Paranormal Adventures, Moundsville Penitentiary, Great Stories Of The Paranormal

In the photo above is the old closed down West Virginia Penitentiary. It is reported to be one of the most haunted sites in the USA. Do the spirits of dead inmates still haunt the prison.
In the photo above is the old closed down West Virginia Penitentiary. It is reported to be one of the most haunted sites in the USA. Do the spirits of dead inmates still haunt the prison.

Moundsville Penitentiary Documentary

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Moundsville Penitentiary

Moundsville Penitentiary is the old closed down West Virginia State Penitentiary. It was operated from 1876 through 1995. Today it is a tourist attraction and a training facility. It's interesting to note that many times in the 1930s an inmate was often spotted on the grounds at night. At first it was believed that a inmate was getting out some how but this proved not to be the case. A four guard team was assigned to capture the loose inmate when he was spotted again but they were never able to capture the inmate even though he was spotted many times. Before long word went out to the guards that if they saw the inmate wandering the yard at night that they were to ignore it and not report it. So we know that paranormal activity was going on at the prison as early as the 1930s.

Over the years some people have claimed to see a fire burning almost in front of the prison. When people try to go to the fire it seems to be just a little further away. Try as they might no one has ever been able to get to the fire. The town of Moundsville West Virginia is named for the large Native American Burial Mound located near the town. Many people including paranormal investigators have claimed that the area is haunted by the spirits of the Native Americans who once died and were buried in the mound there.

Some people think that the phantom fire that is seen in the area is related to the Native Americans who once lived in the area. Other people claim to hear chanting and the sounds of drums in the area. When the original prison was being built Native American remains were dug up when the building was being built. Believe it or not but those bones are now part of the main buildings foundation.

We know that during its years of operation that thirty six homicides took place at the prison. It is the ghosts of several of these inmates that are said to haunt the prison. One of the men murdered at the prison was RD Walls inmate #44670 who was stabbed to death by three other inmates because he was a snitch. He was heading to the boiler room where he worked when he was attacked and killed and it is his ghost that people over the years have claimed to hear scream and plead for mercy in that exact same area. Several people over the years have claimed to see a man dressed as a prisoner with several stab wounds run through the area. Most people say that it is the ghost of RD Walls still trying to escape from the men who are chasing him. It was later found out that it was not Walls but another inmate who was the snitch.

While the prison was open 94 men were officially put to death at the prison. Eighty five men were hanged as it was the method of execution up until 1949. On June 19th 1931 a man named Frank Hyer was being hanged for the murder of his wife. Unbelievably something went wrong and the head of Frank Hyer popped off. Up until that time the public had been allowed to attend the executions but after that executions were by invitation only.

The method of execution was changed to electrocution and the state executed nine men before the state outlawed capital punishment in 1965. An inmate named Paul Glenn built the electric chair named old sparky. An inmate named Elmer Bruner was the last man to die in the West Virginia electric chair on April 3 1959. Old Sparky, the electric chair is still on public display at the closed down prison. Many people over the years have claimed to smell burning flesh when they walk near the old electric chair. Other people have told of seeing dark shadow like figures near the old electric chair. I have always been sensitive to paranormal activity and when I visited there I felt a deep sense of dread when I was near the chair and I also saw a dark shadow type person behind the chair. I truly believe that items like electric chairs that have been used to put people to death can become haunted items themselves and I believe that the electric chair known as old sparky is one of these items. They offered to let me set in the chair but I could not do it. I was afraid of what I might see if I sat down in that chair.

My Visit To Moundsville Penitentiary

Over the years people have told of seeing shadow people all over the old prison. Last year I and some friends saw the inmate out walking on the prison grounds just after sunrise. It was foggy but all three of us saw what we saw. It looked for all the world like a real man dressed like the inmates did walking along in front of the prison. We tried to take photos of the ghost but it did not show up on the photos. I've tried to find out who the ghost of that inmate in the yard is but I've not been able to. I suspect its someone who died at the prison while a inmate there and his spirit is trapped there at the prison still doing time all these many years later.

