Ghost Hunters In West Virginia
"From Dusk Till Dawn"
Moundsville Penitentiary Ghost Hunt
A Little History
The prison at Joliet provided the prototype for the West Virginia Penitentiary. It was an imposing stone structure fashioned in the castellated Gothic architectural style (adorned with turrets and battlements, like a castle). Only the dimensions of West Virginia's facility would differ; it would be approximately one-half the size of Joliet. The Moundsville State Penitentiary was built in 1867, during the Cival War era. It was once known as one of the bloodiest prisons in America and has also been called one of the Most Haunted Places in America, as well as one of the top 500 places to visit while traveling. The Moundsville Penitentiary was even featured on an episode of MTV's "FEAR".
The prison has been home to thousands of the country's most notorious criminals. Charles Manson even spent some time there and requested numerous times to be sent back to Moundsville to serve his time. Charles Manson's own mother even spent some time there for larceny. It has also been a place where horrible crimes have been committed. Murder, torture, suicide, rape, and well over 90 executions have all added to the energy in the prison. Interestingly, more deaths occured in the prison from murders, sexually transmitted diseases, riots and Tuberculosis than from executions. Visual sightings, sounds of slamming cell doors, screams, and phantom footsteps are all seen and heard there.
In 1986, the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the Penitentiary's 5 x 7 cells were cruel and unusual punishment. The Penitentiary closed its doors in 1995 and the majority of the inmates were moved to the new Mt. Olive Correctional Complex in Mt. Olive, West Virginia. A smaller complex, consisting of a correctional facility and regional jail was constructed in Moundsville.
May 6, 2005 Investigation
On May 6, 2005 at 8:00 PM the Strange Happenings Ghost And Hauntings Research Society entered the walls of the Moundsville State Penitentiary, accompanied by members of the Northwest West Virginia Paranormal Research Group, members of the Paranormal Research Society Of North America and a few other individual ghost enthusiasts. 17 of us attended an all night ghost hunt from dusk till dawn. This was more of a ghost hunt than an investigation, so unlike our formal investigations, we will not be ellaborating as much as we do in our other reports. But, we will be showing you some of the best evidence we collected during the hunt.
Overall we all had a great time, but I think it was pretty much unanimous that the prison was not as active as we had anticipated or at least as much as it has been hyped up to be (on this night at least). We divided everyone up into two groups and our groups took turns scowering the north and south ends of the building and we would alternate every 90 minutes or so, after meeting in the front lobby to discuss hot spots, etc.
There are a couple of things imparticular we would like to mention, but they are not what we consider to be paranormal occurances. Shortly after the initial tour ended we decided to make the first hour or so a free for all before splitting up into our two groups. Mike and Jen of The Northwest West Virginia Paranormal Research Group returned to the lobby before most of us had even headed out into the prison area and reported having heard music playing from an area we had just passed moments before, during the tour, in which we had heard nothing. Mike and Jen followed the music to an area that turned out to be a maintainance room, in which they discovered music coming from a boom box. They turned it off.
Later on in the night Mike and Jen were in the SHGHRS group and we happened upon an area, where we heard more music playing. We followed the music to a little secluded room, in which we found yet another radio with music playing. It is our belief that the tour guy - Mike had simply turned the power on to the outlets to purposely turn the radios on to add to the "fear factor". He of course failed to mention any involvement when we told him about it and let on about how wierd it was, etc.... >;>/ The tour guy had also insisted that all of the cold areas throughout the prison had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that we were just coming out of a long winter, in which many areas of the prison had not yet warmed up. However, a few certain areas were like walking into a refrigerator, while the rest of the room would be normal. Anyway, he told us quite a few other misleading things that pretty much made it apparent that they are either trying to keep all the hype going or trying to freak people out a little to add to the experience. Most likely a little bit of both....
Below we will show you some of the better evidence we collected during our stay at the Moundsville Penitentiary. This should go without saying, but we all got our fair share of orb photos (even though they are even far and few between strangely) and some orbs on video, which we were watching in real time through our nightvision. However, we will not be posting any of them unless some really exceptional ones surface in our evidence. As previously mentioned this was more of a random ghost hunt than an organized investigation, so we won't be ellaborating as much as usual....
- Click On Each Of The Thumbnails Below For Larger View -
Anomalous Video Footage
We watched quite a few orbs in real time through our nightvision throughout the evening, but nowhere near as many as we expected. At any rate, we are still very early in the reviewing process of our video footage, but unless we find something unique or some exceptional orbs on video, we will not be posting our video clips from this ghost hunt. There is just very little sense in wasting valuable time and web space on orb videos.
Electronic Voice Phenomenon
We obtained about 35 EVP's throughout the night, many of which are direct communication. Though we will not be posting all of them, we have posted 21 of the best ones.
Click Here To Listen To The EVP's!
The Moundsville Penitentiary is definitely haunted. Why wouldn't it be, considering all of the murders, executions, tortures and negativity that have occured within its walls? However, with the exception of the enormous amount of EVP's we obtained, we did not find the prison to be anywhere near as active as we expected it would be. Most of us feel this may be due to the excessive amount of people trafficing through the prison on tours and such and not to mention we had 18 people in our group on this night and we feel that we all moved around too much, instead of sitting and letting the spirits come to us. But, as we have said many times, there are no set rules in the spirit world (at least ones that we understand yet), so we are pretty certain there must be a lot more activity inside the prison on other nights. Almost assuredly, on the nights of new or full moons and/or during times when the solar activity is high.
Overall, our trip to the Moundsville Penitentiary was a great experience, if for nothing else just to spend so much time inside the walls of such a gothic structure. Would we pay $50.00 each to do it again? Not likely....
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