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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