The Story Behind This Abandoned Prison in Ohio is Terrifying

Ohio boasts numerous historical and cultural landmarks, but amidst these treasures lies a haunting relic – the abandoned Roseville Prison. Constructed in 1927 to alleviate overcrowding at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, this institution harbored some of the state’s most notorious criminals.

History of the Roseville Prison

Originally designed for 150 inmates, Roseville Prison quickly succumbed to overcrowding and understaffing, earning notoriety for its harsh conditions and frequent escapes. The prison’s grim reputation extended to reports of paranormal activity, with whispers of ghostly apparitions, a testament to the execution, murder, and suicide that stained its history.

The prison’s closure in 1966, due to constitutional violations, marked the beginning of its descent into abandonment. Ravaged by vandalism, looting, and fire, Roseville Prison became a haven for urban explorers, thrill-seekers, and ghost hunters. Its eerie allure even found its way into various films, documentaries, and books, including “The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Green Mile,” and “The Roseville Prison Ghosts.”

Hauntings at Roseville Prison

Regarded as one of Ohio’s most haunted places, Roseville Prison continues to captivate visitors with reports of paranormal phenomena. Witnesses describe encounters with apparitions, voices, footsteps, cold spots, and unexplained physical touches.

The Warden: The malevolent warden, involved in illegal activities, met his demise during a 1952 riot. Many claim to have seen his ghost donning his uniform, shotgun in hand, while others report hearing his spectral orders and threats.

The Cell Block: This section, notorious for violence, now echoes with sightings of ghostly inmates sitting on bunks, pacing corridors, or hanging from bars, accompanied by the chilling sounds of screams, moans, and whispers.

The Electric Chair: Used for 14 executions, the electric chair’s ghostly presence is felt through sparking, smoking, and glowing manifestations, accompanied by the haunting sounds of the switch, sizzle, and screams.

Preserving Roseville Prison

Despite its historical and haunted significance, Roseville Prison faces neglect and potential demolition. Owned by a disinterested private entity, the prison lacks legal protection and funding from the National Register of Historic Places.

Preservation necessitates collaboration between local government, historical societies, media, and the community. Key steps include:

Raising Awareness: Media and historical societies can organize tours and events to educate the public on the prison’s history and current challenges.

Securing Funding: Seeking grants, donations, and sponsorships from various sources, including federal and state funds, private and corporate sponsors, and public contributions.

Establishing Management: Forming a dedicated team comprising experts and volunteers to manage and oversee preservation efforts in collaboration with the owner, government, historical society, and the community.


Roseville Prison, Ohio’s oldest and most haunted, harbors untold stories. A valuable yet vulnerable piece of Ohio’s history, it demands preservation and recognition. The collective efforts of the public, government, and historical societies can transform it from a haunting relic into a celebrated landmark.

3 thoughts on “The Story Behind This Abandoned Prison in Ohio is Terrifying”

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