Western State Asylum Cemetery

Forgotten Souls

Information, Updates, History and more ..

The cemetery is located a short distance behind the Blackburn Inn in Staunton.
It is unavailable to the public though the Blackburn Inn does allow some
visitors in accordance to guidelines. The cemetery has been subject to
thrill seekers, vandals and trespassers over the years.

The cemetery contains the graves of over 3000 individuals that were housed
at the original Wesyern State Lunatic Asylum. A combination of inmates,
patients, drifters and more.

The Western Lunatic Asylum was a hospital for the mentally ill in
Staunton, Virginia, opening in 1828. In its early years, the institution
was a resort-style asylum, directed under Dr. Francis T. Stribling.
Dr. Stribling promoted a clean, healthy, and kind atmosphere that
would aid in the healing process of his patients. While Dr. Stribling
was the director of the hospital, patients were well cared for
and treated with respect.

The cemetery contains more than two thousand unmarked headstones.
Some of the tombstones do include names, birth and death dates,
but not very many. Most that include information were added
later by family members of the deceased.

Is the cemetery haunted ? It could be debated that it is. One theory
suggests that deceased individuals may not wish to leave their
physical remains or body. Another noted suggestion is this is an
area of many lost (misplaced) souls/individuals that perhaps are
confused. Both of these thoughts could very well may be true. But
the fact remains, there are no such reports of haunted activity
from this cemetery or ever has been through all the
years this cemetery has existed.

Our belief is these individuals should be left to "rest in peace" in
regards to paranormal investigating. Its a matter of respect.
Should you wish to visit the cemetery during the day, please
visit the Blackburn Inn website at www.blackburn-inn.com/.
They have upon their website a list of guidelines and procedures
to set up such a visit. Please be respectful, do not trespass.

Below is a short video we put together several years ago from
our series "Forgotten Cemeteries" on the
Western State Asylum Cemetery.

Contributors -- Dave Simms, Lewis Wiseman, Matt Wiilis, Marty Seibel, Shea Willis

Copyright 2022 © GHOSTS OF STAUNTON & Marty Seibel