Spooky West Virginia Tours You Don’t Want to Miss
West Virginia’s unique history brings with it an assortment of spooky places. As Halloween creeps closer and the autumn air situates itself within the mountains and valleys of Almost Heaven, folks from all over begin to flock to these historically haunted locations. Plan a trip and book a tour at one of these iconic spooky places.
Located just outside of Princeton in Mercer County, Lake Shawnee Amusement Park has been considered by many to be one of the most haunted locations in the world. In the 1700s, settler Mitchell Clay had several disputes with the local Shawnee Native Americans that led to the death of three Clay children and several Shawnee warriors. The land was home to Native American burial grounds and was considered to be sacred. In the 1920s, a local businessman purchased the land and created the Lake Shawnee Amusement Park, but it was abandoned after several mysterious deaths at the park. Today, paranormal tours are offered, and the park even hosts a dark carnival in October. The spirits of a little girl in a pink dress, a mysterious man and even Native Americans have been reportedly spotted throughout the park. The ferris wheel and other rides still stand by the lake, eerily consumed by weeds and forgotten by time.
“Couples See Man-Sized Bird … Creature … Something.”
Plastered on the front page of the Nov. 16, 1966 edition of the Point Pleasant Register was this headline that will be remembered forever. In the mid-1960s, strange sightings began in Point Pleasant that still cannot be explained. Many residents began spotting what became known as Mothman for more than a year leading up to the collapse of the Silver Bridge that connected Point Pleasant to Gallipolis, Ohio. Today the Mothman Festival is held in downtown Point Pleasant on every third weekend of September and offers visitors tours of the location the Mothman was originally spotted.
The West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville was opened in 1875 and quickly developed the reputation of being one of the most violent prisons in the United States. Because of this, it is also regarded as one of the most haunted. Riots, fires, sickness and more than 100 executions within the prison’s walls have left behind a lingering uneasiness, and visitors can take part in tours or even spend the evening conducting their own paranormal investigations. In October, the prison stages a haunted house in addition to tours.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
If there was ever a building that makes people think, “wow, that looks haunted,” it would be the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston. The Asylum was constructed in the mid-1800s and was occupied by Union soldiers for much of the Civil War. It was originally designed to house 250 patients, but at its peak, the Asylum held 2,400 patients within its overcrowded walls. The hospital has a dark history, and since its closing in 1994, it has been re-opened as a tourist destination. Witnesses have reported doors slamming, shadowy figures and screaming from within the building’s walls. Tours are offered throughout the year as well as a haunted house and other events for Halloween.
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This post was last updated on August 3, 2020