When it comes to West Virginia, and the Appalachian Mountains, in general, and its spooks, it's somewhat of a pick-your-point situation. The region is rich with lore and practically any small mountain town that you stroll through will have its own ghost stories, and some are far more well-known than others. In terms of the spookiest places in the U.S., this state has more than many people originally bargain for.
There's a good chance that those who are interested in the paranormal are already familiar with one thing or another that's based in West Virginia. Whether it's the eerie Mothman of Point Pleasant, said to foretell disastrous events, or the former Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, known for its ghostly hauntings, there's seemingly no end. That's not all West Virginia has to offer lovers of the supernatural, though - and many of its creepiest destinations come with a long history that predates what most people know. If planning a road trip around a state's most infamous spooks is the goal, then West Virginia should be the first on your list.
Archive of the Afterlife
As one of the best paranormal museums in the country, the Archive of the Afterlife has long been touted as being a must-stop destination for those who are interested in all things afterlife, occult, and haunted.
It also goes by the name of National Museum of the Paranormal and, if that doesn't drive the point home, then perhaps any of its multiple (semi-morbid) exhibits will. These include educational setups devoted to explaining embalming and funeral procedures, along with a mix of allegedly haunted items such as dolls and artifacts. It's a creepy setup, to say the least.
Weston Hospital might not sound familiar but Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum should, which is the name that this building previously went by. While the grounds themselves are not safe to walk on your own due to crumbling structures, there are tours that take interested parties through the safer areas.
This is a great way to learn about the history of this mental hospital, as well, that goes far beyond what one may have seen on the most recent ghost hunter TV show. The Trans-Allegheny institution operated up until 1994 and has been uninhabited - by anything living, anyway - ever since. Much of its architecture still shows signs of its 19th-century design and stands as a classic example of how buildings such as this were actually believed to improve mental health. Today, we know that this, and many of the practices used, were not the case.
Lake Shawnee Amusement Park
The Lake Shawnee Amusement Park has a hefty reputation not only in West Virginia but around the country, as well. The grounds themselves are dilapidated and left in ruin, with various amusement park rides having broken, rusted over, and simply fallen apart. What stands there today is an eerie memory of a park that, despite its fun-loving decor, was the location of the death of two children.
Long before that, it's said that the park was actually built on land that stood to be the warring ground for Native Americans and European settlers. It's believed that the grounds themselves are cursed and since the park's closing, nothing has taken up residence there.
Anyone who's familiar with the Mothman sightings will know about the infamous TNT Area. This remote area near Point Pleasant was once used as a munitions storage facility during World War II. What's left are the bunkers and various empty laboratories that were once used to house and test various weapons which, in itself, is pretty creepy.
However, this is also the first place of the Mothman sighting, many of which followed between 1966 and 1967, according to Atlas Obscura. The site is still undergoing cleanup efforts but that doesn't make it any less unnerving, given its history over the span of semi-recent decades.
Brandy Gap Tunnel #2
The Brandy Gap Tunnel #2 isn't a site that many people are familiar with outside of West Virginia. Located just outside of the town of Salem on the North Bend Rail Trail, this tunnel once went by the name of Flinderation Tunnel. What's so unusual about this tunnel is the fact that it was created underneath a cemetery that was first created during the 1700s.
While the tunnel wasn't built until 1857, it's supposedly home to a slew of paranormal phenomena simply due to its location. Many a ghost hunter and paranormal researcher have paid this unusually-placed tunnel a visit, and many have come back with stories and personal accounts that would send chills up anyone's spine.