Lamb sticks mostly to the history of the place. Children with Downs syndrome were locked away, along with some with diabetes, epilepsy or those who just happened to like horoscopes a little more than their very religious parents could tolerate.
Some never left.
Lamb said there were decades when the federal government packed rooms full of disabled veterans because they had nowhere else to send them. Before the advent of penicillin, there were wards full of people put away because they had syphilis. In the 1980s, the asylum housed a married couple. They were given a tiny apartment among the patients kept on the first floor.
The couple had AIDS.
"They still weren't sure how it was spread back then," Lamb explained, although she seemed unsure about what became of that couple.
It's a story without an ending. The former asylum has a lot of stories without real endings. Records of the people who lived and died at the Weston hospital are incomplete. Headstones on the property's graveyards are missing or else were never more than numbered bricks.
For decades, the families of patients at the hospital were discouraged from maintaining contact with those committed for treatment.
"They were told, if they ever got a letter from them, to never even open it," Lamb said.
After the hospital closed, would-be developers floated plan after plan to rehabilitate the historic property. Some suggested turning the building into a resort, a hotel or a casino, but nothing much came of them and the property remained unused and decaying for more than a decade.
In 2007, Huntington businessman Joe Jordan bought the property at auction for $1.5 million and brought his children on to help him turn the former hospital around.
Gleason said she remembered her father calling her after the sale and saying, "I just bought an asylum and I'm not sure what to do with it. What do you think?"
The place needed a lot of work -- millions and millions of dollars of work to repair, renovate and remove asbestos.
"But my father is in the demolition and asbestos removal business," Gleason said. "That's what he does, and he could do that for pennies on the dollar."
Since her father purchased the property, Gleason said, they've been steadily making improvements, taming the wild growth on the grounds and repairing what they can or removing what they can't. Just keeping the lights on and taking care of basic maintenance costs a fortune for something the size of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.
Gleason said that when her father asked her to manage the property, he asked her if she thought she could raise $4,000 for the upkeep.
She laughed and said, "Ha! $4,000 a month? Sometimes it feels like we need $4,000 a day."
Gleason is certainly trying to come up with the cash. Aside from the seasonal tours, the asylum is used for meetings, rock concerts, dinner theaters, and it attracts many amateur ghost-hunter groups, who pay a premium for the opportunity to go looking for spooks and spirits.
It's also been featured on several ghost-hunting television shows, including SyFy's "Ghost Hunters."
With all the attention paid to the supposed supernatural elements of the former state hospital, Lamb said they try to be respectful of the people who lived and worked here. At the end of the tour, she told a story of a man who'd spent 60 years as a patient there.
He came to the place as a teenager and lived through many medical advancements and breakthroughs, as well as the sad decline of the facility. In 1994, as the hospital was being shut down, old and thoroughly institutionalized, he said he didn't want to leave.
"It was his home," Lamb said.
Unlike some of the other stories she told, Lamb knew what became of the unnamed old man. Like some of the other elderly residents, he didn't have any family to take him in and was sent to another facility.
"He died a few weeks later. He lost his home," Lamb said. "We remind people of that. Whatever else, this place used to be someone's home."
For more information, visit www.trans-alleghenylunaticasylum.com or call 304-269-5070. Tickets to the flashlight tours at the asylum start at $10, but there are several packages, including daytime and overnight visits, as well historic and Civil War tours.
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.