Minneapolis September 17, 2017
This Creepy Asylum Near Minneapolis Is Still Standing… And Still Disturbing
The city of Anoka is known as the Halloween capital of the world, as they were the first city in the entire United States to celebrate Halloween as a collective. Anoka is the perfect town to celebrate Halloween, because much of the town itself is haunted. Right near Anoka High School is the scariest, most haunted place of them all: the abandoned Anoka State Hospital has quite the disturbing narrative.
Welcome to the first state asylum for the insane.
A cluster of buildings along the Rum River opened as an asylum for the mentally ill in 1900. This was the first asylum in the state of Minnesota, and remained open for 99 years, closing it’s doors in 1999.
Upon opening in 1900, the asylum housed 100 male patients.
Female patients would be added to the facility just a few years later, and the population of the asylum grew exponentially in the early 1900s. By mid-century, The Anoka State Hospital housed over 1,000 patients. This is a photo taken of the grounds in 1910.
Patients at the Anoka State Hospital were not treated well.
The hospital was instrumental in developing electroshock therapy, which was a torturous practice. Lobotomies were performed on the grounds and often botched, killing patients rather than curing them. Torture-like devices and restraints can reportedly still be found on the grounds.
For patients who passed away while being housed in the insane asylum, they did not receive death with dignity either.
The Anoka State Hospital dug holes to place the bodies of deceased residents and simply marked them with a number. Many years later, a devoted few researched each patient and was able to give them a name and a headstone. While most of the grounds are abandoned or off limits, the cemetery can still be visited.
Every building of the Anoka State Hospital was connected by a series of underground tunnels.
When patients would attempt to escape the asylum, they would often get lost in the tunnels, and some ended up killing themselves within the catacombs. There are remnants of scratches on the undergrounds concrete walls, as reported by those who have seen the grounds. It's hard to believe this was an active facility until 1999, considering the sinister history.
While most of the asylum's campus is abandoned, you can still walk the grounds as long as you don't trespass into any of the buildings.
Since some of these buildings are no longer safe and are potentially soon to be demolished, it is safest to observe them from the outside. In addition to safety concerns, it's said that the many unsettled souls that reside on the asylum's grounds are not kind and do not wish to be disturbed. You do not want to fight the paranormal.
Anoka State Hospital closed its doors in 1999 and let the sinister dealings of its past stop interfering with necessary care for people battling mental health issues. Our hearts go out to the many who passed at the asylum and did not receive the respect and care they deserved. May their souls rest in peace.
If you’d like to take a virtual tour of the grounds, you can watch
this 24 minute long mini-documentary made by user MattsRadShow.