We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

West Virginia Penitentiary

Certificate of Excellence
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 818 Jefferson Ave., Moundsville, WV
Phone Number: 304-845-6200
Website
Improve this listing
Today
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Description:

Built in 1867 and in operation until 1995, this prison offers tours of the...

Built in 1867 and in operation until 1995, this prison offers tours of the cells and the retired electric chair.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 213 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 143
    Excellent
  • 52
    Very good
  • 16
    Average
  • 2
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Interesting

It's scary to think of the twisted people that were held there. To see the electric chair that took the lives of 11 men. The art work that was drawn or painted on the wall by an... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
jodia447
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

213 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

It's scary to think of the twisted people that were held there. To see the electric chair that took the lives of 11 men. The art work that was drawn or painted on the wall by an inmate named Adkins is amazing. The history alone is fascinating. I got to experience a tour at the age of 13 while the... More 

Helpful?
Thank jodia447
Level Contributor
40 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2016

Located directly across the street from an ancient Native American burial mound, Moundsville Penitentiary is pretty creepy place. It was one of the nation's most violent prisons before it closed in the 1990's. If you're interested in historic prisons or the paranormal, then this place is definitely worth checking out. They offer a few different kinds of tours, including a... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank RachelS1689
Franklin, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
77 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2015

As with most prisons&institutions of this period,they look like castles or pleasant from the outside. Inside...not so much... Amazing architeture,steel&iron-work. Very interesting history,great tour with ex-prison guard.What a place to do time in. Many spooky areas&dark places. I was in many cells there, did'nt really like any. Nice museum gift shop. ''Old Sparky'' was creepy. Very large place,nice staff,interesting attraction.

Helpful?
Thank cecustard
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2015

Great tour.. spooky old place. Tour guide told us to step back into a cell then closed the doors. In there less than five minutes and I was pacing. Can't imagine spending a lot of time in there.

Helpful?
1 Thank PhilCap
Baltimore
Level Contributor
56 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2015

I actually did two tours. I did the twilight tour on Saturday night and then a day time tour on Sunday. I recommend both! It was great learning the different types of history (paranormal vs historical) about the location. Both tour guides were very helpful and seemed to know their stuff. If you do the two different tours you'll see... More 

Helpful?
Thank Deargoodbye
Frederick, Maryland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2015

I did both a daytime historical tour and a twilight paranormal tour at West Virginia Penitentiary. Both experiences were great! The daytime tour was filled with information about the prison's history and my tour guide, Frank, was friendly and personable. My best friend and I somehow managed to be the only 2 on the tour and really got to explore... More 

Helpful?
Thank Deidre C
High Point, North Carolina
Level Contributor
60 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2015

I did the day tour with Rick and it was really great. I also did the overnight ghost hunt which allows you to go in a lot of places that the day tour doesn't cover. The 7 hours is barely enough time to cover the entire area and conduct thorough investigations in each location. It would be better if they... More 

Helpful?
Thank MyDime
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2015

This place is an absolute must see for fans of LOCK UP as well as prison based movies and books, Unlike the sterile, industrial environment of modern correctional facilities, West Virginia Penitentiary offers a gothic, macabre atmosphere of a vintage house of correction. The imposing architecture of the building and massive stone fence surrounding the prison property are truly awesome.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Drew K
Newmarket, Canada
Level Contributor
37 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2015

What a fascinating piece of history. Fantastic tour and history lesson but not for the squeamish as the stories and sites might disturb some people. Extremely interesting place.

Helpful?
Thank mltuomisto
Pittsburgh
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2015

My husband and 12 year old granddaughter went on tour of Moundsville prison. Rick was our tour guide and he was very informative with descriptions of prison life and history behind the walls. This is a must see if you are interested in history of what prison life was like here.

Helpful?
Thank Turra G

Been to West Virginia Penitentiary? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of West Virginia Penitentiary and other visitors
2 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (2)

Questions? Get answers from West Virginia Penitentiary staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?