Ghost Adventures Season 1 Episode 3 Moundsville Penitentiary
aka West Virginia State Penitentiary
818 Jefferson Avenue
Moundsville, WV 26041
The things that I type up for the Ghost Adventure episodes are things that I look up simply to fulfill my own curiosity as I watch the show. I look up murders, people that lived in the house, I always pause to read the letters, newspapers, etc. that the show pops up on the screen. I figure, I can’t be the only one that does this so maybe me doing this will save some folks the leg work.
We’ve actually toured this location! The building no longer houses inmates, not living ones anyway. An inmate sued the prison because the cells were to small, he won and a new prison was built. I figured if I had been in charge I would have said “Your cell is bigger than the coffin of the murder victims…you lose” but…that’s what happens when people don’t put me in charge…idiots!
Other than paranormal sites and Wikipedia (Moundsville Penitentiary’s page), I can’t find any information R.D. Wall. I do know that it happened, well, we toured the place and what Ghost Adventures reports is exactly what we were told on our tour.
Ryan, our guide on the Moundsville Penitentiary tour said that the Sugar Shack was a place where a lot murders happened because guards didn’t go down there very often. It was where inmates could go if the weather was bad and for recreation.
You can read a news story about the riot by clicking here.
Danny Lehman is said to have been the inmate that started the riot. You’ll see in the article below that, so far as a riot can go, he did a good job of keeping it under control. Here’s an interesting article on him.
I found some actual newspaper articles. I’m sorry that there are so many photos but that’s how I had to take them to get the columns in storyline order.
Other than paranormal pages, I can’t find any information about anyone being cooked in a pot of beans. I saw “Twelve persons – 11 corrections officers and one food service personnel – are being held by a group of inmates.” I guess it’s possible that the food service personnel…maybe? The article above says 3 inmates were killed during the riot. It gives the report of how each died…none were cooked.I can’t find any information on Tom “Redbone” Richardson. He tells GAC that he was in from 1967 – 1983. When they ask him, later in the show, when he was incarcerated, he says 1966 – 1983.
According to the tour’s website, records indicate the prison population rose to more than 1000 several times in the 1960’s. When the prison closed in March of 1995 there were 675 inmates incarcerated within the walls
The tour’s website also states the executions by hanging were held in the Northern area of the facility. The first execution took place in 1899 when the state assumed the responsibility of capital punishment from the counties. Hangings continued until 1949, with a total of 85 men executed by this means. From 1951 to 1959 nine men were electrocuted in the chair known as “Old Sparky”. The State of West Virginia abolished capital punishment in 1965.
This episode is very fun for me because I’ve actually toured this location! Here are some of my photos: