Hollydale Insane Asylum

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Abandoned decades ago, the Hollydale Mental Hospital was originally a facility for TB and polio patients. Many rumors surround the place, such as one that tells of a mental patient who slashed the throat of a priest in the building. According to witnesses, there are many unhappy spirits here, and lights have been known to turn on and off by themselves inside the closed building. It is reported to be home to many feral cats and sometimes used for police training, and trespassing here is prohibited.

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    Geographic Information

    56 Descanso Street
    Downey, CA
    United States

    Get Directions »
    33.92344753361944, -118.1622616052573
    Los Angeles County, California
    Nearest Towns:
    Downey, CA (2.1 mi.)
    Paramount, CA (2.4 mi.)
    East Rancho Dominguez, CA (2.6 mi.)
    Lynwood, CA (2.9 mi.)
    Cudahy, CA (2.9 mi.)
    Bell Gardens, CA (3.0 mi.)
    South Gate, CA (3.6 mi.)
    Compton, CA (3.8 mi.)
    Bellflower, CA (3.9 mi.)
    Bell, CA (4.0 mi.)


    Please note: It is your responsibility to acquire appropriate permissions before investigating any location listed on this site. Private property should be respected at all times, as should all posted signs concerning trespassing, hours of operation and other local regulations. Many "ghost hunters" have been arrested because they failed to contact property owners and/or local authorities ahead of time.

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    Comments (104)

    1. Just drove throughout the whole perimeter. It’s now 12:22 a.m.
      It gives a bad vibe & they completely closed off the tunnel leading to the very back; the building where I assume the priest would give mass.
      Every window was shut with wooden panels & a few swings remain there.

    2. I used to come here all the time when I was younger (20-30 times). I would lead groups in for spooky adventures. Never had a paranormal run until my last time here (the reason it was the last time). In some buildings it is completely dark so you need flashlights. We were walking through a large building and all of a sudden I heard a figure sprinting at us at full speed. It was unmistakable. I told everyone to run and as we were running you could hear this figure sprinting behind us all. We ended up getting out but we all agreed someone was running behind us.

    3. I usually past by her in day time but then ive had times where i had to go a night as a short cut home and im in a bicycle as i approach the middle section of the place i feel like there two or more people next to me and i hear the whisper of “wait dont leave us,no please” and i say out load what do u want i have no idea how to help i cant trespass im leaving then a last nooooo in a old ladies voice and as i continue to where streetlights are on it becomes quite and the feeling of people next to me or following me stops..im not a ghost person and had no idea of it being hunted after that happen to me i googled the place out and ended up in this site so i could have been hearing what i thought i hear..idk

    4. I was just there last night. My bf and I just walked around the whole perimeter of it. There were a few spots where I felt kind of sketchy about, but I didn’t see any weird stuff happen. There are a whole bunch of different dates indicating the time people went. The place looks pretty easy to get in but the whole time we were walking around we saw two cop cars pass by. I do recommend going with a group if you decide to go in though. I also noticed the big amount of cats that live there too. I live like 5mins away so ill be going in soon and let you guys know what happens (:

    5. I live across the street from this place and almost every time I walk by it I always get these little chills and I notice that at times, some of the lights are on and when I closely try to see they just shut off, I attempted to sneak over one night and after hearing alot of unexplained sounds I just got the hell out of there, crazy place with a very weird vibe ha

    6. I got footage of inside the building went yesterday there are a few ways to get in with out getting caught by the 2 security working there not as many cops bad vibes wen you walk in tho

    7. My friends and I went in today and when we were walking around all of the sudden a door shut and slammed really loud. No one had opened a door it just randomly shut on its own.

    8. So, to be honest, i literally just came back from the Downey Assylum with some friends. At first when we got there we took a couple rounds just to see how it was. When we first got out the car we heard this really loud hushing sound that were coming from inside the buildings. It creeped us out soo we ran back into the car but we had to man up and go check it out. So we actually went and exploredthe whole thing. What really creeped us out was that there’s like a factory were all the equipment used in the assylum were kept, all the lights were on. That was the only building that had its lights on and we thought there was someone in there since we kept hearing pipes and metal being hit on the ground from the inside. so me and my friend decieded to check it out too see if we seen anybody but there was no one there. the lights were just on. i recored the little time i was checking out the factory and a shadow came out on it which really freaked us out. theres alot more that had happened to us while we were there but its too much too write. i really do think this place is haunted since you do hear alot of stuff while you are there. im still pretty creeped out by it

    9. I just went 2 nights ago with some friends and it was about 1am. Just by walking up to the place U get a weird vibe, it’s so dark you can’t see anything. We didn’t get a chance to hop the gate to really go in there but we all heard a door slam , lights on in some buildings. We saw a man come out of the one of the buildings but before we ran he just fixed a lil spot to sleep on so yes, there are possibly homeless people living there.

