The infamous haunted West Virginia Penitentiary at Moundsville


Hey guys, this is the West Virginia State Pen in Moundsville, one of the most haunted locations in the United States. Why? Because it was ranked as one of the top 10 most violent correctional facilities, according to the US department of Justice. 998 inmates were killed in this facility. Over 47 inmates committed suicide unable to bear the atrocities in here. Allow me to give you a tour of the inside, the electric chair, the mysterious shadow man, the racist water coolers, 5 by 7 cells where 3 people slept in and even devil worship.  Today it is a very scary place but when it was in operation, the West Virginia Pen was hell on earth.

This is the Old Sparky, the electric chair that took 9 lives some of them considered innocent by the public. An electrician would come early in the day and wire one of the 3 buttons and he is the only one who knew which one worked at the time. Now when the time came, all the three buttons were hit at the same time. If you were sitting in that chair,  and an officer hits that button, 1700 volts is going to go through your body. It is going to induce heart attack and you would die. Then it is going to pause. Then it will deliver another 800 volts. Then it will pause one more time and will deliver another 1800 volts into your body. Now the first 1700, that did the job. The last 2 were to make sure that your brain is completely cooked.  You can also see a phone right next to Old Sparky. If all of a sudden the governor decided to change death to life in prison that call would have been made on that phone. However, this phone never rang in this facility. }

This was not the only method of execution. Right here, was a building called the death house, the gallows where 85 men were killed by hanging. It was torn down shortly after the death penalty was abolished in 1965. But long before the death house, the wagon gate served as the gallows where people were hung in public. They did have several botched executions. In 1931, an inmate by the name of Frank Hyer was set for hanging. Frank Hyer was a large man, and they made that rope a little bit too long. So when Frank dropped, he was completely decapitated by the noose. His body fell straight to the ground, and his head bumped off and rolled right at the feet of the public. To this day, dozens of people have reported seeing a headless ghost walking around, hunched over as though searching for its head.  Could this be the spirit of Frank Hyer or does it belong to R.D WALL? Who is RD Wall? He was another inmate who was decapitated by 3 other prisoners for snitching. Whoever this headless ghost is, its serving Afterlife with No Parole in this place.

This is the lockup unit where guys were locked in the cells 22 and a half hours a day. That’s half an hour shower, and an hour of recreational time.  The first cell belonged to a guy named Red Snyder, leader of the Aryan Brotherhood. He was stabbed 37 times in the chest in this cell and died.   This Cell, Cell number 17 had a devil worshiper, he not only made these drawings but took the authorities to the court all the time. He did that to claim his right to sacrifice goats and chickens in the cell. He was denied but he was able to use human blood of the inmates. He also had a group of followers who took part in these rituals. At one point, this facility became the hub of devil worship, so much so that Charles Manson wanted to be transferred here. In his request letter, he used a pretext of moving closer to his family. It was common knowledge that this was not the real reason and he wanted to partake in satanic worship and his request was promptly denied.


One of the strangest apparitions ever captured on camera is the Shadow man. It was first captured right here by this door that says cafeteria. Paranormal experts around the world say that this is the best piece of evidence that proves the existence of ghosts. People have tried to debunk this multiple times, but the shadow man has been captured at least half a dozen times in different parts of the facility. Who is this trapped soul and why does he appear on the walls of this pen? Perhaps he is not just a trapped soul but his body may also be trapped in the walls.

You see, torture was extremely common in this facility. Inmates were bound in a device called the Kicking Jenny and were whipped with leather straps. The straps were dipped in water, then in sand. This whipping would go on until the officer ran out of strength or if the victim died. Only 50% of the torture victims survived. One inmate John G. Roberts was whipped until his skin and most of his flesh was completely peeled off from his body. He lays buried under the walls of this pen.  It is quite possible that John G. Roberts is the shadow man that wants his body to be recovered and buried with proper rituals.

In the early 1940s the federal govt. came down and investigated torture . Everything else was removed ahead of time, and they only found one device which was oddly named the shoo-fly. In this device, you would be strapped with your arms stretched and bound. No more than 2 inches from your face was a fire hose. The officers turned it on and walked away. If you drowned, good for you because  If you didn’t when they came back and if you are still gasping for air, they would take you to the kicking jenny.

These torture techniques were used on the inmates that the officers did not like. However, life itself was torturous in the WVP.  The facility was built to have 500-600 inmates. However often times they had about 3000. So instead of 1 man in a cell, they had 3 or even 5 men in a 5×7 cell which made it look like a sardine can. On top of this, the summers were 100-135 degree Fahrenheit. So 135 degrees, 5 full grown men in 5X7 cell blocks, tensions might flare just a little bit. Now in winter time, the temperature dropped to about 40. In some parts of the pen. it was below freezing. Built in 1876, this place was in shambles after a century. In 1981 an inmate Mark Parker testified that he was forced to drink water out of the toilet when his cell sink became inoperable. The plumbing was not fixed and then his toilet stopped working for 2 full months. This is just one example of what went on in this place. This is why 47 inmates committed suicide and consequently, there could be cases of residual haunting where something that happened in the past is replayed over and over again. Paranormal hot spots, EVPs and even cases of physical contact with ghosts have been recorded here. Unwary visitors who wander into isolated areas have even had their hair pulled or have been shoved by these spirits.

So, if there was so much torture from the officers, what about the inmates? The inmates not only fought among themselves for superiority, but also fought with the officers. The most famous was the 1986 riot where the inmates came together and took several officers as hostages. They controlled the pen. for two full days. It is a very gruesome tale, but the highlight was that they made the officers watch while they carved up a child molester like a Halloween pumpkin. They disfigured him using shanks, slowly took his eyeballs out, while he was alive. This show went on for 3 hours. The guards were not physically harmed but one officer was put in a mental hospital after this. And shortly after, he committed suicide.

Why did they riot? Because they wanted this new cafeteria which was built soon after the riot. There were lots of very powerful gangs in here, like the Aryan brotherhood, the black Muslims, the black panthers and the KKK. A lot of what this boiled down to, was the black and white. And if you look at that water fountain right here on the stone pillar, you will see a black water pipe. This was the colored water fountain. What about the one on the opposite end? This is white. This was the whites only water fountain. They had tables here back then and this is exactly how the inmates sat in 1988 all the way until 1995. This room was completely segregated into black and white.

This is a scary place if you walk alone even during day time. Inside the kitchen, one guy was thrown into a large vessel of boiling water. The lid was closed and the inmates stood on the lid until his flesh came off his bones. At night time, you’ll hear screaming and rattling noises from the kitchen. Footsteps, door slamming and voices are almost common occurrences in this area.  Faucets in the sinks will open themselves, and you may even get mysterious blisters on your skin. So, if you ever go to West Virginia, don’t forget to visit this place.

I am Praveen Mohan, I hope you liked this video. Thanks for watching, Please do subscribe and I’ll talk to you soon.

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