Army Navy Hospital

(Hot Springs Rehabilitation Center)(Arkansas Career Training)

105 Reserve Street, Hot Springs, AR

Status: Former Hospital; Former Rehab Facility; Abandoned; State Property; No Public Access

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History

First of all, lets clear up some of the more fantastical untruths about this location.

We can find no historical proof that it was ever used for housing the criminally insane. The developmentally disabled yes, but it was never a criminal psychiatric facility.

While entering the property is certainly trespassing and should not be done the building is not owned by the federal government – but it is owned by the State government – and you will not be locked up in a federal prison never to be seen again if you go on the property.

Use common sense and always obtain permission before entering a property.

In 1882 $100,000 ($3.1 million in 2024 dollars) was put aside for the creation of the first joint army-navy medical center. President Chester B Arthur signed the Bill that created the original facility which opened in 1887.

Until 1957 the facility remained directly under the control of the Secretary of War when ownership was transferred to the US Army.

In the early 1930’s the US government paid $1.5 million ($34.2 million in 2024 dollars) to build the existing building after demolishing the original wooden structure.

During and right after World War II the facility was running at it’s highest historical level. As well as treating battlefield wounds the facility also provided RnR facilities for soldiers returning from Europe and the Pacific battlegrounds.

At this time this facility was one of the top 5 employers in Garland County.

On April 1, 1960 the federal government gifted the hospital to the State of Arkansas who used it as a rehabilitation facility. Both people with life long disabilities and those newly disabled were taught skills with the goal of leading an independent life.

In 2009 the medical wing was completely shut down and the entire focus of the facility became vocational training.

In 2019 Governor Asa Hutchinson’s State government shut the facility down completely.

The building is now abandoned and sits on the State’s list of endangered buildings it’s future uncertain.

 

Paranormal Activity

Even “professional” tour operators and paranormal investigators claim most of the activity dates from when this facility was used as an asylum for the criminally insane. There’s a big problem with this: there is not one shred of historical proof the criminally insane were ever housed here.

Soldiers were probably treated for shell shock here but that’s certainly not criminal.

In these days of misinformation and alt-facts please always take the time to learn the real history of a location not just the made up stories to scare people.

There are also stories of so many people dying on site that corpses were piled up in the hallways. This can be neither proven nor disproven but seems unlikely as this was not a battlefield trauma center. It seems rather unlikely that a marine wounded on Iwo Jima would be flown all the way to Arkansas for treatment.

Without a doubt, people did pass away within the walls but so many corpses piled up in the halls? Doubtful.

As well there may be a floor the elevator skips it seems highly doubtful that an entire floor was sealed off and even today is filled with rotting human remains.

There is a basement swimming pool – once used for hydrotherapy – sealed away under the building. That can be verified historically.

Reported activity: apparitions of former soldiers, patients and nurses; disembodied voices, screams and cries; light anomalies; electrical disturbances; time slips; touches, tugs and pulls by unseen entities; objects moving on their own including doors opening and closing; cold and hot spots and feeling like you’re not alone and being watched.