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Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum- West Virginia

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

Many of the places known to be haunted have tragic pasts. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is an example of that. It opened in the 1800's, around the time of the American Civil War. As the name so crudely suggests, the asylum was for those deemed to be mentally ill. The term mentally ill in those days was subjective, and covered a broad range of conditions, some of which would not have benefited from treatment at the facility. By the later 1800's, the asylum started to become overwhelmed with patients. Capacity had long since been reached and then passed all together leaving patients much too close together. Food was scarce due to the overcapacity while the quality of care dropped off considerably. This went on well into the 1950's as the population continued to grow inside the confines of the asylum. After a journalist exposed the conditions inside the facility, America finally saw how bad things had gotten at Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. It finally closed in the 1990's after well over 100 years of neglect including: lobotomies, malnourished patients, unsanitary conditions, and torture.

Though it's doors have been closed for some time, the asylum still sits much like it did when its last patient left over 20 years ago. Beds remain in some rooms, wheel chairs left abandoned, operating tables ready for its next lobotomy, and spirits all still linger. Common paranormal experiences in the asylum include the attic where a ghostly child still remains and civil war soldiers wandering the asylum. The makeshift morgue and the lobotomy room are hot spots for paranormal encounters as well. Visitors have reported apparitions, laughter, screams, footsteps, feelings of being touched, silhouetted shadows and more. Some have described the asylum as having a feeling of deep sorrow while others describe the vibe of the place as something akin to pure evil.

I visited Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum several years ago. The owners have several tours to offer including ghost tours! I did the ghost tour and did not regret it one bit. It is one of the most active places I have visited and hope to go back again very soon! If you are interested in checking the asylum out here is the link to their site.

Photo by: By Steve Heap

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