The building has an early Romantic Gothic styling and shares a haunting similarity with the Historic Ohio State Reformatory since they were both built in the same year by the same architect.
The Haunted Bissman Building was the site in the movie, Shawshank Redemption, of the Brewer Hotel where Brooks, actor James Whitmore, went to stay and hung himself soon after being paroled from The Shawshank Prison. The building was also utilized in the film as the front office of the building for the set of the Portland Daily Bugle.
"It's been in the family for six generations," owner Ben Bissman said. "It started out as a grocery distributor and we made roasted coffee beans."
Today it is used in part to house Pirate Printing, and also to store Bissman's personal car collection.
"There are different legends," Bissman said. "My grandfather used to tell me to stay away from the elevator."
It is also rumored that an 8-year-old girl named Ruthie haunts the upstairs.
Bissman said he'll never forget his first paranormal experience inside the building.
"I was a real skeptic at first," he said. "But I always had a feeling of never being alone in there. Two Augusts ago, we were on the third floor with an investigator and she was trying to communicate with my grandfather, saying things like, 'If you're there, give us a sign.' "
In addition to a lug nut rolling across the floor above, Bissman said he was hit on the right side of his neck with a softball-sized blast of cold air, which rolled across his chest and then hit his wife.
"I about passed out," he said. "It was just so freaky and scary. After that, I really started listening more to what people were saying about the building."
In 2007 the building was leased to a major film production company, the Midnight Syndicate, for the production of The Dead Matter, a vampire movie that was released in October of 2008.
Haunted Ohio: Ghostly Tales from the Buckeye State (Haunted Ohio series)
Haunting Experiences: Encounters with the Otherworldly
Weird Hauntings: True Tales of Ghostly Places
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