Get some history with your haunts this Halloween at these five history-rich sites around the Mountain State.
Weston’s star attraction, 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. Closed since 1994, the 242,000 square feet of buildings are home now to all things paranormal with daytime history and paranormal tours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well as a haunted house—Ward 24—and guided ghost hunts of up to eight hours.
The Haunted Majestic is one of the region’s only floating haunted attractions. This is the first year Haunted Majestic is in the Ohio River at Robert Newlon Airpark just north of Huntington. Haunt nights are 6 to 11 p.m. October 25-26, and October 30-31, and November 1-2. The floating haunted house is 1912-built sand dredge barges, that also served as floating hospitals in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam Wars before being turned into a restaurant in northern Kentucky. The barge was bought in June and transformed into a haunted attraction. Special guests include “Munsters” and the Green Goblin Head from Stephen King’s “Maximum Overdrive” movie.
Named a Top 10 ghost tour in the United States, Haunted Parkersburg Tours run October 25-26, October 30-31 and November 1-2. On Friday nights, it’s a true crimes tour learning why Seventh Street was called the “Bloody Quarter” and other macabre history while Saturdays are tales of haunted history including the Weeping Woman Statue, the Cryptid of Quincy Hill, and a visit to a haunted palace built by West Virginia’s first senator who was friend’s with Edgar Allan Poe.
One of the most haunted places in America, the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, is where history meets mystery. Open from 1876 to 1995, the Gothic structure and its five-foot- thick walls hold many a horrible tale of riots and executions. For the history buff, there are daily 90-minute tours. During Halloween season, there’s also the Dungeon of Horrors, as well as a flashlight tour of the North Walk, the maximum security area, and if you dare—a live escape game.
Lake Shawnee Abandoned Amusement Park features Native American, early settler, and modern-day creepy history featured on the Travel Channel series “The Most Terrifying Places in America. Get a day photo history tour or a night-time photo history tour and trip to Lake Nightmare, the haunted attraction. There’s also an overnight stay package. Located in Rock (outside of Princeton) this amusement park—which closed in the 1990s—will be a spooktacular time.
And because we couldn’t forget our last two, here are two bonus places to visit this spooky season.
Camden Park is West Virginia’s only amusement park has a wealth of history at its 26-acre location on Waverly Road in Huntington. Sine 1903. The historic park comes alive each Halloween season for Spooktacular that runs 6 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturdays, October 25-26 and November 1-2. Be sure to ride the historic Haunted House, one of the last Pretzel gravity rides, the Haunted Train, and the Scrambler and Whip, located beside the large Native American burial mound in the park.
Hawks Nest in Ansted, enjoy the new Haunted Hill Face Your Fear (TNT) Tram N Trail. Take a trip on the aerial tram down to the river for a haunted trail that runs October 25-26. On October 26, there’s also an interactive murder mystery, The Innspectre, by Murder and Merriment at the Hawks Nest Lodge and Restaurant.