There are some places in Amarillo that have a surprising story to tell. One of these places has been long forgotten and spent many years abandoned.

You may be familiar with the two major hospitals that serve the area: Baptist St. Anthony's and Northwest Texas Healthcare Systems. You're likely aware of the Pavilion and other satellite facilities.

Did you know that long ago, there was once a children's psychiatric hospital right in Medi-Park?

The Killgore Children's Psychiatric Center and Hospital

According to a thesis done by Dennis Price, the Killgore Children's Psychiatric Hospital was completed on June 1, 1967. It was a 24-bed facility that also had an enclosed playground.  It was the first hospital planned and designed exclusively for children with mental illness in the Southwest and one of the very few throughout the United States.

Google Maps, 2021
Google Maps, 2021

The hospital was eventually phased out and closed, but the building still remains.

However, as many would assume, there are some spine-tingling tales that have been told of the Killgore. And boy, we've got one for you. Whether you believe the events are otherworldly or just a product of an overactive mind is up to you--but the Killgore remains.

This is a story shared with us by an individual who desired to remain anonymous. Part of their job involved visits to the facility on occasion.

On one such occasion, they accessed the building through the back, where the old playground equipment remained at the time. The door opens to the general play area, where the children would gather. A closet was found to the right, and to the left was another room.

They described this room to the left as unnerving. They found that the door to this room was locked--a big no-no in terms of abandoned building code. They described the lock on the door as more like one found on a jail cell, rather than a normal lock. The door also had a small 2"x3" tempered window that looked into the room.

There were scratches covering the window, the inside part of the window, but not a scratch on the outside.

To 'unlock' the door, a hammer and screwdriver were used to pull the door off by its hinges. The room was 3x4 and had bright blue painted walls that were covered with markings. Some of the markings were simple crayon scribbles. Yet others were deep scratches that gouged the walls.

No Pictures Please

They theorized that the room must have been a "Quiet Room" of sorts, the kind you see in movies where the walls are padded. However, this blue room was not padded.

Next, they decided to take a photo of the room and its walls. But that didn't go as planned. In the dark room, a flash was needed and of course, the flash on the iPhone refused to go off.  Using another phone, an Android, they were able to get the flash to work and snapped a photo, but

There was wavy distortion to the picture. It wasn't a particular shape, and it wasn't shadows. I went through older pictures to see if it was a problem with the camera and it wasn't. I took 2 more pictures, both times the freaking distortion is there.

The room didn't want its picture taken. 

By then, they felt the need to move on from the room. Moving further into the building, they discovered more children's rooms with more drawings on the wall. As the sun set outside, they eventually turned on their flashlights to navigate through the building.

They found dozens of old hospital beds lining the halls. Observation rooms with one-way glass windows.

One room had equipment that seemed obviously used to record whatever happened in the other room. There was a large box that had at least 40 VHS tapes.

They described the rest of the building as "weird, but not menacing like the blue room".

Is the building haunted or is it just hauntingly creepy?

Does a stubborn flash and distorted photo really mean something otherworldly was present? Or was it just a dark room that wasn't going to be easy to photograph in any case?

Google Maps
Google Maps

One More Tale

On another occasion, a patient who had been brought up to the main hospital due to erratic behavior (suspected to be induced by hallucinogenic substances) made a mad dash for freedom. The escapee fled on foot to the old abandoned psychiatric hospital and used a heavy tool to smash a window and enter into the darkness.

He was easily found by following the unsettling trail of blood around the building. One does tend to wonder why the patient fled to the Killgore. Was it the urging of a distressed mind altered by substances or were they called there?

Why hasn't this building been torn down?

The second story has become a home for birds and hornets, wasps, and bees. Foxes and cats overrun the courtyard that was once filled with children and medical personnel. The Killgore now sits, dark, empty, and abandoned.

Some of it, anyway

Lori Crofford/TSM Amarillo
Lori Crofford/TSM Amarillo

Although the menacing orange is gone, the building is still in use, while the back half of the building still looks closed and abandoned.

The front half of the building is used for a wound care center.

Lori Crofford/TSM Amarillo
Lori Crofford/TSM Amarillo

The odd thing about this hospital is there isn't a lot of written history.  When you search for the hospital, you find several papers written that include information in the thesis or interviews from some of the doctors, but a true history is hard to find. People say they worked there, but no other information.

Why did it close?

The building once abandoned, is now repurposed, but if any spirits remain from the psychiatric hospital, maybe they are just waiting for someone to come and play.

The Abandoned St. Anthony's Hospital on Amarillo Boulevard

The 119-year-old abandoned hospital is a fascinating place for any who are lucky enough to be granted the chance to explore.

The sprawling building saw thousands of Amarillo's citizens inside its halls daily, all the the way until it was shuttered in 2001. But there are still incredible artifacts of the all-too-recent past tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the old St. Anthony.

The explorer who took these photographs gave the following information:

"Many rooms were left untouched, we found patient files, old prescriptions, a blood transfusion machine from the 60s, and microscopic slides of breast cancer from the 70s and 80s. I put one picture in here of some heart scans so you can see the dates and diagnosis of the patient, but marked out the patient’s names of course. During a time when mental illness was not understood, 76 exorcisms were documented to have been performed between 1909 and 1931."

Take a look inside the halls of the legendary abandoned St. Anthony's hospital

The Abandoned School House Outside of Canyon, Texas

This was once the Jowell School. Built in 1901, the building was the cornerstone of the teeny tiny farming community of Jowell.

The building had been rebuilt and restored in the late '80s or 90s before vandals destroyed it in an act of arson. What remains of the Jowell School sits in a desolate part of rolling farmland between the small towns of Canyon and Happy, Texas.

The Derelict Beauty of Amarillo's Abandoned Buildings

What is it about abandoned buildings tempts our imagination? Perhaps it's the fact that all of these places were once alive at one point of time. All of these buildings were once a part of everyday life.

But as they are now, they are empty and barren. All we have left of these abandoned properties in Amarillo are memories left to the echoes of time.

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