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“For anyone who is interested in mental illness, history, or the paranormal...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
71 Asylum Drive, Weston, WV 26452
304-269-5070
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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: Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator, Activities for older children
Scott Depot, West Virginia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“For anyone who is interested in mental illness, history, or the paranormal...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2010

My family and I were staying at nearby Stonewall Jackson Resort and ventured out on a rainy day to explore nearby for a restaurant. We stumbled upon a colossal structure that appeared straight out of a big-budget horror flick. The size of the monstrous building is a spectacle alone! We realized that it was the old Weston State Mental Hospital, now renamed the TALA, and immediately planned to return the next day for a tour.

We took the Historical 90-minute 4 floor tour for $30 each. It was very educational and respectful. We first asked if the day tour was appropriate for children, and were told "absolutely, it is historical only". We brought along our kids, who thought the building looked neat. My husband and I both are in the medical field and have spent some real time in clinicals in state mental hospitals while in college...this was unlike anything even we could have imagined. The history of the asylum is dumbfounding, especially if you have any medical background whatsoever. The tour guide focused on the word 'asylum' as a "safe place, home, place of refuge" for the patients, not a nuthouse...and it really made you think about deinstitutionalization and the effects on the mentally ill.

Our tour guide was excellent, and gave enough info to satisfy while touring. I also recommend you buy the $8 guidebook as you leave, it reinforces what the guide tells you and gives a more in-depth history of the asylum.

As promised, our 2 youngest kids just came away thinking it was a "yuck old hospital" and learning a little about the civil war and the history of medicine...however, the 10 year old did get a little more out of the subtle inferences of paranormal actvity....but only to the point that she thought it was "cool, and maybe haunted or something".

The guide made no direct mentions of hauntings other than telling us that we were entering "Lilly's room" or seeing "Lilly's toys and balls". I'll let you google that on your own. She also said the night tours focus more on the paranormal. Even without mention, the place is straight up creepy and more than a little freaked us out...and we are horror movie buffs who love a good scare! I will also tell you that if you go to YouTube, you'll see many clips of ghost hunts at TALA.

I recommend you wear comfy shoes, not open toed, preferably pants that do not drag...many puddles and leaks to walk through. Also, use the restroom in the lobby pre-tour if there is any hope you may need to during the next couple hours. It is very moldy and humid in the summer, ventilation is not great, so if you are prone to severe allergies it may prove problematic. You can take flash photgraphy.

Overall, highly recommended!

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English first
Poca, West Virginia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2009

We did the overnight ghost hunt/tour. It was a great time. Caught interesting EVP's and experienced some really interesting things. The building is incredible and amazingly huge. The 8 hour tour went extremely fast because of the fascination of everything to take in during your time there. You may be taken back by the price of the ticket. But do not let this stop you. It is worth every penny and the price of the ticket goes back into the restoration of the building. So, I am going to give this a thumbs up and we will be going back again.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waynesboro, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Very Interesting Historical Attraction”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2009

My family was in Weston for a wedding and decided to tour the asylum. The hospital complex is huge and the Kirkbride building (the main hospital building) is really interesting - not to mention architecturally stunning.

We took the one floor tour, but for $30, you can visit all four floors of the hospital. Our guide was a former hospital employee and worked at the hospital from the 1960's to the 1990's, which really added to the quality of the tour. She could tell us what the building was like when it still had patients.

If you have an interest in history, architecture, photography, or even paranormal activity, this place is worth a visit.

All-in-all, a very unique experience.

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great staff, excellent facility to tour!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2009

This facility was great for those interested in history and in the paranormal. If you are taking a day tour and are interested in the paranormal piece, be sure to mention it and ensure that everyone in your group is interested as well. If not, the tour guides will not discuss this aspect of TALA. Our tour guide, Michelle, was awesome. She was very knowledgeable about the facility and was a friendly guide. Every staff person we met was extraordinarily helpful and accommodating. At one point we were afraid we'd have to miss a tour because we had a pet and a potential early check-out of our hotel - the people at the front desk said we could bring our dog on the tour! It worked out so we didn't have to bring him, but this seemed to go above and beyond. If you are looking for early "mental health" history or potential personal experiences with the paranormal, check this place out!

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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Tucson
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
46 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
“Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2009

My DH and I visited the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in April 2009. We loved it! It is truly an unique experience, how often to you get to tour a mental hospital of this grandeur. This is the supposed to be the second largest hand cut stone building in the world. Construction was begun in 1853 by stone masons brought over Ireland and Germany, because they were experienced in building castles. The halls and rooms were infused with the memories of the hardaches and hardships of the inmates. They do hold a ghost tour and it is easy to belief the ghosts roam the building. We had a private tour because we were the only ones there at the time with a very nice young lady guild. Just Go-Trust us it is worth the time and money. West "By God" Virginia

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