The Haunted History of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, West Virginia

The Haunted History of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, West Virginia

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to tour around one of West Virginia’s most haunted buildings. Construction on the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum begun in 1858 and was completed in 1881. Originally designed to service just 250 patients, overcrowding took over and poor conditions flourished. The asylum peaked to house 2,400 patients in the 1950’s. Lobotomies, murder, rape, suicide and mistreatment taint the past of this beautiful gothic building. Many now believe the tortured souls once resident here are left trapped inside the asylum’s walls.

Taking a tour of the asylum allows you to explore numerous wards, laboratories, solitary confinement cells as well as living areas for patients and staff. I took a day time paranormal tour, which gives a brief glimpse of the building’s history paired with detailed descriptions of the asylum’s resident ghosts.

Exterior shot of the haunted Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Exterior shot of the haunted Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Ghosts of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

One of Trans-Allegheny’s more well know ghosts is that of a little girl named Lily. It is believed that Lily was born and died within the walls of the asylum. She has haunted the building since and isn’t shy to make herself know to staff and visitors. Commonly reported paranormal activity by Lily includes the holding of hands, tugging of clothing, giggles, stealing of candy and invisible games of ball. Look out for Lily on the first floor near her room.

Another popular spirit left trapped inside the asylum is that of Ruth. During her time whilst alive at the asylum, Ruth was an aggressive and, at times, violent older lady who had a severe dislike towards men. It is common to encounter Ruth on the first floor near her old holding cell.

Other reported ghosts include Dean, who is known to haunt the room he was brutally murdered in, or that of the second floor where disembodied voices warn people to ‘get out’ of a room where a double suicide occurred. That same floor is haunted by a stabbing victim who tugs on the pants of people walking by, as if using his last bit of strength to seek help. Doors are commonly left open by a dead nurse named Elizabeth who is thought to still be doing her rounds.

If that still doesn’t satiate your cravings for the paranormal, the geriatric ward and civil war wing of the hospital are also highly active. This still doesn’t even begin to cover stories of demonic entities and something maybe even freakier called ‘The Creeper,’ as seen on Paranormal Lockdown.

Searching for ghosts inside the halls of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.
Searching for ghosts inside the halls of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.

Visiting The Haunted Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Anyone with an interest in the paranormal, ghosts or the dark history of mental health treatment should add the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum to their haunted location bucket list. Now a recognized landmark, the asylum is open to the public for tours varying in nature.

For those interested in the building’s heritage, look at taking a historic, criminally insane, cemetery + farm, photography or VIP tour. For those interested in the haunted history of the asylum, look at taking a day/nighttime paranormal or flashlight tour. For those a little more adventurous look to book an overnight ghost hunt.

Inside the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum with its trapped souls.
Inside the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum with its trapped souls.

Thanks for reading. If you’re interested in visiting other creepy abandoned locations, check out my blog on the Old Abandoned Los Angeles Zoo.


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About Amy

Amy is a world traveller and explorer of creepy locations. She has visited some of the most famously haunted places around the world in search of evidence of the paranormal. Follow Amy's Journey:

Comments (2)

  • Allie

    Posted by Allie on May 6, 2020

    Hi Amy, I am a huge fan first of all. You have seen and commented on a few of my Twitter posts. I love all things paranormal and I have spent time in this location. When I was in college a group of friends and myself went to Trans Allegheny and it is a night I will never forget. This is one of the scariest places I have ever been. Not just for the sheer size, stories and creepy architecture, but for the voice I heard. I heard someone whisper in my ear and even felt the breath on my skin. It said “why here”. We weren’t talking at the time or asking questions. Knowing the history of this place though it seems like someone wanted to know why we were there and I was the most open and the only one in our group who truly believed. The girl next to me said she thought she heard something but it only sounded like someone sighing. This building is so beautiful and so many amazing stories come from within those walls. There is another place nearby you should check out (which is where I had my most startling paranormal experience of getting grabbed from behind) and that is West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, WVA. It is only about 2 hours from Weston. This place has a crazy history and some amazing ghost stories I think you would love. Hopefully next time you are in the states you can check it out. Keep doing what you are doing. I think you have a wonderful way of looking at the paranormal and are so level headed. Most people on YouTube are so quick to call every sound a ghost. I am so happy that you do not, you are rational yet open. Thanks Amy. Stay Spooky. 🙂


      Posted by Amy on May 17, 2020

      Thank you so much for reading and leaving me a comment about your own experience here, Allie! That is amazing. I hope one day I can return and film some videos here.

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