Use the map to find all of the abandoned places in West Virginia we have listed. You can also look below and view all of our articles on abandoned places located in West Virginia.
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Abandoned Places In West Virginia
The town of Thurmond quietly sits on the edge of the New River Gorge in West Virginia, and remains one of the most well preserved ghost towns in the Midwest.
This once thriving coal town slowly fell victim to the economic impact of the Great Depression. As new inventions like the automobile and and diesel engine locomotives became more popular, Thurmond slowly was forgotten over the years.
Today this town is protected by the National Historic Society, and is free for the public to explore. Thurmond remains one of the most well preserved abandoned places in West Virginia.
2. Lake Shawnee Amusement Park
Lake Shawnee is one of the most infamous abandoned places in all of West Virginia. In the 1920s, Conley Sindow erected a circle swing on an unassuming plot of land.
His dream was to build a grand amusement park, but little did he know he was building atop of an Indian burial mound.
Almost as soon as the park opened, things started going wrong. In addition to strange feelings and odd sightings a little girl was killed on the swing ride and a little boy drown in the nearby lake. In total 6 patrons died during the parks opening.
3. Abandoned Lock #19
Abandoned Lock #19 is an extremely well build building that has survived over 100 years worth of floods, storms, and neglect.
When Congress passed the Rivers and Harbors Act in 1910 dozens of locks and dams were constructed up and down the Ohio River. This construction would help regulate water ways for ships year round.
Lock # 19 was one of the few rural areas in West Virginia that actually had power. Inside was a powerhouse, control room, and two residences that housed the staff.
Today the old Lock #19 still abandoned, but still in surprisingly good condition.
4. Nuttallburg Coal Tipple
Nuttallburg was a small but thriving coal coal community back in the early 1900s. It was first founded all the way back in 1870 when John Nuttall began purchasing land in the area after discovering coal underground.
In 1873 the freshly built Chesapeak & Ohio Railway was ready to carry coal across the country. Nuttalburg quickly grew and was one of the largest coal mining settlements along West Virginia’s New River Gorge.
The hard working community would remain relatively quiet until 1920 when an infamous entrepreneur tried to take over the mines. In an effort to gain completely control of the automobile supply chain, Henry Ford leased the Nuttalburg mines and had his eyes set to buy the railroad.
Unfortunately for him, he could not control the railroad or afford to buy it. With his master plan foiled, he sold his stake in the mines in 1928. Production gradually slowed down and eventually ceased in 1958.
Unlike so many other riverside coal communities, Nuttallburg was saved and preserved by the National Park Service. Today you can explore the coal tipple, and find many abandoned structures and remnants scattered throughout the woods.
5. Red Ash Potters Field
Red Ash was one of the many small mining communities that dotted the New River Gorge area in the early 1900s. Red Ash grew around the same time the more popular Kaymoor and Nuttalburg mines were in operation.
Unfortunately, Red Ash suffered from string of deadly accidents eventually forced the mines to cease, and the town to become forgotten.
In the afternoon of March 6th, 1900 a miners headlamp ignited a naturally occurring stream of methane gas that was trapped inside the mine. This set off a violent explosions that also detonated coal dust and powder kegs inside the mine.
In total 46 miners had perished that day. Just five short years later disaster struck again, this time with a much larger death toll. Again, methane gas was ignited with such force that it blew apart the entrance way to the mine. 114 people lost their lives that day.
The potters field was created to put those bodies to rest. Many of the gravestones are unmarked, or cannot be read.
6. Glen Jean School
Glen Jean was an elementary school and rumored to be a hospital at some point in time. This school one of the few remaining structures that date back to when Glen Jean was just a simple mining community.
Although this school was build in 1925, it’s exterior remains in surprisingly good shape. Glen Jean remained open as a school house up until 1997 when it was transformed into office space.
Stories circulate of this property being haunted, pointing to it’s possible use as a hospital, and a murder that took place on the land many years ago.
The town plans to convert this building into a community center in the near future.
7. Coalwood High School
Coalwood was a prominent mining town founded back in 1905 by George Cater. After discovering how rich the land was with coal veins, he purchased roughly 20,000 acres of land that would come to be known as Coalwood.
The Cater Coal Company was soon established and with it, mines were dug and mining offices were erected. As the population peaked 2000 schools and other stores were built to support this booming population.
