Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Haunting of the West Virginia State Penitentiary

West Virginia State Penitentiary is considered by many to be the scariest haunted prison in America. Given the ghost stories and history of the prison inmates obvious why. West Virginia State Penitentiary was opened in 1876 with 250 inmates going straight into the cells. If you look at any picture of the prison you will see a Gothic and very spooky building. Even if the prison wasn’t haunted it would still spook most people.

It was decided that the prison would be extended in 1929; however, the construction was not completed until 1959. In these 20 years the prison was grossly overcrowded with some cells having three inmates each.

West Virginia State Penitentiary has been the scene of many executions over the years it was operated as prison, either by hanging or electric chair. Yet, executions were not the only deaths in the prison: illness, overcrowding and riots killed many inmates.

The Haunting

Over the years visitors and paranormal investigators have reported being touched or feeling ‘something’ close to them, many have also felt that someone is watching them. Not only does this prison give most people the spooks because of the Gothic construction, but also sightings of three different ghosts are frequently reported.

The Maintenance Man

This is the most popular of the three haunting to come up. The time West Virginia State Penitentiary was a jail a prisoner working as maintenance man used to spy on the inmates and reported the other inmates bad behavior to the guards. One day when he was in the bathroom the maintenance manager was attacked by several inmates and killed. He is said to be lurking in the bathroom where he was savagely murdered, but he makes no contact with the living.

Robert the Inmate

Robert was an inmate who was violently murdered by the prison guards who were known to be physically abusive towards the worse inmates. They would beat them to ‘near’ death, but this time ‘near’ was too far and they killed Robert. His remains are said to be buried behind one of the walls in the prison. Robert’s spirit walks the prison to this day terrifying anyone he comes into contact.

Avril Adkins

Last, but certainly not least, is the story behind Avril Adkins. He was sentenced to hang by the neck until death. He was taken to the gallows for hanging but something went wrong during the execution process and Avril fell through trap door and landed on his head having serious head injuries. The guards picked him up, took him back up the stairs and hung him again. This time he died. Many visitors to the prison say they have seen him walking around the gallows where he died.

West Virginia State Penitentiary is now closed as prison, but operated as tourist attraction.


10 Responses to “The Haunting of the West Virginia State Penitentiary”
  1. Kimmeh says:

    Hey there! I found this very interesting and was hoping ifyou could tell me possibilities of the apparations/feelings could travel?
    Im a 16 year old girl in BC Canada and I always feel like theres either someone following me and touching me
    Ill feel breathing on me,
    Every nowand then
    When i look in a mirror ill see an apparation of what seem to be, as said, gaurds..
    Mostly covered in blood whispering about West Virginia
    Ive researched for about 3 years now on any hauntings in WV,
    Now coming across this site I was hoping someone could Enlighten me?
    Thank you!

  2. FrostbiteGM says:

    Yes this is very possible. If a spirit/apparition is in much distress on getting a message across, it can send messages to/through those who are spiritually aware. Usually the person who is recieving the message is in some way related to the one sending it. Ask someone in your family, or look and see if there is someone in your family, generations back was a prison or any other type of guard. Also, which part of West Virginia are you living, for your family may also have been close to an older prison, maybe condemed or shut down. This would result in lost spirits roaming the grounds and reaching out to any one in the living world closest to them. If you have any more questions, please email me at [email protected]. Hope this helps.

  3. knower900 says:

    i am just responding to this girl..
    i think that u always maybe thinking/watching/reading about ghosts thats y u think or sense something
    ghosts come where they died or spent most of the time..
    hpe i guided u

  4. I was there for Halloween..I was with a group waititng to go to another part of the prision when I kept feeling something was in back of me..I kept looking in back of me and nothing was there, when all of a sudden in my as well as 2 other peoples ears, I heard a Pssst…We jumped looking in back of us and there was nothing, nothing at all.

  5. Richard L. Littell says:

    To: Whom it may concern
    Fr: Lt. Richard L, Littell Acting Cheif Correctional Officer Closeing the West Virginia Penn.I was the last one out of the door at the closeing.

    Let it be known. I enjoy the stories that have been told. I would like to know where they came from. I worked at W.V.P. for twenty three years filling the ranks in numerous positions. I have been throughout the entire facility all hours of the night and day. I started work at the Penn, January 17th, 1973 and worked there until I sent the last inmate out of there. True you get feelings that someone is watching you. This was all the time you were making your rounds and security checks. I knew the so called maintenance man. His name was R. D. Waugh and this happened in 1979 before the twelve inmates escaped. He knew how the pistol came in and the other inmates were afraid that he would tell. His best buddies are the two that done him in. I can tell you true stories not something that didn’t happen that are being reported. Yours truely Rich Littell. (Retired)

  6. reberta cane says:

    hi there this is to richard could you tell me more i was related to one of the prisnors his name was john j cane he was my great grandfather and ever since i was young before i even knew about him i would see names and places in this prison and also he keeps sending me messages about what the guards use to do to him and his inmates i cant explain the things that happen i can tell you there was a fight in the canteen and someone god badly hurt please could you give me any information about my grandfather thankyou yours thankfully reberta cane

  7. Megan says:

    If you aren’t from West Virginia, you really need to check this place out. I went to there and felt presence and a sense of anger and hate! As I took the tour, it keep get really cold and once in a while I would get sick to my stomach. It was an intense feelings. I’m can’t really say if I saw anything or if it was something from the corner of my eye but I know what I felt.

  8. m&m says:

    Im going to travel in this place and go to west virginia to go in hunted places. Im going to go with couple of people including my boyfriend.This is one of the places im going to go to investigate and then we gonna look for the mothman in mount pleasant in west virginia.

  9. Joe Robinson says:

    June 8 1984 i arrived as a inmate and i have experienced several sitings of floating light balls, light flashes, coldspots, ghostly whispers, and staring chills. Its definately a spirit filled place.

  10. johny says:

    I am a 17 year old and i grew up 15 minutes from the west verginia penatentury, and i have been there myself and have experienced noizes and such but concluded that they where object moving or holes in walls that caused a breeze, i also found that a touching sensation would be felt at certain times and concluded that it was a spiders web, or the orbs were dust balls thats all if you really want a scare then go on halloween to the 7 floors of H@ll it is really fun and scary then i highly recomend the overnight tour and stay that fallows the haunted house for an additional 100 dollars.

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