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West Virginia Penitentiary

818 Jefferson Ave., Moundsville, WV
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Historic Sites
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
Description: Built in 1867 and in operation until 1995, this prison offers tours of the cells and the retired electric chair.
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100 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Andover, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 NEW

Our tour was led by a female retired corrections officer who worked at the penitentiary until it closed in 1995. She was great, having had first hand knowledge of what things were like then. I would recommend going here.

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Cleveland, Ohio
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014 NEW

Driving through a quiet neighborhood and suddenly, this enormous gothic fortress is in front of you. The history tour during the day is very informative and is led by friendly and courteous staff members. Most of the staff were former guards at the prison when it was active. In October, parts of the prison are converted into the Haunted Penitentiary,... More

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Top Contributor
224 reviews 224 reviews
99 attraction reviews
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

Let me first start by saying our tour guide, Maggie, was phenomenal. She was an actual guard at this prison and had a great deal of personal knowledge about the building as well as how it functioned when it was still in use. The tour takes you through a decent amount of both the inside and outside portions of the... More

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Canton, Ohio
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

The outside is like a HUGE beautiful castle. I was of course, very attracted to going cuz of the amount of ghost & spirit activity there. The lobby had a large stack of albums that r filled w/ pics & letters ppl send in about there experience...lots of pics of orbs & things. The tour was an absolute joke! Here... More

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Cheswick, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
19 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2014

Took the kids for an afternoon get-away. VERY interesting! Tour guide was pleasant & answered all of the groups questions. Waited patiently as we photographed everything. Locked some brave volunteers in the cells. Very knowledgeable, great stories. We plan on going back for a different tour.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2014 via mobile

I loved it! We had a great time and would go back again! Chuck was a great guide and interesting stories since he actually worked in the facility before it closed.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Mundelein, Illinois
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
36 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

I toured in the early afternoon and our guide Ralph was outstanding. He told us anecdotes about all sorts of things. The art on the walls is all done by prisoners. I was floored at how the cells were and folks were staying in those cells up until 1995. The tour was about 90 minutes and was pretty accommodating for... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Glendale, Arizona
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

The tour was very large. The guide seemed a bit annoyed that we were lagging mainly to take pictures both digital photos and infrared photos. Our plan is to do a night paranormal investigation eventually. The main tour did not include the infamous Sugar Shack. Very informative and give a great deal of insight on the prison when it was... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Apex, NC
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

Our tour guide was a prison guard when the prison was in operation - very cool. The tours start on time and if you wander off and explore a little bit, they don't freak out. It was well worth the price of admission, and finding the place via GPS was easy (as was parking).

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Clarksburg, West Virginia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

Once you take this tour (which leaves on the hour & last 90 minutes), the history of the West Virginia Penitentiary will forever be "locked" into your personal history. Even though some of the stories during the tour can be a little shocking. What it is even more shocking is the small size of the cells men had to live... More

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