PAX, W.Va. — West Virginia's popularity as a destination for ghost hunting continues to increase, says the publisher of one of the state's leading paranormal websites.
Thousands of ghost hunters are now coming to the Mountain State monthly, according to Jonathan Moore, the publisher of West Virginia Ghosts, which celebrates its 24th year of publication.
Moore says high-end paranormal destinations such as the Moundsville Penitentiary and the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum have been attracting enthusiasts from across the globe for years. However, paranormal destinations are growing accessible across the state.
Moore's publication since 1999 allows real people to post their stories of encounters and more than 500 first-hand accounts of paranormal encounters in the state have been submitted to the online collection.
"When I first launched West Virginia Ghosts in 1999, the paranormal was considered a taboo niche. There weren't many people who would openly admit to having paranormal experiences,' Moore said.
"As the years progressed, with the help of popular paranormal television shows, people became more interested and open.
"Anymore, just about everywhere I go, I hear people talk about paranormal activity. I love hearing about a good ghostly encounter."
Visitors to the online guide at WVGhosts.com will find far more than the story collection as the site is being redeveloped, Moore said.
"West Virginia Ghosts is in the process of a transformation. Over the next few years, the site will feature new content, such as live or recorded investigations, haunted location reviews, equipment reviews, training, software, and perhaps even podcasts."
West Virginia Ghosts has seen an influx of visitors recently, and more than 26,000 people now follow the site, "and those numbers are climbing every single day," Moore says.
Five unsettling West Virginia ghost stories recounted
Nary a hill nor holler in West Virginia exists without a ghost around to haunt it, seemingly. Mountaineers love their lore and find plenty of places for restless spirits to walk. Many such tales are based on actual events, others on traditions handed down, and Susanna Connelly Holstein, of Jackson County, has collected as many as she’s been able. Read the full story here.