They Seem Straight Out of a Movie: 12 Incredible Abandoned Places in West Virginia

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Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.

Get ready for a journey through time as we explore 12 incredible abandoned places in West Virginia. Each site, brimming with tales from the past, offers a glimpse into the state’s coal-mining history, folklore, and natural beauty. This is your chance to discover the captivating places West Virginia has hidden away!

Alderson Academy


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Uncover the past at Alderson Academy, an abandoned educational institution since 1901. What’s left is a structure with collapsing floors and a staircase to nowhere, inviting exploration and reflection. Experience the thrill of wandering through its decaying halls, imagining the lively scenes of its past, and appreciating the stark contrast of its current state.

Volcano Historic Boomtown

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Explore the remnants of Volcano, an abandoned West Virginian boomtown that once illuminated the night sky with its oil derrick lanterns. Trace the ingenious legacy of its founder, W.C. Stiles, and his multi-well pumping system, while traversing through the ruins of his once-thriving estate. This ghost town, complete with stories of dramatic fires and untamed innovation, provides an exciting detour into history amidst a backdrop of raw natural beauty.

Abandoned Lock No. 19

Experience a unique piece of American history at the Abandoned Lock No. 19, an enduring symbol of early infrastructure engineering in West Virginia. Despite its abandonment in 1968, this structure stands resilient, offering a curious insight into the past. The remains of Lock No. 19, a relic of our nation’s early river navigation efforts, serve as a fascinating destination for those with an interest in history and a knack for exploration.

Silver Run Tunnel


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You’ll feel a shiver down your spine when exploring the Silver Run Tunnel, a site synonymous with eerie tales in West Virginia. This abandoned tunnel, along the North Bend Rail Trail, is notorious for chilling sightings of a phantom dressed in white. Daring explorers will love the mix of history and the supernatural in this eerie location!



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Lose yourself in the fascinating remnants of Kaymoor, an abandoned coal camp that operated in West Virginia from 1899 to 1962. After a challenging hike, you’ll encounter the picturesque ruins of Kaymoor Bottom, providing a snapshot of a bygone era. This site presents a rare opportunity to explore substantial mining machinery remains, offering a comprehensive insight into the state’s coal mining and town history.

Lake Shawnee Amusement Park


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Venture into the captivating history of the abandoned Lake Shawnee Amusement Park in West Virginia. Launched in 1926 and closed in 1988, this park entices with its haunting legends and echoes of laughter and screams. Walking through the spectral remains of its rides, visitors can immerse themselves in a captivating mix of amusement history, Native American heritage, and tales of the paranormal, making it a distinct point of interest for adventurous souls.

West Virginia Penitentiary

West Virginia Penitentiary
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Step into the eerie ambiance of the West Virginia Penitentiary, a retired prison in Moundsville. Operating from 1876 to 1995, this gothic-style structure witnessed countless notorious criminals and chilling episodes within its walls. Explore its haunting history through guided tours and experience the eerie allure of one of West Virginia’s most historically significant, and reportedly haunted, locations.

Virginius Island


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Discover the forgotten tales of Virginius Island, a preserved relic of a mill town nestled in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Traverse the island’s abandoned houses and industry ruins, or retrace the tracks of a rail trail once used for transport from the Shenandoah River mills. This undisturbed slice of history is the perfect backdrop for explorations, immersing visitors in a narrative shaped by the Civil War and a devastating flood.

Red Ash Island

Red Ash Island, a 12-acre quasi-island, was once a hub for the Red Ash mining community. The island, complete with swimming holes, a baseball diamond, a dance platform, and notably, a cemetery, was bustling with life. In the mid-1890s, the island found a new purpose as a pesthouse for smallpox patients. Those who tragically lost their battle with the disease were interred on the island itself. Over the years, victims of mining accidents and an influenza epidemic were also laid to rest here, leading to over 200 graves, many of which have either been left unmarked or have been reclaimed by the forest over time.

TNT Bunkers


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Another spooky spot and supposedly one of the most haunted abandoned places in West Virginia, TNT Bunkers is a must-visit for paranormal fans. Famous as the alleged home of the enigmatic ‘Mothman,’ these abandoned bunkers present a fascinating destination for history buffs and mystery enthusiasts alike. Although slightly off the beaten path and requiring a hike to reach, the site’s well worth the effort to get to!

Coalwood High School

Explore the ghostly echoes of Coalwood, a 1905 mining town that once teemed with life and industry in West Virginia. A visit here is an exploration of coal mining history, manifested in the surviving Coalwood High School and the foundations of mining houses. Once nationally recognized as a model coal mining community, today’s Coalwood serves as a poignant reminder of a once-thriving era.


Thurmond, West Virginia - Abandoned places in West Virginia
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Thurmond is an almost deserted town in Fayette County, with only 5 people calling the town home according to the 2020 census. Once a thriving coal depot, its isolated location, accessible only by rail until 1921, lends it an air of forgotten grandeur. Visitors can enjoy a breathtaking drive along the New River, visit the historic railway depot turned visitor center, and wander amidst well-preserved buildings that stand as a silent testament to the town’s prosperous past.

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