5 Fascinating Abandoned Places to Discover in Virginia

Virginia’s Untold Tales: 5 Fascinating Abandoned Places to Discover

Virginia is a state rich in history and veiled in enigmatic eras, concealing mysteries behind its obscure nooks. Each location whispers tales of a bygone period, waiting for the adventurous explorer to uncover its hidden storylines.

These locations range from the silent hallways of once-grand palaces to the overgrown ruins of historical industrial sites. This article aims to lead you through the historical shadows of Virginia and highlight the charm of its overlooked gems.

Western State Lunatic Asylum

Established in 1828, the vast Western State Lunatic Asylum (Stauton) provided treatment for individuals with mental disabilities. Stauton was regarded as the most opulent, resort-style asylum in the mid to late 1800s, catering to individuals with mental and emotional problems.

In the late 1800s, the facility would stop providing much of the same care and change its name from Stauton to Western State Hospital.

William Small, the head architect, thought that designs that were outdoors, terraced gardens, and beautiful paths would improve mental well-being.

From the early 1900s until the late 1940s, the institution was plagued with forced sterilizations, electroshock therapy, and lobotomies.

There are more than 2000 unmarked graves behind the property. There is little documentation available, and the reasons behind most of the deaths at Western State remain mysterious.

A significant portion of the Western State Lunatic Asylum is now the Blackburn hotel. Fortunately, they did a fantastic job of maintaining the spiral staircase, the history, and even the integrity of some of the cell doors.

Read More: Ghostly Remnants: 5 Abandoned Spots to Discover in Washington

Wise County Orphanage

The Wise Country Orphanage is isolated and gradually being engulfed by the surrounding forest. Numerous residents assert that the property is haunted, especially by little spirits. Although there isn’t much information about this location’s past online, it’s nonetheless worth visiting.

5 Fascinating Abandoned Places to Discover in Virginia

Since this is one of Virginia’s most well-known abandoned locations, especially among the local children, the interior has been very extensively damaged and vandalized.

Read More: Forgotten Corners: Exploring Abandoned Places in West Virginia

DeJarnette Center

The eerie DeJarnette Sanitarium is located less than two miles from the current Western State Hospital. Dr. Joseph DeJarnette, the director of Western State Hospital, founded the DeJarnette Center, which was intended to be a more affluent family’s facility.

Unfortunately, DeJarnette was a vocal supporter of the eugenics movement and this affected his patients. Many of the forced sterilizations at both sites were primarily his fault. Nazi Germany was, according to the doctor, “beating us at our own game.”

DeJarnette’s heinous acts were rationalized by claiming that stopping the spread of “inferiors” would serve the “greater good.”

When the state eventually took over the center in the middle of the 1970s, a large portion of it fell into disrepair. It was quickly converted into a children’s school, which in the late 1990s moved to a new location. Since then, the structure has remained vacant.

Read More: From Glory to Ghosts: 5 Abandoned Places That Tell South Carolina’s Story

Barton Mansion

Another formerly magnificent home that was well-known in the municipality was the Barton Mansion. Rumors about hauntings and restoration still abound around the area today.

Since its construction in the early 1900s, the mansion has experienced numerous modifications and sporadic extensions.

5 Fascinating Abandoned Places to Discover in Virginia

The 20,000-square-foot estate was used as a polio treatment clinic, nursing home, sanitarium, and residence for single mothers for the most part of its early history. It makes sense why the mansion has been plagued by ghost stories ever since it was built.

Read More: Decay and Beauty: 5 Mysterious Abandoned Places in Georgia

Lorton Reformatory

The Lorton Reformatory is without a doubt one of Virginia’s most “secure” abandoned locations. In 1910, the jail initially existed as a prison farm, employing inmates’ labor to produce goods. The prison would gradually expand and tighten its security over time to house increasingly dangerous offenders.

Paradoxically, in the 1930s, jail labor was employed to increase the security of the prison farm. Upon arrival, you will be greeted with enormous guard towers made of solid brick and gigantic perimeter fencing made of metal with brick accents. The land will eventually expand to a staggering 3,500 acres.

Nike location W-64, where Nike Hercules missiles would be armed and prepared to strike against Soviet planes passing overhead, is also located on this site.

In 2001, all of the inmates had been relocated, leaving the cells vacant.

To Conclude

Virginia’s undiscovered beauties provide a stunning and eerie window into the past. These abandoned sites have tales to tell, from the opulence of the Barton Mansion to the terrifying past of the Western State Lunatic Asylum.

Therefore, Virginia’s lost sites offer an experience beyond the usual for the inquisitive traveler or history enthusiast. Examine these historical relics and hear the echoes of the past within their walls.