    10. 5595 gardendale st, here in southgate was the worst house my family and I have ever experienced. Lights, tv and anything electrical just use to go on for no reason at all. the kitchen counter door opened and close. my wife and kids left in August of 2004 I stood behind for the reminder of that month and it was my biggest mistake of my life. I had a gun than and one night at exactly 3:00 in the morning that gun went off, almost killing me, got rid of it the following day. By the end of the month I seen things that I’ve never thought existed. I am talking about demons and I once seen a man standing in the center of my kitchen.. August 31th I was out of there never to return. not even to pack my stuff, my wife and kids did that.. I would never return to that house again.. that house to this day looks “HELL CREEPY”!.. Oh most things always happened at around 3;00 in the morning..

    11. Cassandra Massacre  |  

      Myself and a friend are going to be in the Hollywood/LA area and I was reading about this place and we really want to check it out! I see a few people have been able to get in and out with out being caught. Would someone be willing to share the easiest ways in and out????

      • go down the side street at the very end and walk down the side a little ways.. theres a hole in the bottom of one of the fences big enough to go through by just bending over a bit. i cant remember which door on the building to the right is unlocked.. its best to go at night its not as easy to get caught.

    12. inside theres broken glass and wood all over the place.. even on the stairs. it smells really bad and its just really creepy..

    13. So last night at around 10pm me and my friends decided to go on a spontaneous adventure to this site. We were a total of 5 people. The asylum is located directly behind a Catholic school called St. Matthias (which alone is kinda sketchy) the best way for us to get in was going down the street the front of the school was on. Park across the street from the school and walk down. As you walk down you will see gates. One of the gates will be able to be lifted to go under. Walk the perimeter of the area and the whole place will be gated up. You’ll have to hop that gate. Once you get inside of the gates it’s pretty creepy. Animals like raccoons, skunks, and cats are everywhere! Many times we were startled by a cat running across us as we were walking. All of us were too scared to actually go inside one of the buildings but we just walked around the site and it was definitely scary enough! The buildings are all boarded up but there is some that have open windows and doors. At night it looks extremely creepy. There’s a little area that you can walk in that’s full of plants and is completely dark but again we were all too chicken to go in it. The security guards began patrolling the area about 40 minutes into our exploration and we had to sprint out of the grounds. None of us saw anything paranormal but the feeling you get while on the site is indescribable. I want to go back and explore the rooms to see what I can find. The Downey Asylum looks like a scene straight from a horror film! You guys have to check it out but don’t get caught!

    14. Went with some friends at 12:30 A.M. and entered into some of the housing units where patients lived and resided. The entire thing is locked up, boarded up and fenced so you will have to jump fences to enter. When we entered there was a lot of creepy things all around. the ENTIRE thing is completely trashed and tagged up. (I’m sure a lot of druggies go sometimes to shoot up because there are a lot of chairs, broken wooden boards, and even old mattresses. (Perfect for those people looking for a super secluded spot). In one of the patient rooms I found a newspaper from May 26th, 1996! (we went on the 30th. 4 days late to being exactly 19 years!) There is glass, alcohol bottles, and large spider webs everywhere. One creepy thing was that we found countless stuffed animals and teddy bears trashed and placed in the creepiest places. In what looked like an auditorium, there was a giant teddy bear with its throat cut open sitting in the center of the room and found another one with its face ripped off. Other than that, my friends and I did not find anything paranormal. Probably because there were a lot of us (5 people). We do plan to go again so I will post again if any other creepy things happen.

    15. Just drove there last night with my 2 sisters and niece. Place looks scary, the vibe is very bad and you can just get creep-ed out by driving by.
      We had plans to walk around but just driving around the place got us scared. All windows and doors from the buildings are covered with wood. we had high beams on and were only still able to see a few feet away.theres dead- ends everywhere so we chickened out. i couldn’t sleep last night and ive been thinking about it all day. im literally paranoid by any weird noise. My co worker thinks that we might have had a “ghost” follow us. I’m really not a believer in those things but i did get shaken up. I want to go explore some more but im wayyy to scared.

