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Haunted West Virginia Trail Accepting Applications

Officials for the West Virginia Division of Tourism are taking applications for a new Haunted West Virginia Trail they want to offer tourists.

From their site:

The Mountain State has its share of ghosts, spirits and supernatural stories.  Reported ghosts of civil war soldiers, tragic deaths and murder victims seeking justice from beyond the grave. This is why we decided to develop a map to help visitors plan their haunted journey.

Do you have a site that you want considered for the haunted West Virginia Trail? Submit the completed application below for consideration.

To be considered for the trail, all locations must be open or accessible to the public and promoted as being a haunted or alien site by the property owners or local officials if on public land.

Applications are accepted online at this link:

Four Famous West Virginia Haunts

As far as freaky haunted places and creepy supernatural stories go, it’s no joke that West Virginia has some doozies to brag about.

It is home to four particularly chilling ones that you’ll often find on “Most Haunted Places” lists. Such as:

1. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Transallegheny lunatic Hospital - Photo: Tim Kiser (w:user:Malepheasant)
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Hospital (aka Weston State Hospital) – Photo: Tim Kiser (w:user:Malepheasant)

This psychiatric hospital was designed to hold 250 people, but always exceeded its capacity. Crowded conditions led naturally to unsanitary ones. Couple less-than-desirable living conditions with not always the best care and its no wonder those troubled souls who called this place “home” until they died perhaps are now the restless spirits roaming here.

Paranormal activity reported here ranges from apparition sightings to unexplainable noises and sound. Fans of paranormal reality television shows might recognize it from various investigations.

2. Point Pleasant’s Mothman

For over a year, from November 1966 to December 1967, various residents of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, reported seeing a “man-sized bird” with glowing red eyes lurking about.

On December 15, 1967, Point Pleasant’s Silver Bridge collapsed, causing 46 fatalities. That’s a lot of deaths all at once for any town, but when you’re dealing with a small town? (Less than 5,000 people.) That’s catastrophic. It’s the kind of situation where everyone in town surely knew, or knew of, someone who had died in the accident.

No more Mothman sightings were reported after the bridge’s collapse, leading some to believe either the creature had caused the chaos or had been a harbinger of it.

The mystery of whether a creature was really seen or if it had any connection to the disaster still remains unsolved.

However, the town doesn’t hide it’s supernatural claim to fame. They have a Mothman Museum and a yearly Mothman Festival.

3. West Virginia State Penitentiary

West Virginia State Penitentiary - Photo: Tim Kiser
West Virginia State Penitentiary – Photo: Tim Kiser (w:user:Malepheasant)

This prison made the Justice Department’s list of Top 10 Most Violent Correctional Facilities in the U.S. It carried out 85 executions with the help of “Old Sparky,” its electric chair. 36 inmates were also murdered while serving their sentences.

Reports of paranormal activity have been documented back to the 1930s. Some former guards report seeing apparitions, and an ominous shadow man has also often been spotted. (By tour goers, workers, and former guards alike.)

The former prison is also a favorite of paranormal reality TV shows. Private groups are also allowed to rent the facilities for paranormal investigations.

4. The Lake Shawnee Abandoned Amusement Park 

Lake Shawnee Amusement Park – haunted? Photo: Jaime Pettry

This amusement park was abandoned in 1966. Rumors have it that before becoming an amusement park, the site was witness to a bitter dispute between Native Americans and a settler family. Blood was shed, first when the Native Americans killed three of the family’s children, then later when the father sought revenge.

The park was opened in the 1920s to be a happy place (as parks are meant to be), but sadly it saw more tragedy. A little girl was killed on the swings when a truck backed into them. A boy drowned. In all, a total of six deaths happened in the park.

Some believe the ground there is cursed. Many believe if not cursed, it’s definitely haunted. Eerie things still happen there when visitors dare to roam amongst the rotting rides. Such as swings move when there is no wind. Some have also reported seeing apparitions or hearing voices.

It’s also been featured on paranormal TV shows, and often boasts Halloween celebrations.


What haunted places in West Virginia would you like to see be included as part of the Haunted Trail?

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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