|Photograph ©Aaron Zajac|
71 Asylum Drive
Weston, WV 26452
The doors on this Kirkbride hospital were officially opened in 1864, however, patients were accepted as early as 1861.
For more than one-hundred and thirty years, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was allowed to perform crude, torturous and inhumane "medical" procedures on the "mentally ill."
To be considered for admission, one would need to display symptoms of illnesss. In their earlier years of operation, some of those symptoms included: Tuberculosis, "Brain Fever," Laziness, Superstitious Beliefs, Masturbation, Menstral Derangement, Menopause, Seduction, or "Being Kicked in the Head by a Horse." The first person admitted to the facility was an unlucky housewife who was diagnosed with "Domestic Trouble."
In the eighteen-hundreds, the asylum housed a modest 250 patients. By the time they closed the doors in 1994, this monstrous 240,000 square-foot building could house 2,400 patients.
From the beginning, the Gothic-Tudor structure was what nightmares are made of; "Ice Pick" lobotomies, crude forms of electroshock therapy, hydrotherapy, violence among the patients; a perfect recipe for one of Americas most haunted hot spots.
The list of accounts here are incredible: full-bodied apparitions, claims of being touched or having shirt tails and pant legs tugged on by unseen hands, agonizing screams that emanate from empty rooms and corridors, footsteps, knocking, banging, items moving. Trans-Allegheny is a ghost hunters dream!
Today, anyone can experience the paranormal within the asylum walls, tours are given day and night, daily.