The West Virginia State Penitentiary is a retired, gothic style prison located in Moundsville, West Virginia. It operated from 1876 to 1995. Currently, the site is maintained as a tourist attraction and training facility.
The West Virginia State Penitentiary's design is similar to the facility at Joliet with its castellated Gothic, stone structure, complete with turrets and battlements, except only half the size. Unfortunately, the original architectural designs have been lost. The dimensions of the parallelogram-shaped prison yard are 82½ feet in length, by 352½ feet in width. The stone walls are 5 feet (1.5 m) thick at the base, tapering to 2½ feet at the top, with foundations 5 feet (1.5 m) deep. The center tower section is 682 feet (208 m) long. It lies at the western side of the complex along Jefferson Avenue and is considered the front, as this is where the main entrance is located. The walls here are 24 feet (7.3 m) high and 6 feet (1.8 m) wide at the base, tapering to 18 inches (460 mm) towards the top.
Tours are available for tourists wishing to see the prison. The Elizabethtown Festival is held every May to celebrate and remember historic Moundsville. A haunted attraction called the "Dungeon of Horrors" is also set up for the Halloween season. Paranormal groups and enthusiast travel guides consider Moundsville Prison to be one of the most haunted prisons in the United States, with ghost stories originating as early as the 1930s. Legends include the prison occupying the site of a Native American burial ground. Reports include former guards seeing phantom inmates and a "shadow man" wandering the premises, as well as unexplained noises, voices, and cold spots.