Trans-Alleghany Lunatic Asylum
Weston, West Virginia
Trans- Alleghany Lunatic Asylum is located in the small town of Weston, West Virginia. It is a 242,000 square feet facility that was operational from 1864- 1994. The original hospital was supposed to only house 250 souls but by the 1950’s the patient numbers had grown to 2400 causing the asylum to be severely overcrowded and the patients living in poor conditions. Some of the methods that they used for treatment consisted of “electro-shock therapy”, “insulin therapy”, “hydro-therapy” and “frontal lobotomies”. The asylum closed its doors in 1994 due to the change in the treatment of mental illness and the deterioration of the facility.
We had the opportunity to visit the asylum in 2011. We arrived at 8 pm, checked in and began our tour with our guide Copperhead. During our tour we had the feeling of being watched as well as unexplained emotions such as sadness, depression and anger. On the stairwell leading down to the “arts and crafts area/ lobotomy recovery rooms” I sensed a little boy standing in the corner watching us and it felt as if he reached out to touch me. I told Copperhead and he said “its ok we like to call him the “lil creeper”. He hangs out on the stairs and in the arts and crafts section”. When we concluded our tour we broke off into two separate groups and set out to opposite ends of the asylum. We headed down to the lobotomy recovery rooms while the other group headed to the Civil War area. We were in the recovery rooms area for approximately an hour taking pictures and voice recordings. When we tried to leave to head back up the stairs we found that the door we came through was locked. I radioed to the other group and let them know what was going on. She asked if we wanted her to get Copperhead to see if maybe he had the keys to the door. I told her no that we would try to find a way out. All four of us tried to open the door with no luck. We heard a loud click and were able to open the door. We looked around to see if maybe someone was playing a trick on us but found no one there. When we got back to the break room where Copperhead and the others were, we told Copperhead what had happened and he told us that he didn’t have keys for that door.
We went to the females ward and had decided to use our ghostbox to try and speak with the spirits. I called out for Dr. Freeman (he was the doctor that was in charge of the procedures) outside the electroshock therapy rooms. The response was “WHAT”. We heard several responses including a female that liked to call me a “B”. We were standing in the females ward and heard a door open and footsteps. A few moments later we saw a shadow figure and heard what appeared to be a couple of females talking. Everyone that was in the group saw and heard the same thing.
Stairways that we had went down seemed to not be in the same place. We were on the third floor looking for the stairs and couldn’t find them. Walking down the hall we came across a set of stairs that were lit up (certain places were marked as “off limits”) and they had no sign stating that we couldn’t use them. We walked down one set of stairs which would mean that we should have been on the second floor but looking at the door it said basement. If we were on the third floor how did we get to the basement? We went back up the stairs and just as we made it through the door, the door slammed loudly and the light turned off. I checked to see if maybe when the door slammed it cut the light off and I could not duplicate it.
We caught numerous EVP’s including a few of a little girl saying “I see you mommy”. What we think is Ruthie saying “I am Ruthie”. When we asked to speak to Lily a male’s voice said “NO” and we heard a little girl say “He won’t let me”. We heard screaming and people talking and whispering. We saw several shadow people.
While on the violent men’s ward we went into a room at the end of the hall. The atmosphere felt heavy and angry. When we turned on the ghostbox it immediately said one of the investigators names repeatedly over and over and called him an asshole. He began to feel sick and left the room. As soon as he left the room it called him another name and we heard what sounded like laughing.
The team that was on the opposite side of the asylum caught some EVP’s as well one that they caught was someone as for me, not only by my first name but my last name as well. In the “bedpost murder room” one of the investigators had her head pushed back against the wall and it made a loud thump. They also had the same issues with the stairs that we had too. They felt strong emotions of sadness and anger in certain parts of the asylum as well.
Is TALA haunted you may ask? We invite you to visit and find out for yourself. You may just find the spirits of Trans- Allegheny Lunatic Asylum wondering the halls.
Written by April McCoy