There is a story behind this picture: one of sadness and disappointment.

We have ghosts in our house. Neither one of us believes in ghosts, yet it is the only explanation we can come up with to explain what we have seen and experienced. Our most famous ghost is the closet woman. She lives on Charlene’s side of the closet and will peer at Charlene during the night. It is a mandatory practice each night to make sure the closet door is completely shut. Our neighbour, who shares the same wall as this closet, has also told us they have something in their closet, too!

When planning our West Virginia trip a couple of years ago, I had to include a place reported to be haunted. And what better place for ghosts and spectres than a mental hospital? Hill View Manor has a pleasant name that conjures scenic views, serenity, and tranquillity, but not the madness and despair that it housed.  

I was impressed with the tour. It was lengthy and thorough, detailing the history of the building, its purpose, the patients who lived there, and the ghosts who continue to reside there. The best part of the tour was that we were free to explore afterwards. It was then that we took our pictures and explored the haunting hotspots in this decaying building.

We would come to a room where, on the tour, the guide told us about a child who once resided there. She would die, but her ghost remains. Some people would say that if they sat in the chair, the ghost of the sad and lonely child would come and sit and even speak to them.

Charlene surprised me. She sat in the chair and honestly attempted to speak to the phantasm. I thought my wife was crazy. Years ago, before Charlene moved into my home, she lived in an old apartment that housed a lot of seniors. The sad truth is that seniors die, and considering the history of her apartment, there must have been many deaths. Charlene would tell me about the ghostly occurrences at her then home. I even had some violent menace charge me one time when I was staying overnight.  

Many years ago, one situation made me question what Charlene was doing in this picture. Charlene called me from her apartment. We chatted away on the phone; I was on my couch in my place, and she was in her kitchen. Both of us were having unexplainable paranormal things happening in our respective homes. My dog would constantly be looking up the stairs and sometimes would growl. I felt a presence beside me when watching TV. Charlene had some weird stuff happening, too.

Like her brush falling to the floor.

It happened while we were talking on the phone. It was odd that our conversation was on ghosts, and out of the blue, her brush fell off the vanity in her bathroom and onto the floor. It was a square brush; it is not like it rolled off. We both wondered if it was a ghost.

“Pick up the brush and put it back,” I said, curious to see if the ghost would move it again.

Panic filled Charlene’s voice. There was no way she was going to do that. If she picked up the brush, placed it where it belonged, and then it fell again, it would confirm the presence, the existence and the reality of ghosts.  

So here in haunted Hill View Manor is my wife, sitting in this chair, in a room known to have the sad, lonely spirit of a child, and Charlene is trying to talk to it.  


I took my picture.

Charlene tried again. Calmly, she spoke, wishing to communicate.

Again, I questioned the sanity of my wife.

She did not return the brush years ago out of fear of confirming a ghost, and here she was trying to confirm that there really was a ghost.

Patiently, she tried again.

Nothing happened.

Nothing would happen in any of the rooms that we tried, even in the room where we were warned never to sit in a particular chair because a raging ghost might attack. I sat in the chair only to be disappointed when no raging spirit appeared.  

Nothing happened anywhere in that building.

The history and the reason for building a mental hospital is sad. Every patient struggled with their torments. Considering the brutal means of treating patients with mental health issues in the past, their plight would never improve. Sadness filled us as we toured the building.

Disappointment, as well.

After the disappointment of failing to communicate with a dead child, we would be disappointed with each attempt to connect to the other side.  

Are ghosts real? They must be since we have things happening that we cannot explain.

Are there ghosts in this Hill View Manor?

I do not know. However, it was very interesting that the reports of ghosts, according to the tour guide, only started to happen in the final months of the hospital’s operation.

Hill View Manor did not show us any proof of the paranormal. It did show us the history of mental health treatment and some of the lives that were affected by the patient’s personal demons. It was a fascinating tour, and I appreciated the relaxed nature of the tour and that we could explore on our own.  

  • The tour price was on the expensive side, but considering it included a lengthy tour with free access afterward, it was worth the admission.
  • Check out my All The Places We Have Been map for Hill View Manor’s location.
  • We never experienced anything unexplainable in our exploration, but maybe you might.


Summer Road Trip

Today is the day I have planned for on our summer road trip since January. With only hours away, I am packed and waiting for Charlene to finish work.   This summer, we head to the East Coast. I started to build the itinerary months ago…

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