In July of 2019, we finally made it to the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, West Virginia. This location has been on our bucket list for a long time and we are glad we finally got the chance to visit and take some of our family with us on the trip.
It was a nice trip down to the prison, we actually organized the first part of our summer road trip with some family members to go with us since it was close to our home base and there was another stop we wanted to make at a nearby cemetery to look for some ancestors. More about that later, but the penitentiary is located at 818 Jefferson Ave, Moundsville, WV 26041.
We all decided we were going to take the historical day tour of the prison. We tried to do a little coaxing to get our other family members to do the paranormal tour, but that wasn't going to happen on this trip unless Marianne and I left them back at the hotel room and just went by ourselves. We met our tour guide "Chuck" before the tour, and was having a nice coversation with him. I decided to pick up a book about his tours and asked him if he would sign it for me so we had a special little souvenir from the tour.
While we were waiting around for the tour to begin, we looked through all of the items that were in the museum/waiting area. There was a lot of interesting things related to the prison and to the former employees and inmates. You can see more photos of the items by clicking the "more photos" button below.
If you would like to take the tour with us, you can actually do that since we recorded most of it for our YouTube channel. We created a series of six videos from the tour that you can watch below.
We have heard in the past that the cells were small, in fact this was the main reason for the closure of the prison in the mid 90's, but until you actually stand in a cell that is 5X7 and try to imagine 2 other people in the cell with you, you fully do not understand the words over crowding.
Another thing that we learned while on the tour is about that door back there on the left that goes into the kitchen area. Reports of paranormal activity at the prison date back to the 1930s, but that doorway, and the sighting of a shadow man walking across it, sparked off the first television show to feature paranormal activity. So that doorway back there (and the report of the "shadow man") sparked off the whole genre.
If you would like to learn more about the paranormal activity at the prison, pleas watch our following video.
One of the major paranormal "hot spots" at the prison is what the inmates called the Sugar Shack. We got a chance to go down in this area, and let me tell you... the photos that you see here before where taken with the flash on the camera. That entire area is completely, lights out dark, and truly a little creepy to be honest.
Like I have mentioned, we didn't get to do any investigating while we were there on this trip since we had family with us. They are just not into it and get a little freaked out over it too much.
We will be planning a trip back sometime in the future, and will definitely be doing some investigating. When we do, we will give you a little update about the prison. By the way, Marianne did have something strange happen in the kitchen area. You can catch that in part 3/6 in the video above. Let us know down in the comments if you have been to the prison before, or if you would like to visit it in the future.
Find out more about Shawn and Marianne Donley on our About Page.