A decade ago rumors began circulating on the Internet (of course), about a cluster of abandoned buildings. People believed this location to be the site of the former Southwestern Insane Asylum. The rumors became so sensationalized that some reported bold fish tales, such as, the doctors at the asylum went crazy and killed everyone. And, according to most of these Internet blogs, little is known about this former insane asylum. Well, the reason for this is that the property was never the site for an insane asylum–The Southwestern Insane Asylum was the original name of the San Antonio State Hospital, which still operates in its original location today.
So, if not an insane asylum, what were these wicked scary abandoned structures originally? Answer: it was the Bexar County Juvenile Home for Boys. The facility was built in 1915, as The Home for the Aged, also known as a “poor farm.” It replaced an older poor farm from the 1860s. A short time later, the property became the location for the juvenile home. The site was eventually abandoned, possibly due to asbestos.
In the property’s time as a juvenile home, it quickly gain a reputation for its cruelty. On January 26 of 1925, 14-year-old Alfred Garcia, an inmate the the Bexar County Juvenile Home, was found by an attendant in a semiconscious state. He was sent to the hospital, where it was discovered that the dying boy had eaten rat poison.
The Juvenile Home for Boys made headlines again when on the 19th of December in the year 1933, a man was indicted for murder. The 21-year-old Jesus Samudio (who worked at the dairy barn on the juvenile home’s grounds), was alleged to have killed 14-year-old Charles Allen Watson, an inmate of the Bexar County Juvenile Home (at Southton) on November 2 of the same year.
On January 9th of 1934, Jesus Samudio was sentenced to life in prison. The 21-year-old, Saumudio (the dairy hand), plead guilty to the murder of Charles Watson after the State’s Attorney introduced Samudio’s confession, in which he gave a detailed account of the killing.
In the confession, Samudio said that he had quarreled with Watson about washing milk cans in the dairy barn. Samudio admitted to beating Watson over the head with an iron bar, later dumping the boy’s body in a creek, a mile from the juvenile home. Watson’s body wouldn’t be found for nine days. Samudio then hid his blood stained overall under the mattress in his quarters. This evidence was discovered by the police after they learned of Samudio’s past confrontations with the youth dairy hand, Charles Watson.
These incidents from the past quite possibly could account for some of the hauntings that occur at the now abandoned property.
Misinformation of its origin aside, this place undoubtedly has its fair share of haunting accounts from those who have dared to trespass its grounds.
Who would explore an abandoned building, especially when it’s rumored to be a former insane asylum? I don’t know, people who don’t value their life? Youngsters operating under the illusion that they are invincible? But, good luck trying to sneak in, as the police have stepped up their diligence in the guarding of the abandoned property.
The property consists of four structures, all in ruins. It is believed that the ruins were officially abandoned in the year 1996. Those daring individuals who have entered the property have reportedly experienced some rather strange occurrences. Happenings in the form of screams, lumbering moans, doors suddenly slamming only to then slowly creak back open, and the sounds of shuffling footsteps. These happenings apparently vary, depending on which graffiti-filled building you brazenly enter.
More startling claims are encounters with shadows of apparitions and dire cries of distress. Rumor has it that you do not even have to enter one of the buildings to see a shadowy apparition, as they sometimes will appear in the windows at night. This is probably as close as you actually want to get to any of the ghosts on this property. If you were to enter one of the buildings, a spirit may just chase you back on out the door, and then even follow you home for a ghostly sleepover.
A man named Nick spoke of his experience at the property. As he repeated the story, it was over ten years ago that he went to the location with a prison work squad. He claimed the place gave off “an evil vibe” and that it was “really creepy.” That night they all camped out, and later said that sleeping in the abandoned home was “really hair raising.” Not to mention confusing because despite being summertime there were cold spots throughout the building. Summertime in San Antonio nonetheless
A woman named Samantha, her husband and a friend went to the abandoned site one night. It apparently took fifteen minutes for her husband and his friend to open the heavily rusted door. Once they had all finally entered, the door slammed shut behind them. And, just like when Nick visited the property, it was during the summer, so, it was hot and very humid outside, but indoors Samantha described it as “freezing.”
“This place is really haunted…not a good place to visit…you will get your scare…” claimed Nancy, another visitor of the abandoned property. She further claimed that you should be cautious of entering, because if you do encounter a spirit, it may just follow you home. Nancy went on tell of a time that she took her teenage kids with her (mom of the year, well, maybe not). It was dark inside, so they used their flashlights. From the entryway, they decided to go up the stairs to the building’s top floor.
They never made it that far.
Upon hearing “moaning and screams” emanating from the floor, they all dashed out of the abandoned building. Nancy said, “the place has an unpleasant feeling.” Later that night, once they were in the comforts of their own home, strange things began to happen. They started experiencing “paranormal activity” and it was then that she knew that they had brought the ghostly presence home.
Unfortunately, her tale ended there and we won’t ever know what happened to Nancy and her family after the activity began.
A person who goes by the name of Mordikai visited the place during the summer of 2015. He and his cousin ventured to the property for three days in a row. He claims that there were indeed police watching over the property at various times, but he and his cousin were able to slip into the buildings unnoticed. Mordikai recalls that they heard the faint sounds of gun shots (this is most likely from the shotgun of the angry neighbor trying to scare off those who trespass). Mordikai’s cousin swears that she encountered a little girl wearing a white dress. When the duo begin walking up the stairs (like Nancy and her teenagers), they started to hear moaning sounds. Mordikai said that he also heard “doors slamming and somebody screaming.” He and his cousin took that as a sign that it was time to get outta this place. Also, like Nancy, Mordikai felt that a presence followed them back home, “I became paranoid to every smell and noise.” Based on their experience, he believes the abandoned property is truly haunted.
“It is true, this place is haunted,” Andrea emphatically states of the abandoned property. “I went there about 13 years ago or so with my older cousins and friends.” The group went inside two of the four building on the grounds. In one of the buildings, she recalls that they saw shadows appearing to walk about the hall. They then made their way to the rooftop, where they didn’t have anymore encounters. But, once they made it back downstairs, they heard loud stomping, as if someone was running down the stairs after them. The group, now scared for their lives, quickly rushed out of the building.
After they left the abandoned site, one of the the member of the group claimed, just like Mordikai’s cousin, that he encountered a little girl wearing a white dress. He said that the girl appeared to be following them as they walked down the stairs. Obviously, the little girl could not have made those frightening loud stomps. Was the little girl trying to get their attention in order to warn them of what was coming? Or, perhaps she was attempting to flee the loud spirit as well.
Perhaps she, too, was frightened of the screams and cries from the second floor of the former Bexar County Juvenile Home for Boys.
The abandoned property (former Bexar County Juvenile Home for Boys) is located at Southton & Farm Road. For your own safety we encourage you, your friends and family to stay far away. Not just because you might get arrested, or even encounter an angry spirit.
This property has been known to house squatters and the city’s homeless, and it’s also rumored to be a meeting spot for white supremacist groups and satanic dabblers. Oh, and, it has rattlesnakes and asbestos too!
But, the greatest danger of all might just be yourself. A couple of years ago, a man entered one of the buildings. Climbing through a window, he fell down and broke his leg. There he laid injured in the abandoned building for two days, until he was rescued by a sheriff’s deputy. So, why chance it? If you must visit, play it safe, just snap a few pictures and then run for your life.
If you're looking for the perfect way to explore San Antonio's most haunted locations, check out one of our San Antonio Ghost Tours. We look forward to showing you around our beautifully haunted city.