    16. This place is CREEPY I went with my siblings around 2 a.m and we saw lights flickering off and on I don’t know how that place still has power and Also by the Water tower we saw something hanging but none of us could make out what it was we thought it was probably a cat but still not sure next time I’m taking binoculars lol but it’s creepy that’s for sure.There is a couple of patrol cars but they didn’t say a word.This place is just huge and it gives you goosebumps the picture was when we went during the day time “Patient Equipment”room

      • Hey I’m just wondering how you get in? Wanting to go explore this place for a while but scared of getting caught trespassing

      • My cousin had open heart surgery there in 1968 and received wonderful care there. My aunt & uncle were amazed that they never received a bill from the hospital for anything. Wish they would bring back these old buildings and homes there…..it was a beautiful place at one time and I just love the old craftsman homes there.

    17. With so many homeless on the streets; seems so sad that useful buildings are just wasting away. Rumors are rumors and people if you want to be “scared” or spooked; you will be. I say put this property to good use and help the Mentally Ill homeless.

    18. What a coincidence that the girl died after she went I’m there. One time my boyfriend and I went with 2 other people when we left he was fine the next day he felt sick and had to leave work

    19. I live in Downey and I used to live right in front of the Asylum. It is a very creepy place. Sometimes at night I hear screams but it can just be people tresspassing. But there is like this bad vibe there. I went in with my friends once got caught but it wasn’t that bad. Inside theres a lot of weird looking chairs and tables and weird drawings and pictures. Lots of dry blood. And a lot of old documents of patients. A must see very fun. I moved from that area because we did’t want to continue living in front of a Abandoned Mental Asylum. If you have questions you can ask me.

      • Hey There,

        We are looking to go there soon, I was curious on what happened when you got caught. we are doing a web series on LAs most haunted locations.
        Would you be interested in adventuring to the place with us since you know it and how to get in.

      • Where did you find the patient files? We went today and couldn’t really figure out what buildings were what, aside from the nurses quarters. Interested in finding the morgue

    20. I went two days in a row.. On sept 27-28 this place gave me the chills especially since I was the one leading the group. As i was going down the dairs in this one building i heard a noise when i pointed my flashlight in the one direction then i went all the way to the bottom to the hall behind the stars and i heard like a heavy breathing.. Not sire what it was so we turned around and left that building and then went in several buildings and on my way out I saw the other abandoned buildings not sure but it looked like a church or some thing.. I was gonna go in but I spotted a security car in the far corner so I’ll go in that one next time..& there’s a bunch of blood samples in the one of the rooms and there’s files that LA County had left behind..

    21. I went the other day I didn’t see nothing we took a couple of pictures and when we got home we look at the pictures and you can see a ghost looking out the window. .

    22. I was here with my friends couple years ago. I believe in the paranormal since I was seven. I been through it all. So that night we decided to go and one of my friends was a medium. We walked around the place for about a good 20 minutes before my body was actually witnessing things some people can’t explain. I was looking at a house where I saw someone look one way and then another. After that incident I heard screams and seeing shadows move in the building. Once we finished walking about half way to the car my body was pushed out. I was in possession stage where I was laughing crazy, talking in low voices, and mimicking other people from the asylum. My friend the medium was like he’s gone we were in a open parking lot with my other friend and she was freaked out. I felt my spirit telling me go back to the asylum to go get me. We rushed back and I sat down and fell over until I came back. I was lost on what happen afterwards until my friends told me. I think it was that girl who killed the priest was inside me and the priest followed and told her to get out. I will never go back here ever. That was some crazy stuff and I will never do it again. I would have to be with a whole team if needed because I could do it then but by myself no.

    23. Sheriff deputies WILL ticket your vehicle if you park in any of the county parking lots. They WILL ticket you for trespassing if they catch you inside the buildings, too.

    24. Rancho was never a mental hospital. It originally was the county poor house and later a medical facility for polio rehabilitation. All the stories about the mental hospital are total made up bullshit. Why these rumors and stories continue to abound when Rancho’s history is available through many on line sources is an example of people’s gullibility. Knock yourselves out and go ghost hunting, but don’t be surprised when your cited and/or arrested for trespassing. If there are ghosts in Rancho they not from any mental hospital.

