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“A ghostly education” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
71 Asylum Drive, Weston, WV 26452
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Ranked #1 of 6 Attractions in Weston
Type: Historic Sites, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Landmarks
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Attraction details
Owner description: More European castle than American hospital, this former insane asylum offers customized tours. e.g. Museum Tour, Civil War Tours, Asylum Treatments and History and the Paranormal. This Gothic National Historic Landmark holds 130 years of American history’s dark side.
1st Floor (45 min) - $10.00Learn about the pioneers of humane treatment for the mentally ill while visiting the first two wards for the patients and see the Civil War Section of the hospital. Hear about the gold robbery that helped West Virginia become a state and how being a border state affected the area.$10.00All 4 Floors plus the first floor of the Medical Center (90 min) - $30.00This tour includes all of the first floor tour experience plus, step back in time to the 1935 fire that destroyed four wards of the Asylum. Visit the doctors' apartments, nurses’ quarters; Ward F where the most deviant of patients were kept, and explore the first floor of the Medical Center. Learn the history of medical treatments performed in asylums as well as how this facility helped the local community through two wars and the depression.$30.00The Civil War Tour (75 min) - $25.00Celebrate the West Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Step back in time on this walking tour of the Asylum and the grounds. The historic community holds fascinating stories of Civil War raids, gold robberies, and remarkable citizens. Trace the footsteps of men who went on to lead our country as presidents. Identified on the Civil War Trails map as a vital location during the conflict, this is an excellent stop on a state wide Civil War excursion. Tour Availability is subject to weather conditions.The Cemetery and Farm Tour (70 min) - $25.00Enjoy an open air wagon ride while learning about therapeutic labor, the process of purchasing and developing TALA's land, the Farm, coal mine, struggles to obtain water, and more. Also explored is the history of the three cemeteries of patients located along the tour route. Tour Availability is subject to weather conditions.Combination Tours:Cemetery and Farm Tour Combo – (3 hours) - $50This tour includes the Four Floor Tour and the Cemetery and Farm TourTour Availability is subject to weather conditions. Civil War Tour Combo – (3 hours) - $50This tour includes the Four Floor Tour and the Civil War Tour. Tour Availability is subject to weather conditions. Paranormal Tour Combo – (3 hours) - $55This tour includes the 90 minute daytime Paranormal Tours (Sat. 1, 4, and 6pm and Sun. 1 and 4pm) and either the Civil War Tour or the Cemetery and Farm Tour. Tour Availability is subject to weather conditions Daytime Paranormal Tours (1.5 hours) - $35This is the daylight version of our paranormal tour given only on Saturdays at 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 6:00 pm and Sundays at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. This is a guided tour of the hottest spots in this 242,000 sq. foot Asylum. Tickets for these tours can only be purchased in person and are first come first served. Photography Tours - (4 to 8 hours) - $100/$150Check out the campus on a semi-guided photo tour with access to most of the buildings on campus.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A ghostly education”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013 via mobile

I grew up around this area, but moved away quite a few years ago. I come hone to visit as often as possible because I still have family and friends in the area. But every time I come home I have to go to the Asylum. The history of the place is great and each time I come home they have refurbished areas back to the original time. Great ghost stories!!!! That is if you believe.??!!!! It will intrigue people of all ages. It's a must see!!!!!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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365 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Weston, West Virginia
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

If you take the full tour, then it is definately worth the tour. I just took it as a group about a month and found it really fascinating. It was very informative and I would defenately recommend it.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brenham, Texas
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Unexpected and enlightening!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

Even though this asylum was built in the mid to late 1800’s, it is now--close to two centuries later--a work still in progress. Unfortunately, the dignified and stately property has not been treated kindly by time, the elements, or mankind; but the buildings, constructed of hand-cut stone, have a story to tell.
Humanists had grand aspirations for this structure as a sunshine-filled place of welcome and healing for the mentally ill. It was designed for approximately 250 patients as a self-contained community. While still under construction, the asylum and property were used during the Civil War by both the North and South, as Union or Confederate troops took up residence--dependent upon which side won the right to possession in the most recent battle. Because of overcrowding and poor conditions, this hospital ultimately held as many as 2,400 patients during the 1950’s,nearly 10 times it's original intended capacity. It was closed in 1994, and I suspect that Weston, WV has yet to recover from its loss.
Visitors can take a look at the now startling and disturbing “reasons” men of that era would use to commit their “women folk”. Tour groups are taken to several buildings, and are able to view the wards, the solitary confinement cells, and the quarters for the nurses and the doctors. You may hear reports of paranormal activity that has been detected by ghost hunters, or stories from folks who say they have seen rockers rocking in deserted rooms. Other buildings contain the cafeteria, the morgue, medical and dental treatment areas and much more. Many of the tools and devices used to “treat” mental illness are on display, as is a barred cage in which new "patients" were transported by train. They were off-loaded in Weston, and often had to wait in that cage near the train platform until they could be carried, still in that cage, to the asylum. Be sure not to miss the exhibits of various drawings and sample writings by former patients. Those with soft hearts may want to bring a few tissues with them.
Though heartrending at times, my family and I enjoyed the tour as well as our hostess/tour guide. Though I asked for her business card, with every intention of mentioning her by name in this review, I misplaced or lost it during the trip home. If I find it—I’ll definitely post it here – as she was wonderful. In fact, every staff member seemed to have a 'heart' for the place; several of them actually share parts of their own family histories with it. The restoration seems to be proceeding slowly because of their limited funds, but they are painstakingly restoring it to its former condition.
Next time I'm in the Northeast, I'll definitely be back to see the progress.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sagamore Hills, Ohio, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“So worth the money!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

Went on the over-night ghost hunt with guide Fred on July 20th. The building itself is awesome and creepy at the same time. We had so many personal experiences and also managed to capture some on video and audio. Fred was informative and fun. He knew the place like the back of his hand and obviously loved the place and its inhabitants. We will definitely be back.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
47 attraction reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“sufficiently creepy and educational for whole family”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

Went with large group including seniors and children-all enjoyed it. We went on the historical tour and then part of the group went on the paranormal tour- the second is a better tour of the very large buildings- yes they are in rough shape from being vacant and vandalized but that just adds to the aura of the facility and is exactly what you think a haunted insane asylum would be like.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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