You are here: Real Ghost Stories :: Ghost Tours & Haunted Hotels :: Haunted Prison in West Virginia

Real Ghost Stories

Haunted Prison in West Virginia


Located in Moundsville West Virginia is the old West Virginia State maximum security prison. Now this prison has a long and sometimes violent history. Prisoners were murdered in their cells by other inmates, during riots, and most notably, they were put to death in the electric chair, "old sparky", who was built by an inmate from that facility. The prison is closed now, but you can still tour it, and if you are brave enough even spend the night there, of which I plan on doing once I return stateside.

This story concerns the day light tour I took of the facility while I was a corrections officer with the state of West Virginia. Once we had received our initial briefing about the facility, we were allowed to tour it on our own and pretty much go where ever we wanted, even places the public isn't allowed. While touring the facility, I was in a section of the prison known as the sugar shack, supposedly where some of the worst offenders were housed. I was the only person in this section of the prison at the time and while I was up on the third tier, inspecting some of the old cells, when down below me the cell doors slammed shut.

Now, this wouldn't have come as much of a surprise to me if it weren't for the fact that all the doors had closed at once which is what they are supposed to do, but they are controlled by a lever from a central location which I could see from my vantage point and no one was there and the lever was still in the up position. Taking that as a cue, I left that section of the prison and made my way down to the basement and the location of the HOLE, this was a place they say drove some inmates mad. While in the basement, I kept having the feeling of someone following me and as I grew near to the hole, a feeling of dread and despair almost overwhelmed me. I kept my senses, though, and started to make my way deeper into the basement. I caught the glimpse of a figure, just off in the shadows, moving from right to left that should have brought them into the light, what little there was, but they never appeared and I didn't see them go the other way.

Once again I took it as a cue to leave. I went from there up to the medical and dental ward of the facility, no physical events took place here, just a sense of foreboding over the area. This has all lead me to believe that something is still behind the walls of this prison and that they may never be able to leave. I am going to do an all night ghost hunt of this facility and I plan on taking some video and audio equipment and see if I can capture any thing on film or tape.

Other hauntings by Shane

Hauntings with similar titles

Find ghost hunters and paranormal investigators from West Virginia

Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting.

Vanessanda (3 stories) (226 posts)
10 years ago (2011-12-17)

It's not only the spirits of murderers that lurk in old prisons. There are spirits of those who were unjustly incarcerated or put to death, or killed by other inmates in those prisons.


Great story and I enjoy your writing style. I could actually picture your movements through the prison in my mind as I read, all the way from Greece.

Thank you and I intend to read through your other stories, too!
kim_yiera (2 posts)
10 years ago (2011-12-17)
😕 great story but I'm a little bit confused... That's some point and reason why prison are haunted... The prisoners are treated like an animal. On my thinking, although they murdered or done something bad, they shouldn't be treated like that. 😠 😠
XxelliesxX (1 stories) (8 posts)
11 years ago (2010-09-04)
personally I think its a good idea to record what you saw... And felt... Partly because it would prove to yourself that your not going mad (not saying you are)
And it would prove other people that something is out there... Nice story by the way
bigragu42 (10 posts)
13 years ago (2009-02-07)
most prisons are haunted as there is a lot of sorrow and death in them. Great story and good luck to ya. Go visit alcatraz island some time, its really haunted

God bless
Annie (202 posts)
13 years ago (2008-07-02)
Hey, Shane! Long time no see! Sorry to hear that you had to go back overseas. 😢 Hope all is well with you and yours.
Great story. Hope you keep popping in here from time to time. Miss your input.
Take care, Annie
Shane (13 stories) (1258 posts)
13 years ago (2008-06-21)
Rhodes and flutter, thanks for the comments on my story. To all, sorry for being gone so long. Things have really been busy for me. I have a few new tales to tell and will get them out here soon. Hopefully things will fall into a more predictable routine for me here soon. I look forward to reading and hopefully commenting on most of your stories here soon.

Peace, Love, and Luck be with you all.
Flutterofwings (13 stories) (428 posts)
13 years ago (2008-05-02)
Got to this late too. Great story and can't hardly wait to hear of your over night stay at this prison here soon.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
14 years ago (2008-02-29)
Shane hi. Being new to this site, it has taken me some time to catch up so, forgive my very late-arriving comment. I have been reading your stories and I find your encounters not only very interesting, but quite challenging at times. I don't usually rush into forming an opinion about people, let alone say it out loud but I find your straightforwardness and sometimes simplicity while describing an experience very credible and charming 😊

I have enjoyed your stories very much although I wasn't so thrilled about hearing that you wish to take a night tour in the W.V. Prison. That could be a bit too risky. Anyways, I'll be looking forward to reading more stories from you.

Take good care 😊
Shane (13 stories) (1258 posts)
14 years ago (2007-12-18)
Hi Bell, Think I am going to wait and do the overnight thing this summer. Might be a bit too cold right now. LOL I will most assuredly keep you all informed of my investigations. Unknown to me until recently is that my baby brother already has a paranormal investigation group up and running. Maybe I can get him to share some of his groups stories with us. Turkey already got to meet the guys from TAPS. Jason and Grant when they were down at Weaverly hills. One place I can't wait to check out. Take care and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Peace, Love, and Luck be with you.
Bellissima (12 stories) (792 posts)
14 years ago (2007-12-12)
Hi Shane. I think your visit sounds pretty exciting! The experiences you had there do seem 'hair-raising' and pretty spooky! I'm looking forward to hearing about your planned overnight visit and I can't wait to find out what comes up on the video and EVP's, I'll bet they'll be amazing.
Shane (13 stories) (1258 posts)
14 years ago (2007-10-23)
I loved the place, that is all except the basement, where the hole or better known as solitary confinement was located. Now that place made the hair on the back of my neck and arms stand up.
Got a really bad gut feeling when I was down there. I plan on going back there and spending the night. I am also planning on going to the old Ohio state prison in Mansfield. That is the one they used to shoot the film Shaw Shank Redemption at and where Ghost hunters heard the noises coming from the one cell. Should be an interesting time.
Now as to me and Abby, we go back to just about the start. Sometimes we take off on our little tangents and we do get off subject 😁 and I apologize for that. We just enjoy the company of another paranormally inclined person and we are good friends. We welcome all to join in on our little conversations, so next time you catch us chatting away just jump right in.

