Haunted Destination: Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Weston, West Virginia
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Photo by: Amy McCartney, flickr

Amy McCartney, flickr

Weston, West Virginia

When the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum opened in 1864, it was meant to house a maximum of 250 patients – all of whom were to be treated in a humane and moral way. While the asylum kept up the façade of “moral treatment,” conditions rapidly deteriorated -- and patients were treated with anything but humanity. By the 1950s, the asylum was home to almost 2,400 unwanted, abandoned souls. Strangely, the asylum offered money to anyone who dropped off a patient … many of whom showed no signs of mental illness when they were first committed. But conditions in the overcrowded, understaffed building full of the mistreated mentally ill would make even the most sane of souls lose their minds. Sadistic, experimental medical procedures were often performed on patients, and anyone who complained or acted out was subjected to solitary confinement, chained to the walls of an empty room for months on end. When the Ghost Adventures crew investigated Trans-Allegheny, Zak Bagans called it a “recipe for trapped souls.” Visit, and you’ll see why.

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