The Haunting History of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

West Virginia

WESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — Paranormal programs are more popular than ever. The thought of catching an apparition (a ghost) on camera is irresistible to many. And one hot spot for supernatural activity can be found right here in the Mountain State. So, I gathered up my nerve and got ready for an otherworldly encounter.

Welcome to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia. From the outside, it may look more like a manor house. But for some, it was a house of horrors and they’re still trapped inside. 

“We still have 7-8 resident patients who still reside here,” exclaimed Rebecca Jordan, Operations Manager, TransAllegheny Asylum.

“They never checked out?” asked Jennifer.

“No, they’re still here,” answered Jordan.

Built in the mid-1800s, the Asylum was designed to house 250 mentally ill patients. But by the 1950s, it had nearly 2,400 patients living in overcrowded, poor conditions.

Rebecca’s family bought this sprawling property over a decade ago. And, it didn’t take long before the asylum’s paranormal patients dropped in to say HELLO.

“He laid his hand on my shoulder and squeezed,” said Jordan. “I was scared to death. The group in front of me was asking what happened to you? That was the last year I worked in the haunted house.”

Not only do they offer paranormal tours, but they also pride themselves in history tours that preserve the often disturbing history of mental health treatment in the early 20th century. 

“Understanding what they went thru makes it easier for you to communicate,” said Jordan.

So, I grabbed some ghost hunting gear. In this case, an electric and magnetic field detector (or E-M-F) and tried to make a supernatural connection. 

It leads me into a restroom where the spirits of two teen boys from the 1940s are rumored to still linger. And to appease them, a gift of cigarettes, mints or gum is suggested).

And then, there’s Jacob who’s not quite ready for the last call. 

“The first time he was ever seen or talked to was during the 2008 Ghosthunters show,” Jordan stated. “He was looking for his beer.”

Three years later, Rebecca received a gift including patient admission forms from 1890-1892. And one name stands out, Jacob Ayers.

“I see he’s been admitted, he’s an alcoholic, he’s delusional and thinks everyone is hiding his beer,” added Jordan. “Literally on the admission paperwork from 1892!”

And I quickly realize this is one horrifying history lesson I won’t soon forget.

“You have to know the history to get to know the paranormal,” stated Jordan.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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