Archive of the Afterlife – Moundsville, West Virginia - Atlas Obscura
Our new kids' book is on sale! Shop now.

Moundsville, West Virginia

Archive of the Afterlife

The museum calls itself the "National Museum of the Paranormal" and is full of eerie oddities.  

The Archive of the Afterlife in Moundsville, West Virginia bills itself as the “National Museum of the Paranormal.” It’s packed with oddities that are historical, and in some cases, allegedly haunted or cursed. 

You’ll find relics from the former West Virginia State Penitentiary, such as what the museum claims is the the lost execution cap to the electric chair “Old Sparky.” There are also battle-damaged artifacts from European battlefields from World War II.

A majority of the room is filled with supposedly haunted items from residential paranormal cases and collected from here and there. Some say a few of these items seem to be more “charged” than others, such as the Annie portrait, the mutilated effigy doll, and the aforementioned execution cap. 

The rest of the room harbors funerary and mortuary items, which includes two embalming tables, one embalming pump, and two service display caskets. One casket is for adults and the other is for infants. The funerary items are accompanied by an array of funeral home advertising and signage.

The museum is located on the second floor of the Sanford Community Building, which is formally known as the Sanford School or the 3rd Street School. 

Know Before You Go

Seasonal hours (April 1 to November 30): Tuesday to Saturday, 1-6 pm. Off-season hours (December 1 to March 31): Friday to Saturday, 1-6 pm. $3 per person / $5 per couple. It's located on the second floor in room #202. Keep in mind that the museum is geared at not only entertaining its guests, but also having some information for educational purposes. All ages are welcomed, but there may be some content that the guardian(s) may want to be wary of for their little one(s). Added, the museum's personnel stresses that each person enters at their own risk and that they are not responsible for any physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual harm that may be experienced by each individual guest.