I visited St. Vincent’s in Oklahoma City briefly in in 2016. My employer’s corporate office is in OKC, so I usually travel that way around Christmastime. The last couple of years I started driving rather than flying so I could explore on the way home.
Built in 1945, The St. Vincent’s Mental Asylum was originally ran by religious order, Brothers of Mercy, who offered care for the mentally ill. The old section of the building was built in 1953. When the addition was added, there were many semi-private rooms, complete with baths, nurses stations, a chapel, and a lounge on each floor. The facility was an asylum, a rehab, and a nursing home at one time. Just like many hospitals (and not just for the mentally ill – I feel like they are often blamed for things just because there are/were mentally ill people there, and most mentally ill people are nonviolent, responsible people) tragedy struck, beginning in the 1960’s. A nurse allegedly suffocated two patients in 1962, although I had difficulty finding much to back this up besides little blurbs here and there. I could not find any newspaper articles or the name of the nurse, which is strange. Nonetheless, part of the story of the place is the nurse snapping one day and killing two patients, so I still wanted to keep it in here.
The photo above was taken of the back of the building, which was the creepiest part!
Priest, Richard Frank Dolan ran the asylum, eventually turning it into an alcoholic’s living center, The Main Artery, which operated until the mid-1970’s when it closed. Father Dolan ‘s assignment from the church actually ended in 1969, but he continued his work with alcoholics without their support, as it was a personal cause for him. I believe he wanted to help those like him, who felt they had no one else in the world to fight for them. Even after The Main Artery closed, he continued programs mostly funded by sales of his paintings (he was an artist who managed several art stores) and donations.
The picture below: From the front Haunted Abandoned St. Vincent’s in Oklahoma City
Father Dolan was rumored to hire men to work for him at a flea market on 10th and Penn in OKC. In 1984 Father Dolan was arrested for soliciting prostitution when he approached a male undercover officer for sex. In 1983, another man who lived at the home was allegedly fatally wounded by gunshot in Norman, Oklahoma, though I found very little to support this.
Father Dolan was beaten to death in his apartment, found after two days by the apartment manager and the maintenance man on November 30, 1988. A friend of Dolan’s from Colorado reported to police that Dolan had been previously confronted, and attacked. Father Dolan’s death is still unsolved. There is speculation of dark energy causing all of the tragedy surrounding the people associated with this place.
The dreary December day, the clouds swallowing the light, and the bare trees intertwined with one another were the perfect backdrop for the shell of pain clinging to the ground.
The video I took below is so bad. I’m sorry about how many times if flips and flops, and also about the curse words. I was really freaked out at the time!
As you can see, the bones of a building still sits, her windows boarded up, the back door is gone, and garbage litters the floors that patients once walked, and graffiti marks the walls of the interior.
The owner was interviewed in September of 2016, and complained that he could not keep the ghost hunters and urban explorers out of the building. I really wanted to enter that open door to see what waited for me on the other side. I wanted to know who the scrutinizing gazes belonged to, watching me from the other side of the open door if the dark and foreboding bottom level. Every hair on my body stood on end, and every pore seemed to prickle in gooseflesh, telling me to stay away.
The skulls below are from a fence at the end of the dirt driveway/road you go down to get to the facility, and is just one more deterrent. I don’t think it has anything to do with this property, as it does not block the facility.
See above and below the for sale sign. I’m not sure if she’s still for sale, but she would be the ultimate fixer-upper.
If I remember correctly, as it’s been a while since I photographed this property, and my brain isn’t as fresh as it used to be :-), I heard clanging and murmurs erupting from the gaping door around the back. Whether squatters or something supernatural, I wasn’t sticking around to find out! I left shortly after that.
Remember, if you head to this property, there is a good chance there could be squatters inside the building. It is privately owned, and they will call the cops, so go at your own risk! And there are also the ghosts…but the live people frighten me more than the ghosts. How about you?
Trish Eklund is the owner and creator of Abandoned, Forgotten, & Decayed, and Family Fusion Community, an online resource for blended families of all types. Abandoned Nebraska: Echoes of Our Past, Trish’s first book, is now available for pre-order. Trish’s photography has been featured on Only in Nebraska, Snapshot Nebraska, Visit Nebraska, Abando Globe, ListVerse, Grime Scene Investigators, Nature Takes Over, Raw Abandoned, and Pocket Abandoned. Trish has an essay in in the anthology, Hey, Who’s In My House? Stepkids Speak Out by Erin Mantz. Her writing has been featured on The Mighty, Huffington Post Divorce, Making Midlife Matter, The Five Moms, and Her View From Home. She has written four young adult novels and is currently working on her first adult novel.
Photo of Trish by Don Shepard of Don Shepard Photography: Link.