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Dungeon of Horrors:

Pen offers ­scary tours, ghost hunts for Halloween

October 5, 2012
By Kayla Van Dyne - The Scene , Times Leader

In Moundsville, WV, The West Virginia State Penitentiary looms over the surrounding houses and rivals the bloody history of its neighbor, the Native American graves also known as The Mound. While The Penitentiary is open for tours, in October, it serves another purpose - frightening everyone that enters.

In the month of October, for the Halloween season, The Penitentiary is turned into one giant haunted house, using its past and twist and turns of its architecture, to its advantage. While those who dress up as monsters, ghost and other spooky things that go bump in the night. The Penitentiary, which has a violent past saturated with criminals, blood and murder, offers ghost hunts.

The prisons website states that The Penitentiary is known to have a very high level of paranormal activity. Many who visit believe that the prisoners from the past still haunt the walls and cells of this massive prison. All of this is called the Dungeon of Horrors.

Article Photos

'Old Sparky'

While the Dungeon of Horrors may be the main attraction, for those who are paranormal enthusiasts, there is another attraction outside of the ghost hunts and tours called the North Walk. The North Walk, according the prisons website, will take all who are daring enough to take this tour through the oldest parts of the prison. The North Walk is said to have the most paranormal activity. The North Walk was known as the maximum security area, housing some of the most dangerous inmates. This where violence was a daily occurrence. It may not be a tourist attraction, but those who part take will get to see an area that was once considered the bloodiest institutions in the nation. This was a recent addition.

The Dungeon of Horrors opened on Saturday, Sept. 29 and will run until the end of October. Tickets can be purchased online for $20 and additional tour of the North Walk is $10.

The West Virginia State Penitentiary was in operation from 1876 to 1995. In that time frame, while hundreds of inmates passed through the cells, at it peak, it housed 2,000 inmates. It was also where 94 men were executed, mostly by hanging until electrocution became the preferred method. "Old Sparky" was the name given to the chair that was built by an inmate at the time. The original "Old Sparky" is still on display and part of the official that brings in numerous tourist.

Van Dyne can be reached at kvandyne@timesleaderonline.com.

 
 

 

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