Peace, Love, and Luck be with you.
mustang (5 stories) (749 posts)
14 years ago (2007-10-22)
Hi Shane! I try to post on all your stories but by the time I get through trying to read all of the comments(posts)on the story I have kind of forgotten what the story was about because the comments were off the subject at hand. 😊 I do, however, get a kick at you and Abby talking back and forth about other things.

Anyway, about the "Moundsville Prison", I have read about that place with the ancient burial mound across the street from the prison. I actually have it marked in this book I bought a couple of years ago as one of my favorite stories. I read a lot, or rather, used to read a lot. You see after I got remarried six years ago I had two more little ones and now I have three of my own children and a step-daughter that is here 50% of the time(all under the age of fifteen) so I really don't have much time for myself. Anyway, I've also seen a Ghost Hunters episode when they went to investigate the prison. It is really creepy, don't think I want to experience a place where violent things have happened. However, there are places I do want to visit like the St. Augustine Lighthouse in St. Augustine, Florida. It's about 4 hours away from me. I saw an episode of Ghost Hunters when they went there and it was shocking what they caught on video and audio. I was hooked at that point, on going to St. Augustine to see the lighthouse that is. Anyway, I'm happy for you that you were able to experience something at the prison. A lot of times people go praying for something to happen but then they get nothing. Personally, I prefer nothing scary to happen to me. <3Shelby

😊 😊
KimSouthO (27 stories) (1960 posts)
14 years ago (2007-10-03)
I have heard of this prison and some of the encounters there. I would be very interested to hear about your investigation. You have just enough of an open mind to experience and enough of an analytical mind to figure out (when it is possible) what you have experienced.

God Bless!
Shenny (guest)
14 years ago (2007-09-28)
That's so cool!
I wish I could see that :P
Someday I Will... (hopefully).
The prison of course!
I've seen enough ghosts to last me a lifetime

Take care and god bless,
Shenny. 😐
Shane (13 stories) (1258 posts)
14 years ago (2007-05-03)
Thanks Martin, I got a little over zealous with that post and hit publish twice. Sorry won't happen again.
Shane (13 stories) (1258 posts)
14 years ago (2007-05-03)
LOL, I wasn't in on that investigation. I was there as a corrections officer during the annual mock riots. I did the investigation part while I was there for that. If you can get the chance I recommend the over night trip. You get the fully guided tour first then they let you out on your own for a while. Then bring you back in for pizza and soda. Afterwards you can go back out investigating or you can leave, but for $50 bucks I am staying the night. If you do go please be respectful of the others around you and don't try and scare people. One its just childish and two you could cause someone to get seriously injuried. You will love the experience at night though I can vouch for that. Brittany I plan on visiting Waverly Hills once I am home for good. I only live about 4 hours from Louisville so I will have to make it a weekend trip. :) Oh and Brit, may the lady and lord be with you. Been doing my studies.

Peace, Love, and Luck be with you.
Unknown (guest)
14 years ago (2007-05-02)
i visited that place this year on a feild trip with my class it was cool! They already investgated it I might be a little late you might of been in that investigation. What was the cells number that if you go in it you can't unlock it?
Cuase they said that one someone went in it and it wouldn't open up again and it took like an hour for it to open the firetruck came I heard!
Brittany (guest)
14 years ago (2007-04-26)
Shane, that was a good story. I have heard of this place before and plan on visiting as soon as I can. I have even seen this place being investigated on a couple different shows before.
I reccomend that you visit the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky, if you haven't already done so. I cannot personally vouge for it, but have heard its an amazing place to visit. I plan on going soon, seeing as its about 3 hours away from my house, but haven't set aside the time to do so. Good luck overseas!
jessicawiggs17274 (guest)
15 years ago (2007-03-01)
OMG! I want to go there soo bad! Nice story dude! I hope to see more information on some more stuff in West Virginia
Meeki (guest)
15 years ago (2007-03-01)
Hi Shane! I love your story! You really should keep us posted. I would also love to see what you result with. And if by any chance, you find out something like a left behind soul, please try to help it. Unless, you know, it's a mean spirit. Good luck with your ghost hunt! (Can you also read my story and comment me?? Mine's "My Friend Sally." I'm sure you'll like it.)
Shane (13 stories) (1258 posts)
15 years ago (2007-02-26)
I am not in the military, I am a Veteran working overseas for the Air Force.
silentoption (1 stories) (8 posts)
15 years ago (2007-02-23)
are you in the military, I am I'm deployed in the Mid-East. I would be happy to see those pictures and videos
Shane (13 stories) (1258 posts)
15 years ago (2007-02-23)
Will do Martin, won't be for a year though, as I am back to work overseas again.
Martin (601 posts) mod
15 years ago (2007-02-23)
That was a nice report on your prison tour Shane, keep us posted on your future ghost hunt!

To publish a comment or vote, you need to be logged in (use the login form at the top of the page). If you don't have an account, sign up, it's free!

Search this site: