WESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — Residents of north central West Virginia won’t have to travel far to see the spookiest city in the state.
According to a ranking by technology and security company Vivint, Weston, West Virginia—home of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum—is West Virginia’s spookiest city and among the 50 creepiest cities in America.
Although Weston has fewer haunted places than most of the other 70 cities included on the list, it has one of the spookiest and most historical haunted locations. The “Weston State Hospital” opened in 1864 to house and treat “250 souls” with mental illnesses, according to the asylum’s website.
Although it was created as part of the movement to reform the treatment of the insane in the 1900s, by its peak capacity in the 1950s, the treatment of those in the asylum was far from humane, with almost 10 times the number of patients the building was meant for living there. During that time, treatments that would now be considered inhumane such as shock therapy, solitary confinement and lobotomies were performed on patients who were forced to live in “overcrowded and generally poor conditions.”
Since the hospital was closed in 1994, it has become one of the best-known haunted attractions in West Virginia. Haunted and historical tours of the asylum are available as well as overnight ghost hunts, and every year, the grounds host “Hearsemania,” one of the largest gatherings of unusual hearses in the world.
According to the Vivint study, ghost sightings in Weston are rare, but supernatural readings, like during TikTok ghost hunter Kalani’s visit to the asylum last year, are pretty common. Weston also ranked in the top five cities for the most funerals per capita, which might explain Hearsemania being held there.
Overall, Weston was ranked the 46th most spooky city in America, but with the 9th most spiritual shops per capita, it is definitely still one of the top tourist destinations for the paranormal.