Asylums are a little disturbing, to say the least. If the residents are criminally insane, it’s all the more scary. Add to that the possibility of a haunting, or it being an abandoned old building, and the horror story writes itself. Here are a few asylums in Missouri, some still in use, others long abandoned…all a little creepy.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. St. Louis State Hospital, St. Louis
St. Louis State Hospital opened in 1869 as the St. Louis County Insane Asylum and admitted the first 150 patients. The site also housed two poor houses, a “Hospital for Social Evils”, an orphanage, St. Louis Chronic Hospital, and the later added Isolation Hospital for people with contagious diseases. What remains of the complex are only the St. Louis State Hospital, now named St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Hospital, and the Truman Restorative Center, which is a combination of what were once the Isolation and Chronic hospitals.
2. Fulton State Hospital
The oldest public mental health facility west of the Mississippi River also holds some of the most dangerous and criminally insane patients. The Fulton State Hospital opened in 1851 with its first 67 patients. The 1930’s era Biggs Forensic Center, which houses the maximum security level patients, is in a state of disrepair with the cost of renovation at over $200 million dollars. Besides the Bigg’s Center, the hospital also has an intermediate security unit, a developmentally disabled unit and a Sexual Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment Service Program. The hospital is the only one in the state providing maximum and intermediate security psychiatric units.
The majority of the hospital's patients are male (85%). Take a look inside…
3. Farmington State Hospital
Farmington State Hospital has also gone by the name of State Hospital #4, and now serves as The Farmington Correctional Center. It accepted it's first patients 1903.
The campus eventually included five cottages for patients, a dining room, kitchen, power house, barns, laundry, ice plant, the folk building for nurses, attendants and recreation, an administration building, the Hall building, the superintendents' residences and the Harrison Building, a receiving building and acute care hospital.
Farmington State Hospital was once called State Hospital #4. It now serves as the Farmington Correctional Center. It first opened in 1903 and grew to include five cottages for patients, a dining room, kitchen, administration building, the Hall Building, The Harrison Building and residences for the superintendents. Over 200 lobotomies were performed in the hospital between 1940-1943. Electroshock therapy was also practiced. The hospital was most populated in 1954, with 1,879 patients. By 1982, the population had fallen to 320 patients and the hospital became part of the Missouri Department of Corrections.
4. Marshall State School and Hospital, Marshall
The Missouri State School was established in 1899 and opened in 1901 with its first 60 male patients. The campus included three buildings, 288 acres of land, and until 1925 was known as the Missouri State Colony for Feeble-minded and Epileptic. Over the years, it expanded into three separate units - the Marshall State School and Hospital, the Carrollton State School and Hospital, and the Higginsville State School and Hospital, all operating under one superintendent.
5. Missouri State Hospital, Nevada
Former employees of this hospital are assembling a cookbook with history and stories from the facility. Although many of the buildings are now gone at the former Lunatic Asylum No. 3 (also known as Nevada State Hospital), the facility, when opened in 1887, was the largest single building in the state of Missouri.
6. St. Mary's Hospital, Ironton
The building was constructed in the mid-1920’s, and opened as the first hospital in Iron County in 1926. Over the years, it has experienced many renovations and changes, and it officially closed in 1999. Although it’s been on the real estate market, it is mostly abandoned and dilapidated, with previous owners blocking off the more dangerous spots. Watch one investigative endeavor…
7. St. Vincent's, Normandy
St. Vincent’s Sanitarium for those with nervous and mental diseases was opened in 1858 by the Sisters of Charity with four patients and fifteen sisters. The hospital’s original location was on St. Vincent's Lane north of St. Charles Rock Road, and was moved to its current address on 1600 Castle Park Drive, St. Louis, in 1895. It remained operational through the 1980’s. It is the current home of the Castle Park Apartments, and the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The subject of the infamous 1949 St. Louis Exorcism once resided there. Let’s look around…
8. Odd Fellows Insane Asylum, Liberty
Odd Fellows Insane Asylum in Liberty Missouri was built in 1888 and was originally called the Reed Springs hotel. When it foreclosed, the Odd Fellows members bought the building used its 108 rooms to house widows and orphans. It was destroyed by fire in 1900; it was rebuilt and transitioned into a hospital in 1951, at one point being named the Odd Fellows Insane Asylum. It later became a nursing home in the 70's/80's. Three abandoned buildings are still standing and are run down, and stories of hauntings abound.
Under renovation, word is the current owners don’t mind you looking around if you obtain permission first. Unless you just want to see it here
Know a great stories about any of these hospitals? Have you ever visited or seen these places? Share in the comments below.