Hissom Memorial

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City/Town: Sand Springs
Location Class: SchoolHospital
Year Built: 1964
Year Abandoned: 1993
Status: Demolished
Photojournalist: Billy DixonDavid LindeJohnny FletcherBOOGYMAN

In the post-war era, Oklahoma had a significant number of children diagnosed with mental disabilities requiring institutionalization, but the two schools operated by state mental health officials at Enid and Pauls Valley had become antiquated and overcrowded and dated back almost to statehood. Providing modern care for these children became a priority for Governors Raymond Gary and J. Howard Edmondson in the 1950s and legislation funding a new facility near Tulsa was approved in 1959.

The new facility was built on land donated to the state by successful oilman Wiley G. Hissom. Hissom operated an Angus cattle farm as a hobby on the 85 acres located five miles northwest of Sand Springs along the Arkansas River. In 1954 he donated it to Oklahoma State University as an experimental farm. However, when it seemed the school was not making full use of it, he helped arrange for the land to be transferred to the state for the purposes of a residential training center for mentally disabled children.

After nearly five years and $7 million, the Hissom Memorial Center opened to 1200 patients on March 7, 1964. It was heralded as a marvel in the mental health field (especially after 300 cage-like cribs were removed) and referred to as The City of Hope. Among it’s 24 buildings were medical facilities and dorm-like residences which were seen as an improvement over the old turn-of-the-century institutions.

In the mid-1980s a group called Homeward Bound brought a suit against the center in hopes of closing it down and placing patients into communities and integrating them into society as much as possible, contending it was more humane and much cheaper than institutionalization. Indeed, court-appointed observers reported a “prison-like atmosphere” and considered Hissom a “human-development emergency” and an “educational disaster.” A federal judge ordered the facility closed in 1987, but it was 1994 when the last patient left and the center was mothballed.

Since that time rehabilitation development of the facility has been elusive and, though money has been appropriated to raze the area, it has yet to happen.

WARNING: Hissom Memorial Center is patrolled by the Sand Springs Police department due to vandals and trespassers. They do carry weapons, and will arrest those caught on the property. DO NOT GO TO THIS DANGEROUS LOCATION UNLESS YOU HAVE PERMISSION.

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Christina
Guest
Christina

My friends and i went there last night. Nothing too creepy happened, But my friend did hear someone walking behind her when we were outside. But now we both got this feeling like we have to go back.
I wish i would have read everything on here before we went. My friend didnt tell us anyone said anything about it being haunted. Probably cause he knew we wouldn't have went. Haha..

Eva
Guest
Eva

Some friends and I went the other night, and I *swear* something was walking behind me. I heard it matching my footsteps for three steps, then it would fade for a moment, and repeat. I had the compulsion to run, but didn't want to freak my friends out, so I just walked quickly. I don't really want to go back; the place is just eerie.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Hey if you have not been to Hissom yet you better hurry the State of Oklahoma Legislature just passed a bill that has Hissom scheduled for distruction…the bill was past in the last session for 2009….the state said that sence there is not anything they can do with this place they will tear it down because of its condition…but there is rumor they are going to try to make the land into a rehab place so only time will tell

Fiend
Guest
Fiend

Thanks for the info! Although it doesnt surprize me at all… Just dont park anywhere near that blasted neighborhood to the west. Those nosey people in those houses cant mind there own business, and they WILL call the cops on you. Also, there is apparently a cop living on the eastern part of the property in a house, he claims to be constantly looking for trespassers to arrest. As long as no one sees you approach the property or gain access, you will be safe once inside the compound. Just keep a watchful eye out for security! And dont linger… Read more »

Kati Smith
Guest
Kati Smith

Just so happens, the girl above happens to be the one I went with today. We heard voices, footsteps, doors closing, it was crazy. We didn't get too far on the property and got too scared and left. Didn't want to risk the voices being people who could essentially rob us or kill us. So, visitors, beware of police threats, voices, footsteps, and other creepy noises. PS don't park in someone's yard…they WILL call the police.

Chris
Guest
Chris

were is the best place to park i have never been my self but i plan on goign soon…i dont like the police so any hints would be greatful

kristen
Guest
kristen

i went last night with a car ful of people.you can see raider off of the road to your right and then you see darkness and trees.that is where you will find these buildings.it is all gated off..keep driving till your next right turn over the rr tracks.park in the neighborhood on your left…DO NOT park in the front nearest to the facility.this man will call the cops.park in the back.we were lucky enough to run into a kid my age who forewarned us and we parked at his house.be prepared to do some walking

Fran
Guest
Fran

You can get a pass for the police station to give you and 12 other people rights to go out there.

crystal
Guest
crystal

ok.. so me and my friend went here today and just to let everyoe know its really not as good as everyone thinks there is a sign posted that it is privet property and stay out.. we had a man yell at us that he was gonna call the cops on us.. so we got a few pics and left.. i dont think it was really worth the long drive..

Kati Smith
Guest
Kati Smith

Oh my GOD I am so excited about stumbling on this! A few friends and I were going to go to "Fallis" tomorrow, but may go here instead. I am SO glad it's still standing. I just hope we can get in considering we will be driving 2 hours!

