Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Some time ago, McDaddy mentioned that the Jeep Club had been invited to participate in a flashlight tour of a lunatic asylum located about 10o miles from our house. Being the freakweird person that I am, I immediately said, “We should go!” On Friday afternoon we said goodbye to the kids, grabbed our overnight bag (yes, I said overnight! WOOHOO!) and headed to the loony bin. I have a psychology degree, and I knew this would be right up my alley. We’d be like modern-day ghost busters, only not, because I don’t believe in ghosts.

We stopped for a quick dinner with the Jeep peeps before making the short drive to the massive, historical building known as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.

We were taken into a meeting room and issued certificates of commitment. McDaddy’s reason for commitment was ‘bad company” and my reason for commitment was “Over action of the mind.”

Oh shoot. If they only knew.

Luckily, I had the good sense to look at the lunatic asylum website before we left. I discovered that there would be no lights and no heat. We met our tour guide and he lead us up four flights of wooden stairs. Since the web-site reports apparition sightings, unexplainable voices and sounds, and other paranormal activity at the Asylum, I had no idea what to expect. The tour guide gave us a glimpse into the care and treatment of the patients and even shared how some of them died within the walls of the massive historical structure.  THEN. Then, as we entered the first ward, the tour guide shared a story about a guy that died in a treatment room named Frank. He did a ‘flashlight’ session with our group and somehow, the flashlight that sat in the middle of the floor went on and off three different times as our guide asked “Frank” or “the ghost of Frank” questions. While I have no earthly idea how that flashlight turned on and off like it did, I don’t believe for one second that it had anything at all to do with a ghost, regardless of claims such as this one:

I enjoyed touring the different wards and hearing about some of the patients that inhabited the facility. Even though we froze our butts off during the tour (it is November in West Virginia), I enjoyed the information that was shared with us. I had to wonder though if we were being exposed to asbestos though because the paint is peeling from every surface and most of the floor tiles are disturbed and cracked. We heard tall tales about ghost sightings and paranormal activity, but aside from the flashlight nonsense, we didn’t witness any of it for ourselves, which is just fine with me, because hello? Paranormal Activity on the television scared the soup out of me for weeks.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit West Virginia, you should definitely visit the loony bin. It is quite the experience, especially in the dark, in the middle of November and more especially with a tour guide who believes paranormal activity, is normal. In its hay day, the 262,000 square-foot structure was no doubt a beautiful building with inspiring architecture. McDaddy and I both agreed we’d enjoy the historical heritage tour offered at the asylum.

The creepy, historical Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.


  1. Traci says

    Oh! That does sound like an interesting “date night”! I would definitely do that, given the chance, although I could not promise I would not tinkle myself with fear!

  2. says

    Hi Julie! I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I enjoy it so much! Your boys are just precious and I think the blogging medium is such an awesome opportunity for women to network and share! I just wanted say 1: Hello and 2: an asylum? EEK! Blessings!


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