Last summer, Joe Jordan, an asbestos demolition contractor, bought the Weston Hospital in West Virginia, which is registered as a national historic landmark.
He has renamed it the "Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum,"(trans-alleghenylunaticasylum(dot)com--because I REFUSE to link to it) which was its name in another era. Constructed in 1864 as a psychiatric hospital, it housed more than 2,000 patients at its peak. It was closed in 1994.
The Associated Press (AP) has reported that Jordan is trying to revive the property by offering tours and other "attractions." The planned attractions include a "Hospital of Horrors" at Halloween season, a "Nightmare Before Christmas" tour, and well as "Psycho Path" dirt bike races on the 307 acre complex.
StigmaBusters are outraged that the stigmatizing name has been resurrected and that the hospital, where many people once suffered, will be used as the setting for entertainment, featuring violent stereotypes and disparaging language.
Please contact Joe Jordan and tell him to change the name and abandon the insensitive, stigmatizing attractions. Include the following points:
- The US Surgeon General has denounced stigma, including inaccurate violent stereotypes and trivialization of mental illness, as contributing to barriers that discourages people from getting help when they need it.
- "Lunatic" is an obsolete, stigmatizing, offensive term—just like racial and ethnic slurs that once were used in the past.
- "Pyscho" also is insulting and further perpetuates stigma, along with themes like "Halloween of Horrors." Entertainment attractions are inappropriate for historic buildings of this nature.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
71 Asylum Drive
Weston, WV 26452