Hayworth and the Shawkshank Redemption, upon which it is based) for many years and I knew it had been filmed in part at the Mansfield Reformatory.  There are many scenes with the imposing structure in the background, such as the bus arriving with the new inmates and Andy having a conversation with Red against one of the walls.  What completely shocked me when we started the tour was that a fair amount of the movie was also filmed inside the prison.  Granted, this was nearly twenty years ago, but how they managed to shoot in a place so run down and decayed and have it look fresh is incredible.  For those not familiar with the movie, get it from Netflix ASAP.  It's awesome!

For those who have seen the movie, you will of course remember good old Warden Norton.  This room, in real life the bedroom of the assistant warden, was used as Warden Norton's office.  You'll notice the lane leading up to the building, visible from the window, just as it was in the movie before...  (Nope, no spoilers here.  Nope, nope.)

Andy had a desk and work space just outside the warden's office and those scenes were filmed just outside the room above.  (Foghorn wasn't thrilled with the tour, more because she feared ghosts than anything.)

There were several scenes of Red appearing before the parole board and those were shot in this room.

This cavernous space was the prison cafeteria in the film.

Most surprising to me was that the room at the boarding house used by Brooks (and later by Red) was actually shot here.  I had assumed all these scenes were shot on sound stage sets.

Andy first has contact with the evil Bogs while standing in this shower.  Do I detect orbs in this photo?  If I were a ghost I'd pick some place more pleasant to haunt.  Hate to think what went on in those showers.

It's obvious that my photographic skills are limited, to say the least.  I found a really great blog post online at Queen City Discovery and she has beautiful photos of the place, as well as a few shots showing the actual reformatory versus the scene in the movie.  Highly recommend it and you can find  it here.

What ghostly adventure will I take you on next week?  Hmmmm...I'll give you a couple hints:  Johanna, Walling, and "The Anniversary Waltz."  If you have a guess, leave it in the comments.


* Favorite Haunted Places - Mansfield Reformatory

* The Crytozoologist


steph said...

LOVED the tour!! too many years since I saw the movie----and it obviously didn't hit home with me quite to the extent it did you----but nevertheless, I loved looking at all the stuff (I really LOVED Alcatraz, too!!!---wonder how your ghost meter would have worked there!!!)

quilt32 said...

I finally read the book and watched the movie and loved both. It's really interesting to see how much was filmed there.

Marcy said...

What a cool tour. I liked the movie and the story.