Ever heard of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum? No, it is not a hard rocking Christmas music band (that’s Trans-Siberian Orchestra). It is an actual psychiatric facility in Weston, West Virginia, although it was not called the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum when it was open for treating patients. It was simply called the Weston Hospital. But Weston Hospital closed in 1994 and now ghosts roam the grounds. Or so they say. Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” is spending seven hours live on the grounds of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum on Halloween to find evidence of the paranormal.
According to The Observer, Morgantown businessman Joe Jordan bought the Weston Hospital and its grounds in 2007. He renamed the place Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum and began conducting tours of the old property, taking advantage of the legends of ghosts roaming the halls of the 150-year-old building.
Ghosts of those incarcerated in the old Weston Hospital supposedly haunt the place, tortured souls of the mortals whose bodies where sorely treated, experienced lobotomies and questionable operations, and felt degradations at the hands of people unconstrained and unregulated by society. It is the ghosts of these patients that the “Ghost Adventures” team seek. For seven hours at least.
Although not especially known for the paranormal or strange, West Virginia does have a few tales to tell when it comes to the otherworldly and the macabre. There are the ghost soldiers that haunt the battlefield on Droop Mountain in Pocahontas County. There are the Mothman stories that concern a man-sized being with monstrous wings from Point Pleasant, now made forever famous by the movie starring Richard Gere. And there is the strange fact that Charles Manson grew up in the Moundsville area. All scary stories.
But “Ghost Adventures” is looking to find evidence of the paranormal, the team undergoing a “lockdown” for seven hours. If they’re as successful as the “Ghost Hunters” on the SyFy Channel, they’ll find absolutely nothing. Of course, it has taken “Ghost Hunters” over 100 episodes to find nothing but a cult following.
Still, “Ghost Adventures” might find something besides gullible viewers in the seven hours. According to stories told by “heritage tour” guides at the hospital, one of which is a former nurse at the Weston Hospital, several of the rooms and hallways are haunted by Civil War soldiers, patients, children, and staff that once lived at the psychiatric institution. Screams have been known to emanate from a room where shock treatments were performed. One particularly active spirit, a little girl name Lily, had been heard laughing and sometimes tugs on people’s clothes.
In fact, “Ghost Adventures” is treading where “Ghost Hunters” has tread before. In 2008 Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) declared that Weston Hospital was haunted after recording a voice that said “go home” (which some have claimed was faked, produced by an outside audio device) and seeing an apparition crouching, then “being sucked out of the room.”
Perhaps if the team of “Ghost Adventures” don’t bump into each other too many times, “South Park” will spare them in an upcoming episode.
By the time the seven hour “lockdown” is over in the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, there will assuredly be many viewers wishing that it had been a bunch of headbangers playing hard revamped Christmas music…
“Ghost Adventures,” Travel Channel