The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum began it’s construction in 1858 and opened it’s doors to the first patients in 1864. The Asylum was originally designed by architect Richard Andrews, with craftsmen brought over from Germany and Ireland to put their skills to use on it’s architecture. It was originally referred to as the West Virginia Hospital For The Insane.
Originally designed to house 250 patients, each with their own room, by the 1950’s it was home to 2,400 patients in awful, cramped conditions. Patients were often physically restrained and given inhumane treatments, such as electroshock therapy and lobotomies. Some patients also began to starve, due to the in-house farm and dairy unable to cope with the ever growing number of residents.
The Charleston Gazette became aware of the conditions, and attempted to send in a crew to investigate. When the crew entered the asylum, they were horrified at what they saw.
Due to lack of beds, some patients were having to sleep on the floor, which were at times freezing cold as rooms were no longer heated. The wallpaper and decor had become victims of decay, and the large windows covered with dirt. Hygiene had clearly become less of a priority, and patient living conditions were horrendous.
As more patients flooded in, the graveyard also needed to be expanded. It grew to 666 acres to make room for more burials.
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was forced to close in 1994 due to reforms in mental health treatment, the overall degradation of the structure, and the all important investigation carried out by the Charleston Gazette.
Tours can be taken around the asylum by those wanting to witness the atmosphere for themselves, but visitors have reported countless instances of paranormal activity.
The paranormal activity at The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum grew in popularity due to an investigation carried out by the Ghost Adventures Crew. It now continues to be investigated by paranormal teams from around the world, with the eerie on-goings well documented. It’s become known as one of the most haunted buildings in the United States.