Dixmont Insane Asylum was demolished in Dec. 2005 for a Walmart store
Dixmont State Hospital (aka Western Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane) is located 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh on Route 65 in Killbuck Township. The hospital opened in 1859 and was named after the social reformer Dorothea Dix. Dorothea was a soft-spoken crusader for the proper care and treatment of the mentally insane and chose the 400 acre site for the hospital. When it opened Dixmont had 140 beds, but during the latter part of the 1900's the hospital was filled with over 1,000 patients.

Dixmont was completely self-sufficient with it's own morgue, factory, gardens, livestock, and much more. The patients spent time working and making life desirable during their stay. They played croquet, billiards, baseball games, and even had winter sleigh rides. Dorothea Dix believed that you may not cure every mentally ill person, but you can do a great deal for them by making their lives and living conditions better.

During the latter half of the 1900's, state funding and a lack of nursing made conditions deplorable. With several hundred patients, the hospital could not provide the care they truly needed. Dixmont State Hospital's original plan was to create a healthy environment for the treatment and care of the mentally insane, but towards the end it became a place to store and hide them from the outside public.

In 1984 the doors of Dixmont were closed.

In the fall of 2001 we made our first trip from Akron to Killbuck Township to explore Dixmont, we had very little information except slightly vague directions. After a few wrong turns we found both the front and back entrances which had several NO TRESPASSING signs. We explored for about an hour, snapping about 4 rolls of film.

DISCLAIMER: we've been in recent contact with the owners, they are currently NOT allowing anyone on the property.

It was a very breezy day and from what seemed like every direction came the sounds of doors slamming and echoing, one after another. Even though it was mid-afternoon the noise added to the eerie atmosphere of exploring an abandoned insane asylum. We entered the main building through one of the many open doors and it was a very intense experience.....walking the halls of the emotionally disturbed, seeing a few old, moldy mattresses and random bits of furniture. We could've wandered around inside for hours (the building is huge) but we didn't stay inside very long because of asbestos contamination and we had a long drive home.