How many of these places have you visited?

1. Lake Shawnee Amusement Park–Princeton

Built over a Native American burial ground, this “cursed” amusement park is said to have taken the lives of six visitors during its time of operation. The park was shut down in 1966 and according to the some, many spirits still haunt this now abandoned amusement park. Lake Shawnee has been featured on Discovery Channel’s “GhostLab” as well Travel Channel’s “The Most Terrifying Places in America.” Source: http://visitwv.com/lake-shawnee-amusement-park/

2. Reymann Brewing Co. –Wheeling

During the 19th century, Reymann Brewing Co. was one of the largest breweries in West Virginia. Wheeling even gave itself the unofficial nickname of “Beer Belly” for their 130 taverns and saloons located in the city. When in operation, the brewery could hold up to 8,000 barrels of beer and by 1904 was producing 150,000 barrels per year. The brewery closed in 1914 and during World War II was considered used as an air raid shelter.

3. Lakin Industrial School–Point Pleasant

The Lakin Industrial School was originally founded by African American legislators who created many state-funded reform institutions for American African Americans in the early 1920s. It was built in 1924 as a home for delinquent juvenile offenders who worked the surrounding farm. Many confuse the school with the Lakin Hospital for the Insane which was across the street and built during the same time. In 1956, the school closed and was demolished by American Electric Power in November 2006. However, people still visit the site of the building believing it is haunted by the inmates and nurses who visited from the hospital.

4. Moundsville Penitentiary

Taber Andrew Bain/Flickr

Taber Andrew Bain/Flickr

Built in 1876, the penitentiary was built to hold 480 prisoners, but at one point housed 2,400 where three people could be living in a five by seven cell. Many deaths also occurred in the building ranging from executions, suicides, murders, and violent punishments by the prison officials. The penitentiary was closed in 1986 as a result of the West Virginia Supreme Court ruling that the cramped quarters were constituted cruel and unusual punishment. It’s now open daily for tours.

5. Fostoria Glass Works–Moundsville

The Fostoria Glass Company moved from Ohio to Moundsville in 1891 where resources such as gas and coal were more readily available. The company was known for its pattern work and even presidents ordered glassware from Fostoria. In 1986, the company was forced to close due to their outdated factory and foreign competition. A museum is located in town to learn more about the company’s history and see some of their products.

6. Coalwood High School–Coalwood

Coalwood, made famous by Homer Hickam, Jr.’s memoir “Rocket Boys,” is home to the now abandoned Coalwood High School. The school was first opened in the 1920s as a high school and later turned into Coalwood Elementary School where first to ninth grade was taught. In 1986, the school was closed as a result of population loss when small coal mines began to close. A few years ago the school burned down and the ruins now remain to be explored.

7. Nuttallburg Coal Tipple–Near Fayettville

John Nuttall began buying the land where the mine now resides in 1870 when he noticed an opportunity for coal. With the coming of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, the town flourished as a mining community. In the 1920s, Henry Ford even leased the mine attempting to gain control of all aspects of his automobile production line. Ford sold his interests when he was not able to purchase the railroad. After Ford, the coal production became limited to local use and ended in 1958. The Nuttallburg coal miningcoal-miningcomplex is now owned by the National Park Service in attempt to preserve what is considered one of the most intact and complete coal industrial sites in the United States.

8. Sweet Springs Resort–Sweet Springs

Brian M. Powell/Wikipedia

Brian M. Powell/Wikipedia

The history of Sweet Springs Resort dates back to the late 1700s when a courthouse was built in Sweet Springs and used during the off seasons for guest rooms. The resort is named for its water which is thought to have medicinal healing powers. Those powers which attracted people all the way from Washington, D.C. The resort itself was built in 1839 by an associate of Thomas Jefferson and was frequented by guests such as Franklin Pierce, Robert E. Lee, and Millard Fillmore. Sweet Springs Resort remained popular up to the start of the Civil War but was never able to regain its popularity back after the war ended.

9. Thurmond–Near New River Gorge

Thurmond was once a booming railroad town along the Chesapeake and Ohio. Coal seams from the surrounding mines were some of the richest in West Virginia. Passenger trains would bring as many as 95,000 people through in the early 1900s. As a result, the town’s saloons and other businesses were consistently busy while boarding houses overflowed with guests. As the mines closed and the need for train transportation lessened, businesses began closing and residents left. Thurmond became a ghost town.

10. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum–Weston

When the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum opened in 1863 it was the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America. Originally designed to hold 250 patients, the hospital ballooned to over 2,400 patients 1950s. In 1994, deteriorating building and changes in how mental illnesses is treated led to the hospital’s closure. Walk-in tours are offered as well as historic and paranormal tours for a fee.

MORE: 18 Photos That Show Life in West Virginia Coal Camps in the 40’s

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