Archive of the Afterlife: The National Museum of the Paranormal

The collection of oddities at this home museum in Cameron, West Virginia, includes a number of haunted objects from paranormal investigations. 

Now housed in a neighborhood in the town of Cameron, about 20 miles away from its former location in Moundsville (home to the largest ancient American Indian conical burial mound in North America), this creepy museum continues to offer its visitors a closeup view of reportedly haunted objects and other artifacts.

Stephen Hummel opened his Archive of the Afterlife: The National Museum of the Paranormal in 2011, and while you can opt for a tour, most people prefer to wander through the diverse collection of objects to see if they can feel any paranormal energy for themselves.

“Annie” is said to be one of the most powerful entities in the museum, entering our world by way of an old photograph Hummel picked up at a shop in Wheeling, West Virginia. Then there is “Lydia,” the head and shoulders of an antique doll that is said to have prompted one visitor to immediately leave the museum, as well as a haunted children’s book that a paranormal investigator procured from a local case in which he was involved. (Hummel at times helps people get rid of haunted objects by adding them to his museum.)

The collection here ranges from oddities to the mildly disturbing to the downright macabre. Visitors can see Ouija boards like the ones from their childhood, get an up-close look at a 1930s porcelain embalming table and check out an execution cap that may have once been used in conjunction with “Old Sparky,” the electric chair that put nine men to death at the former West Virginia State Penitentiary. (Its exact history is unknown as the cap was purchased along with the contents of a storage unit, but it certainly looks the part.) The abandoned prison, which is located in nearby Moundsville, is also open for tours.

86 Railroad St., Cameron, West Virginia, 304/231-7134, facebook.com/archive.para.museum