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My favorite Haunted Spots in America

Updated on October 26, 2014

In the spirit of the month of October and Halloween, I have decided to make a hub about haunted places. I know of most of these locations thanks to my personal favorite TV show, Ghost Adventures. I believe this show is the real thing showing proof of ghosts and demons and life after death. They go in with a small crew of only three to four people without huge camera crews and for me it just seems more believable then Ghost Hunters or other paranormal shows.

Other places I have read about online or seen other tv shows about haunted places and thought they sounded interesting. In this article I will talk about The Athens Lunatic Asylum (The Ridges), Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Moundsville Penitentiary and Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. I find these are the places with the most interesting stories and proof that life beyond this one does exist.

Insane Asylum
Insane Asylum | Source

Athens Lunatic Asylum (The Ridges)

The Ridges first opened it's doors in January 1874 to the mentally ill children, veterans and the criminally insane. It closed it's doors in 1993, however within the first two years of operation the building changed it's name 8 times from The Ridges to the Athens Mental Health Center. The building had enough rooms to house 572 patients, men in the left wing and women in the right.

Patients in the care of the Ridges often where subject to inhumane treatments and operations such as hydrotherapy, electroshock, lobotomy, and psychotropic drugs. Many of which have now been discredited and considered extremely inhumane practices. Some of the staff was fully trained and somewhere not trained at all according to records.

There are three cemeteries on the grounds that hold 1,930 people/patients. 700 are women and 959 are men, Many of the headstones had only the patients numbers but after 1943 the Asylum began adding names, birth and death dates to the headstones.

Waverly Hills
Waverly Hills | Source

Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Many, many paranormal investigators claim that this location, Waverly Hills Sanatorium opened its doors in 1910 and was originally a two story hospital for tuberculosis patients. With the outbreak in 1900s there was need for a larger hospital and so a larger one was constructed however in 1962 the hospital was closed because of the antibiotic drug that made a hospital specialized for tuberculosis less necessary.

"In the early part of 1911, the city of Louisville began to make preparations to build a new Louisville City Hospital, and the hospital commissioners decided in their plans that there would be no provision made in the new City Hospital for the admission of pulmonary tuberculosis, and the Board of Tuberculosis Hospital was given $25,000 to erect a hospital for the care of advanced cases of pulmonary tuberculosis" ~ Wiki

At first the two story hospital was only able to house around 40+50 people but after the additions where made, it was now able to hold more then 400 people. But with the wooden structure always needing repair, they needed better materials to make the building better and larger so as to not have to turn patience away due to lack of space. So they constructed the 5 story building with better stronger materials and was now able to hold more then 400 people. The hospital closed (June 1961) shortly after the antibiotic was introduced that made such a large hospital unnecessary.

During the early years before the antibiotic was discovered, people where dieing in the Waverly Hills Sanatorium once every other day. The 'treatment' for tuberculosis consisted of heat lamps and fresh air. When people saw the dead bodies being removed it only made the rest of the patience more depressed and lost their will to live resulting in more deaths. This was where the death tunnel was introduced. This time when bodies had to be removed they were placed on a cart and lowered through the tunnel to a hearse that would carry the bodies away. The tunnel is said to be haunted with the voices and moans of the dead that were carried through it.

Ghost Adventures best evidence Waverly Hills


Moundsville Penitentiary

A Gothic style building made as a penitentiary opened in 1876 and closed in 1995. Moundsville is located in West Virginia and had separated from Virginia at the peak of the Civil War. West Virginia fought for years to be able to build a prison but were repeatedly denied. After several prisoners escaped other facilities West Virginia's proposal to build a prison was granted. On February 7, 1866, the state legislature approved the purchase of land in Moundsville for the purpose of constructing a state prison.

A temporary wooden prison was build nearby that summer to hold prisoners until the actual building could be constructed. The state used prison labor on the construction until 1876. Inmates had other jobs to help support the prison, and in the 1900s they had a carpentry shop, a paintshop, a wagon shop, a stone yard, a brickyard, a blacksmith, a tailor, a bakery, and a hospital.

At the turn of the 20th century the warden said the conditions of the prison were good, the inmates got an education and attended class everyday. Other the years though, the condition of the prison worsened. It eventually became ranked on the top ten most violent prisons on the department of Justice's list.

"One of the more infamous locations in the prison, with instances of gambling, fighting,and raping, was a recreation room known as "The Sugar Shack"" ~ Wiki

36 total homicides took place in this prison, including one violent killing of an inmate while he was walking to the boiler room. He was attacked by three prisoners with dull 'shivs' after snitching on another inmate.

In 1979 there was a prison break where 15 prisoners escaped, there was also a prison riot in 1986 on January 1st. This went down as one of the most notorious prison riots in recent history. Over crowding, spread of diseases and loose security were all problems that added up to this riot taking place. During this riot three inmates had been killed.

With more then 2,000 prisoners, more prisons were being built to take off some of the pressure. By the end of the 1960s they now had only 500-700 prisoners however the prisons was decommissioned after the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the small 5x7 foot cells were deemed cruel and unusual punishment.


Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was open from 1864 to 1994 and is located in West Virginia. It was originally only supposed to house 250 people but became overcrowded in the 1950s with over 2,400 patience. Among it's patients, the Asylum held epileptics, alcoholics, drug addicts and non-educable mental defectives.

In 1949 the conditions were deplorable such as poor sanitation and insufficient furniture, lighting, and heating in much of the complex. One wing had to be rebuilt after a patient set fire to it, this wing is luxurious compared to the rest of the hospital.

Back in the 1980s the hospital had to change it's treatment of patience and ended up downsizing the number of patience it treated. They used to take the unruly and uncontrollable ones and lock them in cages. In 1986 plans to build a new hospital were announced and the old Asylum/hospital was to be transformed into a prison however when the new facility was build the old one simply shut down in 1994.

Cute little ghost
Cute little ghost | Source

Quick Question

Do YOU believe in Ghosts?

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Your opinion

So after all the videos, photos and other evidence (not the obviously fake ones however) what do you think? Would you ever go to an abandoned building notorious for it's hauntings? I know I would!

There are many more famous buildings that I happen to favor that I didn't mention in this article, I might make another one later with other places. Do you know of any haunted places that you would like to see or know of? Please leave your comments below.


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    • Jade Hassenplug profile image

      Jade Hassenplug 3 years ago from Lincoln

      Thank you, I would love to check out any of these locations but yes Penhurst does stand out to me quite a bit. I'm glad you were able to go and have some paranormal experiences.

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Kept private 3 years ago from Northeast United States

      Interesting :). I visited Penhurst In Pennsylvania. Very creepy....had something cold holding my hand in one of the buildings there. The orbs on the photos fell like snow. Worth checking out if you ever get the oppronunity. Great hub