The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, subsequently the Weston State Hospital, was a Kirkbride psychiatric hospital that was operated from 1864 until 1994 by the government of the U.S. state of West Virginia, in the city of Weston. — Wikipedia
Leading To Hauntings
I was reading around about what haunting I wanted to explore this week and the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum caught my eye. I have always known that conditions in asylums were almost always poor and lead
Sometimes they were so deplorable that disease ran rampant, and many patients died from physical illness far sooner than their mental illness would have killed them.
However, what shocked me to read was exactly how poor conditions were in this particular asylum. Though designed to help and to heal, this particular structure was only designed to home 250 people at one time.
This is an extremely limited number, and when they were at their peak of enrollment, this asylum had 2,600 patients! I cannot fathom how crowded and mistreated many people were.
Reading Too Much
There has been documentation of people being kept in cages when they were “unable to be controlled” by caretakers, and even the wallpaper was peeling from the walls. Patients attempted to kill each other, and were sometimes successful due to the overworked staff.
I even found a report where when two patients failed in hanging another patient, they beat his head in with a steel bed frame. Even women whose only sign of illness was novel reading were admitted, and some eventually were driven to the point of insanity from the filth and even chains they were forced to live in.
Lobotomy surgeries were also a dime a dozen there. It is far too graphic for me to be able to type out, however the “icepick” lobotomy was the surgery of choice there and I am barely able to read about it without feeling ill.
They also specialized in insulin shock therapy, electro-convulsive therapy, and even those who were gay were subjected to a lobotomy in an effort to “cure” them of a perceived illness.
Now here is the question, they claim the changes in treatment and deterioration of the facility forced the closure of it in 1994. That seems fine and well, however I had a thought while I was reading about it, was that
We all know asylums were hotbeds for abuse of power, and the mistreatment of the mentally ill. But what I wonder is exactly how much worse the conditions of the asylum made the patients, and how much the overcrowding affected those who stayed there.
Over Worked Cruelty
Would patients have wanted to stay because they wished to inflict further torment on their supposed caretakers?
Or would the supposed caretakers even have stayed because they felt their business was unfinished? It is hard to say what their each individual connection to the property is, however there have been confirmed reports of voices, apparitions, and other reports of activity.
When you take a moment to read about this particular place, it leaves little to the imagination as to why it is haunted. The real question is do the tortured souls left behind in this place ever find peace? Or will they forever be damned to wander these halls in search of some sliver of peace?