The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is one of the most allegedly haunted areas in West Virginia containing a lot of secrets from the years of the Civil War up toward the closing in 1994.
The place was known as Weston State Hospital when it was first constructed in the 1800s. The construction stopped in 1858 due to the Union soldiers wanting to use the land, according to The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum’s official website.
The building was created by Thomas Story Kirkbirde, a mentally ill man who wanted to be associated with an American psychiatric facility, according to Culture Trip, a website that features stories about tourist destinations.
During the working years, the area was filled with different mentally ill patients.
According to the information on the asylum’s website, Kirkbirde believed that the patients should be allowed to roam the facility to have more freedom. He believed that letting them roam would help them be cured of their illness. The place was able to contain 250 people in their own comfortable rooms.
In 1863, tragedy struck the hospital. Due to an increase in mental health diagnoses, the hospital was overrun with 500 more patients with different problems. The hospital could hardly keep up with the patients. Conditions started to decline rapidly.
According to the website allthatsinteresting.com, patients were crammed together, with four or five in one small room that could only fit one person. By 1938, the asylum was six times over capacity. The patients were running wild and they were out of control. They hardly had anywhere to keep any more patients. The food supplies were running low. The conditions were declining rapidly.
At the peak of the 1950s, the hospital contained 2,600 patients. According to the asylum’s website, the patients were sleeping on the floor and in freezing rooms with no furniture or heat. The windows were covered in grime and mold. The wallpaper was peeling from decay. It was ten times overcapacity.
During this era, the place was beginning on experimental lobotomies. The place performed over 4,000 lobotomies, which left some healthy patients with brain damage and hemorrhages, according to “The Horrifying History Of The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum” on
allthatsinteresting.com. The “ice pick” method involved slipping a thin, pointed rod like an ice pick into the patient’s eye socket and using a hammer to force it to sever the connective tissue in the frontal lobe of the brain, which resulted in a number of deaths.
After the closing in 1994, they expanded only one part of the area to create a new place, which was a graveyard. Since 2007, the owners decided to do day tours to tell the history behind it and do paranormal tours to see if any ghosts decide to roam.
The asylum has gotten more recognition and popularity since the closing. Legends say that you may see or hear one of the patients or see one of their common ghosts named Lily. She was one of the patients from the Civil War era that died from pneumonia at the age of 9. Witnesses say if you step in her playroom, you can hear her cries and laughs.
This place was ranked the number one haunted area in West Virginia. The secrets of this place remain unknown. If you want to find out, you can. The secrets are yours to figure out. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is located in Weston.
If you want to hear more, visit the asylum’s website at www.trans-allegheny lunaticasylum.com