In August of 2014, we acted on my spontaneous idea to drive all the way to West Virginia from Georgia to visit the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (also known as the Weston State Hospital) with the intention of seeing some ghosts! Though we did not see anything, we, especially I, experienced… something out of the ordinary.
Construction of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum began in 1858, was interrupted by the Civil War, and completed in 1881. It is the largest hand-cut masonry building in North America, which was built to accommodate 250 patients. The architecture of the hospital follows the Kirkbride model of tiered wards on either side of an administration building.
Eventually, the hospital housed 2,400 patients. The conditions were, as I’m sure you can conclude, not ideal. It was probably pretty gross and very cramped. Later in its life, the site was known as the Weston State Hospital which closed in 1994.
I love all things paranormal and find the concept of spirits fascinating. We signed up for a ghost tour, and we ended up getting lucky and were able to have a private one.
Our guide took us through the hospital and told us of the documented encounters many paranormal investigators have reported and how thy linked up with historically documented events. This hospital is considered very active, and is very popular among paranormal investigators.
When we got to the end of our tour, we were able to sit down with our guide and have an investigatory session. He set up flash lights and used a device that allegedly outputs the words of the spirits who interact with it. I took a video of the session until the voice was eerily specific in telling me to turn my camera off.
I turned it off for a brief moment then turned it back on. Within a few seconds of turning my camera back on, I had an unexpected experience. First, my entire body was tingling and I got goosebumps from head to toe. Then, I felt a hot, itchy sensation just below one of my shoulder blades.
When we returned to the hotel several hours later, we discovered that as this was happening, my camera died. Since my shoulder blade was still itchy, we took a look. There were three scratch marks in a place I couldn’t reach, at an angle I couldn’t scratch, and too close together to be my own fingernails.
Can you see the marks? Here’s a closeup.
Here I am two and a half years later still getting excited that this happened. We had a great time in Weston and I highly recommend visiting and taking some time to see the hospital. The historical tours are very professional and the tour guides really know their stuff! If you’re interested in the paranormal, this is one of the top destinations in the country due to the high amount of activity.
Renovations are currently underway to restore this beautiful building to what it looked like before it closed. Tours begin again April 1st, 2017 so why not start planning your trip now?
If you’ve been here, we’d love to hear what you thought. Just go ahead and write us a note in the comments or link us to your blog post!