West Virginia Penitentiary, Moundsville

West Virginia Penitentiary


West Virginia Penitentiary was opened in 1866 as a grand, secure, gothic stone structure designed to hold some of the areas most dangerous criminals. The north wall, which held the worst offenders for 22 hours a day, even had 5 foot thick concrete walls. The prison soon became overcrowded, sometimes with up to 3 prisoners in a 5 foot by 7 foot cell.

This, together with rodent & insect infestations and a public scandal involving torture in the 1930's meant that the conditions were eventually classed as cruel & unusual. The prison closed its gates in 1995, but still acts as a tourist attraction & training ground.


Thousands of prisoners went through the gates of the jail while it was open, but not all of them came back out...

Many, many deaths have been documented over the years, including 94 excecutions, mostly hangings and 9 of them being an electric chair. One other death took place in the boiler room, which is where prisoners with grudges against eachother usually did their business. One man was actually beaten to death, dismembered, and had his body pieces scattered all over the floor of the boiler room. It's this unfortunate man's spirit that caused the horrific amount of poltergeist activiy in this area.

The most haunted part of the jail is thought to be the psychiatric ward, cries & wailing are often heard, along with apparitions and shadowy figures being seen, when no one's about. Probably the most terrifying area are the cells in the solitary confinement area. One inmate, nicknamed "Red" was stabbed to death 37 times by a fellow inmate. He bled so much that the entire floor in his cell was covered in blood, and some people still claim to feel a sticky substance on the floor, as well as a sickly sweet smell in the air. The electric security gates have also been known to open and close of their own accored...

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