5 of the most haunted locations in West Virginia
With as much history as West Virginia has, there is no surprise that there is no shortage of hauntings. For years, West Virginia residents have reported the paranormal all across the state. Some locations are more notable than others though. Many of them have developed quite the reputation over the years.
Lake Shawnee Amusement Park
In the late 1700s, the Clay family moved into western Virginia (present day Mercer County, West Virginia). Mitchell Clay and his wife settled on an 800 acre farm and raised 14 children, but in 1783 tragedy struck. While Mitchell was out hunting, several members of the Shawnee tribe killed two of the Clay children and burned another at the stake. Mitchell hunted down several of the Native Americans and retaliated. No one showed interest in the land until the early 1900s when Conley T. Snidow purchased the land and built a small amusement park on it. During its operation, at least six people died at the amusement park. Tragedy continued on the land, and the park ultimately closed. Many of the rides and structures of the amusement park still stand today, rusted and overgrown with weeds. Many claim that the property is haunted by the spirits of the young children that died there. Native American bones have also been excavated from the site, revealing an ancient Native American burial ground. Perhaps the property is cursed, or perhaps it has just been a series of unfortunate events. The property has been featured on Travel Channel’s Most Terrifying Places in America but many think it is one of the most haunted places in the world. You can find out for yourself but scheduling a tour of the property, or you can visit during the Dark Carnival on weekends in October!
22 Mine Road, Logan County
In 1932, a prominent Logan County woman named Mamie Thurman was found murdered near the top of Trace Mountain in Logan County. She had been shot, stabbed, and left for dead on top of the mountain, but no one knew for sure who killed her. Speculation went on for years, and ultimately Clarence Stephenson was charged with her murder and sent to Moundsville to what is now the West Virginia State Penitentiary. Many believe Stephenson’s employer, Harry Robertson, was the real culprit, but there was never any evidence to prove it. Rumor has it that Mamie’s ghost haunts the mountain road that she was found on over 80 years ago. Some say she can be seen on top of the mountain, but legend has it that if you park your car in neutral at the bottom of 22 Mine Road, it will roll uphill. It is believed that this is the ghost of Mamie Thurman. Make your way to Logan County and see for yourself!
Lewisburg was a prominent location in West Virginia during the Civil War. The Lewisburg Historic District is home to the Old Stone Church, which served as a hospital during the Civil War. Some say you can hear the screams of its patients if you listen close on a quiet night. There are also several spirits that have been reported at the General Lewis Inn. Lewisburg is home to one of the most famous spirits in American history, though! In 1897, Zona Heaster Shue was mysteriously murdered with no sign of who the killer was. Shue’s mother claims that Zona came to her at night several weeks after the funeral and revealed who the killer was and how he murdered her. Shue’s mother was able to convince local authorities to have another medical examination conducted, which revealed that Shue’s neck had been broken and she had been strangled. Shue’s husband was convicted of murder and sent to the West Virginia State Penitentiary in Moundsville. Zona’s appearance and ability to convince her mother to pursue another investigation has led her to be called the Greenbrier Ghost. A state historical marker was placed near the cemetery where Zona is buried in Greenbrier County. This is the only known case in which evidence provided by a spirit helped to convict the murderer!
West Virginia State Penitentiary
The West Virginia State Penitentiary was opened in 1875, and many believe it to be one of the most haunted prisons in the United States. During its years of operation, the penitentiary was known to be one of the most violent in the country. There were many riots, fires, and around 100 executions while it was in use. Several diseases made their rounds as well, spreading like wildfire and killing many of the inmates. Visitors of the penitentiary have reported seeing figures of possible inmates and what most regard as the “shadow man” that stalks the halls. If you’re up for the scares, the penitentiary offers tours as well as overnight stays to ghost hunt! Every October, the prison holds a haunted house that is sure to give you your fill of frights as well!
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is without a doubt one of the creepiest looking locations on this list. The asylum was originally constructed in the mid 1800s, but construction was stopped in 1858 for the grounds to be used by Union soldiers. The asylum played a prevalent role throughout much of the Civil War, but it was most prominent in the 1950s when it was known as the Weston State Hospital. The facility was originally built to house roughly 250 patients, but in the 1950s it reached peak occupancy with over 2,400 residents. The conditions were far from ideal, and the asylum finally closed in 1994. Today, visitors can tour the halls of the once overcrowded hospital, and they may experience a piece of the paranormal. Over the years, many have reported hearing screams echoing through the hallways as well as doors slamming inexplicably. Figures of shadows and mysterious noises have also been reported. The asylum offers tours throughout the year and a haunted house around Halloween!
Are you brave enough to visit one of these frightening West Virginia locations? Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, we are sure you will walk away with a story to tell.
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This post was last updated on March 17, 2022