One thing that West Virginia is known for is its paranormal activity. This is a state that can turn a skeptic into a believer and the fearless into the afraid. Although many hauntings can sometimes be mundane occurrences that have been misinterpreted as paranormal, there is so much activity in this state that it cannot all be explained away. These seven locations are widely considered genuine hot spots of paranormal activity.
1. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum - Weston
This facility for the mentally disturbed operated from 1864 to 1994. During that time, a visiting physician performed "hundreds of lobotomies" there. The facility has been visited by several paranormal teams such as T.A.P.S. from Syfy’s "Ghost Hunters." The facility is open to tours all year round. Every anomaly one can imagine has probably occurred there, including voices, footsteps, laughter, screams, slamming doors, various apparitions and shadow people.
2. West Virginia Penitentiary - Moundsville
Widely touted as the most haunted prison in the country, the West Virginia Penitentiary first opened in 1875. Throughout the years, the prison was home to a great deal of violence and bloodshed. Nine inmates lost their lives to "Old Sparky," the ironically jovial nickname given to the prison’s electric chair. Eighty-five men were hanged in a building called The Death House, which has since been demolished. Many inmates were murdered over the years, the most gruesome of which was a pedophile who was carved up by his fellow prisoners during a riot in 1986. There are also several accounts of devil worship, racial violence, torture, suicide and decapitations. People visiting the abandoned facility have reported all manner of noises, including screaming and rattling. The most well known apparitions are that of a headless inmate and the infamous "Shadow Man." Tours are given at the facility regularly. Visitors can even choose to spend the night in there.
Sometimes it isn’t just a building that is haunted, it is a whole town. In this case, the town of Lewisburg has several hauntings around its historic downtown district. One such establishment is the General Lewis Inn, which is haunted by the Lady in White, a slave named Reuben and a third unknown girl. Another location is the Old Stone Church, once serving as a temporary hospital during the Civil War. Residents have reported moaning and cries of pain coming from the church, as if soldiers were still being treated there. Probably the most famous ghost is Zona Hester Shue, also called The Greenbrier Ghost. Shue was murdered by her husband in 1897 - and she was the one responsible for his conviction. She apparently appeared to her mother shortly after her death and revealed critical information about her murder. When Shue’s body was exhumed, the coroner was able to confirm that her husband was responsible. It probably didn’t help that the husband vehemently objected to the exhumation and declared that no one could prove that he did it.
4. Droop Mountain Battlefield – Hillsboro
Droop Mountain was the site of a decisive battle for the territory of West Virginia in 1863. Visitors and residents have reported hearing strange noises and lights on the battlefield, and many people have witnessed a headless confederate soldier roaming the mountain. Other reports mention a soldier sleeping against a tree, disembodied voices and the sound of galloping horses.
5. Blennerhassett Hotel – Parkersburg
This hotel is very active and has been for quite some time. The most well known spirit is the "Man in The Grey Suit," who many people believe is William Nelson Chancellor, a prominent businessman who built the hotel. Many children haunt the location as well, and can be heard playing tag on the second floor. Occasionally, they are even seen. Another child likes to hang out in the kitchen and tug on the cook’s sleeves. Then there is 'The Four O’clock Knocker,' who knocks on the door leading to the coffee bar at 4 a.m., though the knocks have been heard at other times as well. Finally, there is the music coming from the Charleston Ballroom at times when it is completely vacant. There has even been occasions when a man in a white tuxedo has appeared in the hallway mirrors that pass the ballroom.
6. Harpers Ferry
This is another haunted town in West Virginia. It is regarded as the most active in the state. Much of the activity purportedly goes back centuries. One haunted location is St. Peters Catholic Church, pictured above. Residents have seen an apparition of a priest inside the old structure. Harper House also has a ghostly resident; she is a young woman in 19th century period dress that many people have seen gazing out of an upper story window. A fairly common occurrence is the sounds of a ghost army. People have claimed to hear the sound of drums and fifes as the disembodied army marches through the streets.
7. Lake Shawnee Amusement Park - Rock
This abandoned amusement park was once the site of a violent conflict between European settler Mitchell Clay and a tribe of Shawnee Indians in the 1700s. The result was the death of several Shawnee warriors and three Clay children. Many believe that the conflict cursed the land. Whether true or not, the park that was built on the same location in the 1920s gave rise to more death. Several people were accidentally killed in the park. It was finally closed in 1966. Now, the rides still sit in the abandoned spot – rusted skeletons of a cursed past. To this day, people claim that the location is haunted. Witnesses have reported seeing apparitions of a man and a little girl in pink. Ghost tours are regularly held at the abandoned site.
These are just some places that have frequently been plagued by the paranormal. Have you ever been to these locations? Do you have some of your own ghost stories to tell? Please comment below and let us know.
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.