San Antonio Insane Asylum


LOCATION - Southton & Farm Road


OWNER - Private Property / State of Texas


LEGEND - Rumor has it that figures will watch you through the second floor windows. They are said to be the souls of former patients who lived and died there. Shadows will also follow you and if you run when you try to leave - it is said they will chase you.

MORE - The San Antonio Insane Asylum opened on April 6, 1892 as "The Southwestern Insane Asylum". The State of Texas funded the project for a state of the art (at the time) mental institution. The site, on the south side of San Antonio, occupied 640 acres and was capable of handling 500 patients. Over the years it became politically incorrect to refer to these patients as "insane" or "lunatics" as they had in the past. The name of the hospital was then changed to the San Antonio State Hospital. Over the time the hospital was renovated and by 1940, the population grew to 2,732 patients and employed 450 people. Even at this time, only white patients were admitted. It wasn't until 1964 that the first black patient was treated at the hospital.

There are currently four structures still standing. A guard shack or security housing, the main office building and home for well behaved patients, a maintenance building, and the disciplinary unit for the bad patients - the largest building. According to locals the property was permanently abandoned in 1996 for unknown reasons. Some say the building hadn't been used as a hospital for quite some time, and that it had become a nursing home. Other reports on the internet from those who have been inside the building wonder if it was used for some governmental purpose, such as a fire department or fire training location. Their reasoning...the hundreds of pages and files on fire reports strewn about the place. Whatever it was when they finally abandoned the place, they left in a hurry. There are apparently many pieces of equipment left behind, and a storage room that is full of unopened boxes. In the "Disciplinary" building there are still file cabinets full of charts and patient information, and some evidence jars.

According to those who have been there, the disciplinary unit is the most bizarre building of all. Most of it is still intact, there is a room with padded walls, and it was in this building that the electroshock therapy took place. Electroshock therapy is a procedure that became prevalent in the 1940's in which doctors thought shooting electricity into your brain could control certain mental illness. For the next thirty years, hundred of thousands of patients of all ages, received electroshock treatments for every type of “disorder” including depression, mania, schizophrenia and even homosexuality. This treatment is still administered today as a last resort only for those who are manically depressed. Fortunately, the procedure is much safer today using less electricity and taking other precautions to protect the patient during the seizures. Back in the 40's when this was the method of choice, many patients died at the San Antonio Insane Asylum as a result. Hundreds of patients who either had no family or no money - or were in non-verbal state and had no identity - are all buried on the property out behind the buildings in unmarked graves.

There is very little information surrounding the San Antonio Insane Asylum. No one seems to know what went on there or why it was abandoned. The site is heavily guarded and there is a constant police presence - not to mention the man who lives across the street and shoots his shotgun up in the air to scare anyone who tries to get in. Some say that he owns some of the property which is why he shoots. We still cannot confirm this information.

What is most interesting to us, is why this property is so guarded. All of this makes one wonder what went on here that is so horrible that it is still being hidden to this day. Why was the building and site completely abandoned and never torn down? Why does no one have any recollection of ANYTHING that went on there? These questions may never be answered.

To warn you and give you more reason NOT to go to the Insane Asylum, White Supremacist groups apparently frequent the main building for meetings or ceremonies. It is a constant place for squatters and the homeless, and many say that because the grass is so high, Texas Rattle Snakes are all over the place. NOT TO MENTION IT IS PRIVATE PROPERTY AND YOU WILL BE GIVEN A TICKET AND/OR JAIL TIME FOR TRESPASSING.

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