West Virginia Penitentiary Ghost Hunt | Moundsville, West Virginia
The harsh history of punishment, death and torture has left a dark imprint within the stone facade of West Virginia Penitentiary (also known as Moundsville). Many investigators and guests have had frightening encounters with the entities that lurk the hallways. Are the former inmates just simply wanting to share their stories or is there something ore sinister at play?
Event Starts: 10:00pm
Event Finish: 05:00am
*We have exclusive private access to this Penitentiary*
You will have a 90 minute tour that starts at 10pm prompt! – Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to be met by the Ghost Hunts USA staff who sign you into the event.
West Virginia Penitentiary is the #1 Most Haunted location in West Virginia
We have exclusive access to this most haunted prison, and you will be ghost hunting with the Ghost Hunts USA team, your time will be spent in the most active areas. Including exclusive access to the “Sugar Shack”, “North Hall” and “Psych Ward”
Within the prison there are several paranormal hotspots that lure investigators and guests to seek answers. The Chapel where inmates and guards alike would make their pleas to a higher power; The Shower Cages that played hosts to murder, fights and rioting; Death Row where over 94 inmates served their final hours on this earthly plane; and the “Sugar Shack” where a multitude of illegal activities from rape to drugs to murder took place in the inmate recreation room. Are the spirits reliving the nightmares they faced?
From full bodied apparitions to the slamming of cell doors and disembodied cries – the penitentiary offers the investigators and guests alike a bone chilling experience. Will you be brave enough to undergo a lone vigil in the shadows of the electric chair, “Old Sparky”?
Your ghost hunt at West Virginia Penitentiary includes the following:
- Exclusive Private Overnight Access to one of the most haunted Penitentiary’s in America,
- Psychic Medium Vigil (If Psychic/Medium is present),
- 90 Minute History Tour,
- Free Time to privately explore to undertake your own vigils,
- Group Vigil,
- Small Group Vigils,
- You will be ghost hunting in the most active areas of this very haunted location,
- Exclusive access to areas that aren’t available to the public,
- Access to the most haunted areas of this penitentiary,
- Ghost Hunt with experienced Ghost Hunting Team,
- Use of our equipment which includes, trigger objects and EMF Meters,
- Unlimited refreshments available throughout the night including: Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Coca Cola, Diet Coke, and Bottled Water.
- Selection of snacks.
Guests are strongly advised to bring extra warm clothing with them.
When Virginia seceded with the South during the Civil War, West Virginia remained with the Union and therefore needed to build their own public institutions. The prison was built in Moundsville, WV opened its doors in 1876 and was in full operation until 1995.
During the life of the prison it was considered one of the most violent correctional facilities with over 36 inmate on inmate deaths. Perhaps the most notorious location within the facility was the prisoner recreation room known as “The Sugar Shack.” The walls hid the deep dark secrets and illegal activities such as gambling, fighting, rape and murder.
One of the most violent deaths of an inmate was R.D.Wall, a known snitch. On October 8, 1929, Walls was jumped by three fellow prisoners who stabbed him to death with shivs. The bloody massacre did not leave much for the guards to identity and rumor has it that this murder is linked to one of the first ghostly sightings within the walls of West Virginia Penitentiary.
Not all deaths were laid at the feet of inmates. West Virginia Penitentiary sent over 85 men to the gallows before it was ruled as cruel and unusual punishment in the 1950’s. All the hangings were public affairs where the community would gather to watch the inmates take their final swing. When reviewing the cases of botched hangings there was a report of one prisoner who had been decapitated in the process.
The electric chair that was designed by an inmate to take the place of the gallows is still on display within the walls. Before Capital Punishment was outlawed by the state of West Virginia in 1965, 9 more prisoners met their fate in “Old Sparky.”
The violence of riots was commonplace, particularly in light of the overcrowding. One of the highly documented riots took place on March 20, 1973. A hostage situation arose quickly during the full-scale riot. The prisoners holding the five prison guards threatened to kill them if the police or any guards fired gunshots or tear gas at them.
At the same time a fire was set and began to burn out of control in the basement of the prison. The prisoners barricaded themselves into the maximum-security section of the prison as they demanded to speak to the Governor. Another notable riot took place in January of 1986 (12 hostages).
During the time of operation there were a few escapees, all of them dangerous and violent criminals. 3 in April of 1988, 2 in November of the same year and 3 in February of 1992.
Freddie Rakes – On a September evening in 1981, Rakes and two accomplices, a man and a juvenile girl, decided to rob a Lincoln County man named Ernie Neal, who was in his 70’s and lived by himself on a farm.
Rake, who knew the old man, knocked on Neal’s door. Rakes said his car was struck in a ditch, and asked Neal to get his tractor to pull the car out, and as the pair walked toward Neal’s barn Rakes hit the old man over the head with a rake. Rakes then shot Neal several times and ran over the old man with a truck, twice.
It was three days before Neal’s family found his body. Rakes and his accomplices fled to North Carolina, but were apprehended and brought back to West Virginia. During his trial, it was determined Rakes had been the one who actually committed the murder, and his accomplices were allowed to plead guilty to lesser crimes.
During the trial it was also determined that Rakes altered the shotgun shells he used to shoot Neal so that the bullets would make a harder impact. Testimony from the state medical examiner revealed Neal died from loss of blood caused by the first shotgun blast – to his knee – and that the old man was still alive when Rakes ran over him in the truck.
Dickie Wimmer – Wimmer was upset because his relationship with his wife was faltering, went to an Oceana apartment where she and their two children were staying on January 15, 1979. After a confrontation with his estranged wife, Wimmer shot her to death. He also shot to death his 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.
Wimmer then went to a nearby apartment and told the residents to call an ambulance, saying his wife and children were sick. Medical personnel called police after seeing the trio had been shot, and Wimmer resisted police when they arrived. He initially was charged with obstructing a police officer, but that subsequently was changed to three counts of murder.