Whiskey
Guest
Whiskey

Where is the 'pentagram room'? Perhaps some directions…

Dan
Guest
Dan

Went there with a group of about 5-6 friends.

We found the trap-door leading to the Pentagram room, it was blocked off with many pipes and other types of debris, as if someone had tried to block it off. Insanely creepy

Bill
Guest
Bill

Any trap doors you encounter are merely access panels for the service tunnels that contain old heating and chilled water pipes. They originate in the central mechanical building on the east side of the site and connect to most of the buildings:

GARY
Guest
GARY

BOB, i agree with you. i would love to see the video as well. 🙂

Zach
Guest
Zach

I was wondering if there was any footage taken while Hissom was operational. This website http://clearinghouse.wustl.edu/detail.php?id=487 has all of the court documents pertaining to the lawsuit which closed Hissom. If anyone is a legal nerd like me they should read some of it. It is actually extremely interesting. But as I said if anyone knows where some footage is of Hissom in operation please let me know.

Wade
Guest
Wade

Mandy could you also send me the footage please? Thank you

Wade
Guest
Wade
Wade
Guest
Wade

Here is my email. I have actually been to Hissom as well and it was THE scariest thing I have ever done in my life. My friends and I found old toys, books, and explored pretty much the whole facility. We were on our way out and noticed one of the rooms had a light on it across the yard and we saw someone moving around in there. I didnt check it out cause I was about to poop my pants but it was insanely creepy. I do believe the pool room is the creepiest parts

BOB
Guest
BOB

I'd love to see that footage too
jlpjlbsdsdms@hotmail.com

colton
Guest
colton

hello me and my friends went there last night around midnight we got there checking out the place and we saw trash cans with full trash so we got freaked out, then we walked back down the road and ran into these two strange people, that told us alot about the place it was freakin creep!

Jesse
Guest
Jesse

Mandy,
I would also love to see that footage
soonerfan7290@yahoo.com
please and thank you

mandy
Guest
mandy

i take care of some of the individuals that lived in Hissom Memorial Center and i have heard numbers of awful horrid things that had happened to them while their spand their, a few friends of mine and myself went to the old school and it was the weirdest thang we were in the pentagram room and we have on video people screaming and images of shadows walking in the halls of some of the other places of the site

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Mandy,
I Want To See The Footage You Have Of The Pentagon Room. mazda6boi@hotmail.com
Thanks,
Jeremy

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Mandy,
I Would Like To See The Footage You Have Of The Pentagon Room. Eamil Me @ mazda6boi@hotmail.com.
Thanks,
Jeremy

Renae
Guest
Renae

Mandy,

I too would like to see the footage. How did you obtain entrance to the facility? Isn't it locked? I'm a photographer and would LOVE to explore the place.

jrcw123@cox.net

Fiend
Guest
Fiend

Its matter of basically just walking in, ninja infiltration techniques need not apply, just dont let anyone see you 😉

Jesse
Guest
Jesse

Mandy,
I would also love to see that footage
soonerfan7290@yahoo.com
please and thank you 🙂

BOB
Guest
BOB

I'd love to see that footage too

Kristi
Guest
Kristi

I would like to see the footage too please. its_your_bubber@yahoo.com

lori
Guest
lori

Do you still have a copy of the video of hissom?

AbandonedOK Team
Guest

Hello everyone, and thank you for commenting!
I have sent Mandy and email requesting the footage, and I will post it as soon as I can if she still has it.

Lee
Guest
Lee

Send me the video too, it would be great because i was there saturday and we didnt got to the pentagram room

Brandi
Guest

The mary go round is soo true I went there like 2 months ago and that happend to my friends and I. Also my friend and I were walking back to our car and we felt like something was watching us and following us. I almost crapped myself. Also ever since I have been there I have had dreams about that place..like I feel like I need to go back

Casey
Guest
Casey

Is this place still around?
I am coming back to Tulsa to visit at the end of the month and might like to explore it.

Fiend
Guest
Fiend

Its still there, last time I checked anyways… Just be aware that there is an active detention facility right next to it with security 24/7

Shelby
Guest
Shelby

A few weeks ago I found this website, and this page in particular sparked my interest. Several days later a large group of my friends and I went to the Hissom Memorial Center. The scariest experience i had there was on a merry-go-round (not the one pictured above.) I had got on it with my boyfriend, while a friend pushed us. After the friend had jumped on, we sat on it for about a minute when we realized that the merry-go-round was beginning to speed up instead of slowing down. One thing that intrigued me was that there was still… Read more »

Fiend
Guest
Fiend

Thats pretty creepy. Some friends of mine have been there and also had some similar freaky experiences. I myself have never gone in the place, I just never got around to it, been by it several times. One of these days I'll check it out.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I was wondering, how do you get in there without getting in trouble?

Sue Kelley
Guest
Sue Kelley

The person who drowned was a teenage resident at THMC not a small child. I worked at Hissom as a therapist during the close down. Before that I had done a practicum there when I was at TU. I really don't know why things went so bad there but they did. Hissom got more money than the other two state schools, was more modern and got far more attention . Maybe it was cursed from the very beginning. I had nightmares about it last night — more than 20 years since the last time I was there . The mere… Read more »

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