TRANS-ALLEGHANY LUNATIC ASYLUM
July 31, 2011
July 31, 2011
Trans Alleghany Lunatic Asylum, also called Weston Hospital, is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America and is a historical landmark. It is so big I couldn't get the whole building in the picture. The building opened to patients in 1864 and closed in 1994. At times the hospital was overcrowded with deplorable conditions. Violence, murders, and attacks on the staff were often, including the murder of a nurse. Some gruesome procedures were performed there including, ice pick lobotomies and electro-shock therapy.
Gurneys being pushed up and down the hall, screaming, full bodied apparitions of patients and doctors are some of the claims. The most active spot is the fourth floor and the Civil War wing haunted by a soldier named Jacob.
Cyndi and Joey drove from Moundsville, WV, to Weston, about 2 and 1/2 hours, to visit the Lunatic Asylum. It is definitely doable to tour both West Virginia State Penitentiary and Trans Alleghany in one day. I was surprised to find the building was right in town. Don't you picture an old lunatic asylum to be in the middle of nowhere? Directions were a little sketchy so I had to ask at a gas station attendant but the lady knew where it was. I believe it is a popular tourist attraction.
When we arrived, in plenty of time, I thought, to catch the last tour, we found they were closing hours before the closing time listed on the web site. So beware, the hours may not be what is posted. Another guest we spoke with traveled from Ohio and was quite upset they were closed. Since we had not slept for two nights due to the creepy room in Gettysburg, we were happy to get a hotel room and turn in for an early night. We stayed at the Comfort Inn near I-79 and it was indeed a very comfortable bed. We returned to the Asylum in the morning for the first tour of the day. The price was twice as much as Moundsville Penitentiary and offered the same type of tour. I thought it was way overpriced but the tour was enjoyable and informative. One of the tour guides was dressed in an old nurse's uniform. The building is huge and there is a lot to see.
The only out-of-ordinary experience we had was that Joey was bit by a spider. Along with spirits, there were many bugs and bats roaming the old building. Be careful! After a day or two the bite didn't look so good. I even considered taking him to the ER but it began to clear up. Whew!
TIPS AND DIRECTIONS
Trans Alleghany can be found at 71 Asylum Drive, Weston, WV. Take I-79 to exit 96, turn West on US 19 and take that into town until that road ends, make a left, at the stop light turn right. The building is on the left side. Click here for tour information. They offer historical, paranormal and night tours, and an annual haunted house.
MORE STOPS ON OUR HAUNTED ROAD TRIP
Farnsworth House Inn, Gettysburg, PA
Sachs Covered Bridge, Gettysburg, PA
West Virginia State Penitentiary, Moundsville, WV