If you are looking for a way to beat the summer heat, as well as the boredom that comes from loafing around the 4th of July holiday, you may want to check out the West Virginia State Penitentiary Ghost Hunt, which will be held at Moundsville, West Virginia. On July 9th, 2006, you will have the opportunity to take part in a ghost hunt of the premises of a prison that has a lot of disturbing history surrounding it.
When you’ve set your mind out to explore this historical location, you will have to fill out a Ghost Hunt License and Agreement form, which can be found on the website for this attraction (www.wvpentours.com/main.htm ). You should also know that all participants of this ghost hunt must be 18 years of age or older.
If you are unable to make the July 9th date, you can always settle for a tour of the facilities. This can be accomplished in one of two ways: day or nighttime tour. With the day tour of the penitentiary, you will receive 90 minutes of filled with historic information, interesting facts, as well as a briefing on the Justice System of the area. The architecture alone is enough to pass through the cold walls. A Gothic-style building is what once housed tons of criminals for more than 100 years. More than 30,000 people visit this attraction on a yearly basis.
The penitentiary tours begin on the hour, starting at 10am with the last one departing at 4pm. It is wise to arrive 15 early just to make sure you aren’t left behind. The night tours are held at midnight and require a minimum of 20 people to participate. This is usually a scheduled event for large families, groups of friends or other organizations. This tour last just as long as the day tours with the added feature of decreased temperature and the absence of the sun’s protection from complete darkness. After the usual tour, you will be able to explore the premises until 6 in the morning. It is suggested that you bring food and beverages along for the ride, as well as a camera for those restless spirits that may cross your path. The night tours cost $500 for the 20-person minimum. Each additional tagalong will cost $25. In one night, there cannot be more than 50 people wandering about this site.
The West Virginia State Penitentiary has a history of disturbances, as well as ghostly activity. In 1973, riots broke out in the prison, resulting in the hostage takeover of five guards. Prisoners threatened to shoot the guards if they were shot at or were hit with tear gas. One inmate died as a result of the riot and two others suffered injuries. In 1986, 11 corrections officers and one food service worker were held hostage by a group of inmates. In 1980, a similar riot broke out, as 15 convicts escaped from the prison. One of the escapees was killed, as well as an off-duty sate trooper.
The location of the West Virginia State Penitentiary can be found on 818 Jefferson Ave. in Moundsville, West Virginia. Additional details can be found when placing a call to 304-845-6200.