One Tank Trip: Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

WESTON, WV (WOAY) – This week’s One Tank Trip brings us to the historic town of Weston in Lewis County. It’s the home of one of West Virginia’s most haunted places – The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.

The asylum was in operation for 130 years, from 1864 to 1994. It became a tourist attraction in 2008. Since then, it’s become insanely popular, especially during the Halloween season.

According to Operations Manager Rebecca Jordan-Gleason, tourists can get a look at the history and hauntings that happened here long ago.

“We give flashlight tours, which are half historic, half paranormal,” Rebecca said. “People can go for an hour and a half to get the history and the paranormal. So it’s an amazing learning experience with a little paranormal as well.”

At the asylum, you can enjoy festivals, daytime tours, and even nighttime and flashlight tours for the brave-hearted. They also have a nationally acclaimed haunted house.

The asylum is open for tours from April until late fall, but in just the fall season alone, thousands of tourists from all over the country pay a visit. 

“It’s around 35,000 for the five weeks, and that’s through everything [we offer.]”

The asylum highlights just how poor mental health patients were treated during the time it was open. Patients were often stripped of their rights and forced into overcrowded rooms. During a tour, you can get a look at all of that and how mental health treatment has improved since the 19th century. 

“Some of the things you might see are seclusion rooms, which are very interesting because you find out how the patients were kept when they misbehaved. So we just try to show them [tourists] exactly what it was like.” 

The asylum’s haunted tours are still open for the remainder of the season. Masks are required on the tours and the staff is doing everything they can to keep you safe during your visit.

It’s a great deal of fun during the last few days of the Halloween season, and the best part is you can get there with no problem in just one tank of gas. 

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