Like many mining settlements, this town faded as did the nations need for coal. While few structures remain, the shell of Coalwood Highschool still stands strong today.
8. Silver Run Tunnel
The Silver Run tunnel bores deep into the hillside and extends for over 1,376 feet. This tunnel once belonged to the Baltimore & Ohio Railway Company, and was used to transport resources such as coal and lumber across the countryside.
This unassuming tunnel has sparked many rumors of haunting surrounding a woman in white. Multiple train conductors from the early 1900s claimed to have seen a woman in white walking and even standing on the tracks.
Legend has it that workers discovered a skeleton behind a wall while part of the tunnel was being dismantled. This skeleton had the torn remains of what appeared to be a wedding dress.
Whether you believe the stories or not, Silver Run Tunnel is one of many abandoned places in West Virginia you’ll definitely want to check out.
9. TNT Bunkers
Tucked away in the dense marshland of northern West Virginia are abandoned TNT bunkers so hidden, you could walk right by them.
Concrete igloos that once housed thousands of pounds of explosives now sit empty, and overgrown. A near one square mile area had been dedicated to the safe storage of explosive material that a nearby plant produced during the peak of WWII.
Outside of an accidental explosion in 2010, the area has remained by mostly quiet. As you can see from the image above, the bunkers are almost completely invisible, even from the air.
Today the land is used for hunting. If you do visit be sure to wear a high-visibility jacket.
10. St. John’s Episcopal Church Ruins
St. John’s Episcopal Church is one of the oldest abandoned places left standing in West Virginia, and dates all the way back to the Civil War.
Built in 1851, the church suffered significant damage during the Civil War. The church was a hot spot of activity during the conflict, and even severed as a makeshift barrack and hospital.
After a newer Episcopal church was built down the road, the old one was abandoned in 1895. Today the ruins still stand atop the small hill. The National Park service takes care of the land, and has patched areas of the church to prevent further collapse. The area is part of the larger effort to preserve historic buildings in the Harpers Ferry Historical Park.
11. Kaymoor, West Virginia
Kaymoor was one of the largest and most profitable coal operations in all of the New River Gorge. Miner extracted a whopping 16,904,321 tons of coal ore from the mine across it’s lifespan.
While Kaymoor may have been successful, it was still a very dangerous place to work. The exact number of deaths weren’t closely tracked, but some of the most common causes for injury and death were from collapse, fires, and electrocution.
Today, much of the areas has been preserved and is on the National Registry of Historic Places.
12. West Virginia Penitentiary
It’s impossible to miss this Gothic style prison that towers over the modern landscape. While much of the building is preserved and owned, exploring inside is like taking a step back in time.
Constructed in 1876 by prison laborers, his West Virginian fortress is rich with history, and darkness. Six murders took place within these walls, and the prison was even listed as one of the ‘Top Ten Most Violent Correctional Facilities’.
Between prison breaks, riots, and failing infrastructure, the facility was eventually decommissioned in 1968. A major role in the closure was due to the 5×7 cells, which were deemed unconstitutional and cruel.
West Virginia Penitentiary is easily one of the most well preserved ‘abandoned’ places in West Virginia. Tours and ‘ghost hunts’ are periodically given at the facility.
13. Brandy Gap Tunnel #2
The Brandy Gap Tunnel #2 is now one of many abandoned train tunnels scattered throughout West Virginia. Construction on the tunnel was finished in 1858, and was built below an old cemetery that dates back to the 1700s.
The tunnel is open to the public, and is part of the active North Bend Rail Trail near the town of Salem. This tunnel helped transport coal across West Virginia and played a key role in coal resource logistics in the early 1900s.
Like many tunnels, rumors of a ghost haunt land. If the cemetery above wasn’t odd enough, legend has it a railway worker who was killed on the tracks still wonders up and down the tracks trying to find his way home.
Whether you believe in that or not, Brandy Gap Tunnel #2 is a unique part of West Virginia history, and is especially beautiful in the summer and fall.
14. Coal Company Houses
These coal company houses sit ruined along the old Stanaford road, with much of the homes rotted away from the inside out. While we don’t know much about the history, its a cool place to check out especially if you’re on your way to Grist Creek Mill.
There isn’t much room for parking anywhere so watch for traffic and the multiple streams that lurk under the tall grass that crisscrosses the property.