Coates Mental Health Center

(Anna State Hospital)(Southern Hospital for the Insane)

1000 North Main Street, Anna, IL

(618) 833-5161

Status: Historical Asylum; Operational Psychiatric Hospital


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Construction on this insane asylum – then known as the Southern Hospital For The Insane – began in 1869 and the north wing was opened in 1875 at a cost of $22,000 ($627,000 in 2024 dollars).

It was originally on a 290 acre (117.5 hectares) site.

Within the next few years the rest of the hospital was built in the Kirkbride style.

Three fires in 1881, 1894 and 1895 did catastrophic damage to the main building and hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent rebuilding it.

Once considered a state of the art facility for the treatment of the mentally ill this facility fell into the plagues that all similar hospitals at the time did: namely overcrowding and lack of funds.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries about 20% of the patients died – compared to 36% being declared cured and released – and were buried in unmarked graves in the hospital cemetery. Since 1939 markers have been put up for the more recently buried patients.

This facility is still open – although very little of the original main building is left – and is still treating the mentally ill. There have been numerous complaints of patients being abused and staff lying to State investigators.

It is claimed only 3% of the complaints were found to be valid.


Paranormal Activity

One patient complained about being attacked by a devil dog while in a room alone. When the orderly unlocked the door, the patient was found completely alone but covered in scratches.

Apparitions and faces looking in the windows have been reported by many patients and visitors. Outside; apparitions are also seen on the grounds – especially in the cemetery – as well as the same ghostly faces are seen but looking out instead of into the buildings.

The tunnels beneath the institution are said to be very active. People have been touched by unseen entities and it is said you are never alone in the tunnels.

Other reported activity: shadow figures; phantom footsteps; disembodied voices, crying and laughter; strong empathic feelings of being oppressed and feelings of being watched and not being alone.