On the 11th we went on another trip. This time we went to Weston, WV to visit the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. This was a trip I was counting down to, I was so excited to see an actual asylum. If you know nothing about me, I’ve always been interested in the mental health system and how it worked from the beginning.
The tour was a lot of fun and we seen so much. Keep in mind some parts of the building are in better condition compared to other parts. Either way, I was excited to have my camera and break it in on another one of our random trips.
This is part of a building that was built during the Tuberculosis (TB) outbreak. The part of the building in the picture is the “exercise cages”. Yes, open air areas for those with TB to go. This was before they realized TB was an airborne illness. The shock of seeing these “cages” is the fact that it overly looks like a prison, not a place for people to be and get treatment for anything.
Here is an image from inside the medical building. This building would have housed everything a normal hospital would. There’s major damage within this building and as you can see, it floods. While walking through this building we walked through a lot of water. This is why you always wear shoes – never flip flops or anything else with a slick sole – you never know what the buildings will be like when you’re on a tour.
This is the major piece of the building, a huge clock tower. When we drove into town, this is really the first thing we seen in the distance. We drove toward it and drove by the asylum in the dark on the way to our hotel. Also, this place does look creepy in the dark.
Here’s the entrance of the medical building.
This is the indoor exercise area. The last thing to show it was the exercise area is that wheel on the wall. It was part of a weight machine at one point in time.
This huge metal door is special. If there was a fire in this area there’s a pin in the top of the door which would melt. The weights would shift and the door would shut, sealing off the rest of this building from the fire.
I love how this picture turned out. This was the only items left in this room.
The sinks in a bathroom.
This area of the hospital is restored to how it would have looked while the hospital was in operation.
One of the bathrooms.
Here are the gurneys/stretchers used within the hospital.
One of the rooms with a bed and a chair.
This floor was restored to what it would look like while the doctors lived there. This whole floor was living areas for the doctors who worked at the hospital.
The floor the doctors lived on also had a small balcony you could walk out on. Even though I hate heights I did manage to walk out onto it and take this picture looking up at the rest of the building.
The front grounds of the asylum taken from balcony.
To keep patients from eating wallpaper off the walls, they painted over the plaster and hand painted these flowers onto it. It was painted with lead-based paint though.
A cabinet left in a room.
This room only had this sink and what was above it.
This is down the hall of one of the women’s wards.
If you noticed in the pictures the patient rooms are painted a different color. The rooms were done like that to help them remember which room was theirs. You have to remember why people were there – though they were people who had nothing wrong with them who was committed to asylums. Women were the easiest people to be committed – for simple things, women had zero rights and their husband was always in charge of everything. If he didn’t like what you cooked for dinner, he could drop you off here and go off and live his life.
Inside a closet that was for a whole ward.
One of the small closets along the hall.
Inside one of the rooms that had wire over the window.
This is more like a kitchen set up compared to the other cabinets – though this is not the kitchen.
The fire door showing age through the rust and peeling paint from the walls.
Down the dark hall of where the nurses stayed.
I seriously enjoyed this trip. It was a lot of fun, and the tour alone was worth it. This time I was also less shy compared to how I was the first tour we went on. Hell, compared to this time last year I am less shy in general.
We’re already talking about our next trip! This time we’re going to stay in Ohio (I have to save money for vacation anyways). It will be another fun one and I’ll have loads of pictures to share too. ^_^
To view more pictures I took on the trip: TALA Album