Weston, West Virginia: Trans-Allegheny Lunatic AsylumHistoric treatment facility (1858-1994) for the mentally ill has been reopened for tours, scary sleepovers -- and monster truck mud racing? Tour the isolation ward and watch monster trucks drive in mud on the front lawn.
Visitor Tips and News About Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
The buildings were closed when I stopped by. There aren't many places to peek in besides the front.
According to local family gossip, the hospital was nearly self-sustained, which accounts for the green house and dairy farm (?) I saw at the back of the expansive property. I believe I spotted workers living quarters also, but they appear to have been converted into apartments.[Jane Geoh, 07/23/2012]
My husband and I went to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum this weekend. They had a haunted house with props in the old tuberculosis building, but I don't like that kind of haunted house...I want the real deal! So we did the four-floor tour during the day ...which was strictly a historical tour. Learning about lobotomies done by "Dr." Walter Freeman was freaky!
We did a flashlight tour in the evening...50% historical and 50% paranormal. No ghosts, but they tried. Being in a pitch black room was fun...the only thing that scared me was wondering if there were birds, bats or mice...didn't see any of those either (thank God!).[Lori White, 10/18/2010]
A historic insane asylum open for tours. I was driving down the highway with my with teenage sons on a college tour when we saw the sign. The place is now vacant, but it is very old and was used into the 21st century. From their website:
"Formerly known as the Weston State Hospital, this West Virginia facility served as a sanctuary for the mentally ill in the mid-1800s. The history of the building holds fascinating stories of Civil War raids, a gold robbery, the "curative" effects of architecture...."
Very creepy, they offer day time, night time and overnight tours. The place is vacant and has been filmed by the TV show Ghost Hunters.[K Walsh, 07/23/2009]
This West Virginia state facility served as a sanctuary for the mentally ill from the 1860s to the 1990s. The history of the building includes Civil War tales, a gold robbery, the "curative" effects of architecture, and the efforts of determined individuals to help better the lives of the mentally ill.
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (later named Weston State Hospital), constructed between 1858 and 1881, is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America, and is purportedly the second largest in the world, next to the Kremlin. It was designed by the renowned architect Richard Andrews following the Kirkbride plan, which called for long rambling wings arranged in a staggered formation, assuring that each of the connecting structures received an abundance of therapeutic sunlight and fresh air.
The original hospital, designed to house 250 souls, was open to patients in 1864 and reached its peak in the 1950's with 2,400 patients in overcrowded and generally poor conditions. Changes in the treatment of mental illness and the physical deterioration of the facility forced its closure in 1994 inflicting a devastating effect on the local economy, from which it has yet to recover.
This facility was recently purchased and is being renovated. It features events such as historical tours, ghost tours, ghost hunts, mud bogs, and an autumn festival.[Jason, 06/08/2008]
Nearby Offbeat Places
- Museum of American Glass in West Virginia and National Marble Museum, Weston, WV - < 1 mi.
- Mountaineer Military Museum, Weston, WV - < 1 mi.
- Free Speech Stump, Weston, WV - < 1 mi.
- In the region: First Amputation of the Civil War, Philippi, WV - 24 mi.