From the time I was a young girl, I have always felt a pull to the disturbing, the spooky, the edge of your seat kind of places. The shows back then were not of the paranormal as much as monsters and vampires. Very little footage of the insides of an asylum had been shown to the public, because they were still in use.
Today, we have access to many decrepit, run down buildings where the criminally insane as well as the misunderstood sane were shut out from the world, and made to face their fate under the knife, or ice pick, or whatever popular tool the Dr.’s would use to try and make them a productive member of society. What better place to explore, than inside one of these places?
My dream was realized in 2014 when I got my first opportunity to go into one of these places and see for myself what lay behind the decay of these once beautiful buildings. The place in point: Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia. My desire was to find out if this haunted asylum had not only the history, but the hauntings, these shows professed. Would I leave disappointed, or would the harrowing tales of horror leave me wanting more?
To appreciate this place or another like it, you must first learn of it’s history. Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was constructed between 1858 through 1891. It is in fact, the largest hand cut stone building in North America, and was designed by Richard Andrews, and was built in the Kirkbride fashion.
It opened its doors for patients in 1864 and housed 250 patients at that time. At its peak in the 1950’s the asylum had a reported 2400 patients, each one forced to endure overcrowded, understaffed conditions. Disease would have been running rampant through those halls. Walter Freeman, a renowned surgical doctor, performed hundreds of ice pick lobotomies under this roof, with death following some of these patients. During an ice pick lobotomy an ice pick is inserted behind the eye in the eye socket into your brain. Sounds morbid doesn’t it? He preformed his last lobotomy in 1964 after a patient’s death caused such an uproar in the community that he was forced to re locate to California.
Death of just about any kind could be imagined in such a place, and not only from disease.
Multiple murders and hangings were also reported here. This grand place closed its doors in 1994 as medical treatments were starting to move in a different direction. They released most patients or sent them to a sister site just beyond their property. Now, when you consider the past of this once great asylum you can only imagine my excitement I felt waiting at the doors to enter.
My team took a daytime paranormal tour which is 90 minutes long and covers locations on all four floors. As luck would have it, that day was the very first day anyone, (not even the stars of popular Paranormal shows) would get a tour of the lobotomy rooms. This made this trip even better, and excitement was hard to contain. When I left there that day, I left with not only photographs that have been shown to the teams there and cannot be debunked, but I had my first ever touch from an entity in the women’s ward. I was poked in the back, and felt this for hours as a cold, prickling sensation.
The verdict on this hauntingly beautiful and creepy place? Definitely haunted!
I have been drawn back to this asylum many times, not only doing daytime tours, but overnight as well, and it never fails to give me something. This is a go to place for anyone interested in the paranormal as well as history.
I cannot end this article without mentioning the work that has been done to restore this building back to it’s majestic splendor. The Jordan family bought the building and land in 2007.. They, along with their wonderful staff have been painstakingly bringing the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum back to its glory days, at least in appearance!
In the past few years I have been coming here, the beautiful work that has been done to the building as well as the grounds is unsurpassed. You can actually see where your money is going when you purchase a ticket to visit there. They are a blessing to a once great place, and they will treat you as if you are under their care….. or maybe I’m just kidding. The only way to find out is to go to the asylum yourself, and if you want the real deal, the in your face hauntings, I suggest you give this place a visit!