Anoka State Hospital

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Anoka State Hospital has been known by many names in its past, including First State Asylum for the Insane, Anoka State Asylum, Anoka State Hospital and most recently Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center. It was originally opened in 1900 and is said to be haunted by spirits of those who have died here over the years. Like many old mental health facilities, rumors abound of neglect and abuse, but add to that stories of underground tunnels through which patients tried to escape. Many patients are said to have escaped another way–by hanging themselves on the premises. Witnesses say they have heard phantom footsteps, noises, whispers and laughter and felt cold spots within the building and the tunnels, which reportedly have been closed to all but maintenance workers and security guards.

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Geographic Information

N 4th Ave
Anoka, MN
United States

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45.214530917036925, -93.38388258227496
Anoka County, Minnesota
Nearest Towns:
Anoka, MN (1.2 mi.)
Champlin, MN (1.9 mi.)
West Coon Rapids, MN (4.1 mi.)
Ramsey, MN (4.5 mi.)
Andover, MN (4.7 mi.)
Osseo, MN (6.6 mi.)
Dayton, MN (6.7 mi.)
Ham Lake, MN (7.0 mi.)
Coon Rapids, MN (8.0 mi.)
Blaine, MN (8.1 mi.)


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Comments (29)

  1. There are TONS of wild cats in the nearby woods. Shine a flashlight out there at night. It’s said that the cats are the reincarnated patients who killed themselves,

    • Don’t scare the cats. 🙁 I wouldn’t say tons, just a small, non-breeding colony with other house cats wandering through. They are a bunch of adorable sweeties.

    • The cats in the woods are just a small feral cat colony. Please do not feed or disturb them. They are more afraid of you, than you of them.

      • Yep, just a couple of cats left now, but more may show up by winter. They like to travel in the summer. Random people should not feed the cats, just the rescue that has been doing it for the past 10+ years.

  2. I drive passed here everyday on my way to work and it is so creepy! It gives me chills just thinking about it. One day there was road work and I missed the turn and had to drive through there to turn around and it was so creepy!

  3. I pass by there weekly, no bad vibes or anything. I have no plans to go up to any of the buildings or to look in the tunnel windows.

  4. went into one of the buildings tonight with friends and it was for sure creepy. First of all you need 2 people to even reach the door and get in unless you’re spiderman and can imb walls. Once you get in through a back door you’re just walking on broken light bulbs and the ceilings leak. When you turn into the first room there is boxes of baby toys and more broken stuff furthur down the halls are showers with blood and rust and containment rooms with belts on the walls. We decided going downstairs rather than up and let me tell you every room you went in it got colder and colder until you got to the basement and there is a breeze and smells like pure mold. We scooped out the tunnel doors and the lights to the tunnels are on and there is holes in the walls until you reach dirt. The doors are welded shut and read “doors must remain closed” once we started here footsteps we bolted out of there… Definitely an adrenaline filled experience

  5. Does ANYONE know the current owner or how to get a hold of them via number or e-mail? Friends and I are looking to do some ghost hunting and this place is especially close to our headquarters. Home town haunts, so to speak. I would greatly appreciate it!! is my main e-mail.

  6. I worked there for 3 years. The tunnels are the creepiest!!! A group of us went down one night and put a digital voice recorder in a small room that had stairs, but at the top of the stairs it was closed in with blocks. Any who, as we walked away you could hear us on the recorder. Then was a very clear voice saying GET OUT… That was enough for me to leave the tunnels alone. This place is very haunted.. I could go on and on with more stories.

    • I was in and out of building 1 when it was still there and u would hear screams coming from tunnel across from laundry room. At night the rooms would go cold in certin Areas and u could see shadow people. I was also in building 10 and that place is haunted too.

  7. I’ve been in the tunnels. I had a friend that knew a security guard that took us down there. I broke off the main group that consisted of all high school girls and the security guard who was trying to scare them. I saw lots of pipes and was able to look into a few of the unused buildings. All of them creepy looking. Super dirty and dusty, mostly old wheelchairs, looked like maybe they just left everything as it was when they stopped using the buikding. Thinking back that is a bit odd. Anyhow I didn’t feel anything was off I didn’t feel watched I don’t remember cold spots. I did find the old grave yard interesting, no names only numbers. People who had no money and no family.

    • My father has worked on the property in the past. The Graves have numbers because most of the families who put people in there wanted nothing to do with the patients. I want to say there is one grave that has a name on it

  8. Check with the courts who own it. Anoka county has one building set up for probation and another building is their workhouse. I spent a week there…. SLEEPING… EATING… LIVING…. and what you feel, hear, see, and smell is unfathomable. Whoever is there… definitely doesn’t want anyone there. I think it’s the sick patients wanting to be left alone!

  9. I worked there for 19 years and people who believe it is haunted and creepy must love drama. It is but I have to say that you are safer anywhere on the grounds of that facility than you are anywhere else these days.

  10. Beth mortimer  |  

    My mom used to work here as a records keeper and told me when she would go into the tunnels that she would feel like someone was always watching her, along with cold spots and disembodied laughter. Wanna work here so bad.

  11. I believe it. I wouldn’t be inclined to do so — I’m skeptical and analytical by natuure and professional traing — but for something that happened to me personally in 1983. I lived not far from the site and bused to work in Minneapolis, picking up the MTC bus at the stop on Seventh Avenue — just across an open field from the hospital. In order to arrive at work early, I arrived at the bus stop before dawn one November morning. As I waited, I glanced back toward the hosptal and saw several figures dressed in white institutional garb walking slowly across the field from the hospital toward my bus stop. At the time, I just “accepte” that these were “flesh and blood” patients, although even at the time it occurred to me that institutionalzed patients ought not be out for a stroll in the dark alone and unsupervized at 6:00 a.m.!! Needless to say, I was never so happy to see that bus arrive. I know find myself wondering if this mayn not have been a paranormal sighting . . . .

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.