    25. is this shit still up, I want to lead an expedition to this spot and the rancho los amigos..im down. Need reinforcements…Wanna go ASAP

    26. does anyone know where to get in and where the morgue is? also i’ve heard about patient files being left there, does anyone know where they’d be? my friends and i want to check it out and try to do some photography soon

    27. My fellow Xray colleague and I decided to venture down the street from the functioning Rancho Los Amigos Rehab where we intern at to find a fenced up, boarded up abandoned town like facility. We walked around the area, not going beyond the fences, took pictures, no security in sight or for that matter nobody period. Feels like you were the last person on earth in this place with that eerie feeling your being watched. Would definitely recommend a walk through in the daylight and respect the trespass signs to.

    28. Just got back from the standard adventure last night, I go here all the time. Sad to see that a lot of the building I used to go in were re-boarded up ( auditorium, downstairs and bridge of living quarters ) also had a crazy run in with security. Usually the first thing we do is locate the security guard from the main roof but this time we couldn’t find him anywhere so close to wrapping up our tour he found us first. We saw the car from about 100 ft away and noticed it coming towards us so we ( two friends and I ) took off in full sprints. One friend jumped in to a bush and waited for security to pass him and my other friend made it to the perimeter fence first and got out while I hid in the bungalow area because I couldn’t out run the truck. We all ended up sneaking out but we did notice that there was two cars now patrolling the area and a lot of wholes in the gates were fixed making our escape all gate jumping. I’m curious as to what happens when you get caught?

    29. I went with a couple friends around 12pm and the compound to the place was VERY large. The whole place was gated and every window has been boarded up. There were 3 patrol cops that day, so neverthe less there was no way of us trying to get in. They were very nice, I just told them my friends and I were there to do some photography of “urban decay”. They told us to not trespass and have a great day. The place had a very heavy vibe, and only made me more curious to go inside. There are many holes in the gates to get into BUT not many very easy places to get into the buildings. By the way tons of cats and skunks, so watch out! Also you can wander the grounds of the Asylum just can’t go beyond the gates, which was a bummer but the deputies told us that it’s a safety hazard for people to go into these dilapidated buildings buuuuttt…I like the risk! Definitely go and check it out, even if you don’t go inside, the sheer capacity and size of this place I enough to let your mind wander.

    30. We just got back from this place. My third time visiting. This time it was just me and one other. The last time was 4 of us and the first time was a group of 7. Definitely creepy bad vibe. My friend caught some orbs on video the first time. But this trip was the trippy one. A door that was ajar seemed to open an inch more on its own. We stumbled in to a place where it looked like they treated patients. Large lights. These other group of explorers took off my friend got a weird vibe and said we should go. I still wanted to explore. So we videod some of the common areas. While my friend was a bit a ways from me taking a piss he heard a voice sound almost like a shushing sound but weird and disembodied and next thing you know he starts yelling “Cmon! Let’s go!!!” He kept looking behind us as if someone was chasing us. I didn’t know what it was.. Security? A spirit? Until we got far enough away and out then he told me something whispered near him. This time we were scared! I did find out however from some friends who did get caught by the police that patients were treated for polio and tuberculosis there. And that tuberculosis stays in the air for years. So it’s not a good idea to really be there if you don’t want tuberculosis!

      • Once coughed out by a person with TB, the bacilli can survive up to six months outside the body if they are protected from direct sunlight. maybe a year or two. The building closed down in the 80s. So as far as the Bacilli I bet the only thing you gotta worry about are the people who go in there to shoot up and the ghosts who chill with them.

    31. I’ve been here a few times with my best friend Melanie. The last time we were actually inside the perimeter (inside the fences) I experienced something a little creepy.We were searching around the courtyards with our flashlights, I had to take a piss so I was looking for a cool spot to do so. I looked around with my flashlight just to make sure there weren’t any other people around. The only people there at the moment were my best friend and I. I didn’t see anyone after searching with my flashlight so I started pissing in the middle of one of the courtyards. As I was finishing up I heard whispering voice say, “hey, pshhh pshhh.” There was no one there, just the voice. I freaked out and told my best friend it was time to go. We took off and I told her to keep going and don’t look back. Totally a creepy experience! I’d definitely go back though to see if we could actually catch an apparition.

    32. Wandered through there for a couple hours with my friend yesterday. Walked through a couple of old buildings, past old patient rooms and found some old discarded medicine bottles/patient files. Felt creepy, definitely, but didn’t experience any “spirits.”

