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Anoakia Mansion from “Doppelganger”

Oct 6th, 2014 | By | Category: Movie Locations

Doppelganger Psychiatric Hospital Anoakia (3 of 12)

There’s no denying that Doppelganger is a pretty horrible movie.  But part of the fun of the Halloween season is watching ridiculously terrible horror flicks from years past – and stalking their locations, of course.  I had long been on the hunt for the psychiatric institution from the 1993 thriller and was given a tip a couple of years ago that a historic, since-demolished mansion named Anoakia in Arcadia was the right spot.  (For the life of me, I cannot remember who gave me the information.  To whomever it was, I apologize.)  Even though the place is long gone, I figured that it still proved blog-worthy being that several people have asked me about its location over the years.

Anoakia was originally constructed in 1913 for Anita Baldwin, the daughter of Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin, the founder of Arcadia.  The 50-room estate was designed in the Italian Renaissance style and boasted 17,000 square feet of space, a bowling alley, a gym, wood-paneled rooms, etched glass doors, a pool, an aviary, a bee yard, tennis courts and murals painted by artist Maynard Dixon. The 20-acre grounds featured ponds, gardens, stables, a bathhouse and a chapel.  Upon Anita’s death in 1939, the property was turned into a boarding school for girls.  In 1944, it was purchased by Lowry McCaslin, a former manager of the Baldwin estate.  He continued to operate a school on the premises for several decades.  Unfortunately, after the Whittier earthquake in 1987, McCaslin was forced to make costly upgrades to the mansion to keep it up to code.  Maintaining the site was no longer feasible for the 82-year-old, so he had the school moved and made plans to develop Anoakia’s grounds, keeping the mansion intact.

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City officials rejected all of McCaslin’s proposals and Anoakia sat vacant for the next decade and began to dilapidate.  In 1999, a developer from Orange County purchased the site from Lowry’s estate (McCaslin passed away in 1995) and came up with a plan to build a gated community of 31 homes on the land.  To do this, the Anoakia would need to be demolished.   While the developer met with some opposition from preservationists, the city eventually approved of his plans and the historic mansion was leveled in 2000.  You can see some pictures of how it looked in its last days here.

Doppelganger Psychiatric Hospital Anoakia (4 of 12)

Doppelganger Psychiatric Hospital Anoakia (6 of 12)

Today, the upscale community is known as Anoakia Estates.

Doppelganger Psychiatric Hospital Anoakia (11 of 12)

Doppelganger Psychiatric Hospital Anoakia (12 of 12)

The only part of the original property to remain intact are the perimeter wall and a guard house located in the southeast corner of the grounds (circled in the two aerial views below).

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I did not know about the guard house at the time that I stalked the location so I did not take any photographs of it, but you can see what it looks like it via the Google Street View image below.

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In Doppelganger, Anoakia stood in for Our Lady of Mercy Psychiatric Institute, where Holly’s (Drew Barrymore) brother, Fred, was institutionalized.

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True to life, the institute was said to be located in Arcadia in the movie.

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Anoakia showed up a couple of times in Doppelganger.

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The real life interior of the mansion was used in the movie, as well.

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From what was shown in Doppelganger, it is obvious that Anoakia was an absolutely idyllic estate.  What a shame that it is no longer standing!

Doppelganger Psychiatric Hospital Anoakia (9 of 12)

For more stalking fun, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Los Angeles magazine online. And you can check out my other blog, The Well-Heeled Diabetic, here.

Doppelganger Psychiatric Hospital Anoakia (5 of 12)

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  Smile

Stalk It: Anoakia Mansion, aka Our Lady of Mercy Psychiatric Institute from Doppelganger, was formerly located at around 1200 North Baldwin Avenue in Arcadia.

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4 comments

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  1. Josh Steimle says:

    I went to school at Anoakia for two years when I was a kid in the mid 80s. I went to classes in that mansion and can totally see how it would have worked well in a horror movie. There were secret doors and passageways and it was all old and falling apart and it was a super cool place. Lots of great memories.

  2. Ashley says:

    Ha! Your opening line of this post cracked me up 😀 Definitely one of the low points of Drew’s career! Bummer that this one is not longer standing but I still really enjoyed your post about it!

  3. This location was also used for another cheesy horror movie from 1994: Night Of The Demons 2, featuring a post-Hey Dude / pre-Brady Bunch Christine Taylor. I recognized that fountain and staircase, which is shown several times throughout the movie. A majority of the movie is set there (in the film, it’s a Catholic school called St. Rita’s Academy) and the location is featured extensively, so it might be worth a look just to check out the building and its grounds. And conveniently, to go with your October postings, the movie is set on Halloween.

    I had actually been looking for this one, but since it was torn down, that explains why I couldn’t find it. Very sad that it’s no longer there, but I’m so glad you posted this!


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