Weston WV Haunted Asylum
Without doubt, one of the most well-known haunted asylums in the US is found in Weston, West Virginia.
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in the country and looking at its history, home to an unsurprising number of paranormal residents.
The History of Weston of WV Asylum
The building was designed in a Gothic and Tudor Revival style with input from Thomas Story Kirkbride, the superintendent of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane following authorisation from the Virginia General Assembly to create a new asylum. The building was originally started in 1858 but the American Civil War caused a pause in construction that meant it wasn’t completed until 1881.
The asylum was designed to house around 250 patients but this number was quickly disregarded. By 1880 there were 171 patients, 1600 by 1938 and a staggering 2,600 by the 1950s. Reports said that the building suffered from insufficient heating, lighting and even furniture as well as poor sanitation leading to terrible conditions for the patients who were described in a 1938 report as ‘epileptics, alcoholics, drug addicts and those with non-educable mental defects’.
The 1980s saw a reduction in population as treatment of mental illnesses changed but uncontrollable patients were still locked in cages. A new facility opened elsewhere saw the building convert to a prison. Following a period of decline, the building was purchased in 2007 by Joe Jordan, a contractor for Morgantown and is now held in private hands. Paranormal tours are offered six days a week and there are all night ghost hunts on a Saturday.
The ghosts of Weston of WV Asylum
Due to its turbulent history, a number of ghosts is hardly surprising. Each floor of the building in fact has a series of events associated with it and this frequency has led to both public ghost tours and investigations by a number of TV shows on the paranormal.
The first floor is believed to be haunted by a ghost known as Ruth who roams the hallway of the floor. People have also been pushed against walls while strange whistling noises have been heard when no-one is present.
The second floor, Ward Two, was the scene of a man being stabbed 17 times by another patient. Shadow figures are often reported in the area while across the hall is a room where two patients hung themselves from the curtain rods. EVP recordings in the room include voices telling people to ‘get out’ as well as calling out the names of the investigators.
The Nurse Quarters are on the third floor and doors often close themselves while the spirit of a nurse is seen fleetingly in the corridor, shaking a tour guide. The Geriatric Hallway also has shadow figures and strange noises while across the hall, screams and footsteps are heard along with names being called. A ghost known as Dean haunts the area where he was viciously murdered while a nurse named Elizabeth is seen in the area. The next hallway has numerous strange recordings during investigations as well as a ghost known as Big Jim.
The fourth floor has Ward R, often said to be the creepiest spot in the whole building.
A ghost named Lily communicated with one investigation group while another caught a strange black shape on camera, which a Ghost Box piece of equipment told them was a demon. Whether this is the same as the creature known as the ‘creeper’ that is seen near floors and crawling around the halls is uncertain.
Former staff even report some of the ghosts following them home after their time working at the asylum and one says the ghost follows her still today.