While I was at the prison I felt like something or someone who was not there was almost constantly watching me. In some areas of the prison including the shower cages and the area known as Alamo where the worst inmates were held I felt pure evil. I have been in very few places where the presence of evil was so clearly present. But I could feel it there and it really gave me a feeling that I wanted out of that area as soon as possible.

And while I'm not saying that shadow people are evil I saw more shadow people at Moundsville than almost any other place that I've ever been.

In the basement area under the cells something was there with us. You could feel its presence and while down there one of my friends saw a headless man dressed as a inmate walking around. It clearly frightened him very badly. Several of us heard loud breathing in this area and smelled sulfur. We also several times heard voices in this area that could not be explained. There was no one there besides us who could have been talking.

After visiting Moundsville I'm convinced that there are ghosts and a high level of paranormal activity at the prison.

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Old Sparky the electric chair on display at the closed down West Virginia State Prison. I believe it is a haunted object. The spirits of the men killed in it may be trapped there.
Old Sparky the electric chair on display at the closed down West Virginia State Prison. I believe it is a haunted object. The spirits of the men killed in it may be trapped there.

The Haunted Moundsville Penitentiary

Over the years since it was finally closed down as a prison many tourists and paranormal investigators have visited the old prison. It is in the area where the building used to stand that held old sparky the electric chair that many people have reported hearing things. Some people tell of hearing screams coming from that area and many people over the years have told of hearing a man crying in this area. The building that once held the electric chair and where executions were carried out was torn down at the request of the inmates after capital punishment was outlawed in West Virginia.

The North Wagon Gate has always been the place where people have claimed to hear and see strange things. This is where a large number of the hangings took place. Here people have claimed to hear a man scream oh god no over and over and it is here that people also tell of seeing dark shadowy shapes moving about. Some people have told of hearing a trap door swing open and a body drop. All of these sounds and sightings may be residual hauntings.

It was here that a man named Orville Paul Adkins was hung. The hangman for some unknown reason pulled the lever early before the noose was put over the neck of Adkins and he fell 20 feet to the floor below. He was injured but was not dead. The executioner went down and got Adkins and lead him back up on the gallows and hung him this time with the noose in place. People often tell of seeing the ghost of Adkins walking around in this area. A man is often heard walking about in the second floor area here and some people claim it is Adkins. I myself have heard someone walking in this area and it was in the second floor area that we were able to get a ghost to make knocking sounds in response to our knocking sounds. Many people have made the claim that they feel a very evil presence in this area. I saw a shadow person in this area wearing a hat. One second it was there and the next second it was gone.

RD Walls an inmate was killed in the basement area. He was stabbed to death and his head was cut off. A friend of mine while in that area said he saw a dark shape like a man walking around with no head. I know my friend is usually not frightened by anything but when he got to us he had clearly seen something. I didn't see anything in that area but I did hear low human voices and a laugh that could not be explained. I was able to capture the laugh on tape and its clear that it's a man laughing. No one in our party did the laughing. After doing a lot of investigation into the laughter sound I've discovered that many people over the years have heard it. But no one has any ideal about who is doing the laughing.

The laugh I heard seemed to be a sinister sneaky laugh. It sounded human but at the same time it sounded evil. I remember that when I heard it the hair on my arms and the back of my neck stood up. I've had this to happen to me in other places and its almost always where something really evil has taken place.

In places where people have died violent deaths you often have spirits or ghosts that are trapped here on earth. Some of them are trapped here on earth for one reason or another and some stay here because they feel they still have things left to do. I also believe some ghosts don't realize they are dead.

When we were walking towards the area where the shower cages are several of us heard water running and people talking but when we got closer there was no water and no people. Though at least four people had heard water running and people talking. We later found out that the water to the area had in fact been turned off for years. So it was not possible that we could have heard water running. It had to be a residual haunting. I've been many places where residual hauntings take place and it can seem so real.

In the old infirmary was where I was pushed by something that was not there. And no one was near me when it happened. I think it was a spirit that wanted me to know that it was there. Many inmates over the years died in the old infirmary so its entirely possible that the spirits of many of these men may be trapped here. We observed items move in the infirmary that we could not explain. I think something or someone was wanting us to know that it was there.

