Lunatic Asylum & Photographic Processing

October 19, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic AsylumTrans-Allegheny Lunatic AsylumThe Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, also known as the Weston State Hospital, is located in Weston, West Virginia. It was constructed between 1858 and 1881, is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America, and is purportedly the second largest in the world, next to the Kremlin. During the recent fall color trip to West Virginia, a stop had to be made at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia. I had seen this old hospital on various television shows including Ghost Hunters. The timing of the visit wasn’t great as it was during the harshest sunlight part of the day not to mention, the grounds was getting “made over” for the upcoming Halloween ghost tour season. In order to keep kitschy Halloween decor, party tents, and stage loudspeakers out of the shot I had to get creative with shooting angles. To compensate for the harsh lighting, I played with the black and white settings and came up with this photo you see here. I suppose the perspective and processing lends a ghoulish, Halloween feel to the photo. It is what it is. Sometimes all you can do is some gratuitous processing to make a photo interesting enough to look at.

As for the Asylum, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, also known as the Weston State Hospital,was constructed between 1858 and 1881, is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America, and is purportedly the second largest in the world, next to the Kremlin. The original hospital, designed to house 250 souls, was open to patients in 1864 and reached its peak in the 1950′s with 2,400 patients in overcrowded and generally poor conditions. The history of this facility can be found (here).


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