    33. Went there one night around 230am after work. Drove though and back around again. Recorded with my phone and on my 2nd pass it hear a whisper (I’m driving in my car) “that’s him”. The spot where I heard this is exactly the same spot as the YouTube video at the beginning of this page above.

    34. MY GIRLFRIEND AND I went their today ! I must say this place is amazing the trees at this place are massive and absulutly beautiful, we parked on the property but never had any issues with security or police. cant wait to go back since its only 4 miles from me

    35. If you are planning on going. PLS BE CAREFUL. 12 is always around there. I just went today with two of my friends. I see people adventuring here also, and ya so there was this black individual that started jogging toward us and nearby another group, he said “12 is here, run!”. So we ran, and we heard the police, and saw us run and jump the gate. They then drove to us and detained us. Since we had nothing on our record and we were only 17 and 16, the man let us off with a warning. If we weren’t minors then you’d be fucked. My best advice is to be careful, I can’t tell you what to do but ill let you know that there is definitely no ghosts there. It’s really cool honestly, but not worth it.

    36. Just went there today.. SUPER creepy no cops so it was easy getting in. Old patient files. Found the auditorium went in I flashed the stage all clear few seconds after I take my light away from it and a minute after turn back and there was a chair in the middle, like what in the world!?! Also a crazy dude came at us with a crowbar trying to hit us but before he did told us to leave. We all wonder where he came from.

    37. I went in with 3 friends we went in there to tag as I took a picture of a friend dropping a bomb … after I relook at the pictures there is someone standing by a door looking right at him

    38. its something to this place  |  

      we walked around the place and was half way to the gates but my friend chicken out so we left. we stopped at jack in the box and pass by some car wash and went inside idle for some time and the car turns off and keep turning off and off then my car key breaks and we was having a hard time keeping the car on but we manage to reach a cross street and when coming cars past i turn the car on and did a fast uturn and my friend saw a black mist behind us and it took off thats what she said and she was really frighten i had to calm her down. downey asylum is no joke

    39. Me my boyfriend and 3 other friends went last night around 10:30 we entered through a gate near train tracks on Gardendale. About half way into the property we saw another group of people coming to explore and sure enough the 3 weird trucks with lights as if they are cops stopped us and asked what we were doing. The main guy in a white truck asked my boyfriend to step back he didn’t know if my boyfriend would attack him or had a weapon. My boyfriend couldn’t even see this guys face however. THESE GUYS ARE NOT COPS. They would have detained us if they were and no car looked like any undercover cop type of car. These patrol cars are hiding something I honestly believe there is some type of rituals being held here. If you walk through you will feel various temperature changes it’s real creepy and reading these other stories makes me more curious to go back and see what’s really up with this place

    40. Just went a few hours ago. It’s a really creepy place and I would recommend checking it out…but make sure to do so safely because there are security and cops there. My friend and I got scared and wanted to leave early and right when we went back to the main gate by the tracks we saw the security. We went through the hole and ran. Other then that, the campus is like a scene from a horror movie. We went with a group of 4 and the whole time I felt like I was being watched. I was expecting something behind us to start running after us…and kept turning around to check my surroundings. Thankfully I didn’t experience anything paranormal, but I still didn’t feel safe. I would recommend bring a weapon and especially a flashlight since it’s VERY dark inside the buildings. A bunch of tagging inside and old abandoned stuff. I’m going back soon but with a larger group. Other than that….its a indescribable experience…and it all depends on your imagination or if you get scared easily or not.

    41. Me and my friends went last night around 12am and right away we started seeing people inside the fence and then they would disappear and down the street from the church there were two people walking towards us and when we got closer they ran through the gate surrounding the place and when we got closer there was a hole in the fence but the people disappeared my friends wanted to go in but when they got close to the fence we heard someone yell get out and we all started running once we got back towards the church we heard crazy laughter and an old women screaming and we got out of there as fast as we could. But this place as a cop driving around every now and then to make sure ppl dont trespass but as long as your on the street your good

    42. This place is insane! Don’t go! I went in and from one of the buildings I heard drums and some sort of praying followed by a woman screaming! I ran out as fast as I could the sounds play in my head all the time

    43. I will be there today at 3:00 pm if any one wants to explore I have a bunch of recordings of this place you can press record ask questions and play it back and I’ve got replies in broad daylight this place is super haunted

    44. patricia grissom  |  

      i think me and my friends have an attachment form there we when 2 days ago. If any one know a Melissa please reply fast. please

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    Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. HauntedPlaces.org 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.