I had never given much thought as to what is actually in West Virginia. Turns out, it’s actually a pretty fun place. If you have an interest in the Civil War there are defiantly some stops worth making. My first stop was at the potentially haunted and defiantly fascinating building known as The West Virginia Penitentiary. The staff was insanely nice as I was running late like and asked them to wait for me and I was so glad they did!
The building itself was impressive, but the history and stories that accompanied it made it that much better. Our group consisted of a firefighter, corrections officer, a police officer, one of the night tour guides, and myself. It was funny to be one of the only non-first responders in the group! Our guide told us about a number of the inmates, hangings, torture, and events that went on through the prison’s history. At the end of the tour Steve Hummel, the night tour guide, invited us to visit his museum down the road. There were photographs of all the inmates that had been sentenced to death, pictures of the prison when it was running, and photographs of one of the prisoners after he had been tossed around the outdoor bathroom. (He lived by the way, but his face was a mess.) To make the stop all the more interesting, it turns out Steve Hummel is a paranormal investigator with his own YouTube channel (if you want to check it out.) If you’re in West Virginia you should stop and see both the penitentiary and the Archive of the Afterlife museum.
I will admit I skimped a bit on visiting mountains in The Mountain State because I was pressed for time to get to my one and only scheduled stop on the trip. What I can say is the rural areas of West Virginia had some amazing mountains. The inclines made me sweat a bit as I watched everyone trying their best to climb to the other side then brake down. (Who says the Rockies are more exciting than the Appalachians!)
Anyway, even though I had to recalculate a bit, I may stop back into West Virginia again toward the end of my trip or take a mini trip later this year. It’s a surprisingly beautiful place.