In 1863, the newly formed West Virginia lacked a state penitentiary to house convicted felons. As a result, construction began in July 1866 on the West Virginia Penitentiary, the second public building constructed in the state. The infamous and foreboding West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville was known as one of the bloodiest institutions in the United States. With an extensive history of violence, the prison was ranked on the Department of Justice's Top Ten Most Violent Correctional Facilities list. Nearly 1,000 inmates perished within the stone walls of the prison, many of whom are said to still be serving their sentence, even after death. Many inmates were tortured, executed, murdered, or committed suicide. Plagued by these horrific events, the prison is a hotspot for paranormal activity. Images of America: West Virginia Penitentiary chronicles the fascinating history of a notorious prison from the planning stages to present day.