Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was built between 1858 and 1881 in Weston, Va. Later, the name was changed to Weston State Hospital. It is the largest hand cut stone masonry building in the country. The hospital closed in 1994. The asylum is actually in the center of town. Patients were allowed to go into town. When the hospital closed, some patients who were deemed sane were allowed to leave. Former patients are still walking Weston streets. Because so many disturbed patients died there, many spirits allegedly reside there. Tours give visitors the history and folklore of the asylum. Tours vary in length, time of day, focus, and price. Our tour was a once a month, 10:30 pm to 12:30 am ghost hunt. Only 40 participants are allowed, dividing into groups of ten, each with a guide. Our guide, Rob, was most interesting. He told us he talks to the spirits, and has both favorite and despised places in the hospital. Registering, the staff gives each person a reason for being committed. Greg's was that his parents were cousins. Mine is that I was a sexual deviant. No truth to any of it, it's just for fun! There is no electricity on the upper floors, so it very, very dark. Rob took us up to his favorite floor, the 4th, where we sat in the dark and watched as his flashlight was turned on. He called to the patients, but they were largely unresponsive. We heard some scuffling at the end of the hall and saw shadows. We went to the children's ward, the Civil War ward, the kitchen, arts and crafts department, and the operating room where lobotomies took place. We were warned that the spirits were irrational in life, and probably still are. I did experience eye pain in the operating room. In the children's ward, we heard about Lilly, a playful little girl. She sometimes plays ball with staff and visitors. When we turned to go, I stepped on a small ball which lit up! Did Lilly put it there? You decide, just as you decide if there are really ghosts in the asylum! I did feel cold spots in a few areas, and Greg took photos there. We did capture some orbs, which may or may not be ghosts. Rob gave us plenty of time to wander in the dark ourselves and see if we could connect with anything. He told us about the doctor's daughter who burned herself alive at the dance in the auditorium, the inmate who killed another because "he was taking all my oxygen,â€ and about Jack, who sometimes scratches people. Rob and the other guides have experience many paranormal experiences. Many violent episodes happened while the hospital was open. Conference rooms from the 1870s are open for viewing. The tour was enthralling! We certainly would take another! Cost was $40 a person. A gift shop sells T-shirts and other items. We have a certificate verifying that we completed the tour. The building is on the National Historic Register, and all monies from tours are used to restore the building. http://www.trans-alleghenylunaticasylum.com/index.html
What a great daycation this would make!