The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, located in Weston, West Virginia was formerly known as the Weston State Hospital. Historically, it i was constructed between 1858 and 1881. It is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America, and is purportedly the second largest in the world (next to the Kremlin). This West Virginia facility served as a sanctuary for the mentally ill in the mid-1800’s. The history of the building holds fascinating stories of Civil War raids, a gold robbery, the “curative” effects of architecture, and the efforts of determined individuals to help better the lives of the mentally ill.
It was designed by the renowned architect Richard Andrews following the Kirkbride plan, which called for long rambling wings arranged in a staggered formation, assuring that each of the connecting structures received an abundance of therapeutic sunlight and fresh air. The original hospital, designed to house 250 souls, was open to patients in 1864 and reached its peak in the 1950’s with 2,400 patients in overcrowded and generally poor conditions. Changes in the treatment of mental illness and the physical deterioration of the facility forced its closure in 1994 inflicting a devastating effect on the local economy, from which it has yet to recover.
It could be said the hauntings that are so intense here can be associated with the over-the-top suffering that was endured here. Here are each of the floors on it’s own…
The First Floor: The first floor has a wing that is called the Civil War Wing which is the oldest part of the hospital. It is also sometimes referred to as the Veteran’s Area. Along a hallway on this floor was a patient named Ruth how was very violent towards men and would often throw things at them. A number of people have been pushed up against walls and have heard whistling sounds emanating from down the hallway. People often encounter the ghost of Ruth along this hallway as well.
The Second Floor: On the second floor in Ward 2 was a general purpose ward and further down was the men’s ward. In Ward Two very near a room where a man was stabbed seventeen times by another patient, shadowy figures have often been encountered. Just across the hall from this, two patients committed suicide by hanging themselves from curtain rods within the room. A number of investigators have captured EVPs saying “Get out” at this location and many will hear their names called out by the spirits.
The Third Floor: On the third floor is where Geriatrics is located along with the Nurses Quarters and an Auditorium which once housed plays and movies and also was a chapel for a time. It also hosted policeman’s balls in the past. The opposite hallway is where some of the most violent female patients were housed in the past. Individual isolation cells were where many were shackled to the floor originally in chains and later in leather restraints. At the end of the isolation hallway is Dean’s Room where an patient almost hung by two fellow patients and when they noticed he was still moving, that dragged him into the room, place one end of the bed post on his head and they both jumped on the bed until the post penetrated his skull instantly killing him! On the floor’s Nurses Quarters, doors close by themselves. Our tour guide Zach even claimed to have seen an apparition of a nurse in the corridor to the left for a fleeting glimpse. It greatly shook him up at the time. In the Geriatrics Hallway, shadowy figures are encountered and many strange noises. Across the Geriatrics where some of the most violent female patients were kept, people hear their names called out and disembodied screams in the distance along with footsteps. The ghost of Dean apparently haunts the room where his violent murder took place at the end of the isolation hallway and a nurse named Elizabeth can sometimes be encountered here as well. At the end of the next hallway is where a ghost called Big Jim has been encountered and numerous EVPs
The Fourth Floor: The fourth floor hallway was gutted by a fire in 1935 and they installed wooden floorboards instead of concrete. Along this hallway is Lily’s Room which is in Ward R. It is an especially creepy part of the building. Ward R, located on this floor, is perhaps the creepiest hallways in the entire hospital when it comes to feeling and sensations. This is where the ghost of Lily can sometimes be communicated with. Another investigative group was here taking pictures when they captured a black blog which was indistinguishable and when they asked their SB-7 Ghost Box what it was, the Ghost Box responded with “Demon.” There is another weird apparition called a “creeper” that apparently crawls or slinks along on the floor. The sounds of someone or something banging on pipes can often be heard and the ghosts of both Jessie and Andrew frequent this hallway.