Vicki Valosik

Writer, Editor, Teacher

Essays + Travel

Hunting the Asylum's Secrets

WESTON, W.Va. - Though I consider myself an uneasy agnostic when it comes to ghosts, it's 9 o'clock in the evening, and soon my husband and I will be locked in a shuttered, 19th-century insane asylum to spend the witching hours of a cold, soggy West Virginia night seeking out their company. As we wait shivering on the steps of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, which predates the Civil War, the darkness is penetrated only by a tungsten sliver of light escaping between the mahogany doors.