Photography Tours

In accordance with our Governor’s guidelines, face masks are now mandatory as per an executive order beginning at midnight on Tuesday, July 7th, 2020. Masks are required for anyone 9 years of age and older. These guidelines could change at any time.


Touring the Penitentiary

Introducing West Virginia Penitentiary’s Photography Tour! This is not a guided tour, you will be roaming at your own pace and leisure. The gate will be opened approximately 15 minutes prior to the tour time for check-in. Each photographer is responsible for their own equipment, and is required to sign a waiver/agreement upon check-in.

June, July, and August you will be sharing the facility with tour groups. We ask that you refrain from blocking doors and pathways, and keep the floor clear of equipment that may cause a hazard to guests.

During your photography tour, you will be allowed access to areas that are not accessible to the public on a regular basis and the basic tour route. The areas that are available during a photography tour are as follows:

  • The Sugar Shack
  • The Boiler Room
  • The Infirmary
  • The Psych Ward
  • North and South recreation yards
  • North Hall and New Wall (cell blocks)
  • Visitation
  • Kitchen and Cafeteria

You will NOT have access to any part of the Administration Building (including the former warden’s quarters), The Warden’s Residence, the guard towers, the haunted house, or any area considered to be Department of Corrections property.

You do not have to be a professional photographer to take advantage of this opportunity. We welcome professionals, amateurs, artists, painters, and everyone in between!

You may bring drinks and snacks, NO ALCOHOL. Please pick up and dispose of your mess.

There is no heat or air conditioning throughout our facility. The building will be extremely HOT in the summer and extremely COLD in the winter. Please dress according to the weather! We will NOT postpone due to rain, this is a rain-or-shine event.

Tickets are Non-Refundable and MUST be purchased online. Online ticket sales end at 10:00pm EST the evening before a scheduled photography tour to notify staff to be on hand.

Pricing and Hours

General Guidelines

  • Parts of your tour may intertwine with regular scheduled day tours. We ask that you do NOT block tour routes, and be respectful to others.
  • We prefer that models and props are NOT used
  • We will not tolerate semi-nudity, nudity, or any other sexually explicit material.
  • NEVER remove chains, locks, or blockades! If an area is not opened, it is deemed not safe for the general public and access is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
  • It is against the law in our county to smoke inside the building or 15 feet from an entrance. Please use a designated smoking area.
  • Please do NOT deface our facility in ANY WAY. West Virginia Penitentiary is a historical landmark and an important part of West Virginia History. You will be held liable for any damages you create.
  • Special pricing for filming

Please call 304-845-6200 for Pricing and Details.

IMPORTANT: Please print and complete the Photography License Agreement, and bring with you along with your ticket. You will not be permitted to attend a photography tour without a signed agreement.

Event Specifics

Tickets may not be on sale for certain events.

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