virginia architecture

The Moundsville Penitentiary

One of the most violent and haunted prisons in the world lies in Moundsville, West Virginia. Its castle-like architecture makes it truly stand out within the small town. Across the street from the prison lies an ancient Adena burial ground, which only makes the spiritual energy in the area heightened. People claim the prison is built on top of even more burial grounds. Tourists and staff are haunted by the shadow figure they call “The Shadow Man.”

Operating from 1876 to 1995, the Moundsville Penitentiary saw more deaths than the average prison. A prison break in 1979 and a riot in 1986 only added to its bloody history. Eighty-five inmates were executed by hanging. Up until the noose decapitated murderer Frank Hyer hangings were viewable by the public. After this event the hangings were private and invite only. The method of execution was later changed to electrocution. Paul Glenn was an inmate at the prison and built the electric chair himself which was given the nickname “Old Sparky.” Nine inmates were executed in the chair until execution was outlawed in the state. Paul was not well liked after constructing the chair and had to have special protection by the guards. There were thirty-six murders in the prison. The most infamous was that of known snitch R.D. Wall, who’s spirit still haunts the boiler room where he was ambushed by three inmates with full shivs. Charles Manson himself even requested to be transferred to this prison so he could be held at the same facility as his mother.

The prison’s violent history has led to its infamous haunting. Paranormal enthusiasts flock to the prison for a tour, or to stay overnight locked inside. Those who stay overnight always leave with a paranormal experience. And every staff member at the facility has experienced something out of the ordinary. The Ghost Adventures Crew has investigated the location twice, and countless other paranormal investigators have experienced the hauntings of the bloodstained facility.

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Victorian Christmas by Bill Dickinson
Via Flickr:
2002 Princess Anne Ave Charle Brauer House - Church Hill Richmond, VA

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Presidential mansions in their own right

Houses of the first two presidents of the United States: George Washington’s Mount Vernon (top) in Mt. Vernon, Virginia; and John Adams’ Peacefield (bottom) in Quincy, Massachusetts. I was surprised at how comparable the houses are in size (note they both have nine windows across the second  story).