Weston, West Virginia
This impressive structure – allegedly the world's second-largest hand-cut stone masonry building after the Kremlin – looks like it was designed as the set of a blockbuster thriller. Built around the Civil War era, the asylum was designed to house around 250 patients, but ended up holding more than 2,400, including, for a brief period, the infamous Charles Manson. That's the opposite of a celebrity endorsement.
Along with severe overcrowding, profound abuse abounded – people were locked in cages, lobotomized with icepicks, chained to things – and the combination led to hundreds of deaths and a palpable air of suffering. Apparitions are aplenty, like the still-deranged patient Ruth, who likes to attack visitors. And, since the asylum was also briefly a Civil War military base, uniformed soldier-ghosts roam the halls. Thousands have claimed to hear voices telling them to get out. Civil War-themed ghost tours, tours of the Medical Center, Forensics building and Geriatrics building, and zombie events and balls fully play up the twisted history on the campus grounds.