- Associated Press - Saturday, October 29, 2016

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) - Stories about the former tuberculosis and mental hospital at Roney’s Point send shivers down the spines of many, but Wheeling resident Olivia Litman just thinks of the place as her childhood home.

Litman today serves as marketing director for the Wheeling-Ohio County Convention and Visitors Bureau, but her family lived in the former nurses quarters at Roney’s Point from the time she was in the second grade in 1986 until they moved out in 1994.

Her parents, Cecil and Mary Lou Tominack, served as caretakers of the grounds. Olivia, her brother Jeremy, and sister Lindsey moved there with them.

It wasn’t until she was a teenager she learned of the stories circulating about Roney’s Point, many of them surrounding the treatment of the patients in the facilities.

“Everything about the place was really creepy,” Litman said. “Some days it would be really cool, then there would be some days you wouldn’t want to ride your bike at all and you just felt scared to go around the corner where the hospital was.”

Maybe that had to do with the fact a light often came on within the hospital building - even though the electricity had been turned off for years.

The nearby nurses’ quarters provided ample space for the Tominacks, a family of five. It had six bedrooms and five bathrooms, and Litman remembers it as her family’s gathering spot.

She thinks of visits from her grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members through the years.

“They would make it as much like home as possible,” Litman said of her parents. “But my mom and dad never talked about what they experienced, because they didn’t want us to be afraid to live up there.

“It was always home to us. That was one of my parents’ main concerns - always making it home to us.”

The family couldn’t get pizza delivered to the home, though. The one pizza shop that would deliver stopped doing so after one night a driver reported upon arrival seeing the spectres of a man, woman and two children dressed in period clothing standing under the Tominacks’ basketball hoop.

“The delivery guy actually gave us our pizza for free, and told us he was never coming back,” Litman said.

The driver’s account didn’t surprise the Tominacks, however. Her father had encountered the ghostly family before, though he never really said much about any usual events he witnessed on the property.

The Tominack children, though, came to find out it was a special place. They were home from school one day when they witnessed a man walk on to their porch wearing work clothes, and the Tominack’s dog began to bark at him.

He reached down to pet the dog - then he completely disappeared, according to Litman.

Some visitors to the home have claimed to communicate with the spirits that linger there. Litman said these visitors always assured the Tominacks the ghosts were “good ghosts” who were happy they were taking care of the place.

The family grew to be comfortable there. Every year they threw a Halloween party on the property, and they even made a haunted house within the hospital.

It made a great setting. Litman remembers a bloody hand print on the surgery room door, and that syringes and medical supplies were left behind stored in cupboards.

There was also a basement - complete with cages where presumably mental patients with the most extreme problems were kept.

“There were only a few days out of the year when you would get an odd sensation,” Litman said. “The hill, to me, was the scariest part. The bus would drop us off, and we would have to walk up. That was always eerie. The old graveyard sat over the hill, and how all the old trees grew up and around - that would give me the scariest vibe. Where we lived did not. It was the grounds that would give you the vibe that someone was watching you.”

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Information from: The Intelligencer, https://www.theintelligencer.net

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