Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Moundsville, West Virginia: State Penitentiary
Let's get something straight right away -- the prison has been closed since 1995. So visitors aren't going to wind up in the Big House for 6 to 10 years by mistake.
The West Virginia State Penitentiary covers 11 acres in downtown Moundsville, a slight odd place for a prison. It was known for its punishing rules and overcrowded conditions. Roadside America said it was like every prison movie you've ever seen, which is perhaps why it was closed.
Then, it had a second life as a tourist attraction. Tours are held throughout the day. The most popular part is probably the electric chair. In fact, post cards of the chair are on sale across the street.
If you want a look at what life was like in the Big House, this is the place to go.