Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum build out of Nightmares

Build in Weston West Virginia in the eighteenth hundreds this hand-cut stone masonry building is said to be the second largest establishment of its kind in the world.

It was meant as a place of peace and relaxation, but Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum turned out to build out of nightmares. 

Gothic & Tutor

To help calm the minds of the mentally ill and the unstable. In its time the Trans-Allegheny was said to be a state of the art facility. Using the Kirkbride plan each patient would have their room, their own space to heal and recover.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

This plan also included long open Gothic and Tutor Revival style corridors and open windows for abundant sunlight and fresh air. The construction crew was a mixture of prison labor and Germanic and Irish stone masons.

While it’s not currently known if anyone died in the building process, it’s widely known that prisoners who died on such construction projects were merely buried in the ground onsite. Leaving some to believe that the lands were cursed long before the Asylum was even finished.

Thomas Story Kirkbride
Thomas Story Kirkbride

The establishment was designed to hold two hundred and fifty weary souls, but by the time of its closure in 1994, it housed nearly ten times its ideal capacity, which leads to sickness and death.

Its onsite cemetery had been expanded several times and covered some six hundred and sixty-six acres — yes, we noticed the number. However, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum’s woes did not begin there. It’s believed that some of those two hundred and fifty souls never left. Many may still be fighting a war from beyond the veil.

14906843032_bf29b92302_b-e1470140052933-940x496

Since the building closure, sale and re-opening as a tourist attraction for the ghost hunter or terror seeker — you know who you are, the Asylum has been labeled as one of the top ten most haunted places in North America.

Civil war deaths, violent homicides on site. Patients were dying from self-inflicted wounds, disease, starvation and all sorts of medical mistreatment and let’s not forget the six hundred and sixty-six acres of graveyards on site. Of course, it’s haunted.

The Mad Scientist

Dr. Freeman used this hospital, and it’s weak, forgotten and unwanted patients as guinea pigs in his experimental treatment of mental conditions. Freeman pioneered the idea of separating the frontal lobe from the rest of the brain which would allow patients to return to normal healthy lives.

This process was called the frontal lobotomy, and we all know how that turned out. Four hundred and forty known patients were treated this way. Many did not survive. This example is another instance where traumatic death leads to hauntings.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

The doctor’s malpractice was not the only instance of traumatic and violent deaths as two well known cases included Joe, a man on F ward — where the hospital kept is most dangerous male patients, who hung another patient named Charlie.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

When Charlie survived the hanging, Joe laid him down on the floor underneath the foot of the bed and jumped on the bed. Another story is that of Mrs. Creamer, who was restrained in her bed on C ward — said to be the most active for paranormal activity. Her roommate strangled her with her bedding with the nurse’s station a mere 20 feet away.

Ghost Hunting

All the usually paranormal organizations have been to the Asylum from the TAPS Ghost Hunters team to the current Ghost Adventures group and many other teams and experts.

They all say the same thing. Due to the place’s history and the mental illnesses of the patients, the place is a hot spot. No one was safe at Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum as Zack Bagans explains in this video from Destination America.

Ghost Adventures on Destination America Channel
Ghost Adventures on Destination America Channel

Today, the current owners use the legends and the hauntings to attract tours, especially as Halloween approaches.  There are so many more stories about this haunted location. If you’re up for a scare and if you dare, you can visit their website and maybe take a tour yourself. I might see you there.

Until next time.
Artemis Dai


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