Spooky Spots in West Virginia

There are an endless amount of adventures to be had in the Mountain State, and yes, even haunted ones too. West Virginia is home to many ghostly entities, all of which are sure to get your heart racing this spooky season. Bring along your friends and head out to explore any of these spine-tingling spots for a thrilling experience like never before.

Lake Shawnee Amusement Park

There is something unsettling about this Mercer County attraction. Maybe that it was built upon a Native American Burial Ground or perhaps, the multiple accounts of violent deaths and freak accidents. Either way, there’s definitely some spooky activity going on at Lake Shawnee Amusement Park for it to be named “one of the world’s most haunted places.” When the property was purchased in the early 1920s and turned into a carnival, the buyer had no idea of the tragic events that had taken place on those very grounds. As the eerie events continued on at the amusement park, decades of bloody unrest were discovered and this place of fun was left just as it was.

So, decide for yourself if this spot is really haunted or not. Although the amusement park is located on private property, regular paranormal tours are held throughout the year. The owners can usually make private arrangements, as well, just call them before heading out for a visit.

West Virginia Penitentiary

This gothic-style prison standing in Moundsville is one of West Virginia’s most recognized buildings and one of the creepiest too. Operating from 1876 to 1995, this prison had the reputation of being one of the most violent in the entire country. Countless fires, riots and nearly 100 executions took place here, many of which were by means of hanging and electrocution. Now the building serves as a top-tier attraction and the location for many documentaries and films. Visitors today continue to report sightings of phantom inmates and a “shadow man” wandering the premises, as well as unexplained noises, voices and cold spots. It’s no wonder why The Travel ranked this as one of the 10 most haunted spots to visit.

Be surrounded by the 5-foot thick walls as you stroll down the halls for yourself on one of the penitentiary’s many tour options. From guided paranormal walks and a haunted house to escape games and even educational day tours, there is enough spooky here for everyone. Take part in a public ghost hunt or sign up for a private, overnight investigation.

Silver Run Tunnel

West Virginia’s North Bend Rail Trail stretches over 70 miles and is known for its 10 tunnels – especially the haunted ones. The tunnels lining the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between Grafton and Parkersburg were built just after the Civil War, between 1867 and 1870. The 1,376-foot-long Silver Run Tunnel still stands today and remains in a constant state of dampness and fog. The legend of the Lady in White follows a bride who was riding a train to meet her groom and was either pushed or fell from the train and died. After the accident, railmen claimed to see a ghostly woman standing on the tracks and to have heard her shrieks as they passed through this Mid-Ohio Valley spot.

Visit today if you dare to take the chilling bike ride along the North Bend Rail Trail to the Silver Run Tunnel, which just might connect you to the days gone by. Or for extra suspense, visit at dark and hike on foot with only a flashlight leading the way.

Town of Thurmond

Located in the heart of the New River Gorge, the town of Thurmond which was once a prospering coal town overflowing with residents and business is now known as a ghost town complete with abandoned buildings and eerie remains of the life that once was. At its time of operation in the 1920s, the Thurmond Depot was a place full of hustle and bustle and among one of the greatest railroads found along the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. Key buildings, like the grand hotel, continued to be destroyed by fires and were never rebuilt. The Great Depression caused some banks to close and others to move.

With a current population of only five people, many believe the railroad of Thurmond to be haunted and countless visitors flock each year to explore this spooky and abandoned spot for themselves. Learn more about the history of this town and visit all the must-see spooky sights with a self-guided walking tour.

Folklore Festival

Stop by Hancock County’s Folklore Festival on Saturday, October 15 for a day full of cryptids, folklore icons and everything in between! Shop interesting items made by a variety of local vendors, take part in haunted crafts and enjoy endless spooky entertainment and activities. From tasty foods and trick-or-treating to costume contests and live presentations, this is a seasonal event you don’t want to miss.

Keep up with the fun seasonal adventures found all around the state with the help of our new, special edition vacation guides!

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This post was last updated on October 18, 2023