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. The nurse killed at least two patients, and attempted to push another down the stairs. The nurse turned himself in sometime later, which was the reason the murders were brought to the surface. Once the police obtained a lie detector test, they believed him, and he was institutionalized.
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.
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!
Ghost Asylum-St. Vincent’s link.
St. Vincent’s-Destination America link.
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. Trish’s photography has been featured on RAW, 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.
Categories: Abandoned Buildings, Asylum, Haunted, Oklahoma, Paranormal, Trish Eklund
I have did research on Saint Vincent’s, and our group did several investigations (we had permission). The two murder’s did take place, and I found stories on the incident. Because the home was used for the old, and very sick the murder’s was NEVER discovered by the home. Even though some of the patient’s tried to talk to the staff about actual attacks by the nurse.
The nurse walked into the police station one day and confessed to the murder’s, and they did not believe him. After taking and passing a lie detector test, it was then the investigation started. While investigating they found assaults on the other patient’s which included trying to throw a woman down the stairs (she fought for her life and won p), and smothering patients. Most of those who was attacked did talk to the staff, but was ignored. The police could not prove any other patient died by the nurse. He ended up with no jail time, he was put in an asylum.
During our several investigations activity such as our names being called, a man’s voice asked from down the hall “what are you doing here”, rocks was thrown against wall’s, and then came the reason I had to find the true history on the the place. Myself, sister in-law, and mother inlaw was walking on the second floor when I felt two unseen hands on my shoulders pushing me to the ground. I was wearing a black shirt and you could actually see dust prints on my shoulders, and the whole thing was caught on tape. In cases like this I prefer no help, so it was one on one (I held onto the railing). Before leaving that night I announced if whoever done what happened, thought this was going to get me out for good. I will be coming back because of what happened.
I had to take a break from investigations due to health problems, and just starting to return. I constantly do research on cases that are well known (Stone Lion Inn, Skirvin Hotel, the Stanley Hotel, and other’s.).
Sorry about your health issues, I can relate! I enjoy researching these places as well, especially abandoned farms. The history is amazing. It’s great you are able to investigate again.
My group was allowed to investigate, and even did a few tours. One of the night’s there, I felt hand’s on my shoulders trying to push me on the floor, I held tightly onto the rail in the hall (incident caught on tape). Our names was called out, loud footsteps, whispers in empty rooms, many evp’s (one kept referring to me as b##ch). I do the history for our group, after the first night in the building my research began.
There was a nurse who killed atleast two patient’s, possibly more. A patient went to the staff and told them the nurse tried to push her down the stairs, no one believed her. The ONLY reason the killings was brought to lite was, the Nurse turned himself in year’s later to the police. The police did not believe him, and they gave him a lie detection test. He ended up being put in a institution (I found several stories on this incident).
The priest who ran the hospital when opened, then changed it to a rehab later was not killed at the home by patients. He ran several businesses, including a bingo hall. He was arrested after trying to hire a male prostitute, and his life started going down hill. He was found murdered in his north side apartment. Some say suicide, and some say murdered (All found in news paper’s).
The only answer to the question “Is this location haunted”, is “It brings a new meaning to the word haunted”.
It’s also a place where untrue stories are told to make the location seem haunted, when the actual truth does the job.
That’s awesome you were allowed to investigate! I am not at all surprised you caught paranormal activity on tape. I felt some kind of presence when I was there, and I stayed outside. Thanks for reading!
How do you get ahold of owner?
Hi Olivia. I am honestly not sure. I think you would have to do some research. Or sometimes you can find an accommodating neighbor, depending on the property, but I don’t think that applies here.