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Haunted Journeys

West Virginia State Penitentiary (Moundsville Penn)

West Virginia State Penitentiary (Moundsville Penn)

Moundsville, West Virginia
26041 United States

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History

Moundsville, WV is home to one of the most haunted places in the state, West Virginia Penitentiary. Come Explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.

 

Opening in 1876, The West Virginia Penitentiary, (aka "Moundsville Prison"), has a striking Gothic-Like stone facade resembling a medieval castle. Originally built to only hold 480 inmates, this property swelled to 2400 prisoners by the 1930s. To accommodate this, sometimes as many as three prisoners would be assigned to one of the tiny five by seven cells. Due to this, construction to expand the prison began in 1929. Unfortunately due to the war, there was a shortage of iron and was not completed until 1959. In the late 1800s, Moundsville was selected to perform all executions for the state of West Virginia. A total of 85 men were hung and nine were electrocuted. This was only a small part of the violence in Moundsville. The executions were accompanied by desperate acts of suicide, murder and horrific punishments, contributing to the death of hundreds of prisoners. In the early years, officials at the prison (unbeknown to state inspectors) hid whips and horrible items, used to punish the “tougher” prisoners. But after one of the superintendent's resigned from the prison, he exposed all the atrocities in a whistle-blowing interview with the local paper. Finally, the violence and torture of inmates by prison officials were exposed to the world. The conditions continued to be catastrophic and inhumane, forcing the West Virginia Supreme Court to rule the small cells as cruel and unusual punishment. In 1995, the prison was ordered to be closed permanently, transferring all the remaining prisoners to other locations. This property was featured on Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel.

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Understand This:

This property, as part of our network, has been added for they may have history, validation or folk tales of having spirited activities. Please take caution in approaching and visiting these locations, since courtesy, respect and caution should be top priority in every Haunted Investigator's style. Also do realize, some of these places may have permanently closed, changed ownership and/or names, or just are not available for your visits. Please respect this. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information provided on this listing, but offer it as a first step in finding your next haunted travel destination. Please do confirm with the property before making any plans to visit. If you visit, tour or investigate this property (or any of our properties), we are not responsible or held liable for any outcomes, lack of evidence or injuries associated with your travels. This is only for entertainment purposes, and information provided is only as found in public domains (or as offered by the associated contributor (as a claimed property). For more information, please read our TERMS OF SERVICE (linked below).

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Date added: Dec/08/2019 | Last time updated: Feb/15/2020
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