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The Abandoned Downey Insane Asylum

Updated: May 19, 2020


Something about abandoned asylums really excites me! So this one is a bit different because a cop told us to "go ahead," but that he couldn't help us if another cop stopped us, so in we went!

I was here to capture promo photos for Diana Meyer, a singer-songwriter here in California. I always try to use abandoned places for my content creation.

The History

Hollydale was built in the late 1800s for the mentally ill, disabled, and the homeless. With its success came thousands of patients. In the 1950's this town became a part of the city of Downey and thirty years later it was shut down, because it had fallen into disrepair. It's a shame that they couldn't keep it running, because it seems like it truly helped thousands.

If you know anyone who was a patient here, please let me know!

Behind the Scenes Video



This one was easy, because we got permission. We just climbed through an open window and went on our way..into the darkness...

I took a few self portraits while we were there so I could have a reminder of how spooky this place was. Some of them are featured in my book!


Now I don't know what you believe in or don't believe in, but this place will definitely make you believe in something. The dark interiors seem to take on an evil kind of darkness that sticks to your skin like humidity. It's gross and full of asbestos.

Now, we stupidly didn't wear any masks on this exploration, which I fully regret and will probably pay for dearly in the future.


Photos for Diana Meyer

The reason we were at this location in the first place was to capture some portrait photos for singer-songwriter Diana Meyer. She is an absolutely lovely human and I had the pleasure of capturing the following images for her.


Downey has some explaining to do...They just left all kinds of biohazard material around in these buildings and they should honestly tear them down and clean the place up, if at all possible. It's such a shame that humans are so wasteful and just leave their messes to rot.


Getting out was as simple as getting in. We chatted with the cops on another occasion and they said that we could get in touch with the neighboring hospital for permission on the grounds in the future, but we tried calling them and they quickly shut us down. Maybe one day I'll get to stay the night here...

*Disclaimer: I do not give out addresses to locations.

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If you liked this blog you'll love my book, No Tracers - An Urban Explorer's Diary

Listen to my urban exploration podcast, No Tracers on Spotify, Itunes, or Anchor.



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