15 Haunted Places in West Virginia
July 18, 2013|
By Maggie Matsko
Get ready for some goose bumps because we’re about to tell you the creepiest tales of our great Mountain State. To keep our 15th anniversary celebration rolling, we’ve composed a list of 15 haunted destinations all throughout West Virginia that we know you’ll be dying to see. If you are looking for a thrill before Halloween, look no further than these scary destinations!
West Virginia Penitentiary – Marshall County
The West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville is a favorite destination for those who are looking for a good scare. The state penitentiary opened in 1876 to house deadly criminals, and was the site of riots and other disturbances. Because of its violent history, the souls of some former inmates are said to still haunt the property.
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum – Lewis County
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is not for the faint of heart. Opened in 1864, it is one of West Virginia’s most popular haunted attractions. The original hospital, designed to house 250, reached its maximum with 2,400 patients in overcrowded and generally poor conditions. The mentally ill patients were not treated well, which hints at a chilling past. Even though the asylum officially closed in 1994, the tortured souls of past patients are said to remain there. This haunted attraction has been explored by many paranormal sensitive and has even been featured on The SyFy Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” and The Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures.”
Harpers Ferry – Jefferson County
The village of Harpers Ferry has a long and brutal history, which would explain why it is thought to be one of the most haunted places in North America. Harpers Ferry is mostly known for John Brown and his raid on the town’s federal arsenal in order to begin a major slave rebellion. Because of its location, Harpers Ferry was also in the middle of many battles during the Civil War, which also resulted in many horrible deaths. Many restless spirits are claimed to have been seen walking the streets of Harpers Ferry at night.
Capitol Plaza Theatre – Kanawha County
The Capitol Plaza Theatre, now known as the West Virginia State University Capitol Center Theatre, has a twisted history that leads to the makings of the perfect ghost story. The theatre was built in the early 1900s on property previously occupied by an impressive mansion known as the Welch home. Built in 1798, the house was occupied by the family for 110 years. It is said that the Welch family remains there even in the afterlife and that John Welch and his youngest daughter, who died very young, can be seen making appearances at theatre performances from time to time.
The Blume Haven Inn – Fayette County
You are welcome to stay a night in this creepy attraction if you dare. According to local legend, the Blume Haven Inn was once home to Dr. M. Malcolm and his son. Both men died in the house—the father in 1919 of esophageal cancer, the son in 1932 of tuberculosis. It is said that the father’s spirit, which resides in Room 7, tries to hide or take visitors’ belongings.
The Van Meter Farm – Grant County
If you are in Grant County, be on the lookout for this well-known apparition. George Van Meter was attacked by the Huron Indians while living in his isolated cabin. To protect his family, Van Meter fought the Indians, and his family was able to escape to warn the others in town. A group of men from town went back to rescue Van Meter, but when they got to the cabin, they discovered Van Meter’s headless body. People have reported seeing the headless ghost of George Van Meter walking around the farm, searching for his head.
The Elk Garden Mine – Mineral County
The Elk Garden Mine has had numerous accidents and sad fatalities over the decades, making it a hot spot for the ominous. In 1911, a large explosion occurred early in the morning in Mine Number 20 while 23 miners were cleaning up debris;all 23 miners perished. The spirits of those miners are known to haunt the coal mine. People have felt weird, creepy drafts underground. Sudden feelings of “being closed in” are also common when traveling through the mine.
Cheat Lake – Monongalia County
This story is still a mystery waiting to be solved. In the early 1970s, two college students were hitch-hiking for a ride back to their dorms on West Virginia University’s Evansdale Campus. Apparently, they were picked up and not seen again until their decapitated bodies were later found, but the murderer has never been charged. Many car accidents have been reported on Route 857 North on Dead Man’s Curve because of blurry apparitions of what some believe to be the two girls running back and forth through the woods, looking for their heads.
Berkeley Springs Castle – Morgan County
Berkeley Springs Castle has its share of ghostly residents. Castle employees and visitors alike have reported encounters with four different spirits who like to make loud noises upstairs and rearrange furniture. Visitors even today report the presence of unexplained images in the dining room mirrors, as well as a mysterious presence within the castle.
The Blennerhassett Hotel – Wood County
The Blennerhassett Hotel was built in 1889 by William Chancellor. The hotel is said to have ongoing paranormal activity and houses approximately five ghosts. One of the ghosts is believed to be William Chancellor himself, who is known to keep an eye on guests of the hotel. He has been seen walking the halls, and visitors say you can smell his cigar smoke lingering.
Point Pleasant – Mason County
The famous monster that is said to reside in Point Pleasant, the Mothman, is described as a man with large wings. Some witnesses have also said it has horns and a tail, and big vicious teeth, and many believe he caused the collapse of the Silver Bridge in 1967, killing 46 people. Legend says the creature is the manifestation of a curse placed on the town by a Native American chief who was tortured to death in Point Pleasant by British troops during the French and Indian War.
E. Moore Hall – Monongalia County
This is a ghostly tale popular with the students at West Virginia University. E. Moore Hall was built for Elizabeth Moore as an all-girls facility, and it is said she has never left. Moore died just one year prior to the building’s completion. Even though she never got to see the completed project, Moore is said to watch over the building to this day. Many of the faculty members who work in the building claim to see her walking down the halls and up the stairs. One chilling tale of an encounter with Elizabeth took place when two students were swimming in the pool, and when they looked up, Elizabeth was floating over the water above them. Moore is said to be protecting the school and the girls that come into the building.
Cole Mountain – Wyoming County
In the early to mid-1800s, a wealthy landowner named Charles Jones was a hunter and often took his most loyal slave on hunting excursions with him. One night, the two men were out on Cole Mountain when the hunting dogs ran off. The slave was separated from Jones when he went to look for the dogs, and Jones was never seen again. One year after Jones disappeared, the slave went out to look for his master one last time on Cole Mountain, and the slave was never seen again. People began reporting a ball of light hovering up and down the side of the mountain at night. It is said that the light is the lantern from the slave who is looking for Jones.
Old Stone Presbyterian Church Cemetery – Greenbrier County
The Angel of Death statue is a cemetery marker that can be found in the Old Stone Presbyterian Church Cemetery. The marker belongs to a young girl named Maud who tragically died from influenza when she was only 11 years old. A small ceremony was held to commemorate the placing of this angel, and each girl who attended the ceremony placed a kiss on the cheek of the angel. Shortly after the ceremony, one of the young girls contracted the influenza virus also. Then, another girl passed when she was involved in a carriage accident, which gives the statue the title “Angel of Death.” Legend states that anyone brave enough or foolish enough to kiss the statue will die within a year.
Main Street Bridge – Ohio County
During the building Wheeling’s Main Street Bridge in the late 1800s, Dominick Carey, a contractor, is said to have fallen from the bridge while heavy stones were being moved. He fell into Wheeling Creek, and his body was never found. Some say they have encountered the ghost of the contractor on the bridge.