Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is located in Weston West Virginia, South of Pittsburgh.
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, 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.
Built to be self-sufficient, the hospital — a major employer for the town of Weston — had its own farm, dairy herd, waterworks, nearby coal mine and an athletic field on the front lawn where soldiers played baseball during the Civil War. It also had three cemeteries behind the asylum in which to bury in unmarked wooden coffins the thousands of patients who never saw their families again.
During it’s prime, the place was beginning on experimental lobotomies. The place performed over 4,000 lobotomies, which left some healthy patients with brain damage and hemorrhages, according to “The Horrifying History Of The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum” on
After the closing in 1994, they expanded only one part of the area to create a new place, which was a graveyard. Since 2007, the owners decided to do day tours to tell the history behind it and do paranormal tours to see if any ghosts decide to roam.
The asylum has gotten more recognition and popularity since the closing. Legends say that you may see or hear one of the patients or see one of their common ghosts named Lily. She was one of the patients from the Civil War era that died from pneumonia at the age of 9. Witnesses say if you step in her playroom, you can hear her cries and laughs.
This place was ranked the number one haunted area in West Virginia. The secrets of this place remain unknown.
Ghost tours available: http://www.trans-alleghenylunaticasylum.com/main/heritagetours.html