LOOK! Paranormal activity captured during an interview at Moundsville Penitentiary


Hear it for yourself! 7NEWS cannot explain the alarming sound that our teams filmed. We think it was a haunting.

MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – It’s a tale of murder mystery, as thousands flock to Moundsville to meet their fears in the eye.

Nestled behind old cemeteries and where nearly 1,000 deaths have occurred, 7News wanted to see if the stories from Moundsville Penitentiary were true. What we have recovered are images that we cannot explain.

“They begged, please don’t let me die here.”

Tom Stiles, Executive Director of the Mounds for Economic Development Council

More than 12,000 residents come to the penitentiary every year for Halloween fun. But the real horror takes place when the costumes are in storage.

“Well, I’ve been here 20 years, and the place is haunted. I can tell you that,” said Tom Stiles, executive director of the Mounds for Economic Development Council.

In operation for 129 years, the last riot was on New Year’s Day 1986. It lasted 52 hours – three inmates were brutally murdered and 16 guards were taken hostage.

People of the worst kind have sat down to bide their days. A total of 998 deaths have occurred in Moundsville Penitentiary. Those same souls, some say, still persist.

Among the miserable lives murdered was a leader of the Aryan Brotherhood, William Red Snyder – “Red” for short – was stabbed 37 times in his cell. It is in his cell that people say they hear his voice the most.

But Red is not alone.

May 2004, a woman spent the night in the penitentiary. She heard a noise, saw a silhouette, then captured… something. It now hangs in the museum.

“There was a solid black shadow in front of that door and she was staring it straight in the eye. He appeared to be transparent, and he actually looked at the light on his chest and then looked at it,” said Moundsville Penitentiary tour guide Jason McKinney. “If that’s not weird enough, she keeps walking down the hall, raises her Sony camera, she took a picture and luckily she captured the shadow we call the shadow man.”

Jason McKinney is a spirits enthusiast, some would say.

One strange night in 2012, McKinney was walking through the dark halls of the North Wing when something blocked the light from his flashlight.

“A human figure, as best I can describe, came out of the side of cell 17 and kind of stared at me for about five seconds. I froze in fear because I thought, I don’t want to keep walking towards him. I don’t want to turn my back on him,” McKinney said. “So moments later I decided I was going to walk backwards. I did it. I hid around the corner and whatever that thing was, it was always there *LOUD CLAP ON CAMERA* watching…Still standing there watching me.

If you watch the interview, you can hear it for yourself. It was louder in person but it sounded like metal slamming together. Jason, Dan, our cameraman and I were alone on the fourth floor, the psych ward. We obviously didn’t make that sound but if it’s not us, then who?

The women said they had their hair pulled; others said they had been shot in the shoulder. We moved away in broad daylight after hearing an inexplicable noise.

“People who don’t believe me, I tell them to come and spend the night here,” McKinney said.

If you want to see for yourself if the place is haunted, click here to schedule a visit.


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