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It was in the cells here that the worst inmates at the prison were kept. This area is said to be haunted by the men who went crazy in these cells.
It was in the cells here that the worst inmates at the prison were kept. This area is said to be haunted by the men who went crazy in these cells.

More Ghost Stories Form Moundsville Penitentiary

In the north hall area in the picture just above there is where the worst inmates were kept. The prisoners nick name for this area was Alamo. No one wanted to be transferred here but if you were a problem inmate this is where you ended up. Over the years many people have heard screams and strange laughter coming from this area. Also loud clanging and banging that can not be easily explained.

The exact number of inmates who met a violent death at Moundsville Penitentiary is really not known. In the 1880's we now know that many inmates at the prison were tortured and whipped at the prison. And some inmates may have even been killed and buried. The prison still has the name of being one of the most violent prisons ever operated in the United States.

it is only natural that the ghosts of some of the inmates would be forever trapped at Moundsville penitentiary doing time forever.

The circular entrance gate to the prison is another area where there seems to be a high level of paranormal activity. The gate often moves around and around on its own. Some people have seen people walking in the gate. It is here that people see large numbers of shadow people. Some people tell of seeing a dark shadow person with fiery red eyes looking like it is guarding the gate to the prison.

While I was there visiting the prison last year several times I felt like someone was watching me. I would glance around and several times I saw shadow people moving about quickly. I noticed if you looked right at one of them it would just vanish. I saw more shadow people there than almost any other place I've ever been.

After visiting the prison there I know for a fact that there are ghosts, shadow people, and other forms of paranormal activity at the prison. It is one of the most haunted places I've ever been to.

More by this Author


What do you think about the Haunted Moundsville Penitentiary? Do you believe in Ghosts and the Paranormal? 10 comments

Wakerra profile image

Wakerra 3 years ago

Lifefusion: Ghost Hunters is (in my opinion) one of the more serious ghost hunting shows. There's one done with British actors that is far from professional and very unreal; though the name escapes me at the moment...

Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State, and A Haunting are really good when it comes to ghosts and paranormal stories/haunts; though its all in opinion


Lifefusion profile image

Lifefusion 3 years ago from Georgia

There are some very entertaining ghost stories linked to the Moundsville Penitentiary, but I just don't know just how I feel on the subject of ghost. I felt as if I had some paranormal encounters when I was a child, but have choked them up to my playful imagination. I don't normally watch shows such as Ghost Hunters because they are just made so cheesy. I would much rather go visit a claimed paranormal hotspot. I feel like it would be a very exhilarating experience exploring the Moundsville Penitentiary. What in particular was the most scariest part of the tour?

Fun Hub, Thanks


crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 3 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Thanks Mate. I appreciate it.


old albion profile image

old albion 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi crazyhorsesghost. Slightly thrilling, slightly frightening. A really good hub.

Voted up and all - following.

Graham


Wakerra profile image

Wakerra 3 years ago

Eiddwen: Is that the show with the British actors?


crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 3 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Thanks very much


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Wow what a great read!!We have got into the habit of watching 'Most Haunted' on TV every evening and it has me fascinated so this one was a treat. Great hub and I vote up,across and share.

Eddy.


Wakerra profile image

Wakerra 3 years ago

I'd say paranormal can be partly real, and partly influxed from the imaginations of others. You'd see this more in "popular" haunting sites, such as this penitentiary. Basically, people can either create, or invite (which can be VERY dangerous), paranormal activity by just believing its haunted. When you get community haunting spots like this, its just opening a floodgate for activity, because then most people are going there with the idea in mind that they'll see ghosts, or the place is haunted, or whatever other stories they've heard about it.

The appearance of "shadow people" unnerves me, as I believe those would be demonic (the dangerous side of inviting haunts), which would support my theory


crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 3 years ago from East Coast , United States Author

Ghost Hunters did an episode on the prison. As did several other Paranormal TV shows. It was one of the scariest places I've ever been to and it was clearly haunted with a high level of paranormal activity.


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

crazyhorsesghost, i don't ever think i have heard of this penitentiary before mainly because i watch ghost hunters a lot and they travel everywhere. i love the stories that you have included on what happens there and how it affects people. i just love ghost stories or anything that deals with paranormal activity. really nice. voted up and sharing.

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